Facing Life with a Brave and Broken Heart

Michelle - Wilmington, Massachusetts
Entered on March 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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My mom always says, “You can’t change the changes in your life, but you can change the way you approach them.” Hearing her say it offers a comfort to my sore heart. Sure, I’m just a 12 year old with a mouth full of braces who’s a child of divorce and would have a swollen heart, but I think mine maybe just a little more stung than others my age. As a younger girl, I’d hide under the dining room table, sometimes crying, as my mom and dad angrily attacked each other, verbally, and have to carry on my regular life. I had at first felt hopeless, knowing there was nothing I could do. That probably led me to deceive myself into believing things would work out. So when they finally decided to divorce when I was nine, I cracked.

I believe in approaching life with open arms and a welcoming smile.

That wasn’t the case then as it is now. I’m the kind of person who can’t stay down for more than a day, at least in casual cases, such as a fight with a friend. I tell myself, “Oh, I’ll never get over this,” and yet the next day, I’m laughing and smiling, totally indifferent to the events of before. Sometimes, this indifference works against me, as on some occasions I miss the seriousness of it. So when my dad told me he wanted to remarry, I reacted the same way I would have had he told me to do my homework. But when one weekend, we went right from my house to her house and not his condo, it finally hit me. My father is about to get married again. I’m going to have a stepmom, stepbrother, and stepsister. My mom has become a great help in relieving the shock and slight pain that comes with remarriage. She told me that I would at least always have the stability of my home, but she might remarry herself someday. Although she’s been a wonderful counselor, I now have to control and live with two different mindsets, which I transition between in the 1 ½ to 2 hours of traffic between my higher standard of living to the, no offense to the family, lower and strained lifestyle of my dad’s future wife. She lives in a small condominium in Worcester that’s rather cramped, making it somewhat uncomfortable. The constant change can make it hard to keep my belief, but I hold on by practicing my belief every day, on family, friends, even teachers. I’m not superhuman, I’m not immortal, and I’m not numb to all emotion or stoic. I have my ups and downs, just like everyone else. But my belief helps me to pick myself up, start over, and brace myself for the next hit. In the boxing match between life and me, I’m absorbing all blows and sticking it out to the end.