This I Believe

Nicole - Greenville, North Carolina
Entered on June 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, setbacks
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I Believe

I believe in the strength of family. Growing up, I was naïve and thought my parent’s relationship was picture perfect and our family was close and would always remain that way. As my older brother and sister both went off to college and I got older, I realized this picture I had in my mind and truly believed was completely false. My parent’s relationship was not perfect, not by far, and I would soon face this issue head-on.

When I was in high-school, I grew extremely close to my mother. She and I would go for long walks and she confided in me about the troubles between her and my father. Talking to your children about your marital problems may not the right thing to do, but I was the only other person that was living with her in our house and the only person that could really understand and relate to her. I went almost an entire year barely speaking to my father because things were so uncomfortable.

For a spring break vacation, I went to Florida with my mother and her sisters to visit another one of my aunts that lived there. Unknowingly to me, a plan between my mother and my aunts had been set in motion for my mother to remain in Florida for some time to get some distance from my father. After long talks with my mom, I agreed that this would be the best decision for all of us. The phone call made to my father telling him this news and his shocked, painful reaction still stings my heart. But deep down, I knew this was best. They needed to be separated, needed time to themselves. I always believed that not being in a relationship is better than being in an unhealthy, emotionally damaging one. Sure, my parents really did love each other, but they simply were not right for one another.

After my mother left, it took a toll on the rest of our family. My sister and brother distanced themselves from my mother and four years later my brother still barely speaks to her. He loves her very much, but still cannot comprehend the situation and thinks what she did is wrong. However, my sister has grown close with her again and my mother has moved back to my home state of New York to be closer to family. My parents, after a long struggle, now realize that they are happier apart, and act friendly and civil toward one another. For the first time in a long time, it seems as though we all can be in the same room and not feel any tension. It’s as though my parent’s divorce has brought us closer.

My family was torn apart and somehow found a way to come back together. We are still separated in some ways and not the same as we used to be before the divorce, but we all love each other and support one another. I know that my brother will come around and he and my mother will re-build their relationship. The strength in each of my family members and the circumstances we all have endured has given me the confidence and faith that this will happen. No matter where we are or what issues we face, I know we will always be there for each other. My family is strong, and this is what I believe in.