Wish i could have learned a different way

Shelby - statesboro, Georgia
Entered on October 9, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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I believe that a person’s outward appearance doesn’t show their inward emotions. Whether it is a smile on their face, a sparkle out of their eye, or even a laugh from their mouth, I believe people have different things going on inside of them.

As I have grown up, my daddy has been my rock, my role model, and my everything. He was six feet tall, and he had a very muscular build. He never went to the doctor, and he was determined to do things without help from other people. Those features made me think he was fearless, invincible, and had no “real” emotions other than the quiet and supposedly happy ones that everyone thought he had. These thoughts had not changed for seventeen years, until recently.

Only five months ago, I was driving down the road and I got the worst phone call in my life. I remember everything from that moment. The weather, the setting, the road, and even the thoughts going through my head at that time are still fresh in my memory. I never thought a phone call would make me hit my head on my steering wheel, scream to the other end of the world, slam on brakes and cry in the middle of the road, or put me in misery for what seems like forever.

My mom was on the other end of that phone call, but she wasn’t talking, she was screaming. My brother grabbed the phone from her and in misery, he said those three terrible words that run through my head every minute of every day, “Dad shot himself.” My heart stopped. I got those chills that crawl from your toes, up your arms, and onto your face. As I threw my phone, I screamed in shock and I said to myself, “Why?” I had no idea that this was coming; I saw no signs of my dad committing suicide because he was simply, happy… I thought.

We had a great family, me being the youngest, three older brothers, and next month would have been my parents’ 26th anniversary. We were all successful and I thought we were all happy. I thought my dad had everything that he ever wanted. However, I have realized now that people put on a face for their loved ones. Studies show that people with psychological problems generally think they are okay, so they keep their problems to themselves. I thought I knew my daddy, just as any other daughter would, however, you never know what is going on inside when someone puts on a show on the outside.

No one will ever know what was going through my daddy’s mind at that moment, or any moment, really. People think they know their neighbors, their friends, and especially their family. Well, no one really knows, and unfortunately, it took losing my daddy for me to realize that. Now I have learned to look deeper into my loved ones’ feelings, and not just accept them the way I think that they feel.