Fighting the Waves

Abigail Jolie - 72401, Arkansas
Entered on October 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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Fighting the Waves

There are some things that I couldn’t have prevented or controlled. When I was small, I constantly tried to fix all the problems that my parents had. I honestly thought that I had the ability to fix the erosion of my parents’ happiness. But the truth is, I’m not responsible for anybody’s happiness but my own. It took me a long time to figure that out.

I remember my favorite hiding place as a little kid. It was on the beach on Lake Erie, where my dad took me and my mom on vacations. My parents were the people that I thought were perfect, in my eyes as a five year-old. They hardly ever fought then, and they seemed so fearless and adventurous. One day, on the beach, they ran down the rocky banks very fast, and I followed them, occasionally falling and cutting my knees on the sharp points of the rocks. They both ran for the water, completely nude, and swam in the rough waves. It was close to night time, and the lake was the wildest I ever saw it that night. I sat on the rocks and waited for them to come back in from the water. I decided to scream for them to come back. It drove me crazy to scream for them and have them not respond. I eventually started to cry. I just sat among the decaying fish that were washed up on the shore days ago. After for what seemed hours, my mom and dad came in, happy and carefree, like they were the most fortunate people in the world. They were so confused about why I was crying then, but I didn’t want to tell them, because I knew that they would’ve thought that I would be ridiculous. I was worried about them. The waves were so intense. I started climbing up the bank. The sand was flying into my eyes, and I kept slipping down, scraping my knees again. My dad picked me up with one arm and carried me up the huge bank. He made it look so easy by leaping up the slippery mud and loose sand. Right now, I would want to go back to these days more than anything.

My mom left us when I was twelve years old. My whole view of my parents completely changed then. I saw myself as more competent than they were. But actually, I soon realized that this was a slap of reality to me. It was a sudden smash to my brain that things could go wrong unexpectedly; anything. Even though I was a natural worrier, I became even more worried about my dad. He was my major concern. I was always afraid of leaving him to hang out with friends, because I had it in my mind that he was always alone. I felt responsible to make sure that he was ok.

My dad and I went to Lake Erie again shortly after my mom left. The waves were even rougher than I remember them being. However, I was definitely better at climbing the banks, and I wasn’t as scared of the waves. Since we were off the beach that was public, the beach we were on was practically starting from the banks. The waves were tossing into the sides into the sides of the bank walls and throwing me right into the rocks. I felt out of control, but I didn’t scream like I used to when I was younger. I sort of let the water beat me up a little bit. I knew that I was going to be fine, somehow. I went with the flow, and , with patience, grabbed on to the cliff and pulled myself up. Surprisingly, I didn’t wait for my dad in a panic. Instead, I waited for him calmly, trusting that he can get out of the water when he wanted to. I sat and waited for him patiently, and he got out of the water safely.

I’m now living with my mom, and seeing my dad on a regular basis, and my mom and I are getting to know each other better now. We always talked on the phone and visited, but this is the first time in four years that I’ve lived with her. I’ve let go of my anger by learning how to go with the flow and let go of trying to fight and control everything, because I learned that it only hurts myself when I don’t trust and accept the changes that are faced.

I still visit the lake where I spent a lot of my childhood, and I still climb up the cliffs, sometimes getting cut and bruised. I often race down the banks, trusting myself. I often compare my struggles with my parents splitting up with my struggle to not slip an dfall on the rocks on that lake. I overcome them both by controlling myself and going with the flow. My struggles have made me a much stronger person today.