I Believe No Family Deserves to be Treated This Way

Lauren - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on October 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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This I Believe

We moved across town today. Everyone always says that moving supports a new beginning, but I can’t help thinking that we are just running away. Running away from our feelings and running away from our past. As my mom drives toward our new house, she says, “This will be better for us in the long run, better then staying here.”

I know I’m not better then anyone. I know that my family isn’t better then any other American family and that we are going through something families all over the country are going through. One thing I do believe is that no family deserves to be treated this way

I can remember the day perfectly. I had just gotten home from a slumber party at my friend’s house. My dad asked how it was, my mom sat on the side of the couch, listening intently and drinking a cup of coffee. Seemed like a normal day to me. After I finished informing my parents about the happenings of my 12 year old life, they dropped the bomb that my dad was heading towards Texarkana for work, yet again. We drove him to the airport (which was costing my mom more money then it was my dad) and dropped him off at the terminal. We said our goodbyes and went home. The day still seemed to be fairly normal for my family but that night, my mom got a phone call from my dad.

My dad was always paranoid when he left us behind to run his sports bar in east Texas. Men who cheat are always paranoid. I sat there, judging my mom’s facial expression as she headed for the back door. My mom never took my dad’s phone calls outside. Something was wrong. My normal day had just turned upside down.

When she closed her cell phone, the blank look on her face gave nothing away. She walked to her room and closed the door. I sat by my mom’s locked door waiting for answers. My brother had overheard the conversation from his bedroom window but he refused to tell me what had happened. Why is it always the youngest sibling who has to be in the dark about bad news?

A few hours later (and yes, I sat at the foot of my mom’s bedroom door for at least 3 hours) my mom opened the door with a tear stained, worn down face. Instantly worry corrupted my body.

My mom explained in as much detail as a 7th grader could handle what my father had done. Since the day he moved his business eight hours away from where we live, he had been cheating on my mom with one of his older employees. He had broken the covenant of marriage from the time I turned 7 years old. I continually asked myself, “What kind of person does that to their family?”

Now, sixteen years old and four years later, I find that my family is better off without my dad. I don’t think any of my friends would disagree. I’ve become a lot stronger from the whole experience. I don’t believe anyone deserves to live without a father if possible, but I do believe that any family deserves to be treated better then the way my father treated my family. I tell people my story to let them know either how lucky they are to have a father who loves them and keeps his promises or how much I understand what they are going through. Families are often bruised and broken these days but that seems to be the one thing that bonds people together: hardship.