*** My daughter wrote this essay when she was in 6th grade about an obstacle she had to overcome. It was part of her Barrett Summer Scholar program for gifted kids. I am sharing this so adults can understand the effects of divorce on kids, but also to show how resilient our kids are. My daughter is now in 9th grade. She is an amazing young lady. She is in band, FIRST robotics, Junior States of America and student council.
Overburden but not Overcome
As life goes on we seem to face more and more hardships. Some are small and some might change your life. But everybody has them. They seem to pop up everywhere from anything or anyone. My parents’ divorce seems to have impacted me the hardest and still does.
Finding out about the divorce wasn’t a relief or surprising. It was just kind of there hanging over my head until it was official. My dad cheated on my mom. That’s as simple as that to me. What really hit me hard was when I started to think about it.
I sat at home during the holidays and birthdays sending prayers and wishing my dad was with me. While I was at home crying he was with a girl who could be my sister. He lied. He shouldn’t have. Then he lied again. He couldn’t even tell the truth about how long he cheated. First it was two years then suddenly it was four. Wow, that was fast wasn’t it? I never asked him why, but I think I already knew the answer.
It was his fantasy in way or a get away from a family. I think in the back of his mind we were there or I would hope so. During this time I saw my mom crack a little but not enough to completely break (she’s too strong for that and still is). I did too myself. School was my getaway only one friend knew why my parents were divorcing and I liked it that way. Less people equaled fewer questions. My friends were there for me like I was there for them. They still are.
When my dad came back things weren’t amazing but he was there. I imagined yelling at his face for everything but ended up running into him with a full hug and tears. Even a cheater he was still my dad. I want to say great things happened right after and everything was great; but we all know how life works so obviously that didn’t happen.
Not too long after my mom, my brother, and I were looking for a new home before THE arrival. Changing homes was a relief though. I swear I was suffocating in a house full of hatred and awkwardness. Noting could have been better and it was a nice way to start 6th grade, I guess.
Then she came. My current step-mom finally was coming and everything had to be perfect. All I heard that week was “Don’t be rude” or “Give her a hug” whispered in my ear so quiet as not to disturb her. That’s exactly what I did and still do. Sometimes I want to turn around and say why would you say that or that’s insensitive and sometimes to just shut up! I don’t though because that’s just not me. And honestly that would just cause more drama.
Sometimes he does choose her feelings over mine, and no I’m not just saying that, but I know he loves me in his own way. Like my mom says he’s learning to be a dad again. I guess I’m learning how to be his daughter too. This experience or obstacle was a learning one and didn’t completely screw me up.
And hopefully I keep learning. I might skin my knees a bit along the way but i just got to push through the pain. I may be overburden but not overcome.