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I want to start off by saying that, for anyone who is going through what I did, there's going to be a point where things start getting better. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but with enough work and patience, good will prevail in the end.
Over the last two years, I've immersed myself in content creation for my label to flush out what I was experiencing at home.
When I was 14, all I knew was that my parents were arguing, and the once happy, warm feeling I got when entering my home was starting to diminish. You're likely thinking, "Kids should never be involved in family conflicts between parents. That's something to shield your offspring from." My parents tried, I know they did. And even though I never said that one of them was better or more right than the other, I sure did feel it. The burning pain and hatred I had in my heart toward my mother was enough for me to remove her from my life. When I needed advice or help with a stressful teenage situation, I turned to others. When I needed a ride somewhere or was worried about a big test coming up, I handled it myself. Soon, I'd be completely isolated from my mother. I'd be leaving for college in roughly 450 days, and might try having a relationship with her again after I was long gone from the home.
As time went on, my dad moved out. Fortunately, I've managed to spend more time with him than I do with my mother. It's how things worked out based on my perspective of all that's happened.
The hardest lesson I learned was that, even though they were no longer together, my parents still loved me.
It wasn't until recently—at 17—that I realized things didn't have to go down the way they did. The hardest lesson I learned was that, even though they were no longer together, my parents still loved me. Their conflicts didn't have to tear me apart the way that they did. Marriages don't always work—in fact, there are 3.2 divorces for every 1,000 people in the U.S. population.
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Holidays were always a big part of my family, whether it was Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, or my birthday. Once my parents were no longer together, I knew those holidays were going to change. My parents were still there for me, they still supported me, but the unity was gone. The family dinners and movie nights were gone. Sure, we are still a family, but my siblings and I definitely feel a sense of emptiness. Change is okay—it’s natural to life. But that doesn’t mean that events like this won’t upset you, particularly around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. For me, it helped to realize that my parents still love me. Focusing on myself and my brother and reaching out for support also made the holidays a little bit brighter.
Change is okay. But that doesn’t mean that events like this won’t upset you, particularly around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Over time, I began to work on myself. Being the independent person I've always strived to be, I knew that in order to help fix the cracks in my family, I had to fix myself first. I started to improve my time-management skills. I made sure to keep my grades up. I spent more time with my family and did my best to try and understand where they were coming from. Perhaps the most important part of this entire experience has been learning not to let my little brother down.
My brother deserves a fair chance at creating a name for himself, just like I did. He should be worried about school, friends, sports, maybe even a passion he wants to fuel—not the screaming matches of his parents. After coming to this realization, I did my best to be a good role model for him, and did everything I could to be the man in the house, the way my dad always showed me.
I know it can be hard to find the right words to say or the best way to handle a situation as hard as this one, but do your best to remember that there are different sides to every story. Work on what you're best at and don't hold back your feelings like I did. Reach out to someone you feel safe expressing your feelings to. Sometimes that person isn't your parents, the school counselor, or your sports coach—maybe it's a friend who is going or has gone through the same thing.
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