How my Parents Divorce Changed my Life

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Reflecting as a young child I can still hear my whimpers vibrate through the metal frame of the dryer. The warm clean laundry that inhabits the dryer makes me feel less alone. As foul words escape the tongues of my soon to be divorced parents my brain retreats to one of my favorite songs. The lyrics “ Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to” (Etheridge n.pag), replayed repeatedly through my mind. Although I was too young to understand the true meaning of the song that represents a mother who does not want her child to chase after drugs, my young thoughts correlated the words to chasing after love. My parents would often argue and I would hear my mother shout that she could not leave my father because she loved him. This made me view love as undesirable. Although the song was not written to correlate love and waterfalls I thought that it was within reason that no one should chase after love because love was hateful.

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My parents eventually got a divorce in 2004. They would go on to both remarry twice. My mother’s first husband took the form of a desired father figure. I loved that he did not remind me of my father, however, they had more in common than I knew. He was also an alcoholic. Alcohol intensifies emotions, alcohol abuse oftentimes results in depression, and that it did. On June 1st, 2008 he committed suicide. This fragmented my views on love at a different viewpoint. I no longer believed that love was undesirable, but I believed that he did not get enough of it. At the age of eight I blamed myself for the suicide of my stepfather and watched my mother go into a deep depression as a result. However, she remarried soon after to another man with the same name. Matt did a lot of things, but he could not fill the void. As I aged the song how to save a life became a part of expressing my story. It states “Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend Somewhere along in the bitterness And I would have stayed up with you all night Had I known how to save a life.” (Slade n.pag). I hold these lyrics close to my heart as they are the only way to express the voice in my head ceases to express adequately.

In the later month of June 2008 I went to Florida, this was my fathers attempt to mend the broken pieces of my heart. I had become angry at the world and grown a hate for who needed me most, my younger brother. I hated him for reasons that were beyond his control. I hated him because he was too young to understand and had become completely dependent on me. This trip was a break from the responsibilities of caring for my younger brother. We stayed with my aunt Kelli. There I met my lifelong best friend, Mckenna.

Thinkin about the past, I never realized the impact that she was making on my life throughout the years. As a person of stability she contained all emotions: anger, fear, happiness, and sadness. The song I’ll be there for you states “when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year, but I’ll be there for you”(Solem n.pag). This describes our relationship as Mckenna was there to provide me with the things that I unknowingly needed.

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How My Parents Divorce Changed My Life. (2021, Oct 12). Retrieved February 6, 2023 , from

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