Families Are Like Rollercoasters

We were never the ‘socially accepted’ family. My parents were never married they only lived together long enough for it to be considered a common-law marriage. They met at a young age, my mom being 13 and my dad being 17. It wasn’t love at first sight it was hatred at first sight. Eventually, they grew to love each other, love each other enough to move into together. Loving each other enough to have a kid together, and  this is where I came in.
        My parents split up when I was 7 years old. I wasn’t very aware of the fact that they were arguing and upset with each other most of the time. I didn’t know that they couldn’t even talk to each other sometimes I felt so clueless. I was pretty certain that I knew everything that my parents did, but I obviously didn’t.
The day was like any other day it was just another day of second grade. A regular morning, everything was going great but there was a different feeling in the house. The house felt emptier. I walked into the kitchen and my mom is just standing there. My dad’s things packed in his bags. Finally, the tension broke; my mom and dad were splitting up.

“Dad and I need to talk to you about something,’ my mom said in a stern voice.

“Is it bad? Cause you seem sad.”

“You won’t be happy about it.”

“What is going on,” I ask cautiously.

“Your dad and I, we need to talk to you about something important.” My mom states firmly.

“What is it?’

“Your mom and I have been having some problems. Problems that aren’t getting ironed out,’ my dad says

        “What kind of problems,” I ask franticly.
        “Your dad and I aren’t getting along as well, as we use to.”

“WHAT? What does that even mean? You guys love each other and you are supposed to get along, perfectly.”

“Your dad and I are separating. He has to move out.”

“SEP-ER-ATING? What does that mean,” I state more confused than before.
        “Dakota, your mom and I aren’t getting along. We argue a lot more than is normal.”

“I’ve never seen you guys argue.”

Well, we have been so we decided to separate. This is for your own good; we want you to grow up happy in a healthy home,” my dad says.

“Okay, I guess,” I say in an unsatisfied voice.

I didn’t know what else to say, I didn’t know what to do. How was I supposed to go to school with this feeling in my stomach? I cried for as long as tears were still coming out of my eyes.

After my parents split, I use to lie to my friends or to anybody new I met. I didn’t want people to think I was in a broken home. I didn’t want people to think I was the reason why my parents split up. I never talked about my parents, never said anything about where I lived, or whom I lived with. For about 3 to 4 years, I never said anything about my parents or my home life.

I didn’t see my dad for a while, but when I did see him everything was different. My parents tried to work on getting along more just for me. They were getting good but I was still worried. The next thing I know we are going on vacation together. I never understood how a split up family could go on vacation. I swore my parents hated each other, I swore they never wanted to see each other again. I know they still loved me, but they didn’t love each other. How could they be together, at the shore for a week? I was scared for my dear life; I didn’t want to witness my parents getting into an argument. The drive to the shore was slow and full of anticipation I was just so excited to go to the shore, but in the back of my mind, my parents were always there. As the week went on, there weren’t any arguments; there weren’t any viscous looks at each other, just love. Everything was fine and dandy.

As I got older, life got better. My dad and my mom were getting along better. We went out to dinner together, to the movies together, and different places. We went to Longhorns together and everything was amazing. We were able to laugh and eat in peace. We tried each other’s food. Things became clear. My parents became closer because of me. If I did something amazing, like getting great grades, they were happy. If I did something horribly wrong, they both showed the same amount of disappoint in me.

On my 8th grade graduation, I went out to dinner with them. We ate with the whole family. Everybody was laughing, and getting along. Nobody argued all day, it was just like the vacation to the shore. I wished for more days like this, when we looked like a normal family. The conversation was loving and not disrespectful.

“Dakota, what are you going to do now? HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT,’ my dad yells in the middle of the restaurant.

“Hahahahahaha, Troy. Don’t pressure the girl, she is fresh outta middle school,’ my mom giggles.

“You guys are so weird,” I say in a loving voice.

“We are so proud of you, Dakota,” they state in the most loving voice.

I made it all the way to high school, with the grades. I knew everything that I needed to know. I graduated 8th grade on June 13th, I never failed any classes or was left back.  Just like any other married couple with a family, I had higher grades then some of than those kids. When I walked onto that stage, my parents gazed up at me, and then looked at each other. Right then, they knew and I knew. There wasn’t anything to every be ashamed of. They knew splitting up was better than me seeing people fight everyday or them holding it off. They knew that they raised me well. They were so proud of me and I was so proud of them. I rather am in a home with one parent, then being in a home with both parents who argue all the time.
        We are a normal family, no ifs ands or butts. My parents love me; they care for me it was always like this. I was just too young to understand. I thought a family had to be together, in the same house but I was wrong. We were able to have family events, see movies together, and go to dinner together. What was there to be ashamed of? My family was like any other family. I had nothing to hide; I didn’t realize that when I was younger. I thought your parents had to be together, but they don’t. I met more and more kids my age that had divorced parents I realized that things happen. Things change and sometimes the best thing to do is to split up.

Now, I am older and the problems aren’t arguments between them, but arguments with me. I wouldn’t want to talk to them because I felt like they wouldn’t listen to me. I felt like a kid and they were ganging up on me. Now, it was 2 against 1. Some days I didn’t want to talk to my dad or on other days I didn’t want to talk to my mom. It was just like if we all lived in the same house. I would see my dad every other weekend or during the week. I live with my mom and we got into arguments. We were still a family, just in different houses.

I never should’ve hid anything; I am proud of where I come from. People still give me dirty looks when they find out about my parents. Why? Because they are just jealous. Jealous of the fact that my family had a rollercoaster of a life, and it isn’t even over yet. Jealous that the rollercoaster isn’t even done yet, the hills will get higher and then downfall will get longer. Only my parents can keep me anchored to the rollercoaster seat.