Change is the only Constant
Table of Contents
- I Could Have Helped (Prompt: Call to Adventure)
- I Could Have Stayed (Prompt: Mentor)
- I Could Have Tried (Prompt: Threshold)
- I Could Have Communicated (Prompt: Challenge)
- I Could Have Said Something (Prompt: Abyss)
- I Could Have Told You(Prompt: Revelation)
- I’m Going To Make It (Prompt: Return)
- You Shouldn’t Have Left (Prompt: Challenge)
Life never goes according to plan and some things, unfortunately, are left out of our control. Even though I guess I should have seen the signs sooner, maybe I could have stopped it before the evitable became inevitable. Maybe I could have stopped my heart from getting ripped out of my chest. Maybe I could have changed something before the world stopped. Divorce is defined as the ending of a marriage by legal process, but that fails to mention the excruciating pain, regret, and depression that comes along with it. They would always tell me the story about how they met, my mother being a college student forced to go to a bar with a friend and my father a navy officer looking for a night out. For many years I looked forward to having a relationship just like theirs, but their relationship soon became one I didn’t recognize. Everything changed but I didn’t want to live in two different homes with two different bedrooms, different clothes, different friends and different rules. I thought having two birthdays and two Christmases would be great, but now I would do anything to have my youth to belong to me again.
When I lived there, it was a castle. The house held equal part memory and personality. That white turned beige furniture on the first floor, those floral printed spread clean over my twin beds. The stairs that had the view of the never growing apple tree in the backyard.
How it works
My room with the electrifyingly yellow walls and the green and purple paint splatters that took me hours to get all across the room. My piano that made me feel like Mozart whenever I sat down at the bench. All of this was mine until it wasn’t anymore. I felt that my father didn’t care what happened to us once he left. Once we had to leave, we moved into an apartment. Now every once in a while I am forced to see my old house that is now new to some other family. It has been four years and I expect the house to look different, but it manages to look almost identical to when it was mine. The flowers hanging in across from the front door, the old mailbox covered in ivy that was suffering and was desperately requesting some TLC, the brown picket fence surrounding the front yard that tried it’s hardest to keep us safe. Inside the front window, there was a ladder, and a room half painted. Memories were in the midst of being covered and refreshed, but they would never be forgotten. They run deeper than any paint, than any furniture. Still the transformation was underway, from a place that was mine, to a place that was theirs. It was all mine until it wasn’t.
After my father moved out, I was forced to attend family counseling that soon turned into one on one sessions with my therapist. Initially, I despised her brown green office that always smelled like bitter tea and her stained couches from all of the other kids that had sat down there before me. I’m sick. I’m tired. I have too much homework to do. Visiting my therapist was like jumping head first down a cliff just to get a little reward at the bottom. Whenever she tried to talk, she was basically poking a lion with a stick. Soon however, the incessant talking turned into omniscient leadership. With her help, the red-hot hatred for my father’s new family was released and a sort of understanding came into my brain like a whisper. The brownish green walls of the office turned into a place like home and the tea scent became fresh again. I soon realized that her old stained couches had basically let me explain all of my problems and they also had gotten me through the last years of elementary school. When she let me draw, I could feel the stress leaving my veins and the anger at my father for leaving. I wonder if she can get my dad to come back.
You didn’t look for a reason to dislike us. It took you about a minute. The fact that we were even there proved to be too much for you to handle . We were aged between 10 and 14 when our father left our mother. A little more support and affection would not have gone amiss, but you decided to withhold yours. You loved our father so fiercely that you despised us whenever we had contact with him, even when it was a simple conversation. You and Dad lived in the home that he had made for us, but you made it so it felt like it was choking us whenever we took a step inside. You are a lawyer, which only furthers your ability to argue with us. It would be easier to tolerate your antagonism if we haven’t been it’s only recipients. I’ve always been hesitant of you. I never was able to put my finger on it, and I don’t think I ever was able to justify the “why” to my father. I simply wanted you out of my life. Maybe it had to do with the fact that everything was centered on you. Or maybe it was how you made conversation with me, but for the four years you and my father have been in love, I don’t think we have ever had a conversation lasting over five minutes.
Even though family surrounded us, my brother and I were the only ones who knew the truth. We would both watch each other when someone would bring up our father and wonder why he wasn’t here. We both knew though. Not only has he told us he wasn’t coming to my brother’s high school graduation, he had also been married to a vulture, a dragon, the worst woman I’ve ever met. We thought it would be better if we never said anything, kept it a secret just like they had for over a month. The news crushed the both of us like rockslide during an earthquake in a tornado. The whole ordeal made me want to fly into the sky and land on an island and all of my problems would cease to exist with a faint “poof.” I knew that these kinds of thoughts were toxic, but as Pomp and Circumstance played, I couldn’t help thinking that my father simply didn’t love us as much anymore.
Maybe I don’t need you in my life. Somebody else can walk me down the aisle. Somebody else can help me move into my dorm. Somebody else can meet my girlfriend for the first time. I’m going to live a perfectly happy life without you. You haven’t provided me with anything since 2013. You and I are almost strangers now. You and your new family can argue with me all you want, but my feelings and my opinions will not change. You abandoned me. You let me go. You see, there is a large portion of the story which you don’t know, and may never know. I have tried countless times to get you to hear my side of the story, only to have you pass me off as your overdramatic teenage daughter. But my words still deserve to be heard. I don’t care about your feelings towards me anymore. I have forced myself to accept that I do not and will never need your approval. Growing up, you were a superhero, and now all you are is a random character fading into the background. And you have no one to blame except yourself.
I am content with my relationship with my father, step mother, and step sister. I am content with my life. I haven’t been in this good of a frame of mind since the day I came home from camp. I feel like I’m a falcon finally free and able to soar over mountains. After realizing that my father was no longer a necessity in my life, the majority of my stress is gone. The mini cooper I saw the day it happened seemed to pick me up and replace me. The odd thing is, I feel perfectly at peace with that. The witch who is also known as my stepmother may absolutely despise me but that doesn’t stop me. It can’t stop me. I won’t let it. I may have to deal with being replaced by them and of course I’ll lose a couple tears over it, but I will get over it. I always have and I always will.
I try to act like I don’t care what you did to our family. But I do, of course I do. I always have. I’m never going to stop caring either. But when I think about what you did, my soul breaks in two. I have a million things to say to you right now, but I’ll only say the one. You shouldn’t have left. You didn’t have to stay, but you didn’t have to go so far. You didn’t have to stop being my dad. When you left our home, I cried a lake. But when you left the state, moved out of our lives, I cried an ocean. The home might have been the most painful part of it all. The house that I spent so many hours painting, the house that was another member of our family. When you left that house, you essentially left our lives. Of course I’m sad about it. Angry too. But I’m at peace with it. It won’t change. You won’t let it. You won’t let me forget the worst thing that has ever happened to me because you are always doing something to remind me. But one day, I’ll get over all the ways you changed my life.