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When I was just 8 years old, I walked in on the conversation of my parents deciding they were getting divorced. It was three days before my birthday and I heard my mom crying in her room with the door closed. Naturally, I was sitting there, listening to what was going on. After few moments, I ran upstairs to get my older sister to tell her what was going on. We both went and sat outside the door for a little bit. We decided we would barge in and make them tell us what was happening. One, two, THREE! We pushed open the door and yelled, “Don’t get divorced!” To say that our parents were shocked is an understatement.
My father told us he didn’t want to be a husband or a father anymore and I just couldn’t believe it. However, being the person I am, I knew I had to step up and be the rock for my sister and my mom. As time went on, I had to keep it together, despite what I was feeling, for them. It became a huge weight on my shoulders. After about three months, my mom met who is now my stepfather. She seemed so happy and wasn’t crying at night anymore. I was happy she found him. I could start dealing with my own issues. My mom and my sister didn’t want to listen to it because they couldn’t deal with it.
Read more: I have Anxiety Because of my Stepdad
My dad and I got to sit down and talk things through. We have always been close, and he explained that he was just in a place that he needed to be alone. He needed to figure things out on his own as he did not have time to do that when he was married. My mom’s job always had her on the road, to the point that I only saw her one, maybe two times a week. Other than that, she wasn’t around. That was a lot to put on one person. When you become a parent, you expect to have the help of your spouse, but he didn’t have that at all.
As time went on, my stepfather decided he wanted to really be part of our family. He wanted to be my dad. Now, my sister got extremely close to him, very quickly. However, I was very close to my dad, so I tried to keep my distance. Of course, mom didn’t like that. Two years later, my mom married this man. We found out who he really was – someone with a very short temper who likes to scream at the top of his lungs at the littlest things, and on top of that, someone who likes to drink.
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No matter what happened, my mom stayed with him. She loved him. The craziest part is that my sister was grounded by this man for almost two years. In that time, she was not allowed to leave her room unless she was told to, not even to go to the bathroom. She didn’t have a TV, phone, computer, or anything. If he walked in and she was doing ANYTHING other than school work, she got screamed at and more time added to her grounding. It was ridiculous but still, my mother did nothing. And if she tried, SHE would get screamed at! And still, my sister clung to this man, swore off our father, and wanted nothing more than to make this guy happy.
After a few years, I was a sophomore in high school. I was staying late after school for my color guard practice, just like any other Friday, when all of a sudden my coach came up to me saying to pack up because my stepdad was there and I had to leave. I was so confused and upset because I had no idea what was going on, and we had our first competition in a week! I got in the car and my stepfather told me that my sister ran away from home and he wanted my help to look for her. So knowing that if she ran away, something serious must have happened, I didn’t want him to find her. I suggested all the places I knew she wouldn’t beat. While driving around, he got a phone call from my mom saying she knew where she was, so we drove back to my house. We walked inside and he asked me to stay where I was standing and he went into his room. When he came out a few moments later, he gave me a hug and said with tears in his eyes, “I don’t know when you’ll see me again” and left. I had no idea what was going on and was in a panic. I called my mom and got no answer, so I called my boyfriend and asked him to come over so I wouldn’t have to be alone. When I got off the phone, my father called. He told me that my sister was with him and they were coming to the house. Then my mom called and told me to stay there and keep the door locked. She, along with my sister and my father, was coming to the house and the police were on their way.
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Next thing I knew, they were all at the house and they made my boyfriend leave. The cops showed up and took my sister into the other room to talk to her. My mom and father told me that my sister claimed that my stepdad sexually abused her. I was in complete shock. When the cops were done talking to her, they told my mom that we should all go to my dad’s house for the night, in case my stepdad came back and then they left. They didn’t say a single thing to me at all.
In the coming weeks, I had to go to court but only talked to police once for only 5 minutes. I had to have a DCF agent sit in on all my after-school rehearsals, and after spring break I got pulled out of my school. I had to move in with my dad, which was fine, but I had to leave behind all my friends and everything I knew. On top of all of that, my mom said she didn’t believe my sister. The result – they let him off. I have been told that I couldn’t have any contact with him for 6 months, and when that was up I had to move right back in with him and my mom.
To this day, I haven’t forgiven him. Things are still weird between us. After about two years, my sister moved back in with him and my mom. She calls him every day and still hangs all over him. Says she loves him and is always hugging and kissing him. It’s weird. If that doesn’t give you anxiety, I don’t know what will.