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  • My sense of trust was damaged at the age of four. I was shipped to an apartment to live with my mom, but I wanted to see my dad. When I got to visit my dad, I wanted to see my mom. Every exchange made me cry and truly believe that one of my parents was gone forever. There was always something missing, even when they were both fine.. at least on the outside. Is this just like the other stories? Maybe, but this is one that will never end.

    Right now I am seventeen and almost a senior in high school. I remember many things and there are some things that I will probably never find out. I lived in a triplex when they divorced. I don't understand many of the things that "supposedly" happened there, and some of them actually did, but that's not very important. What I do remember is that early on in my life I had irrational fears that I still carry on my back today. My fear of ghosts was set in stone when I swear that I saw a black dog run across my room and disappear out the other wall. I would also wake up and feel my eyelashes falling out or I would think that instead of my dad typing something there was something walking around. Having paranoia and anxiety this early in life was not a good thing. Worrying about my brother and my parents only opened up new doors to more fears.

    I love my dad, but the times after my mom divorced him were some of the worst in my life. We would run out of food and not eat for a while. My hair wouldn't be brushed, and I would get matted hair in the morning. I would be wearing the same clothes for days. I think that my dad did mean well, but it was so hard on him that it was difficult to support a four year old and a two year old. Mind you, if I asked him, he would call me out on that. This is where my trust waned.

    Until about the age of seven, I spent years in daycare. I didn't trust the ladies there and they didn't trust me. They didn't understand how it felt to be yelled at constantly at school and confused constantly at home. I would have to change clothes a few times a day in daycare, and they would yell at me for that. I have always hated mayonnaise, and because I always picked a peanut butter sandwich, they yelled at me for that, too. I wanted to look at their yellow parakeet and one of the ladies asked me if I want people in MY face, and so she got in MY face and asked again. I got sick on my desk and was too embarrassed to say how I was feeling, and so you can guess what happened there. They didn't punish kids for calling me names and pushing me around. I didn't do anything about it, because I didn't want to get hurt anymore. And now that I think about it, I spent almost every nap time awake and wanting my mom or my dad back, depending on who dropped me off. This all lasted until about first grade.

    About a year or two after my parents divorced, my mom didn't give me back. Of course, I still saw my dad, and to this day we see each other every other weekend. I'm saying that from then on, I lived with my mom. I guess that I learned to prefer living with my mom. I still live with her, and in fact she has sole custody of me as of about sixth grade. This is because of what started some time after leaving daycare. My mom had been through a boyfriend or two, but it felt worse that my dad had a girlfriend. This girlfriend eventually became my step-mom, and my mom's last boyfriend became my step-dad. One big, happy family.

    So it was in sixth grade that things held deep inside just boiled over as if there was no pot to begin with. Before school started, and before I had gotten new school clothes, AND when middle school was about to begin for me, I suddenly lived at my dad's house without the consent of my mom. There was a K-7 in the Portland Public School District I was suddenly switched over to, without my consent of course. This is when I was realizing the gravity of this divorce. As I started visiting my mom, I heard her side of the story.

    The stories did not match, and as I grew older they consistently were not matching.

    I wondered what was going on, and got increasingly frustrated. Three months into the school year, my mom got sole custody of me and my stuff was packed hastily into plastic garbage bags to bring back home. My favorite knitting needles were broken, and I still don't know how that happened. I haven't asked about it, because I know I'll get one lie, maybe two. I never know what side it is.

    Having step-parents that don't know the situation made it ten times harder. (It's very hard to write this..) Since I got to know her, she has been anything but a catalyst. She can be the nicest person in the world, and right now she is loads better, but growing up with her tying herself into this divorce made me believe that I shouldn't be involved at all, let alone in the middle of every single bit of it. I still believe that she made my dad tell me things that weren't true about my mom and the divorce, but I'll never know. She constitutes an entirely different story. Her and my dad kept everything from me, and they still do keep things. My mom wanted me to know everything she did, so I believe that she has had the best intentions.

    This is how the rest of my life has been. I have no way of knowing who is lying and who is telling the truth, unless there's documentation to prove it. I've seen some court documents that I probably shouldn't have looked at, but finding the truth has never hurt me. It's hard not to favor a parent in this situation. I don't favor and I don't unevenly divide love. I just choose who to trust, because with this divorce, I will always get two lies and one truth. That truth ultimately comes from me.

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