By Jessica, age 17, Kansas
When I was thirteen - Halloween of 2003 to be exact - I came home from trick-or-treating to find my mom in tears. She and my dad had gotten into a fight. My mother liked men. She still does. As of that night she had been cheating on my dad for nine years ... cheating since before they were married. All of this painful information came at me at once and sent me into a state of depression. After I had turned fourteen I began thinking about dates. The date I was born. How old my half-brother was compared to myself. How old he was when my dad divorced his ex-wife ... and then it clicked. My dad and his ex were married until I was one year old.
Well ... what about my mom? I thought ... Her son, my other half-brother, was five when I was born ... and four when they divorced. Again, it clicked. They divorced right before I was born.
Where am I going with this? It turns out that my parents were guilty of cheating on their marriage partners, and I was conceived by accident, one of colossal proportions. I had destroyed two families. It took me two years after that to realize the resentment in my half-brother's and sister's eyes. They blamed me. Myself and my parents. My mom's son said it was all my dad's fault. My dad's son blamed my mom. One of my older sisters just blamed my being born. But it went deeper than that. My father's six brothers and sisters and all of his family excommunicated him for not having me aborted. I was the accident that disrupted the whole family. And I didn't meet any of my aunts or uncles until two of them died.
I'm seventeen now. I now know that it was not my fault. That took me four years to understand and believe. My parents made a mistake, and I believed for four years that I had made my brothers and sisters hate me.
One day I woke up late and had to ask my mom to take me to school. She was furious. No, I didn't do it often, and no, she didn't have big plans. She just didn't want to deal with it. She came screaming at me from the house. "You just ruin everything!" That image will stick in my head for the rest of my life. I burned myself. I started drinking. I even ran away. In what anger could a mother ever tell her child that she ruins everything?
But it was not my fault. If you have been through a parent's divorce, or you're a kid with only one parent or a result of an "accident" like me, never blame yourself. They didn't leave because of you, and you didn't mess things up. Their stupid decisions did. We seem to make those a lot, don't we? We are all so full of stupid decisions. Like calling your daughter a walking mistake. It's a stupid decision.
I was never an accident. I was the result of a stupid decision, but none of it was my fault. Don't blame yourself. In fact, don't blame your parents either. We all make stupid decisions.