TEEN BEAT: Not having a dad in my life

Teen Beat | Grace Fowler

From the stories you hear on the news and in movies, you’d think not having a dad in my life would cause me to be an incredibly screwed up kid. Kids whose parents are divorced often get this kind of a reputation, like something is wrong with us or somehow we haven’t had a fulfilled childhood. I know plenty of kids whose parents are still married that are more “screwed up” than I am.

I think stability has more to do with the foundation you are raised with and your morals, than whether your parents live under the same roof.

The reason my family moved to Michigan is because of my parent’s divorce. While the transition hasn’t always been easy and my brother, sister and I had a lot of change to deal with all at once, I try to see it in as much of a positive light as I can. I try to look at all the opportunities I have been given since we moved here. I have been able work at multiple jobs, be closer to my extended family, and I met my best friend here. I knew that my family needed to start over and, to my way of thinking, we couldn’t have picked a better place to do so.

Things are probably hardest for my brother because he doesn’t have what should be the most important male figure in his life present on a daily basis. But he has found a few men who are great male role models to fill the holes, as have I.

As well since moving here, I am not only closer to my maternal grandmother, but I also have gained two more sets of grandparents. I’m not really related to either of these couples, but they treat me as if I was. And I’m grateful for that support.

I have a few father figures here, too, and what I’ve found — especially in this town — is that once people start caring about you, they treat you like family. All of my “fathers” give me words of wisdom, they teach me life lessons and they comfort me like a dad should.

It isn’t all rainbows and gumdrops, however. I do get sad sometimes when I watch movies where the daughter is on the outs with her dad and then they make up and live happily ever after. Or when I see TV shows where the girls are always able to run to their fathers for advice or for a hug. I don’t have that. I also developed a few weird quirks because of my parent’s situation like having a hard time with hugs and trust. Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock and put everything back together the way it used to be. But I can’t.

Regardless of all the drama I’ve been through and the hole that I constantly have to work to fill, I know that everything happens for a reason and this whole ordeal has made me the person I am today.

Don’t assume that kids are going to be troubled or screwed up because they are from a divorced home. And if you are one of those kids, resign yourself to the fact that sometimes it’s going to suck, but make a list in your head of three positive things about your day or your life — maybe a new opportunity you have been given or something that will help you in your future. And remember, there’s always someone who has it worse. To end on a light note, in the words of Kelly Clarkson, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Grace Fowler is a senior at Greenville High School. She can be reached at grace@staffordmediasolutions.com.

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