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Man Painting a Wall


At the age of 8, my parents got divorced.  My grandfather’s death was a big cause of my father’s depression and it also contributed to my parents’ divorce.  After their divorce, I lived mostly with my mother.  I  saw my father in the mornings when he drove me to school and a little bit on some Saturdays but that was about it. A couple years later, my father decided to leave altogether and move across the country, to New Jersey, where he grew up.  I was angry and very hurt by this decision as I felt abandoned by him.  He continues to struggle with depression and he lives all alone and is very isolated.  At most, I see him a couple days a year.  He chose not to show up for most of my big and small life events.  I can go weeks or months without even speaking to him.  People often ask me where my Dad is or why they have never seen him, especially in my school where Dads are very active and involved.  It is such a hard subject to discuss and in some ways, I found it easier to think of him as gone or even dead than to process all the pain of being abandoned.  I want to help other kids who struggle with this kind of loss and abandonment.  I learned how important it was to process some of these feelings.  My hope is these toolboxes will help many kids and teens! 

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