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shima's
Story

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"I was one years-old when my mother and father separated."

My writing has the title of The Voice of Children of Divorce. I chose this title because I am a byproduct of a failed marriage. Now that I have time to express some of my inner turmoil, I want to share with you the reader some of the negative impacts of divorce on me. For us children of divorce, we have in some ways been dismissed by one parent or, in some instances, both parents. But all of us have a common pain: the lack of love and support in the hole of our being. The dismissal of this pain has developed complexes within us that resemble a tumor. Here I want to tell you about a sad incident from my childhood.

I was one year-old when my mother and father separated. My mother left me and did not come to see me until I was 16 years old. My father remarried, and his wife did not allow me to live with them. My father’s parents accepted the chore of raising me, and this is how my painful life started.

When I was only 6 years-old, I experienced the first emotional injury that impacted my life. One day, my father, his wife, and their two children came to my grandfather’s home. My grandmother asked me to call my father in from the yard. I went to the yard to get him. I called, “Baba!” (father in Farsi). At that moment, my stepmother called me, took me to a corner, and with anger, disgust, and contempt, she shook her finger in the air as a sign of domination. This woman told me, “Remember the person you called Baba is not your dad.” She looked toward her children and said, “He is their dad, not yours!”

"I was left behind in my childhood, and I never recovered from it because I blamed myself for it."

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I felt suffocated with grief. I wanted to cry to release that burden, but a voice in my head asked, “What if I am questioned and reprimanded for my crying?” I then had to wipe away my tears. I felt a crack in my innocent heart that replaced my sense of security and peace with anxiety. Day-by-day, this anxiety grew bigger and bigger, making me an isolated and sad girl. From then on, I witnessed my father’s love for his children, and his only role in my life was his name for me, Father.

I was left behind in my childhood, and I never recovered from it because I blamed myself for it. I always felt that being a child of divorce was my biggest weakness, and this was the reason that I never expressed myself. I often fulfilled my desires in dreams. For instance, I dreamt that I was holding hands with my father going to the park. Sometimes in my dream, we would go to school, and after school, we would go out for a meal together. When I had nightmares, I imagined that I hugged him, and that made me calmer. I learned that instead of fulfilling my dreams, I had to bury them. I really hope that the children of divorce are not judged. I hope that they receive attention not out of pity, and I hope that they have good opportunities despite the fact that their fate was decided for them by adults.

Recently in feeling the iciness of unkindness, I traveled with a swallow. This migrant swallow named Parstoo helped me to calm down and introduced me to Jasmine flower, a symbol of love and kindness. She taught me with her companionship how I can feel calmer with writing, how I can purify my soul, and how I can strengthen my being so that I can grow and find my real self. My encounter with Art Stigma Class opened a new window in my life. I now no longer mourn my losses and fate; instead, I try to use them as a ladder for reaching success.