The day she left me home alone. Realizing when ones childhood is beginning to fade is not an event that can be targeted at an exact time in an individual’s life. Childhood begins to vanish differently for people based on culture, age, and life experiences. My childhood started to end when I was 7 years old; the day she left me home alone. My mother had just become a single mother running from an abusive relationship with my father and had to begin life anew.
My strong dependency on my mother and the illusion of being an only child, due to me being the youngest of several older brothers and sisters, made the thought of “growing up” a nightmare. Realization of my soon approaching adulthood became evident, as I had to face the difficulties of being distant from my mother, learning to connect socially with peers, taking on more self-responsibility, and the building of self-confidence. These trials and tribulations would help to lead me to a higher level of maturity and a true realization of life.
Although what I endured forcefully was difficult, the most challenging would be my distancing from my mother the security that linked me to my youth. Severing the bond between a mother and child is a tough task at any given stage of life. This was especially difficult for my mother as I was her only girl and youngest child. Being a single mother and working two jobs created excessive hardship for my mother. Her constant struggle with taking me to her place of work left her with no other choice than to leave me at home.
This was the first time that I had to truly cope with being away from her and it was an immense strain on my emotional state. My next challenge ensued when I had to begin spending time with my father. Several years after my parent’s separation my father later remarried became a new man, giving the judicial system the opinion that I should see my father more often. My pursuit into the new world known as my father’s house, otherwise known to me as “hell”, forced me to spend countless weekends and summers with my new family, my step siblings and step mother.
This unfamiliar change was the cause of my strong desire to remain sheltered beneath my mother’s wing but instead nature would drive me towards a more self-reliant road. Be that as it may, I would not change overnight. I still struggled to be away from my mother when it came time for school. Most children struggle with the concept of going to school. Leaving ones comfort zone and journeying into a strange new territory is of great significance in an individual’s life. Most children learn to adapt with in the first year or so. I however, was the exception to the rule.
Attending public education was an adjustment of epic proportions in my young life. I struggled with the issue for several years. Every year school started I wished to be expunged from existence. My problem was not with the other children; I worked well with others. Rather my issue was with the thought of being away from my mother. Although I got along smashingly with the other children, I did not converse very much. My close relationship with my mother led me to believe she and only she was someone I could truly convey my ideas with.
I also did not speak with others because their tales of their lives at home seemed somewhat abnormal to me. Tales of brothers and sisters, close families and a home consisting of a mother and a father seemed unusual. Although I had brothers and sisters, we were distant. I knew of my father, but he and my mother did not live under the same roof. Another issue I had to face was my abnormal mother. What made her abnormal was the fact that she was a single, hard working mother. This indifference from my peers and societies opinions gave me the impression that I was an outcast.
Eventually I would come to realize that I was not the only person in the world under such circumstances. Learning to open up to others caused me to realize that I wasn’t alone. Interacting with other children like myself helped me to be more social and gain greater connections with my peers. I then had the ability to deal with others, but still lacked in dealing with myself. Responsibility is an inherited trait. It is not cast upon an individual in one particular place or time. At certain stages of life, responsibility starts to become more important and has a greater affect on a person’s growth and development.
From the time I could talk, my mom began teaching me the importance of responsibility. Nevertheless, my first true test came when I was left alone at home. While my mother was away, she entrusted me with the task of preparing my own food. Learning to cook for myself gave me more confidence and helped me to be less dependent on my mother. As my mother became aware of my newly responsible personality, she decided to entrust me with greater responsibilities. After moving, my mother did not want to switch me from the school I was attending so I remained there until the end of that school year.
In the beginning, she rode the public bus and walked down the neighborhood to get me. After noticing that I could reside at home alone and care for myself my mother decided that I could handle walking down the neighborhood to meet her at the bus. Being with my peers was hard, dealing with my stepsiblings was an ordeal, and being at home alone was unimaginable. Nonetheless, the most unbearable of them all was walking alone; surrounded by strangers and an unfamiliar environment made me uneasy.
Eventually, I came to realize that it was a part of life, part of being responsible and that I was growing up. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was finally learning to deal with my several issues. The responsibilities laid upon me helped me to be more understanding of life and the ways of the world. My self-dependence began to grow as well as my self-confidence. Growing out of childhood and into adulthood does not instantly occur; many people experience several events that transpire before they reach adulthood.
In spite of that, there are always significant moments that have to pin point the beginning of one’s journey. For me this consisted of being left to fend for myself at home, learning to adapt socially with individuals amongst me and beginning to deal with real life responsibilities. These several adversities strengthened my confidence, stability, and self-reliance, as well as my outlook on the world and others. My childhood and my attachment to my mother where far from severed relatively the experience had opened to door to a new path of life, helping me to grow further from my old mind frame.