Creativity from Tragedy

How has a significant event in your life been a learning experience?

I remember sobbing with my face pressed against the wooden swing set in my backyard while my parents yelled at each other on the patio. I remember playing with my toys in my room only to go hide in the darkness of my closet because my parents were in the midst of an intense argument. I remember hating my home life because I knew that my friend’s parents did not argue as severely as mine. I remember a lot of things from my parents’ unhealthy marriage and eventual divorce. They hurt me a lot, but they also changed me. Ever since I could walk, I remember my parents arguing. I never knew what about, but that did not matter. I just knew that the fighting was bad and that it was not normal. My parents would exchange vicious words, often concluding with someone slamming doors, shedding tears, or both. Their arguing changed me. I eventually became more introverted: quieter and more imaginative. I heard too much noise at home, and I feared that if I spoke, perhaps I would also yell. I did not want to endanger my friendships at school. As I grew less talkative, I became more imaginative. I liked to pretend that my home life was without yelling and discord. My fantasies continued to grow in complexity. I imagined places, people and other things in my head and wanted to see these fantasies with my own eyes, so I drew. I drew houses that floated in the sky, airplanes that could explore the oceans, and creatures not yet known to the world.There was a time when I was unable to draw within the lines in a coloring book; I was the worst “artist” in my kindergarten. As my imagination developed, so did my drawings. I drew because my parents argued. I drew because it kept me focused on peace. I drew because I could transcend the chaos. When my parents finally divorced, I began to change once more. Any sorrow, fear and anger produced by the divorce began to dissolve. I found a new desire to try to make friends and talk with others. However, parts of me stayed the same. I still love to draw.

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