Georgeanne Harter AP Language and Composition Tlumack – 2X 11 March 2013 My Personal American Dream In the book, The Epic of America, written in the year of 1931, author James Truslow Adams was the first to give a “clear” definition of what the American Dream really is. He stated that the American Dream is “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” (Truslow 214).
Although his definition describes what the American Dream is, it does not explain what everyone’s American Dream is throughout the world. This is because each person has their own idea of a perfect life, therefore giving them their own distinct Dream and ways to achieve it. For some people, the ideal and perfect life may mean finally leaving their home country and traveling to America to be successful and prosperous. For others, it may mean getting married, having two beautiful children living in a three bedroom house with a white picket fence.
Although several people may have the same outcome they would like to accomplish, it is how they get there that distinguishes them from the rest. As a young, only child, I determined what I wanted my American Dream to be and that was to grow up underneath the influence of my parents and have the perfect family with a dog, but I still have yet to make it there. Sometimes, some people just have to wake up and realize that their American “Dream” is more like an American “Nightmare. ” I was doing everything in my power to make sure I kept a good realtionship with my mother and father.
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Seeing as I was only in first grade when I realized what I really wanted my life to be like, I made sure I did everything possible to keep my parents happy, which in turn would be a cause for a good relationship. I was doing well in school and I very rarely ever got into trouble so I figured I was on the right track. It was one day after I came home from a wonderful day at school, when I noticed things at home were rapidly rolling downhill. Immediately, I came home to two annoyed parents, who no sooner became to argue leading to them both screaming at ach other at the top of their lungs. These arguments came to be more frequent. At that point, being so young and an only child, I thought these occurrence were all my fault and thought it would be best to try and fix things. That plan quickly backfired on me when, one day, my father stormed out of the house with rage. I was lost and confused and wanted things to be better so I could continue with my idea of a perfect life, but it seemed as though my parents did not want to partake in my efforts. I figured sooner or later one of them would give in and that ended up being my father.
I knew that he still loved me no matter what but he had to get out of the house. He began to realize the mental damage that these arguments were causing me. When I was seven years old, my parents were officially separated and when I found out, it crushed me. Rather than holding my head up high and keeping a positive mindset, I let it hang and attack every perfect thought I ever had in my mind. Immediately following the loss of my father’s presence in the house, I went into a stage of shock. It took me a little while to bounce back because I missed him.
He was my best friend and I was his. A while later, the feeling of not wanting to be with my mother grew inside of me, more and more each day I woke, and I was having a hard time figuring out why. Not too long after, my parents officially got divorced. It wasn’t until much later when my family isolated the problem. As hard as it was for me to believe, my mother, Eileen, was actually diagnosed with a mental disorder. It is called Psychosis which is known for its loss of contact with reality. It is marked by delusions, hallucinations, incoherence, and distorted perceptions of reality.
Although it was extremely unfortunate for all of us to experience, the disorder answered my question as to why there were so many screaming matches between my parents. Although her mental health was not deteriorating at a fast rate, I quickly realized that I was not interested in living with her anymore. Even though my “Dream” was pretty much shot, I just was not living my childhood the way I wanted to when I was with her. In the summer of 2006, when I was nine years old, I decided that I missed my father too much and wanted to move in with him.
It was nice because I was still attending the same school and still had all the same friends. I loved Eileen very much and I know she loved me too, it’s just that her mental disorder did not allow her to convey it properly. Being at such a young age, I did not realize that she can’t help it. This disorder is who she is and there is really nothing that can stop it. As I tried very hard to free Eileen from my mind, I began to focus more on my school work and continuing my life with my father and it was great. I was the happiest I had been in a very long time.
Several months after I had moved in with my father, he told me that he had met someone while he was at work. He had been talking to her for a while without me knowing of it because he wanted to make sure that it was someone he was interested in having in our life before he introduced me to her. Her name is Mya. When I met her, I immediately noticed everything he loved about her. She was and still is a beautiful, intelligent, and strong woman who didn’t let anything or anyone else define her and I quickly understood that those were the reasons why he was so enamored by her.
Before really thinking about everything that was so quickly occuring, I was just estatic for my father because he was finding someone to love and is happy with again. I took a step back and realized that I no longer seemed like my father’s first choice, although he told me I was. I was acting extremely immature and began to grow a large attitude towards Mya. In my mind, I had to compete with her for my father’s attention. One evening, the three of us decided to go out for dinner. This way I could get to know Mya a little bit better. Needless to say, I blew up and the three of us had an all time low point.
We had a long talk about whether or not I could handle something like this in my life. As I was crying my eyeballs out, I expressed my true feelings; that I really wanted her to stay in my life but more importantly my father’s. I was so happy to see him happy and she was the reason why. We agreed on that night that we would focus on building a family bond because not too long later did my father propose to marry her. In the summer of 2007, my father and I moved to Virginia where Mya lived and the three of us found the best house to move into.
I was really grateful for her stepping in and taking over as my mother figure, especially since I was at such a young age. Although I still had several attention and attitude problems, they were becoming far and few in between and we were working on having a great realtionship. It was definitely a difficult task, though. Starting my American Dream over again sounded like a good idea so I did just that. I focused in school and did everything I was supposed to do, making my parents happy and also setting up for a great relationship. To this day, I am still experiencing a struggle with Eileen.
Due to her mental state, I have a hard time having the mother-daughter relationship that I have always wanted. Even though I know she cannot help the way she is, I have pretty much ceased all communication with her. Her brain is just not wired the same as mine and there is nothing I can do to change that. We think differently and that hinders my plan to becoming successful. It’s just what’s best at the moment. I have Mya now to look up to and although it will never be the same because she is not my biological mother, it is pretty darn close and that’s all I can ask for.
Of course I miss and love Eileen, she’s my mother and always will be, but I have to do what I have to do to ensure that I set up a successful life for myself in the future and keeping her out of my everyday life for the time being will allow me to accomplish that. Back then, I thought thought my life was turning into the American “Nightmare” but I guess the most recent occurrences was just God’s way in telling me to keep my head up because currently, I am on my way to getting back on track to achieve my American Dream. Works Cited Adams, James Truslow. The Epic of America,. Boston: Little, Brown, and, 1931. 214. Print.
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