Childhood Guilt-I was Happy, My Family was Miserable

Audrey Zetta
4 min readJan 22, 2024

I didn’t know. I feel like I should have noticed.

Photo by Taisiia Shestopal on Unsplash

When I was about 10 years old I thought my world was ending. Two years after that I was happy but no one else was.

It was Saturday, and my parents were fighting. My sister, brother, and I were all sent to clean our rooms while our parents tried to keep their yelling under control. My parent’s unhappiness was palpable, and I was crying intermittently while I cleaned my room.

Suddenly, my mom opened the door of my room. Her eyes were red-rimmed; she had clearly been crying, too.

“Your father is leaving.” She said flatly.

I didn’t know what she meant, “Where is he going?”

“He’s leaving for good!” She spat the words.

I didn’t know how to react. “Okay,” I said.

She left the room, slamming my bedroom door, and I sat there dazed. I knew how this was supposed to go. Our parents would sit us down and tell us they loved us but that they were no longer going to live together. We…



Audrey Zetta

Feminist, dirty liberal, thoughtful absurdist. I store miracles in words.