Pullian finds strength through family hardships

Pullian visiting his brother in Georgia this October. After not seeing his brother for a while, he and his mother and stepfather caught up over food as a family.
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Junior Isaiah Pullian lives in an unconventional family—his parents have been divorced since he was 10 years old. In the following six years of his life, he grew up living with his mother in San Gabriel, while his father lived in Fayetteville, Georgia.

Seeing his father only once a year or less, Pullian gradually overcame the emotional struggle of not having a fatherly figure around to teach him to “be a man” or to shape him into a responsible person. Rather than feeling sorry for himself, he instead saw this as an opportunity to learn to do “everything on his own” and become “the man of the house.”

“At first it was kind of hard not having my dad around,” Pullian said, “but I really just matured on my own. As for my day-to-day life, it doesn’t affect me at all. It’s not like the world is going to stop just because I want to see [him].”

Along with his father living in Georgia, his ten-year-old brother decided that he wanted to live there, too, after living with their mom for his whole life. This changed Pullian’s life at home, but he still looks at the positives.

“My life at home is great but definitely different without my brother and dad around,” Pullian said. “I do miss [my brother] at times, but I also think it’s better for him there [because] he has more opportunities for basketball, and his schooling system is better.”

He was given the opportunity to move to Georgia with his brother four to five years ago, but he decided against it to maintain his current lifestyle.

“I chose to stay because I’m almost done with high school, and I have a lot of friends here in San Gabriel, so [I] might as well stay for my last few years.” Pullian said.

Despite living in a family that is unlike others, Pullian still thinks of himself as an equal to his peers, and does not think his family situation should define him.

“I don’t see my life as any different,” Pullian said. “I still have guardians like everyone else, and I have a stepdad; I’m no different than someone living with both parents.”

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