My son’s biological father and I had a very rocky relationship, to put it mildly. We met, moved in together within a few months and were married after 6 months. He was an ex-marine, who told me he suffered from PTSD. Maybe he did. Shortly after we married, however, I learned that the paranoia and hallucinations were also the result of a long history of drug abuse.
As the days went by, I began to see who he really was. I can only equate it to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Some days, he was the sweetest man. Other days, he was violent, irrational, and extremely unpredictable. On those days, if I did the slightest thing to upset him, I paid the price. He was verbally and physically abusive and I constantly felt like I had to walk on egg shells around him. I never knew what to expect. For those of you who have been in any type of abusive relationship, it is absolutely no way to live.
I became pregnant about 2 years after we met, and I had hoped that a baby would change things. Boy, was I wrong. The night before my scheduled c-section, I remember him slamming me up against the wall and choking me. I called my mom in tears that night and told her that I needed a way out.
My mom flew out to see me a few weeks after my son was born. I was living in NH at the time. We began making a plan for me to file for divorce, move back to AZ, and get full custody of my son. We spoke with several attorneys and decided what the best route was. I informed my son’s biological father that I was going to move away and take our son with me. He was so strung out on drugs, that he really didn’t care. This made me feel some relief, but I knew that I couldn’t fully breathe again until we were far away from him.
So, I left him in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon. I boarded a plane with my 2 month old son, terrified of what the future held for us. I moved back to AZ that day with no job, no car, no place to live, and a newborn: a soon-to-be divorced single mom. That was, by far, the scariest decision I have ever made.
About a week or so later, I found a good paying job, a beat up old car, and a little townhouse for rent in Gilbert. I started working as much as I could to support my son. I never asked for child support. I didn’t want it. I just wanted my ex-husband to stay as far away from us as possible. That was almost 4 years ago. My, how things have changed since then.
I share all of this with you, mama, because sometimes we have to do what is scary to have the life that is meant for us. Sometimes we have to go through the pain and trust that when you come out of the other side of it, you will be right where you are supposed to be. Going through a nasty divorce and becoming a single mom was the most challenging time of my life. But it lead me to where I am now: remarried, business owner, happy. Truly happy.
My son will never know his biological father. My husband, Ryan, has been the only father he has ever known. Ryan and I have been married for about 2 years (together for 3 years) and have a beautiful baby girl together, in addition to our son. My husband provides so much love and support for our children; I simply cannot imagine what our lives would be like without him. Meeting him and having our daughter completed our family of four. I can now lay my head down at night knowing that leaving and getting a divorce was the best decision for my son. He will grow up knowing what love should look and feel like. He will see how two people who truly love each other demonstrate that love with respect, honesty, and kindness.
So you see mama, if you are struggling today, just know that there is a reason why. Also know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you WILL get through the darkness. Just give it some time. Us mamas are so much stronger than we know, and you, mama, are no exception. You deserve the world and if you don’t already love the life you’re living, one day soon, mama, you will. You never know what the future has in store for you, but I can promise you this: your future is bright.