Part 3 – After
I knew I needed to move on but what did that consist of? I was ready to accept that my marriage was over but I was not ready to accept the role of being a single mom. Raising children requires two people. I was raised by a single mom and she did an awesome job but I never wanted that life for my kids. In fact I am sure most people don’t intend to be a single parent sometimes that is just what the situation is.
In order for my kids to have a relationship with their dad we had to lay the ground work. We took care of child support, visitation and he supports the kids in whatever way he can. I am the custodial parent so I am in charge of most of the decisions concerning the kids and they live with me.
Let me take a moment to point out that me and my ex husband are not friends. We are co-parents. If it is not about the kids we don’t discuss it. We respect each other and do what’s best for our kids. I don’t worry about who he has around the kids or what they do when I am not around. I want what’s best for the kids and I have to trust that he does too and will act accordingly.
For me the worst thing that I have to deal with is that he is still with said mistress. Sometimes I have to see her at the kid’s activities or if he is picking up or dropping them off. The bigger part of me allows me to see her and not see her at the same time. The lesser parts of me sometime wish he would start his truck and it blows up in a million pieces or that she would die a slow painful death. There are times I wish I never met him. I have finally grown to the point where I am no longer irritated when people ask me how he is doing or irritated if he is at my parents house. Sometimes when people ask me how he is doing I want to reply when you ask me how he is doing it makes me want to punch you in the throat. My son is now at the curious stage in life he wants to know why his parents aren’t together. I just tell the truth: your dad wanted to be with her and not me.
The moral of the story is that everyone has free will. If someone wants to leave there is nothing and I mean nothing that you can do to make them stay. If someone wants to stay there is nothing and I mean nothing that you can do to make them leave. When my kids hug me and tell me that I am the best mother in the world I believe it. When they look at me to save the day. I save it! Just because the marriage failed doesn’t mean that either of us have to fail at being great parents. Although he was a horrible husband he is a great father and I am grateful that I can at least give him credit for that. I have grown in ways that I never would have imagined that I would grow in as a result of surviving that situation. I have always wanted to be better and not bitter. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am better. I am not bitter. I made it.
Part 2 – During
I rang in the new year of 2009 feeling lost, lonely, confused, hurt, alone, abandoned and left out. Those feelings would continue through out the year as I watched my marriage, self esteem, family and heart shatter into a million pieces. My husband left and abandoned me with two kids under 2 years old and a mountain of bills I couldn’t pay. The money that he should have been using to pay bills he was using to court his new mistress and plan a life that didn’t include me or our kids. We hadn’t yet made it to our one year anniversary. I was upset, angered and spiraling into a cycle of depression I couldn’t get out of. I felt victimized. I felt like I had no control over anything that was happening to me. This was not the life I planned for. We tried counseling but it didn’t work. I went into counseling with the intent to fix my marriage. He went into counseling because he just wanted us to be able to communicate without yelling at each other. Two people, two different agendas, one destination – DIVORCE! I didn’t want to accept that it was over until we had a conversation about priorities. I asked him: work, God, family what are your priorities? He answered work, family then God. My priorities are God, family then work. I then asked him if he wanted to change in the future he said yes he would like it to be family, work then God. At that point I accepted it was over and decided to start picking up the pieces and create a life for me and my children.
I should also point out during this time me and the kids had to live with my parents for about 2 pay periods so that I could pay the past due bills. I should also mention that I suffered through severe post partum depression and lost my job and was out of work for a while. My daughter had asthma and would wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air. I was always in the hospital, emergency rooms and doctor’s appointments with her. At one point I was doing breathing treatments with her everyday, every 4 hours. My son would have terrible night terrors and wake up in the middle of the night screaming, crying, or walking around. He would also have really bad temper tantrums and cry and scream for his dad. I moved my bed into the kids room to attend to whatever aliment that they would have at night. I also had to get on public assistance and WIC while I looked for a job and while the details of child support was worked out. As a couple my ex husband and I hung out with about 4 other couples and yes I lost them all in the divorce as well. This was not the life I wished for, hoped for, or dreamed about but I made it out only by the grace of God. It could have been worse but I made it.
I rarely write about my divorce but I had a lot on my mind this morning. I am going to share this as a three part series. I will release parts two and three at 6:00am EST on 03/28/2014 and 03/29/14. This is my story.
Part 1 – Before
I will never forget the day that I saw a pair of light brown eyes walking down the hall in high school. I had never seen this guy before and I just needed to know more about him. I was surprised and caught off guard when came up to me and said, “ Yo, I heard you wanted to talk to me.” I gave him my number and after a few conversations we starting dating. That was in 1996. We continued dating on and off and I decided that we would be better off as friends. He said that he knew from day one that he wanted to marry me and that one day I would be his wife. We continued to keep in contact through college and in 2006 we decided to move from friends to boyfriend and girlfriend.
In May of 2007 we gave birth to our son and in December of 2007 we got engaged. On March 28, 2008 we got married. We also got pregnant during the honeymoon and gave birth to our second child in December of 2008. This sounds like the making of a beautiful love story but really it was just the beginning to the deepest darkest times in my life. I felt like something just wasn’t right in the marriage around June, just 3 months into my marriage. My suspicions where later confirmed. He had been cheating with a co-worker. If that wasn’t crushing enough I spent new years alone in the hospital. My daughter was in ICU, my family was at church new years watch met, my so called friends were no where to be found, and my new husband was celebrating new years with my son and his mistress.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there are men who prey on single moms. They assume that you are looking for an easy bake family, one in which you just add daddy and serve. The thing is my kids all ready have a great dad, a great relationship with their dad and several male role models in their lives. So I am not looking for an easy bake family or an easy bake relationship. I am very direct when I met someone. Yes I am a single mom but I am more mom than single. What I mean by that is I am a mother first and single second. Most men will never see or met my children. I schedule my dating life around the times that my kids have visitation with their dad. I believe seeing someone every Wed and every other weekend is plenty of time for dating. I don’t entertain company at my home and no one is invited over after the children are sleeping. Any real man wouldn’t disrespect my home, me or my children by suggesting such foolery. I also let men know that I don’t accept calls or texts after 10pm because that is during what I can consider the hours of bad decisions (10pm -5am). I also have low tolerance for men who are constantly requesting that you send them pictures. I find it to be true when it is said : people will only go as far as you let them. Life is much simpler and misunderstandings are far less when you have clearly defined boundaries. Being single is a great time to think about what you want out of a relationship and what can bring into a relationship.
-Single and Not Ready to Mingle
I will never forget the Sunday that I sat in the choir stand with tears streaming down my face singing the lyrics of a song entitled falling in love with Jesus. The lyric that resonated with my soul says:
Falling in love with Jesus was the best thing I ever done. In his arms I feel protected. In his arms never disconnected. In his arms I feel protected there is no place I’d rather be.
It was like a light bulb came on in the deep dark places of my soul. Everything that I wanted to feel – love, protected, safe, and cherished was waiting for me in the arms of Jesus not in the arms of another failed relationship. I won’t lie and say that when I am at home in my bed at night, praying and crying out to the Lord that I feel arms wrap around me. I will say that there is a certain calming peace that washes over me and all my worries, disappointments, and fears suddenly disappear and in that moment I am loved, protected, safe, cherished and loved.
-Single and Not Ready to Mingle but hopeful!
I have switched dermatologist which means I have a new treatment plan. My am routine includes washing, treating, and moisturizing. My pm routine includes the same plus a oral tablet and to continue on my birth control pills. Here is a picture of my products.
I have shared my dating and acne stories with my readers, but did you know I have embarked on a weight loss journey as well? My highest weight ever was 220 pounds and that was at the end of my pregnancy with my first child after gaining 80 pounds. I lost 60 pounds before getting pregnant with my second child. I got my wakeup call to begin my journey after weighing in at 202 pounds. I am only 5’5 and that was entirely too much weight for such a small frame. I currently wear a size 6, and weigh between 144-147pounds. My goal is to get to 135 pounds by the end of the year and then maintain that weight. For my height 114 pounds – 150 pounds is considered a BMI of 19-25 which is healthy. I share my fitness journey to encourage others. No matter where life finds you, no matter how much weight you have to lose or how much time you may not have you can do this. Decide today that you are worth it. You will make time. You will eat healthy and workout.
I am worth it. I matter.