Clipping coupons on a Saturday in September. My mom had told me diapers were expensive and I should start saving now. The doorbell rang followed by three hard knocks. Who could be here? A quick glance over to him on the couch and a simple shrug told me he didn’t know. So I leaped up and went to the door, after that everything started to get blurry. I remember hearing them say his name, ask if I knew him, and started to force their way into my house “uninvited”!!!
I turned my head to see HE was gone? Why were they asking for him? What am I missing? Could I be dreaming all this. Nope. I was just about to understand the biggest nightmare of my life. Over the next thirty minutes I sat at that same table, while the constable explained many things to me about my future husband and father to be. I felt the breath being taken from my lungs.
In this moment, I discovered many things, a hidden past, secrets, debt, lies, goodness the list goes on. The next few weeks happened fast. He ran, I ran. He hid, I hid. I got a call from his best friend at work. They caught him. It was also that very moment I realized I was going to be a SINGLE MOM. Sure he was still on this earth. But something told me that there was no coming back from all of this.
Following the arrest, my life was filled with court dates, bonds, money coming from whoever would let me borrow. I spent all my days working my 9-5 dead end job, and the evenings talking to lawyers about his case, weekends at my second job, and lived for Sundays (which was visitation day) So I can talk to the man I loved through a plate glass window. Truth is, I was scared. My entire life was changing, I was having a child to a man behind bars, and I didn’t even know him. And my nightmare was only beginning, but I wanted to try to help this man. I still loved him.
He was coming home. I was never more in love with this man... I don’t know why? Maybe the hormones, maybe the loss of time. I was swollen, tired, and wanted to jump into bed and smother myself in his chest. I missed him terribly. He said he was sleeping on the couch. What??? Are you kidding me. Didn’t you want to talk to me, hold me, rub my stomach? NOPE. He wanted left alone. WOW. I felt deflated. I had just done everything in my power to get this man out of jail, pay off debt, kept our small home afloat, tried to save his name with our family and friends, had his job saved and ready to return when he did, and was LOVING him unconditionally and HE wanted to be alone.
I knew something had changed and I tried. Goodness did I try. There was no intimacy at all. He was rough, mean to me, and mute. He wanted left alone. We were two strangers living in a house barely saying a word. Although, the birth of our child was memories that I will always cherish forever, surrounding that time was horrific. With each day he slowly pulled away. Then he started to zone in on me. Blaming me for everything wrong. Not helping me with bills. Leaving me alone all the time. Telling me over and over I was a bad mom. He would say that I was a lazy, no-good person, and all I wanted to do was sleep. And he would never hold our daughter or help with her.
He would change a diaper, and smile at her from time to time but didn’t want to hold her often or help me with feeding. She was my BIGGEST accomplishment thus far, yet because of his rejection, I was starting to resent so much about becoming a mother! I was so upset and embarrassed. How could I be so sad about this amazing miracle!! But his rejection of us… pushed me into the most desperate state of mind. Slowly, I found myself slipping away into what they may call PSD (post-partum depression) I never smiled. I barely functioned. I nursed all the time. She would never let me put her down. I felt robotic. I felt broken and she didn’t deserve that. Something needed to change. I prayed, I cried, I went to counseling, I turned to family. I know I wanted to get better for her. I turned medication. I hid from the world, I stopped talking to my family, I wouldn’t look at him. I. hated. Him. I felt abandoned, abused, and rejected by a man that I had just saved. Nothing seemed to be working.
One afternoon, I sat on the bathroom floor and cried out one more time for help. “Dear Lord, help me get through this, tell me what I need to do, help me feel better, and be a better mom to my daughter!” I pulled my tired, weak body from the floor, and I washed my face. And starting thinking, there has got to be someone that has experience this abuse. I didn’t want to keep this all in any longer and harbor all my emotions of guilt, resentment, anger, sadness, loneliness. If I could be brave enough to share my story, I would make it my mission to help other women. In turn, it would help me heal, live a better life, and possibly forgive. That day I drew the line in the sand and never looked back. I told myself that to be stronger, I had to re-build what this man had worked hard to tear down. The inner-strength I had once had, was gone and I wanted it back. No wonder I was tired all the time, I was mentally exhausted. During next six months I was tortured a little more while I made my move away from him. He knew I was done and I would NO longer accept the abuse. At last, I took my 9-month old daughter and found a very small two-bedroom apartment, with very low rent, in a semi-decent neighborhood. I quit my full-time job, went back to school to complete my bachelor's degree. I worked three part-time jobs to put myself through school and support my daughter.
During school, I started to work hard, and long on my personal development. I re-discovered how important I was to me. And each day I mentally got stronger to be able to face the world and all its many challenges. I attribute my strength and sanity completely on personal development. Had I not engaged in a deep interest of getting my mind strong enough again, I would never have been able to make it this far on my own.
Becoming a single mom wasn’t my plan, but it became my choice. And I have embraced this journey with my daughter and all the many challenges with hope. Many things have transpired over the last 9 years, but my revelation and the re-discovery of me and my self-worth has been best part of this fairy tale. And I will continue this journey to help empower women with the hope that they too can re-write their happily ever after no matter what happens to the Prince!
By Tina Derbish
email her at firstname.lastname@example.org