Seven years ago my life changed forever. It was the day that my second daughter was born. Many say it was the first that impacted their life tremendously, but not me. This was the day that I decided that my daughters and I deserved a better life other than living a life of lies. So I will re-live it today as I have relived it for the past six years, as a constant reminder that I was a lot stronger than some can say they are themselves. This was the day that I decided to do this parenting thing on my own….
Let’s go back….to the night I found out I was pregnant. I had bartended all night, taking shots of jaeger (as it was encouraged) to be more fun and outgoing to the patrons. I hated it. Every night, I went in and told myself that I was going to be done bartending, but I was addicted. We needed the extra money because my fiance refused to work himself. I wanted an out. I was hoping for an out….and overcome with joy that night as the pregnancy test read pregnant, I had my out. I was ecstatic! I thought for sure with this new pregnancy, he would change his ways. He would stop lying to me, he would be as loving as he had been with his first, he would work and support his two children because he would love them as much as I….and bartending was over…for good.
As the months passed and my belly grew, we were told we were having another girl. I was in shock, but overjoyed that my first would have a best friend to share secrets with, to share stories with and to hopefully build a relationship with one another that if they couldn’t come to me, they would go to each other for advice. But, my happiness began to fizzle as I started noticing signs of their dad that alarmed me and the well-being of my family, like Easter egg hunts on Easter while he slept…stories that did not match up, late night excursions and refusal to hold down a job to help us. I was discovering that I was having a second child with someone that I did not know, nor wanted to know anymore. I was having my second child with a drug addict.
It hit me in the face like nothing that I have ever felt before in my life. The text messages that referenced Blue40, Blue80…what did this all mean? SO, I looked it up and when Oxycontin appeared across my computer, my whole world ended. This was not who I was.
I kept investigating him during my pregnancy, never asking too many questions, now becoming addicted to the search of being fooled by his game, without no intention of leaving him, the challenge was becoming more interesting than our relationship itself. Sure, I was hurt, sure I was scared and even downright pissed off that I was so stupid to never see this before. Drugs explained all of his actions…dry heaving in the morning and blaming it on a weak stomach, disappearing for hours in the middle of the night. It all made sense now…and had I not been pregnant with my daughter, perhaps I would never have seen this. I would have still been bartending into the late hours facing my own demons that I felt I could not escape. I wanted my out, like pregnancy had just been my out from bartending just months ago, I just had to wait for the big one…the one that was going to help me make that life-changing decision…
and at 9:45am on April 18th, that moment came. Whereas I was looking for him to do one last awful thing to me, or the worst lie I could imagine possible, it was the day that I looked into my daughters’ eyes and realized that she didn’t ask to come here, we made that decision for her. I had to start making better decisions for her and her sister. The time was now.
…That evening by the end of the day, I received both. I received the joy of my second child, wiping away fear, as she and her sister were now my strength to start looking for a better life…and the second, a phone call from my mother telling me that my bank account had been wiped out, my first daughter’s daycare fund cleaned out and their dad no where to be found. So, I layed in the hospital bed, holding my newborn, crying like I had been defeated, lost, alone and scared out of my mind that this cannot and will not continue…and didn’t’ because on August 16th, 2008, I told him to leave and I never let him come back…after four months of mentally preparing myself to be a single parent, and do it right.
So let’s fast forward…six years later, where my beautiful second daughter is the one who makes me laugh the most, the one who lives as a peacemaker between all of us with her angelic understanding of the way life works. She doesn’t have the quick ability to grasp intellectual understanding like her older sister, but she has an uncanny way of grasping much deeper, spiritual lessons. “Mom,” she said, “So this is how it’s going to be when I’m a mommy, always working, helping your kids….don’t worry…I will be a mom some day too and be doing the same thing,” she once said in an extremely stressed day for me.
She is our glue and as we have moved on and found a wonderful man in our lives shortly after I released her father who is everything of the exact opposite nature of him, she remains the peacemaker. She brings others to her for she is a joy to be around…even as of Day 1, she looked into my eyes and told me it was okay to move on. She told me it was going to be okay, and I believed her. She showed me that I was worth everything that I thought I was not. She gave me the strength that I did not have myself and by pulling that strength, eventually my own evolved.
…So six years today she is…thriving happily, having a father figure that loves her as his own….she looks at him as her own in a beautiful life of laughter and adventure. A wonderful younger sister and a patient, caring older sister to her brother, she sets the path for others to follow her to treat others kindly and to laugh when its time to be overjoyed and to cry when we are scared and unsure, but knowing all along she will be with us, because everything happens for a reason, and the reason that she knows this…is because she entered into this world as a “reason” to be able to live the life we want, as long as we do it with the ones that we love…because you can get through anything….. if you have that, and nothing else.