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Sad

Sad

‘Nobody dreams of being a single, middle-aged dad swiping on Tinder. When I entered Single Parent Land, half my brain was sobbing. The other half was thinking, ‘I can run free!’

“As a single parent, every decision takes on a new meaning. If I give my child an applesauce pouch made in China, will my ex bring it up in court? But back to the easy stuff. Remember naps? You know, those times when you could sleep in on a weekend without your ex coming in and yelling at you? There’s a silver lining in all this.”

‘If I drink beer, maybe they’ll like me.’ ‘Maybe if I smoke this.’ Their words cut deep. I was desperate for acceptance. When it wasn’t enough, I stopped going to class and flunked with all F’s.’

“I thought the bullying would stop when my mom died of cancer, but it returned full force. I remember being yanked off my feet by my ponytail, blood running down my leg. I still wasn’t good enough, so I dropped out. When I returned to school at 31, a mother of 3 kids, I thought the same failure awaited me again. I was absolutely terrified.”

‘Hun, whatcha doing? You ok?’ Silence. ‘Hun…?’ I tried turning the knob. Locked. My heartbeat grew faster.’: Woman struggles to overcome husband’s death from heroin overdose

“We went to bed, said our ‘I love you’s.’ Exhausted. He rubbed my back as I drifted off to sleep. At 5:00 a.m., I awoke to use the bathroom. I guess he couldn’t sleep? He wasn’t in bed. He must be downstairs. The TV wasn’t on. No living room lights. Just a faint glow from the bottom of the bathroom door. I couldn’t save him.”

‘After the diagnosis, we found out we were pregnant. It sent chills down my spine. All I could think was, ‘We don’t have enough time! How am I supposed to raise my children without him?’

“We were excited and broken. For much of my pregnancy, I struggled knowing that my baby would never meet the greatest man ever. He had this thing where he nicknamed each child on delivery day. Pistol, Bullet, Slug, and Cricket. There was so much anticipation for him to walk into that delivery room and call him by his ‘name’.”

‘I BEGGED my mom to get my stepfather out of my bed. He would just ‘fall asleep’ there. How convenient for him. I started thinking my mother knew, and just didn’t care.’: Mom uses past sexual abuse to help others, starts foundation

“In third grade, we moved. I thought it was so fancy! Surely nothing bad can happen in the suburbs. I slept over at my friend’s house one night, and was woken by something startling. I froze, I didn’t know what to do. I started to silently cry. ‘Why isn’t my friend waking up? If she wakes up he will stop.'”

‘My father would dress up for dates with other women as my mother cried, ‘Please stay. I’ll forgive you!’ He’d disappear weeks at a time.’: Woman overcomes ‘broken home,’ claims ‘the cycle of abuse can end with you!’

“His secret life became an open book. My mother would wake me at 3:00 a.m. on school nights to sneak my father’s phone from the bedroom. I’d translate endless emails he wrote to various women. He was unfaithful. She’d collapse at my knees and sob. One day, I walked into the office. I opened the filing cabinet and flipped to the very back. There, I uncovered a large yellow folder. My innocence was ripped away.”

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