natalie brenner

‘I was just pulled over, for no reason.’ He’s black, I’m white. My heart raced. We get the CRAZIEST looks.’: White woman dating black man says ‘it’s an honor he’d choose to be with me, it blows me away’

“‘How many white women have you actually dated?’ I asked. ‘None. That makes you like…a pioneer. lol.’ I read his response, a knot forming in my stomach. ‘I’ve never really trusted or felt safe around white people.’ He’s HUGE, towering over my 5-foot figure. We get the CRAZIEST looks when we’re with our kids. His are biracial, my youngest is white white WHITE. I imagine people wondering if I cheated on him.”

‘Where do I go?’ His voice cracked. My ex-husband slept on my couch, I’d lock my bedroom door and leave.’: Mom recalls ‘awkward’ co-parenting while her ex-husband slept on her couch after marriage split

“‘I don’t want to keep doing this. I can’t.’ I was sitting on the floor of our dream home. ‘What?’ His voice cracked. I could hear the pain and disbelief. ‘Is this really happening?’ I knew in my gut I wouldn’t recover in this marriage. I needed space. I needed to find out if I could survive this hidden trauma. I’d been lying to the world, but worse, I’d been lying to myself. I hated sharing my new home.”

‘Divorce isn’t an option. 19-year-old bride, you begin slowly dying. You feel so trapped.’: Young woman feels ‘shame’ for wanting to end ‘picture perfect’ marriage, but had to ‘save’ herself

“‘I met the man I’m going to marry,’ you told your friends. You’re 19 when you first lay eyes on him. From the moment you learn he’s going to be a pastor, you know this is the life for you. Neither of you knew what you were signing up for. You thought if you found a Christian man, one willing to wait to have sex until marriage, life will be perfect. Now, you flinch when touched.”

‘When they flinch from the stapler dropping, it’s because they weren’t sure if you’re throwing it at them.’: Foster mom pens powerful note to teacher warning of her children’s trauma

“They come from a really, really hard place. The kind of abuse you think can’t be real. They duck for cover. You’ve heard of fight or flight? There is also freeze. One of my kids responds with ‘freeze.’ Her eyes grow wide and her voice silences. It’s how she’s trained herself to survive. My kids need to know you are safe.”

‘To my ex-husband on our wedding anniversary, I’m angry at my 19-year-old self for marrying you.’: Woman admits she was ‘barely surviving’ in her marriage, says ‘we both sucked at loving each other’

“A year ago today we rented an Airbnb and had dinner at some hip restaurant. We were parenting 4 children and adopting a fifth. We had just moved into a big, beautiful home with lots of space for our growing family, close to our best friends. We looked like the perfect little family, but we were fooling ourselves.”

‘I can’t introduce you to my kids until I know. They’ll attach to you, and I can’t break their hearts.’: Girlfriend nervous it’s ‘too soon’ to meet boyfriend’s kids, feels anxious to not ‘replace’ mom

“While I waited, my mind raced. Did their mom know I was spending the weekend with them? Do I hug them? I was suddenly anxious. I heard the door open. ‘Natalie,’ Kevin called, ‘Come up here.’ I breathed in deeply and felt jitters. I wanted these boys to not feel awkward. I knew I wasn’t their mom, and I would never think I’m replacing her.”

‘I choked out, ‘So, their dad and I are no longer living together.’ 8 months into fostering two of the girls, and 2 months after saying ‘yes!’ to adopting, my children’s father and I separated.’

“We had 5 kids and had just celebrated 6 years of marriage. Our entire life crashed, the walls built with facades and fantasies. I was secretly dying inside. It was silent, painful. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be taking family photos without a husband, my children’s father.”

 Share  Tweet