recovery

‘My dad was married and had an affair with my mom. I became the product of their affair. On the outside, we looked normal. But behind closed doors, dark secrets hid. My life quickly took a turn.’

“My younger sister woke up while it was happening. She said, ‘Daddy can you do that to me like you do to Shannon?’ He told her, ‘No it’s only for her.’ The hardest words to swallow came from my own mother. I was only in 4th grade and it tore me apart. I still hear and feel him breathing down my neck.”

‘I was lying on a ‘friend’s’ kitchen floor. Standing over me were paramedics and a police officer. ‘You’re lucky we’re not busy today,’ the cop looked at me and said. I lied to everyone.’

“I met someone. The wrong someone. A friend. Or so I thought. I was catapulted into a world no one should experience. It was raining. The sky was black and the storm wasn’t letting up. I felt this strong feeling of evil hanging around me that day. My ‘friend’ was with me. I looked in the mirror and at that point, I knew.”

‘A co-worker came up to me. ‘Half your face looks a little strange.’ I tried to respond, but couldn’t move my mouth to speak. My first thought was, ‘Am I having a stroke?’

“I rushed to the hospital. The pain was so bad I literally thought, ‘There’s no possible way I am going to survive this. A human being can’t survive this much pain.’ I was prescribed a copious amount of medication. When would I stop needing it? Never. I thought I would never get a chance to be a mom, but I didn’t want to give up my dream.”

‘I love you, sweetie. I’ll call you Friday.’ Those words will forever haunt me. I received a call from my mom when school ended. ‘This is the hardest thing I’ll ever tell you.’ I fell to the floor.’

“My heart sank. I could tell by her voice I had to get home. I still hear the words as she fought back breaking down. ‘We have to go. We have to get there!’ I remember having thought, ‘He seems better. He seems more like himself.’ My dad was back. Boy, was I wrong.”

‘Hun, whatcha doing? You ok in there?’ Silence. ‘Hun…?’ I tried turning the knob. Locked. My heartbeat grew faster. My voice got louder. I banged my fists on the door. I couldn’t save him.’

“We went to bed, said our ‘I love you’s.’ 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 lied to you,’ my fiancé said. ‘It has all been a lie.’ I felt sick to my stomach. He told me there had been another incident with the woman from work. Turns out, that was the LEAST of my problems.’

“‘I don’t want to get involved in a relationship with you until she is out of the picture,’ I told him. I asked him outright, ‘Is there anything I should be worried about?’ He reassured me, ‘no.’ I could see there was something on his mind. Nothing prepared me for what followed.”

‘I heard two words: ‘fugitive felon.’ I caught my son’s eye. His shackles made my stomach flutter uncontrollably. His public defender smoothed her beige suit, and approached him.’

“The severely criminal charge was, in fact, a reference to my 24-year-old. I never imagined that term would apply to him. An unexpected call helped me through his transfer to prison. It had been weeks without contact when I answered the unfamiliar number. I fought back tears. He told me how much my son loved me.”

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