‘My daughter grabbed my face. ‘You got this, mom. It’s time for you to move on.’ I signed the divorce papers, and finally put myself first.’: Teen mom divorces after 12-year emotional battle with husband, ‘Never be afraid to start over’

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“I would be lying to you if I told you that finding my prince charming and having a fabulous wedding was my dream as a little girl. Some could have speculated that would have been my goal. Especially if you knew me as a child, you would know my passion for fairytale movies brighten my soul, as they portray a beautiful world. But the truth is, I dreamt of becoming an astronaut due to my imaginative view and the passion I’ve always had for the world. Maybe the mysteries of the universe, as I looked in the sky, daydreaming of its atmosphere, gave me so much joy. Those were my dreams as a little girl.

Unexpectedly, things change, dreams change, my world changed. The impact of losing my mother at ten years old was the beginning of a broken soul. Shadowing the view of the sky and dreams I once held, my years became dark. It seemed there was an eclipse over my goals. The emptiness, loneliness, and anger within me were like a tumor, just without a cure. I was looking for love to fill the empty whole, not knowing who would love me as much as her. The woman who birthed me was no longer in this world.

Courtesy of Sandy Green

Mt teenage years were the most challenging, as I was dealing with all the emotions of a grieving young girl. When we let traumatic events affect us, such as the loss of a parent at a young age, we become resistant to loving ourselves. Instead, we become vulnerable to our weaknesses. Bonds that are appreciated are special and the love I received from my mother meant the world to me. Therefore, after her passing, I became destructive.

Desperate to find love, even thinking that someone could love me more than I could love myself. Throughout those years, I was never alone, from puppy love heartbreaks to the next predicted mistakes. I wanted to be unconditionally loved. I wanted to have a boyfriend that would love me as much as I would love him. I wanted that fairytale story in my head. I pictured it as a cure for my heart’s emptiness. Maybe those fairytale movies were not that bad anyway, who cares if no one wants to stargaze. Too young to know better, the rebel stage within me took a toll. No guidance will confuse someone’s own soul to make decisions without self-control. Love at that age was mistaken for sweet little nothing text messages, two months of consistent attention, appearance, high school credibility, attention, attire, friends of friends, and popularity.

Courtesy of Sandy Green

During those dark years of looking for someone to love me, I fell for a crush. This tall handsome young man, who consistently surprised me with his attention and affection, an undeniable adoration. Soon after, I became pregnant at seventeen years old, a high school senior who definitely was not ready for the world. At eighteen years old, my boyfriend and future baby’s father stepped up to become a father. We were two teens, having a baby without a guide in the world, a perfect story for an episode of my then favorite teenage show. Two individuals who walked without a goal, confused about what would happen next. Neither of us felt like we had an option but to join each other for this beautiful baby girl.

The responsibility of being a mother empowered me to make all my future decisions based on my daughter. I fell in love when I first saw her and my heart melted when I first held her. I loved her. I wanted her to have it all. I wanted her story to be different than mine. I wanted her to experience a mother and a father in a happily-married home. She changed me, all of me, from the way I carried myself, to the decisions I made, to the reasons why I pressured a marriage at a young age. In those moments of our lives, we make irrational decisions for the happiness of others and for me, my child was my drive. How could I resist her beautiful angelic smile?

Courtesy of Sandy Green

Besides, I hated the phrases ‘baby mama’ or ‘she’s my girl.’ I will admit that I became selfish, careless, demanding, and ignorant at times. Every anniversary we celebrated for being together made me angrier. It always ended without ‘the question’ or ‘the ring.’ I questioned myself, since we were already living together and doing everything that a married couple would do. Why wasn’t I good enough for him to propose and make me his wife? Why didn’t he want a forever family? I questioned his love for his daughter and I.

I questioned myself. ‘Maybe I’m not pretty enough.’ ‘Should I lose weight so he will like me?’ I became beyond insecure, being the young woman I was. Social media at the moment was definitely blooming, with MySpace and everyone making it easy to lurk on other pages. I would try to compare myself to his ex-girlfriends, of course, through the images I saw on the internet. For some reason, they all seemed to have the same features, from body size to appearance, to the way they carried themselves. They all wore the same clothing brands and of course they all hung around the same circle of friends.

We argued so much because my insecurities took a lot of my self-being. Trust was never established. Communication was a failure. Respect wasn’t there for one another. Consideration was dismissed and excused for poor reasons. And let’s not forget, we were still young adults, twenty and twenty-one years old. Love was the only thing I thought was keeping us strong. Actually, I used it for the many times he tried to walk away from our relationship, like the word was a chain to keep him.

On a gloomy evening of Christmas Eve in 2010, he finally proposed to me. We were together for just only four years before I was his wife to be. We were married that summer in 2011. My dream was finally achieved.

Courtesy of Sandy Green

We weren’t perfect at all. If anything, we were still dealing with all the issues mentioned above. Those issues never went away, even when we said our ‘I Do’s.’ Things never got better. We just became two individuals who compromised our own individualities to live with each other for the sake of our family. Not even the arrival of our son could bring peace to our marriage. It was just another little person adding to the chaos we already had.

Oh, how that hurt, as my kids always been my world. I began to smile less and noticed the pictures going gray, the start of recognizing unhappiness began. Arguments became stronger and louder. Lies became a habit and the repetitions of ‘I should have never got married’ were painful to my heart. The depression taking over my mind felt like I could never unwind. There were anxiety attacks crushing my chest. The pounding feeling in my stomach became stronger. My head was overwhelmed, I felt a stroke seconds away. I cried myself to sleep just trying to make it all away. My spiritual belief faded away, I was questioning it all. Counseling wasn’t working, and for some reason, pictures of just the three of us (my kids and I) seemed more soothing than a picture of four.

Courtesy of Sandy Green

And then the day came where I would stand tall with the encouragement of a tired child who had seen it all. It was never in my intention to put my children through this pain. My daughter had enough and grabbed my face, looked me in the eyes and said, ‘You got this mom, we got this. You are stronger than you think, we will be okay. It’s time for you to move on. You need to find yourself and be happy. We want a happy mom.’ That day, I firmly made the decision any married woman or mother hates to make and I put myself first. What a difficult decision to make but the best one I have ever made. I signed the divorce papers.

Yes, the divorce process was draining. The disagreements were as bad as they were when we were married. The emotions were at an all-time high. I struggled financially, due to the lack of support and one income. I had a few debts here and there. I felt alone. It’s not easy going from a twelve-year relationship to not having someone to wake up next to. I had to be my own best friend, counselor, and supporter at times. I cried quite a few times–who wouldn’t? Divorce is not an easy chapter.

Courtesy of Sandy Green

As the year progressed, and the divorce was been finalized, the days grew more clear. I have found the person who I was looking for to love: ME. I have spent so much time with myself that I love every part of me. From the little wrinkles on my forehead to my goofy facial expressions. Finding love within myself has made things so much clearer for me as to why I wasn’t happy all these years. I never gave myself a chance to admire the teenager I was, full of life, with a heart as big as this world and the young professional, goal-driven, independent women I’ve become through it all. I know what I want, who I want to and will become. And the more I learn about myself, the more my children love me because they have a happy mother who can love them and herself unconditionally.

I feel the strength within me as I move forward with my two kids. There’s nothing I see that could stop the dreams I have for us. My daughter sees me as a strong woman that can conquer everything, no matter the challenge. My divorce is my beginning to the woman I was meant to be. I am still learning and understanding what love is. It’s not an easy process. I’ve had my low days, I’ve had my good days, and some in between, but we are imperfect humans who are learning. As I have reintroduced myself to me again, I am more prepared for love than I’ve ever been.  Maybe one day I will find someone with whom I can share my love with. Someone who likes to view the sky as much as I do. Someone with dreams beyond their means. Until then, I will continue to love my children and myself.

Love is beautiful, mysterious, and full of surprises. I could have never understood what loving myself felt like if I had never taken that step to divorce when I did. Grateful and blessed, I will always be. We will see what the future holds for Sandy Green.”

Courtesy of Sandy Green

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Sandy Green of Humble, TX. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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