Day 11: Turning point in your (my) life
Getting married, having kids, becoming an Army wife…
Dropping out of college, deciding to go back to college, failing to get the financial aid required to attend even a single class…
Telling secrets, keeping secrets, fears becoming reality…
Life starting, life stopping, life getting in the way…
Love, hurt, indifference…
There are so many things that have changed my life in drastic ways. I can’t tell you how many have been for the best and how many have been for the worst. It’s about even…
That being said, I think the thing that would truly make or break me, the thing that would really cause me to step up, to move past fear and into what was right, the one thing that focused me into the person I am today with the relationships I have today is my daughter.
I readily admit to having gotten pregnant with my daughter prior to marrying my husband. We had been talking about marriage for a while, but one night after church things got emotional. Then they got heavy and we forgot to protect ourselves. One night… One condom… 41 weeks later… One beautiful baby girl.
Sure I was crazy. I was beside myself panicking when I took that test, in the bathroom at work. I was terrified to tell my boss, even more terrified to tell my parents. I called my (then) boyfriend on the phone. He was living in California, I was living in Florida. He talked me down off a very frightened ledge. I remember very little of the actual conversation we had, mostly I remember telling a coworker “You have no idea how bad it just got.” when he jokingly said “It can’t be that bad.”
The night I told my mom was the worst. It was about a week after I found out, yes my parents really paid that little attention to me. My mom picked me up from work with my step-dad and sister. When we got home, I whispered “Can I talk to you in my room?” We sat on the bed next to each other and I took a deep breath.
She blurts out, “You’re pregnant.” I nodded.
“And you’re moving to California?” I nodded, again.
“I can’t believe you ruined your life like this.” And she left the room.
I came out a few minutes later to my sister calling me a “slut” and my step-dad asking me if I was “getting married”.
To them, this was THEE worst thing I could have done. My mom had plans for me, she said, plans of me staying in Florida, raising my family there, where her and the “in-laws” would be best friends and have barbeques and such. Those were her plans, and I ruined my life because my actions didn’t fit into her plan.
I’ll tell you a secret: I didn’t really ruin my life.
My daughter gave me the strength to do what I never thought I would do. She gave me the strength to leave. To get out of a toxic environment and move on with MY life. My daughter didn’t ruin my life, she GAVE me life. Sure, my husband and I didn’t plan to get pregnant before our wedding, we didn’t plan to have a baby three months after our wedding, but given the chance, we wouldn’t change a thing if we didn’t have her. She’s our baby girl. She made us a family.
My daughter is a stronger person because she has a stronger mother. She is a happier person because she has a happy mommy. She is a valued person, a person who is truly loved because I gave her father my heart. She has more than I had growing up simply by having a daddy who loves and adores both her and her mother. I didn’t have a “loving” father growing up. In fact, my father tried to kill my mother when she was pregnant with me. My step-dad was a jerk who’s best game was to belittle us. My daughter has the father I always wanted. The father who wants to be a father, who takes her on dates and shows her how boys should really treat her.
Seven years ago, I was a frightened 20 year old girl, pregnant and on the verge of marriage. I had nothing real to lose and everything to gain. I didn’t ruin my life. My daughter didn’t ruin my life.
We saved ourselves and each other.