I’m so glad you decided to visit!
I started this blog because there are so many things in my life which our society says is “wrong.” In other words, a majority of my current and past life has been filled with circumstances and events which have an aura of stigma around them.
I am the child of a teen mother who was frequently a single mother. We never stayed in the same place for two years or more. She was married three times by the time I was six years old.
Her first husband, my father is a Mexican immigrant. I didn’t meet or get to know him until 2010.
Her third husband, my second step-father, sexually molested me for two years. Within two years of finding out what he’d done, she committed suicide after signing guardianship of me over to her younger brother.
I was, essentially, an orphan. Then I experienced another broken home due to my uncle’s sexually alternative lifestyle and drug use.
At 16, I ran away with a man 14 years my senior. We hitchhiked across the country and lived out of cars for the next three years. He was a professional, low-level con man. Consequently, I learned to lie to and manipulate strangers for my survival.
I had my first child during this period when I was 17. By the time I was 19, I was a single mom and survivor of domestic violence.
In the 28 years since then, I’ve struggled with binge eating, obesity, and broken relationships with friends and family.
I’ve gone through periods of extreme hope, happiness, productivity, self-confidence, and a sense of invincibilty – a knowledge that there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish. These times were also marked by sexual promiscuity and self-delusion. They always ended with me crashing and burning, then ending in deep and lasting depression.
One such cycle resulted in me becoming a single mother a second time. So, I had two children by two different men and needed “welfare.”
Within two years, I began a relationship, which lasted for nearly 20 years and was characterized by symptoms of domestic violence.
A third child was born of this relationship and I became a “late in life” mother at 39.
I kept trying and failing to get a college education. I have huge amounts of student debt and not even an Associates Degree to show for it.
Between unpaid student loans and medical debt, I remain in poverty and don’t really see a way out.
All three of my children have grown up with an emotionally unstable mother. I’ve been incapable of managing my life in healthy and constructive ways. I’ve failed to follow through on my dreams and plans for my future, and theirs. Time after time, I chose men who are incapable of healthy, functional relationships. The list of my maternal failures is long and painful.
While I have worked through some of the “mommy guilt,” there’s a lot that still remains because of the things they’ve experienced, not only during their time in my home(s), but also when they weren’t living with me.
Many of these things carry much of their own stigma: military service, incomplete high school education, abortion, substance use and abuse, broken relationships of their own, and the fact that they more than likely entered adulthood with cPTSD the way I did.
Despite all my efforts of therapy, self-help, and research, I mothered them the way I was mothered . . . and it breaks my heart.
However, there’s hope through the pain.
Despite my deep depressions and nervous breakdowns, I chose life over suicide. My mother died shortly before her 28th birthday. I’ll be 48 in June. So, I’ve been blessed to have 20 years more than she did.
After three years of intensive therapy, medication adjustments, and pushing into the pain, my relationship with my son has been made new. This redemption is a gift I never thought possible.
I’ve worked through enough of my “stuff,” that I now have a good relationship with my oldest daughter, allowing me to actually be G’ma to her children. Another gift I feared I would never receive.
I’m strong enough to cope with the challenges presented by my youngest daughter being on the Autism Spectrum.
I also continue working to facilitate a relationship between her and her father, even as I continue the process of overcoming the co-dependency which has existed between us for 20 years and work through the cPTSD and Bipolar II issues.
I can’t, and wouldn’t, change my story. The choices and experiences of my past are the things that made me, me.
It is my desire that sharing my story, will help others. May my story help in your journey.