MOMentous Monday is a series of reader submissions. For these specific posts I turn the mic over to a fellow woman/momma and they share their personal story. My heart in doing this is to bring greater compassion to the unique issues we each face, as well as diminishing the isolation we find while enduring our struggles. Momentous Monday may even give you the opportunity to glean some wisdom from the brave women who have already walked the path ahead of you. If you have a story you’d like to share, click here. Today’s post is bravely shared by Alyssa.
It is hard for me to think about my past, but I am reminded of it every day when I look at my beautiful eight-year-old daughter. She would not be here with me if I had not met her biological father, and for that reason alone, I am grateful for her.
When I was 18 I met the man of my dreams, (I thought), was engaged to him after just two weeks, and one month later moved away to Washington state where he was stationed in the Army. It was a whirlwind of emotions and I was on cloud nine, for the moment.
It took me about two weeks to figure out I made the biggest mistake of my life. I didn’t have any family or friends around, no money of my own, I was in an awkward phase of moving in with a man I hardly knew, who had a major alcohol problem, a ridiculous work schedule, and a life of his own.
I felt out of place, sad and depressed, but I couldn’t tell anyone, especially my family. I thought I would just hear I told you so, or you shouldn’t have rushed in to things with him and moved so far away. So, I sucked it up, got a job, made a few friends, overlooked his alcohol issue, the name-calling, the control he had over me, and his mental abuse he put me through every day and I pretended to be happy. I would call home and talk with my family and make everything seem normal and good, when deep down I wanted to explode with emotions and stories, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want my family to know the true man he was to me. I wanted everyone happy for me, so I continued to cover everything up. He was gone a lot with the Army, so I did my own thing and tried to make myself feel happy.
A year of ups and downs went by, we had some moments that were good, one of them was when I found out I was pregnant. It was another whirlwind of emotions for me. I was happy, scared, overwhelmed, and wondered if this would make him change and stop drinking. We got married for the simple fact that I needed health insurance. I cried the day I married him standing in the courthouse with no family and just 4 friends. I felt happy, but I knew it didn’t feel right. He went to Iraq and I moved home to be with family while I was pregnant.
In July 2007, we had our daughter and everything seemed great for a while. Then the name-calling and putting me down constantly started up again, the drinking never stopped, it was an everyday, all day occurrence. Years went on and I dealt with it all. I continued to cover everything up to my family and tell them everything was good with us. Hoping and praying someday, he would change. He never did.
One day when my daughter was 3 years old, I looked at her and knew I did not want her growing up with a father who acted this way. I knew I had to do something about it. I had had enough myself, and I never wanted her going through any bit of the pain or emotion I felt. I knew it was not going to be easy, but I did it.
With lots of prayer and help from my family, I did it! I packed up mine and my daughters stuff and I left him. I don’t regret it one bit. I told him I would never keep our daughter from him, but his selfishness and stupidity took over and he choose to stop talking to her. We were ok, we had each other, we had my mom and my family around to help us, and would get through it all.
Some time passed and I never felt more relief and freedom in my life. A huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I wasn’t being controlled anymore, I wasn’t being manipulated, called names, told I was fat, and he didn’t like my hair the way it was, I wasn’t sent on beer runs any hour of the day. I wasn’t in that tiny box anymore that it felt like he had put me in. I was free, I had myself back, and I was able to be happy again. My daughter was doing great. There were always questions being asked, but in all reality, she didn’t seem to care much that he wasn’t around anymore, she was happy and thriving, such a smart little girl.
Then one awesome day, I met the man who is now my husband. Someone who completely changed my life for the better. I knew the day that I married him that he was my true love, we were meant to be together and it all felt right. From day one, everything fell in to place. He and his entire family completely accepted and took my daughter in as one of their own. I couldn’t have asked for a better, loving family. My husband and I had a son and another daughter together and my first born is a great big sister. She is still so smart and beautiful and I am so happy she is able to be raised in such a great family. My husband is currently going through the legal process of adopting my daughter and giving her his last name.
I wouldn’t change the emotional roller-coaster I went on that got me where I am at today. I experienced life in different ways. Made many mistakes along the way, had many heartaches and downfalls, and made some choices that probably were not the greatest, but they lead me to where I am now and to the beautiful family that I am blessed with today.
My senior quote in high school was “God makes everything in life happen for the right reasons,” I truly believe and live by it daily. No matter what you do in life, God has a plan for you, we do not get to choose our plan, but we can live it to our fullest potential. Find something positive in life each day, and don’t be afraid to speak out and ask for help.
If you’re in a hard place today, remember tomorrow may be your day to shine!
Thank you Alyssa, I know you have a story that will touch many.
Do you have a story worth sharing? I would love to feature you on a MOMentous Monday? Not comfortable with writing? Just send me the rough draft… we will work together to make it post worthy!
Don’t let your struggle go to waste… turn that trial in to triumph!
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