Upon learning that I was pregnant, initially I was scared straight. Everything just stopped in the tracks for me and I began to focus on this little person I was bringing into the world. “Oh finally!”, I thought, “I will have someone that will love me forever and give my life purpose”. Unfortunately the relationship with the father was not a healthy one and I chose to go through my pregnancy alone. I had a good job and child care all lined up with my aunt. I was focused and committed and looking forward to the birth.
My son was born on November 12, 1995 after 48 hours of a very difficult labor. At one point they had lost his heartbeat and I’m not sure if he was deprived of any oxygen during that time. He was a healthy 7 lbs 2 oz and I felt this incredible rush of love that I had never experienced. I couldn’t believe that I had created this wonderful beautiful baby boy.
Now I believe that I was still battling mental illness, but in the role of nurturing my newborn, I was occupied and fulfilled enough that my acting out behaviours started to settle down. I had allowed my sons father to come and see him and he quickly moved lock stock and barrel into my world. He quit drinking and he too was enchanted with this child – and he took to parenting like a duck to water. I was the only one working but his dad was taking care of him and for six months this happy little family was what I thought I had created.
When my son was six months old I decided that returning to Alberta where my parents and sister lived would be the best thing. I didn’t want Stacy to come alone (the dad) and secretly hoped he would chicken out and remain in New Brunswick. Truth be known I wanted the relationship over but I didn’t have the follow through to end it. So to avoid a temporary conflict, I instead chose to keep quiet and ended up with 12 more years of misery. But I’ll get to that.
Upon relocating to Alberta, I thought that by having a child of my own, I would feel like I belonged in my family and my parents would finally take an interest in my life. Oh they took an interest! Within a couple of months Stacy became my fathers constant drinking companion and so the violence and anger and chaos began. I don’t blame my dad like I used to but at the time I was so angry at my father. When Stacy drank he would sometimes lose control and become violent. I began to fear every time he left the house because if he could find a way home drunk he would and the fights would begin.
Our relationship remained turbulent. I felt financially obligated to stay with him and besides he didn’t beat me and he had a job so what more did I need? In the midst of all this chaos was our son who witnessed dysfunctional Behaviour between his from birth. I thought I was being a good mom by staying with Stacy.
When my son was only eight months old I found out I was pregnant again. “Omg” I thought, “what am I going to do?” But soon I settled back into being pregnant and awaited the arrival of my second child. My sweet baby girl arrived on April 22, 1997 and she was perfect!
When my children were 5 and 3, I finally worked up the courage to leave their father for good. I moved in with my sister and her husband and four children, thinking that this was good for me because I would have the support of my sister. Unfortunately I was wrong, as our relationship soon grew strained and conflicts arose. I felt like I was being financially and emotionally abused and was despondent that I seemed to switch one bad choice with another. I felt trapped and unsure what to do. I would spend hours rocking in a chair, crying – wanting the pain to stop. It was when my sister threatened to have me put in a nuthouse and take my kids away that I got the courage to flee.
I got an apartment for me and the kids and slowly started to build a life for us. Unfortunately I had moved back closer to where their dad lived and he began to invade my life again. He would stalk me, play the kids against me, try to convince me he had changed….he just wore me down. My son wanted his father and was acting out. My daughter was often the victim of his acting out and I felt like I couldn’t handle parenting on my own.
So back I went….for six months he had stopped drinking and went to church and did everything he was supposed to – two weeks after I move me and the kids back in – he resumes his pattern of drinking every weekend. It was at this point, I began to dream of dying to escape it all. The suppression had ended and in its place was the path of denial.