For those who have read my earlier posts when I first began the journey here on WordPress to once more delve into the only thing that brought me peace, my only source of expression…writing, know that my journey has been a labyrinth, going aimlessly and not finding a way out, the light at the end of the tunnel, a silver lining. I spent a long time emotionally blocked, unable to express myself.
My road as a single parent has been one filled with rocks and thorns. In 2012 I separated from my husband whom I’d left in late 2011 and relocated to another state with relatives. During the time of working out our marriage, I became pregnant and due to the lack of commitment to change from his part, I decided to end things for good in 2012 upon finding out that I was expecting; the last thing I wanted was to bring a child into a toxic environment. So I made the difficult decision to become a single parent, I was not going to attempt and “fit in” to societies standards of what is deemed best for a child which is to have to parents, better one that is willing to give their all than two where chaos would reign.
My decision to end my marriage was one that was not welcomed, in a moment of fury, the man whom despite all his flaws, I felt would never cross certain lines, put my life and that of our unborn child at risk. The events that later followed where disheartening, I no longer had the support of my family, due to not wanting to deal with my husband possibly showing to their home. After I came home from the hospital after the injuries caused by my husband, my only choice was to enter a Domestic Violence shelter; I was in a state alien to me, with no friends and the only support I thought I had was gone.
I found my self alone, scared due to the uncertainty of my future and that of my child and with no one to turn to. I spent the duration of my pregnancy alone in a shelter surrounded by strangers with whom I could not relate, despite having the good fortune to have encountered wonderful staff, this was not sufficient. I later entered a TLP until I found public housing. It was a time of darkness, struggles, fighting depression and suicidal ideations.
Finding public housing was a blessing, I finally felt for the first time as a mother that I would be able to finally provide the both of us with a stable home. However, that hope after three years ended, I no longer wanted to continue to deal with the nuances that came with being in public housing; feeling as if you have no independence, that you must give account to every penny, and move you make, I tired of feeling somehow enchained and after facing evictions due to “not being compliant” with paperwork despite being a tenant that paid her rent and being overall a good tenant in every other aspect, I was just fed up and made the bold decision to leave housing.
When you are reliant on government assistance, is as if they owe you, If I sought better work opportunities as someone with a degree, bilingual and with a good professional background, it affected me and my ability to be able to provide for both myself and my child, I no longer wanted to settle for less just to not face losing services and having my rent skyrocket. I left and it was another chapter faced with questioning my decision and faced with fears of what tomorrow would bring.
I moved in with the only relative that would offer me a hand, I moved into their tiny unfinished basement where my child had to adjust to not having space to play nor have a room of his own as he was previously used to. I was succumbed to feelings of depression and constant anxiety, finding an apartment was to win the lottery, practically impossible with the income I was generating.
Shortly after my divorce attorney offered to live in his home, an opportunity I took despite my apprehensions. I soon realized that this “help” was more than I bargained for, so I set out to get out. After fruitless efforts to find an apartment, an acquaintance decided to rent me their newly vacated apartment, once more I had to pack, relocated my child yet from another home and school. I felt like a terrible parent for not being able to provide the stability I so wanted for my child, but what other choice did I have? I am simply doing the best with what I have.
Here we are in our new home and despite feeling happy to finally have found my first apartment in this state where I don’t have to deal with the BS of public housing, yet deep inside I can’t help but fear; I am blessed to have a little warrior, a child with such a beautiful soul and spirit, who has adjusted so well to all that we have endured seemingly untouched, he is happy, rambunctious, precocious, talkative, with a vivid imagination, a child who is polite, sweet, friendly, thoughtful and sensitive. Despite all of this and the compliments I receive by those who interact with him and know him, I can’t help but to in part feel like a failure at times, this is not the life I imagined for either of us.
It so hard to balance work and motherhood, without any help/support system, I’ve always had to walk away from possible good work opportunities, to settle for less so that I can be present, after all, I am all he has. now that he will soon enter Kindergarten, I am terrified of how I will manage with work, I will no longer have the luxury of the flexible hours’ daycares allow despite their steep price. What am I going to do? I ask myself daily, every possible solution I come up with seems futile.
The road to single parenting has been one filled with stress, sadness, sacrifice, and solitude, I have no one to turn to when I’m sad or need advice. Developing friendships has also been difficult since due to my lack of flexibility I can’t really go out when invited to events unless is children friendly. Even at times where I should be at ease and celebrating, there’s that gray cloud hovering over me waiting to pour. Taking it one day at a time waiting for whats going to happen to happen is frightening.
I know that one must learn to find happiness where one is, however, when everytime you get up there’s a bulldozer in the corner waiting to knock you down, it becomes difficult to see the glass half empty and not drown yourself in a glass of water. As the year ends, I hope that after five long difficult years filled with pain, disappointments, going through the motions, feeling num and zombie-like, dealing with endless ups, and downs, that 2018 may finally be my year of deliverance.