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Saturday, February 13, 2016

So Much Can Chang In A Year.

Since I was a child, remembering dates, events, and special occasions down to the day has been my "secret gift". I think it started when I would start counting the "good days" my step dad would have before a "bad day" would happen. The bad days would sometimes last weeks, and I would remember the date of the start and the date of the end. It was how I learned to anticipate his moods. As I grew up, I realized I was noticing his using pattern. He used what I think he got his hands on, drug wise. As I got older, and my step dad was out of the picture, I found myself celebrating more, remember days and events because there was no anger or hurt behind the scenes. There were a lot of good days, which made me remember them more.

So, this year, I've spent a lot of time remember where I was a year ago to the day...I don't just remember the day and events, but I remember the feelings. I'm sure that will get less and less as time goes on. But, I hope I remember February 14, 2015 for the rest of my life; as I'm sure I will. This day changed me forever.

Valentines Day is supposed to be filled with love, cheesy cards, candy, and spending time with your spouse. Sadly, I never really got that from my ex. In the beginning, I suppose. But, having found out I had been cheated on multiple times during my pregnancy, I was hoping Valentines Day would entail something special since I had spent my entire pregnancy forgiving, working on things, changing myself, and praying my family would stay together. February 14, 2015, my ex (J) didn't make plans or want to do anything. We exchanged gifts. I got him an xbox and he got me a 200 gift certificate for a spa before the baby came. I asked if he wanted to go down to one of the local bars to grab dinner so we didn't have to fight the crowds at some of the bigger places. We drove separately, and then we ate dinner in silence. He sat across from me, angry and distant. He then told me he was going to go visit his friends across town.

It was around 2am when I woke and found J to be no where in sight and no texts on my phone. So, I did what I should have done weeks before. I sent a text "Are you still sleeping with her?"

His reply, "Yes" came moments later.

That was it. I couldn't do it anymore. Weeks before he had come into the house drunk while I was taking a bath. He was crying and telling me he picked me. And he would fight for me. But in October he had told me he had only done it once, and it meant nothing and he wouldn't do it again. Only to find out it did happen, time and time again.

I sat there the night of Valentines Day feeling empty. Feeling broken. He called me and I remember telling him he needed to get his things. He said, "Okay." Nothing more. It took 4 days before he even came to get anything. When he did, he grabbed a bag and left. I kept asking him about what he was thinking and what he was doing and what we would do when our daughter would arrive in just a couple of weeks. He said nothing. He just walked out of my house and didn't look back.

I don't like to admit this next part. I don't like saying it out loud because parts of me feel weak for feeling this way, but I know the emotions I experienced were not only my own but being 9 months pregnant didn't help. I asked my co-worker if I could stay on her couch a couple of nights. Then, when I felt like I needed to move on, I asked for a friend to come stay with me. When I went on maternity leave just a week later, I went to stay with J's parents who treat me like their daughter. I made myself be around people at all times.

I had never been in such a dark place and the thought of going on in life without the person who was by my side for almost 10 years and becoming a mother all alone, it terrified me. I thought about hurting myself. I thought about how ending it would make things easier. I thought about how I would do it. Then my daughter kicked. And then she kicked some more. So, I planned out the following weeks so I wasn't alone. The darkness set it and it suffocated me. There was nothing anyone said or did that made sense.

Each night, I prayed for J. I prayed all night long about his safety, his peace, his decisions, his life, his future, our daughter, his relationship one day with our daughter. I prayed that I would someday be able to forgive. I prayed to someday understand. I prayed for everything. Every single night for three weeks, my heart was at the feet of Jesus. Each night, there was more peace. More understanding of what I needed to do the next day (get up, smile, and live).

My daughter was born on March 6, 2015. I allowed him in the room and in the operating room during my emergency C-section. I remember seeing him look at her and look back at me with the biggest smile on his face "She's so beautiful!" He squeezed my hand and said "She is gorgeous, good job." Holding her, every single harsh feeling, hurt, and negative emotion went away. I didn't think for a second about how I would get through raising her on my own. I didn't think for a second about the loneliness that I would endure. She pulled me out of the darkness. She was my light. What would have happened if I didn't have her? What would I have done if she didn't kick that night when I wanted to end it? Would I still be here? I'm not sure. When there's a darkness that sets in and a heartache that makes you feel like you're suffocating...you don't know what the next moment will bring.

I'm sharing this summarized story for healing. I have forgiven J. And I realized this past year what an incredibly unhappy and unhealthy relationship I was in. I truly have never been happier. This past year, not only have I learned how to be alone, lonely, and single but I have learned how to truly love myself. I have learned more about myself this last year than I have in most of my young adult life. People that knew J and I in the past ask if I would ever give it another chance down the road. I think people ask this because of our daughter. I remind myself every single day that my daughter deserves to see her mother loved, adored, and cherished. She deserves to see her mother be respected and taken care of. She deserves to see her mother happy, laughing, and singing along with the radio in the car. She deserves to see her mother chasing her dreams and wondering what adventures tomorrow will bring. None of that happened with J, and I don't see it ever happening with him. So no, I will never go backward in this life. I have learned that staying idle and staying present and never looking to tomorrow brings so much unhappiness.

I took back an amazing power over my life. I jumped into not only being single for the first time in a decade, and realizing that the person I shared my "firsts" with would not be my forever; but I jumped into those realizations while learning to be a mother. I'm simultaneously learning how to be content single, or juggling the dating scene (it isn't that bad) while learning what kind of mother I am and hope to be. It's a lot to undertake, but every single day I see this beautiful brown eyed girl that looks exactly like her father and I'm reminded that I fought for our lives before I met her. I made it a priority that we were safe from any kind of darkness. So, if I can do that during the most troubling time of my life, I can do anything.

More than all of this self love and self awareness, I'm so grateful God closed that door. That's what it was. I remember praying during my pregnancy about the unknown. About not knowing how I would be able to parent with J, or how my unhappiness would effect my daughter. I remember ending my prayers for months with, "Lord, please show me happiness, fill my heart with what is good of You. Empty my life of anything that is not pleasing to You and that will not bring my heart happiness." This is written all over in my journal. So...He did. He removed and filled my life with Him. He has shown me desires I didn't even know I had. He has shown me dreams and passions. I have a long way to go to please Him and live out His will for my life, but I'm so blessed I chose to fight the darkness so I could discover these wonders.

A year has gone by faster than I ever imagined. Not only am I completely happy with where I am in my life and who is in my life, but I'm thankful that J walked away. I don't think I would have ever learned what I have this year if he stayed. People come into our lives and we let them stay for a reason. We learn lessons, we hurt, we love, and we move on. I'm not sure how long this day will make me feel all these bittersweet emotions, but I pray that I'm constantly reminded of the darkness I fought. I hope I continue to fight like I did those weeks where I could have so easily given up.

I want to say thank you to my family and friends for all of your support the last year. I've probably cried on your shoulders, or spent time talking about the pain...your support and love means the world to me.