I always ask myself: How did I get here?
Since I can recall, I have always had enormous plans for my future. I was going to take Atlanta by storm and not only be the best journalist in the game, but also take care of the people I left behind in Ohio.
Instead, I am a 27-year-old struggling single mother, and the truth is that I regret having my child.
For years, I battled with my self-esteem, allowing myself to be bound to unhealthy relationships and circumstances. Ultimately, it led me to a Planned Parenthood clinic, where I considered having an abortion. But after discussing the matter with my family and boyfriend at the time, I decided to have my child. My baby’s father promised to be there for us and support me along the way, but promises are made to be broken they say, and five years later, he is absent and uninterested in fathering the child he begged for. Just like all of the single mothers I witnessed growing up, I consciously decided that I was going to take care of my child to the best of my ability with or without the father.
What I was not aware of was the sacrifice that come along with becoming someone’s mother.
It’s embarrassing to admit that I can see life without being a parent; a life in which I would thoroughly enjoy. I often hear parents saying their kids are the best thing that happened to them. What I never hear is people like myself, who love their child but birthing them may have completely destroyed the life they wanted for themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my child and I am a good parent. I was blessed with an outgoing, intelligent and loving child. We share daily aspirations of power. I embed into his spirit how priceless he is and all of the possibilities he has in the world. School functions and extra-curricular activities are vital. I am at each event cheering him on as the proud parent he knows and deserves.
The problem is the peace that my life lacks when I lay down at night. The turmoil in my spirit that leaves me wondering “what if” daily. Vivid dreams of what could’ve been prevent me from accepting what is.
However, I don’t blame my child. I take full responsibility in this situation because I had a choice, and I chose to sacrifice my mind, body and future to please someone else. There was a lack of self-love, which catapulted my desire to please everyone but myself.
Here I am now trying to figure it all out. I am hurt and ashamed, but looking for a raft to grab onto to navigate these waters of my reality.
My message to other people in this situation is to understand that you are not alone. Society does not necessarily accept our truth, but nevertheless it’s ours. As we battle what is in comparison to what could’ve been, I hope we find peace. The new goal is to find a way to join both my reality and my heart’s desires.
I know I can still have the life I wanted for myself. We all can. The first step is realizing it. Once we accept that are dreams are still possible, even if they were detoured by motherhood, we can begin taking the steps necessary to start working towards our dreams again.
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