Submitted Monday, May 7 2018

August 1st, 2010. I picked up McDonald’s after getting my hair styled for a wedding I was about to attend. I went to pee and realized I shouldn’t be spotting. I had a pregnancy test lying around. I managed to find enough pee to activate it. BOOM. 2 lines. Holy crap.
In the next 48 hours I went through a roller coaster of emotions. Every question came to mind. Do I keep it? Is this stick right? Am I only 2 weeks pregnant? What was in the McDonald’s? Is it a false positive? How do I tell my ex boyfriend that I’m pregnant? Maybe the 5 tests are wrong? What do I do? Am I ready? What should I do? What if I have an abortion, will I have a greater risk of not having kids later on? How can I afford this? Seriously... am I ready? I don’t want to be a single mother!!!
I did speak to the father the next day and gave him a week to let me know his decision. At the end of the week he said he wanted nothing to do with the baby. I was fine by his decision. I respected it, however, just because he didn’t want it didn’t mean I had to end the pregnancy.  It was my body. Since I couldn’t decide right away I made an appointment for an ultrasound (to really be sure I was pregnant) and for an abortion at the end of the month. 2 days before the appointment I called the clinic to reschedule because I couldn’t go through with it. The father and I talked afterwards and he said that he wanted the baby and would be there for us and blah blah blah. So we made the decision to have the baby. He was full of empty promises.  
My pregnancy was a roller coaster ride. My child’s father had a girlfriend (the female he cheated on me with which is now is his wife and they are expecting their 2nd child).  He played her and myself during my whole pregnancy. When he was in a fight with her he came crawling back to me saying we are a couple. When things settled down with her he fought with me and left me to fend for myself. I didn’t realize he was a narcissist when we were together and I only truly learned about what a narcissist was in the last couple of years.  My anxiety was extremely high during my pregnancy. I was losing weight instead of gaining it. Luckily my little baby was growing and was healthy. The father kept attacking me verbally, emotionally. The games that he played were disturbing. At one point I found a man who was going to accept me and my unborn child as his own. I knew him from before my pregnancy and we had a strong connection. I honestly still have feelings for him to this day. My child’s father found this out and played me by saying “let’s work on being a family.” Obviously I said yes because I didn’t want my son to be raised in a broken home. I do regret that decision now. 
My child is 7 years old now. I spent the first 2 years without the father in our lives. One day a bailiff came to my house and served me papers saying his father is bringing me to court. Since then I have been going to court at least once a year. He constantly brought me to court. Little by little he gained more time until the last judgement. In July he will have 50/50 custody. He has constantly falsely accused me of some horrible things. 
Being a parent is tough. Being a single parent is even tougher. Being a single mother with a narcissistic ex is even more tough.
I am lucky enough that I was raised with morals, values, and respect.  I went back to school once my child started kindergarten. I started in a new program and received my D.E.P. I went back to school because I needed to find a better job/career to provide for my little family.  I almost gave up a few times. Being a single parent and going back to school, learning new things while trying to balance everything else in life is ridiculously hard. I had an amazing teacher whom I confided to. I told her everything that was happening. It is because of her support that I didn’t give up. She saw the potential in me. 
One of the main reasons why I wanted to give up is because I was falsely accused by his father of sexually abusing my child. This flipped my whole life upside down. Clearly he did it so that others would see me in a different light and he hoped that the courts would see me as an unfit parent. Sadly his plan somewhat failed because my son’s psychologist said he was insane to ever accuse me of that.  Still, having that put in the universe, and having people in my small town hear such a thing made me uneasy. People who didn’t know me might believe his lies. Would my son lose out on play dates? Would people believe him? Will I not be able to volunteer at his school anymore? I started worrying that people were watching my every move. I caught myself even questioning if it was still OK to kiss my child on the lips goodbye when he went off to school. You can say I was somewhat paranoid. 
Being a single parent is not for the weak. My hat goes off to all the single mothers and fathers out there losing their minds to make sure their children do not have to recover from their childhood. 
I love my child unconditionally. I don’t know where I would be if I did go through with the abortion. Even with all the drama and chaos that his bio father has caused... I don’t see my life without my child in it. I’ve been on social assistance, received food from my local food bank, did things out of desperation for money, had my father help me and quite honestly is still helping me financially at times. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my father, my sister, and other close friends.  Hopefully in my new career I will be more financially stable. I want to be the best role model for my child.  I am still dealing with my child’s father and his narcissistic ways. It’s a constant struggle. I honestly hope that he will find a new hobby or something. I have been tempted to recommend scrapbooking because he is so creative in his lies.

So ladies all I have to say is... Never Give Up. We have little eyes who look up to us. We might lose our minds, temper, hair, sense of time, but it’s all for them. They are worth every bag under our eyes, every fallen hair and every sleepless night.



Submitted Friday, May 4 2018

There he was lying on the floor – unconscious, but still alive…his head in a pool of blood.
Within an hour after I had found him, the police told me he was dead. 
So just like that, I was a single-mom and widow. Funny how your entire world can be turned upside down in a blink of an eye. How can he do that to me? How can he leave our children? How can he leave me? I did not see this coming… this was NOT part of my plan!
I knew however that I needed to keep it together for my children. I knew that if I wanted them to be ok, I had to be ok. So, I took ALL the help that was offered to me. I knew that I would have to go through all the stages and all the emotions, but I wanted to reach the point where I would be ok. Throughout my process, I never lost hope. My children and my faith kept me going. 
Being a single-mom wasn’t so much of a shock because I can honestly say that I raised my kids on my own. Most of the time, he was just there… It’s as if he was preparing me for the day he would decide to die. I had completely lost myself in that relationship trying to save him. 
Making big decisions, managing a household, children, chores, activities, events, work, tasks can be very overwhelming at times. Often, I feel like I’m running, but can’t quite catch up. There are times when I feel like giving up and running away, but I can’t do that! I’m very grateful for my support system. Being a parent is the biggest and hardest challenge I’ve had to face. Being a single-mom is twice as hard…but I can say that it’s very fulfilling. I get to see my kids grow up, laugh with them… and live. I thank God for that every day. I also thank HIM for that… he could have easily taken my life and the kids’ lives that morning. 
As a single-parent, I’ve learned that I’m a pretty strong mama. I’ve managed to keep it together. After everything I’ve been through, I’ve managed to find myself again… a better version of myself, and I can say that I’m ok.