I've always heard that a mother's love is one of the greatest things in this world, but I've never experienced it. From the moment my mom got pregnant with me, my life was a battle. From being chased by my anger-crazed grandmother with a shotgun, to being battered around all before I even made an appearance in this world.
Wow. That is about all I can say when I looked and saw how long it has been since I last shared Part 7. I will eventually get to why it took so long, but suffice enough to say it had to do with my dad's health problems as well as a surgery my mom underwent (both are fine right now, though!). The first order of business I wish to tackle is to explain my subtitle: "A Chemically-Forced Submission in a Self-Absorbed World." I believe in the commandment to honor one's father and mother; to me, that is to be respectful, serve them with love, and submit to them regardless of one's age. By "submit," I mean there are times when their needs are greater than my own and, out of love, I put my needs in a "later" box. Note how I say the word "love" and not include "respect." There are not a lot of moments where I respect my dad after all that has happened, but I do respect him as a fellow human being as as the person who sired me. Agent Orange required me to put my needs on "pause" so early in life, long before I had the maturity to understand, that it felt like a forced submission. Only in recent years have I learned how to not have it be forced, but done in kindness and love.
She had entered the room and gazed on the wall before her. The beauty that lay upon it was as magnificent as it was terrifying. He lay there watching her reaction as she clutched the pillar beside her and slowly fell to her knees with tears in her eyes. He crawled over to her, smiling slightly.
Being a mom was my greatest goal when I was little. When asked what I wanted to be when I was older, I would excitedly say, "I am going to be a mommy! And have six kids!" When I got a response that seemed like a frown upon my greatest goal in life, I grew embarrassed and realized that this was not a goal that society would accept of me. So I started saying typical things like, "I want to be a teacher," or "I want to be a chef." All these professions are awesome—for those that really have an innate passion for these. Deep down, I just wanted to get married and become a mommy.
My son turned five months old as of today. He is a happy, healthy, and alert infant. We are truly blessed and are amazed at how much he has grown, especially considering that he was born six weeks early. People say that raising a child is the hardest yet most rewarding thing you will ever do, and I completely understand that statement. The baby books can only prepare you for so much. 99% of the time is great. Watching TV with him, feeding him while he strokes my beard and stares up at me. I can only hope that I always do right by him, and set a good example for him.
One of the hardest things a parent will ever have to experience is protecting their child from the other parent. It's heart wrenching because most parents want nothing more than to foster a good, healthy, and even beautiful relationship between their child and the other parent. At least that's always what I wanted. My daughter's father and I separated years ago. I was so set on my daughter having a good relationship with her father that I turned a blind eye to red flags that I shouldn't have. The very last thing I ever wanted was to fight in a courtroom over my own flesh and blood. It seems so heartless and inhumane. So the little things I noticed as unhealthy I tried to excuse with his inexperience as a parent or doing his best based on the fact that he had no structure as a child. My single mom friends always stressed to me how lucky I was that her father even wanted to be in her life, so at times I felt ungrateful for wanting to take away any of the time he wanted to spend with her. But when his behavior turned into borderline psychological abuse I had to step in. He's discipline tactics became erratic and unacceptable. They were humiliating and heartbreaking for our daughter. Not to mention the unhealthy and unlawful lifestyle he was living, so in turn he was subjecting our child to. I finally did what I thought I'd never do. I filed for sole custody. I felt as though I had let my daughter down. Like I was taking away her normalcy. That's when I became the bad guy. That's when the negative talk about Mommy started. I wouldn't defend myself to the things she would come home saying because that would mean telling her the truth of why I did what I did. That would mean crushing the heroic view my little girl had about her dad. That would make my daughter think both of her parents hated each other and placing her smack dab in the middle of our drama. Not gonna happen! So I took the brunt of her anger and confusion and that was okay with me.
I’ll always be that little girl you held in your arms when I couldn’t even open my eyes. I’ll always be that girl that came crying to you after my first breakup and you cocked your shotgun. Your time has already come, and I don't know why the last time we saw you, you were doing just fine. It seems like just yesterday we were laughing with you. When I look up to the stars, I remember how special you are and how much I miss you.
Being a step-mom is hard.
‘Oh shit.’ Panic rises in my throat and forces my voice out in a high, strangled squeak.