Anyone that knows me knows that I don't usually get overly personal on social media-or really, at all. But with so much pedophilia and abuse being brought to light in the world, I think the story of my past could finally benefit someone else in a positive manner. I see so many young girls heading in the same direction I did at a young age-and it's terrifying. I see things so much differently now that I'm a mother, especially to a little girl. Every child will go through a rebellious stage-likely in their teen years-but as parents, it's our duty to keep an open line of communication and mutual respect with our children. You never truly know what kind of difference it can make. If your sixteen year old daughter starts talking to an older (20+ year old) man, DO NOT JUMP STRAIGHT TO THREATS/PUNISHMENT. Many teens will do/continue doing something solely because they're told not to. Instead, sit down and explain that this "man" does not love her-he simply needs to groom such a young girl because something is wrong with him to the point that a woman his age won't give him the time of day. Any "man" that has to chase a 16 year old CHILD, is a predator and will more than likely destroy her in some way, shape, or form in the end. I was that 16 year old that thought this was okay because I was mature beyond my years. While yes, I was far more mature that most 16 year olds, but looking back-I see just how wrong this was, I didn't then because I clearly wasn't thinking as adult-like as I thought I was at the time. Yeah, I was still in school, working almost 40 hours a week, and spending most of my time with my young nephew. I felt grown, but I was far from it. Having a sister I hung out with that is two years older, that had an older boyfriend-I typically hung around an older crowd. Most behaved appropriately and saw me as the "little sister" but one didn't. One saw a chance to prey and took it. One saw a chance to have his needs met without having to change his disgusting ways that an older, more mature woman would require. At the time, I felt almost proud of the fact that a 22 year old guy thought I was mature enough to give the time of day to. That was a 16 year old thinking like a typical stupid 16 year old. Yes, I clearly consented (as much as a 16 year old could) but do we really expect kids to make good decisions at all times? Time went on and I started seeing the red flags. Once he caught on that I was distancing, that's when I got the cancer sob story. I felt like the worst human on the planet for wanting to end it when he was going through something so horrible. So, I stayed and continued my teenage antics. A few months later, I was late and took a test. Considering two years prior, I had been told it would be extremely hard, if not unlikely, for me to have children-I was flooded with emotions. I was terrified, angry, and just wanted to go back and do everything different. He was arrested on unrelated felony charges shortly after. I began to see that I truly had no idea who this "man" was. And because I was already terrified enough, I tried lying to my parents about who impregnated their 16 year old baby. (Sorry mom and dad.) They didn't buy it, of course. Just like any parents would be, they were PISSED. They threatened to have him charged for statutory rape, which only scared me even more knowing that I would really be on my own if they did that. Little did I know, I would have avoided many years of trauma if I wouldn't have begged, screamed, and threatened them right back. Everything was as okay as it could be for a while. This beautiful little girl was welcomed into the world, and at that point-I think everyone was just thankful that we had her in our lives. After laying eyes on her, no one thought about how she got here anymore. Years went by and to say things went downhill is putting it very lightly. Lies had unfolded and came to light, flags were far more red than ever before, and I realized I really screwed up. I had to get away from it. I was controlled and manipulated to the point that I was barely able to speak to my family, I lost all of my friends, and I was still only being used to meet his needs-mine weren't valid. I was a warm body, a paycheck, and the one raising the child he helped create, only for him to do his own thing. I was miserable. When he realized how far gone it was, and that I mentally couldn't take anymore-HE decided another baby would fix it. Another baby would ensure that I HAD to stay with him, cause who really wants to raise TWO alone? Funny enough, I didn't have a say in this matter. He wanted it, he got it. Regardless of my begging and pleading to stop, he was getting his way. Of course the new child, my beautiful boy-did NOT fix anything as he thought it would. But, just like the first-after looking into that little guy's eyes, all of the Hell was worth it. I was so scared that I wouldn't be able to love him given the circumstances, but my love for him was effortless. All of the negative disappeared from my mind for a bit, but unfortunately didn't last long. After having so many phones shattered, I quit buying new ones. After being screamed at and having so many things broken and thrown around, I quit speaking up. I quit talking to my family about it because I got tired of being told to "just leave" when it wasn't that easy and they knew it. I got tired of being followed around town by his friends that were police officers, so I quit trying to go anywhere without him. I got tired of trying to get him to stop acting nuts by threatening to call the cops, only to have it thrown in my face that he was friends with all of them and they wouldn't do anything to him (the one thing he ever said that was actually true.) I got tired of being accused of cleaning up for someone else, so I took 5 minute or less showers and neglected my personal preferences for hygiene. I got tired of being told I was writing love letters to someone else, so I quit writing to organize my thoughts. I got tired of being told I was talking to/looking for someone new, so I deleted all social media. I thought that was the lowest it could get, but I was sadly mistaken. The final straw on my mental health was the call from daycare. My four year old baby, not knowing any better, went to daycare telling them how she watched her daddy slice his forehead open with a kitchen knife. This is what I had to endure seeing and being threatened with for years, and knowing that this baby girl was looking right at him, he continued to try to prove a point. I told daycare to give me a week tops and my children would no longer be under the same roof. I was already to the point of not caring if I was alive or not-despite the two perfect babies I had to live for. My mental health was at an all time low, and that talk with the daycare manager was the straw that broke the camels back. I wasn't afraid of what would happen anymore. I wasn't afraid of what would happen to me or my house when he found out where I moved to. All I knew was that if something did happen, my babies would be safe given the people I had looking out for them. Thankfully, it didn't go as negatively as it could have thanks to a few family members and my angel Ty. Now, I've been away from him and the situation for two and a half years and my babies and I are as happy as can be on our own. I've learned alot of lessons from it all. Lessons that I'll be sure to educate my children on when they're older. My parents did try their best, but I didn't make it easy on them. I've always been stubborn and hard headed. Times have changed, and you almost have to go into parenting bracing yourself for stuff like above to prevent the same happening to your babies. Please, talk to your babies, even when they're little. Let them know that they can talk to you about anything, and really follow through with that. Don't judge them or get mad at them when they make a poor decision, be there to help them find a positive solution. This is getting more and more common, and has become so normalized that it's scary. We need to be open with our babies about the cruelty of the world so they go through life knowing that not everyone they come across are rainbows and butterflies. As parents, I know we want to protect them from the evils of the world, but the best way to do that is to educate them on it; not keep them oblivious to it. Teach your teenage girls that this is NOT okay, and that something like this is sick and demented, not cool and not something to be proud of. Teach your boys that it's just as sick when an older woman preys on a teenage boy. It's not cool, and it's not something to be proud about. Again, it's sick on the predators part.