My “Independence Day” —
No More “ON-Again-OFF-Again”

By Anonymous, 46-year-old Mom of 2

How did I get here is the question I asked myself a lot in the first few months after I separated from the man I thought I loved, and could never live without. I think it’s important to note that when I met this man several years ago, I instantly fell in love with him. He was dark-haired, well-built, and had the most amazing blue eyes I have ever seen. He had a girlfriend, and I was still in an On-Again-Off-Again with someone, but a year and a half later after many long phone and email conversations, we were both free and together. It moved fast and within weeks I was living with him and was 100% sure this was the man with whom I would spend the rest of my life.

We had amazing highs and horrible lows, we loved hard and played hard — we had a lot of passion. In the early days it was for each other, and as time went on, it was ME for him, and HIM for his work.

Everything else came first. I was always fighting for his time and attention. It wasn’t even another person or woman. It was his business, his cars and his properties! I would always joke that he was having an affair with them, he would come home late smelling of “her”. Looking back, I got used to playing second fiddle and sadly was okay with that role. I had a thriving freelance career, working 14-hour days, yet it was soon clear that we were living very separate lives under the same roof. Eventually, time took its toll and I got a place of my own. This pseudo-separation seemed to help, and more effort was made to spend time together. Ironically, we actually started to go “out” again, and within a year were making plans to buy a house together.

We started looking and found what I would call a Dream House. During this time I was not feeling well at all. You guessed it. I was then 40 and found out that I was pregnant. I was shocked. I had been told I couldn’t have children, or should I say getting pregnant was going to be difficult, and if I did get pregnant carrying to term was going to be a challenge.

I was terrified, excited, happy, crying, and immediately in love. I couldn’t believe I was actually going to “have it all” — a house, a great career, amazing family and friends, the cutest dog known to man, and I was carrying a part of the man I loved and that we were going to be a family. For a girl like me who didn’t always get the happiest of endings, it was beyond a dream come true.

But my dream came and went fast. Let’s just say the man was less than happy about the possibility of being a dad. He blamed me for getting pregnant, that I did it on purpose to trap him (mind you, we were buying a house and had been together for five years at this point) He stopped talking to me, and three weeks later I moved back into my old apartment. He also asked me regularly, when he did speak to me, to abort the baby, which I couldn’t do. I was alone, scared, sick all the time, and heart-broken.

Slowly after four months, things started coming back around, and one month before the baby was due I moved back into his house officially.

Our son was born in late spring and he was just the cutest, sweetest thing I had ever seen. Those first quiet hours after he came back from the nursery are still etched in my mind as the time I really fell in love with another person without hesitation or fear or preconceived notions. It was pure, simple, honest and true love; my son was and still is perfect to me.

I’m sure it is no surprise but “the man” and I had severe issues, not enough sex, our finances were separate, and I was to pay for all of our child’s needs because he wanted to rehab his building, so he put his money there, and not into our “family.” Again, we were back to living in the same space but very separate lives. He would go days and sometimes weeks without seeing our baby for more than a few minutes.

We broke up and got back together more times than I could count. Each time we promised to do better and we would, and then old habits and patterns set back in, and there we were on a roller-coaster ride from hell that I couldn’t seem to get off.

For a short period, things were so good that I ended up getting pregnant again. This time he seemed happy about it.

However that, too, was short-lived, and basically, he abandoned all of us. He told me SHIT meant more to him than I did. That my friends, is the day I died inside, and the day I woke up.

I should have packed up my bags and left, but for the sake of the kids I stayed. I stayed through the birth of my amazing daughter. I stayed through the three weeks of not being spoken to prior to the delivery. I stayed through all the verbal nastiness (Yes, at times, I could give as good as I got. But as time wore on I was broken and broken down). I took it and took it because I loved him and I loved my kids. I stayed because I wanted to be in this family with him, and I didn’t want to fail. I wanted what all my friends had, that close sense of family that seemed to elude me my entire life.

Most of all, I wanted him to love me — ME and all my warts, all my wounds, my dark side, my laughter, my humor, my smarts, my sass and my silliness. I wanted to know that he got me — that someone finally got me. He didn’t, and I don’t think he ever did.

I just did not want to see it.

Two years ago, it — us — was dead and really over. He moved out and let us stay in the house. I was 44, a single mother of two and out of my mind afraid, self-esteem shot to hell, my finances in total ruin, as I had no savings left after all the genetic testing and doctors bills. I was stressed more than I had ever been in my life. Admittedly, I tried to get him back, until I learned that he was already seeing someone, within a matter of weeks (maybe two) he was involved. That’s how he rolls.

I had to pick up the pieces. I needed to be alone, retreat and regroup, go to those dark places; it’s who I am and how I have always been.

However with as bad as it has been, I have strangely recovered. In being alone, I found myself.

I have worked on me and what led me to this point:  How, I wondered, could I have allowed so much of myself to get away from me? I have met new friends and let some go. Recently, I started spending time with a wonderful man who has been a friend for years. I have zero clue where, if anywhere, it’s going to go — but I’m good with that. I get to be me, warts and all! It’s quite a liberating feeling. I finally feel like family and friends get me and the big thing is I Get Me, and it’s all worth it just to hear at the end of my crazy day: “I love you, Momma.”

Yes, I’m going it alone — but I’m not lonely. And for now, that’s enough.

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