Anonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.
I grew up in huge, cult-ishly religious family. I have seven sisters and five brothers. We were raised outside of the city and had to go to a school ran by the church. We weren’t allowed to have friends outside of that school and weren’t allowed to do “normal” things other kids did, like swim in pools. All considered too many “occasions of sin.”
I rebelled and moved out at 15. I went to live with my oldest brother. He was married with one kid at the time, but felt the same way I did about the oppressive religious stuff.
At any rate, I ended up pregnant, terrified and alone by 18. I moved back in with my mom, where I was swiftly told that my options were to marry the guy, or get out of her house and deal with the baby on my own. BABY daddy was all for this idea. He was 10 years older than me, had a daughter from a previous relationship, and wasn’t all that crazy about the amount of child support he would be paying (yeah…he’s really not too bright).
I was so scared. I broke up with him most of my pregnancy. But after months of intense family/church pressure, I walked down the aisle eight weeks after my daughter was born. I was miserable, in tears in every picture. We spent the night of our honeymoon fighting, and he left me and the baby in the hotel by ourselves at seven a.m.
And that’s pretty much how the next six years of marriage went.
He was extremely abusive. I wasn’t allowed to use birth control or have a job. My job was home in the kitchen, and that’s that. I almost lost our second at five months pregnant from taking a steel toe boot to the back. After three years, the physical abuse tapered off, but it was daily verbal abuse. I was called a “bitch,” “dirty cunt” and a “whore” daily in front of the kids. Our second daughter was a HUGE disappointment to him, as it was his third girl, and she is autistic.
Then we had a boy. And he was super happy. Finally a boy.
About six months after my son was born, I was planning my escape. But about three months later I found out I was pregnant, AGAIN. I had a nervous breakdown and was absolutely devastated knowing I was going to have to stay at least another year. The verbal abuse never got better, nothing was ever getting better, and I gave birth to another boy.
Nine months after he was born, I finally did it.
It was a Tuesday evening. I walked down to the basement, where my ex was playing video games (that’s all he ever did) and I just told him to leave. I was done. He came upstairs to bed, I told him no, I was done, leave. The next day, I came home after a day of running errands with the kids to see he had left with a garbage bag of clothes…and the big TV. (LOLZ)
For the first year, he paid minimal child support and would see the kids every second weekend. I had a HELL of a time finding a job. I had no education and hadn’t worked in seven years. So, I enrolled into college, taking a 10-month accelerated course in Oil and Gas and worked part-time cooking in a friend’s restaurant. My mom would take the kids while I did that — but I had to pay her $1,600 a month.
My kids are all in daycare/day homes now. I literally was up at four a.m. for 10 months studying, went to school at seven a.m., off at 12:30, went to work till 5:30, then home with kids, then bed at eight. I studied until midnight. It was tough, but worth it. I graduated with honors and received grants to help with living allowance, as I maintained a high GPA.
About a year ago, I received a single text from my ex saying he wanted nothing more to do with the kids, and that was it. No child support, no visits. I’ve been in court for six months.
I am VERY close with his oldest daughter, who is now 13. Her mom and I have always been very good friends, so she comes to stay with us a month in the summer and a few times a year when she can. My ex-husband abandoned her over two years ago.
ANYWAYS, my family refuses to help me. They say that if I go to confession and make my peace with God, maybe they will consider helping me out. They say my life happened this way because God is punishing me for my sins, and I don’t deserve their help. I have my oldest brother (who is not religious anymore either) and my younger sister (who came out as gay five years ago, so NO one in the fam will associate with her).
Besides them, I’m on my own with the kids.
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(photo: Bravo Six Niner Delta)