The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled

My oldest son turned eighteen years old last November. I have been married to his Dad for going on sixteen years. Though my husband is actually technically my son’s stepfather, though we have never thought of him as that or as my son as his “stepson” because my husband has helped raise my son since I first started dating him, when my son was just 2 1/2 years old. He used to watch my son for me while I worked at a group home for girls on the night shift. They became very close. My son was calling him “Daddy Ayan” (Aaron) before we were even married. My son’s birth father was addicted to crystal meth. I was 18 years old when I met him, he was 30. I became pregnant with my son only a month or two after we began dating. I was not aware that he did drugs of any kind. I found out about his use when I was cleaning the bathroom one day and found, inside the back of the toilet upon lifting the top off, a little plastic sack rolled up inside a piece of plastic. It had not gotten wet so I was able to smell it. I took it over to my neighbor’s house and asked her what it was–she knew exactly and I was crushed. When I confronted him about it, he tried to lie and deny it, but eventually he told me. He promised to quit immediately and to go to Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Apparently, he explained, when I met him, he had been clean for a whole year. So when I met him he definitely wasn’t on drugs. I had definitely noticed his attitude change sometimes and I wasn’t sure why, but it bothered me.

When I was about three months pregnant, I found out that he had been using crystal meth the entire time since we discussed it and he promised to quit. I got my things packed up, and I moved back to my Mom and Dad’s house. Within two weeks, he was begging me to come back, apologizing like crazy, and promising that this time he would really quit this time. He had been going to meetings since the day I left, he claimed. My parents tried so hard to talk me in to staying with them and not going back, but I felt like I needed to make one last effort to keep our family together. I wanted my son to grow up with his Mom and his Dad together, like I had. It’s very important for a child to have both parents in the home, and I intended to do everything right with my son. I returned back to my son’s birth father. The very first night we got back he and I got into a huge fight, and I was immediately regretting deciding to come home, and I just laid in bed and cried and cried and cried. But after I couldn’t cry anymore, I laid there and told myself that I needed to keep myself from getting upset and stressed out, or my baby would feel it. I decided to make the very best of this and to try and make things right between his father and I before he was born.

The night of my first Lemaz Class, I found another stash of his crystal meth. I was very taken by surprise. We ended up missing that first class because we were yelling and screaming in the car (he talked me in to still going to the class) so bad that he flipped a you-ey and went back home. It was that night that I found out what kind of person he really was: he told me that if he “wanted to smoke meth”, he would do it; if he wanted to go party, he would do it. I had never seen this side of him. When four hours went by and he still wasn’t back home, I went up to our neighbor’s apartment upstairs and knocked on the door and was shocked when several half-naked gorgeous girls came to the door. He was inside sitting on the couch. I was certain from that moment on that he had been messing around on me. I completely lost all trust in him and the remainder of our relationship, I didn’t believe a word he said.

My son was born November 30, 1994; he was nearly four weeks early when he arrived, and it was a result of my developing toxemia during the end of my pregnancy. I was induced in order to prevent any harm to him or to me during delivery. He weighed just 5 lbs 2 oz. at birth, and dropped down to 4 lb 14 oz. while in the hospital. Three weeks later, his birth father went out a bought me a diamond wedding set, and asked me to marry him. I said yes, but I was not excited. I wasn’t happy with him. I actually went through the motions of planning our wedding but I knew deep down the entire time that it wouldn’t happen. I don’t know how I knew, I just knew.

When my son, Kodey, was just two months old, I started back to school, going to American River College, and taking Psychology classes and general education. I wanted to be an Adolescent & Child Psychologist when I finished Graduate school someday. I wanted to help children with behavioral and emotional problems and disorders. Most importantly, I wanted to be a fabulous Mommy to my little boy. I was 19 years old when he was born but I was very ready to be a mother and felt that I was very mature for my age; looking back, I really was. I was not like other girls my age.

In February 1996, when my son was fourteen months old, I had had it when his loser sperm-donor of a father didn’t come home from partying one night and didn’t call (we didn’t have cell phones back then). I also discovered he had taken my bank card and stolen $200.00 out of it. I had just gotten paid, and that was our food for the week. Kodey was underweight and was on a special formula with a very high fat and protein content; it was nearly twice as expensive as other formulas. His sperm donor didn’t even apologize, nor did he feel bad. I knew that weekend I had to get out of there as soon as possible.

A few weeks later, he didn’t come home again. When he got home, I could tell he was high as a kite. When he started telling me how fat and ugly I am, I called my mother and father and asked them to please come down and help me get my things. They knew that was the last time I would be spending a night next to the sorry piece of work. As I packed my things, he attempted to pick fight after fight with me, and when I didn’t let him, it only aggravated him even more. My parents made a 45-minute drive in about 20-minutes because I think they were terrified I would change my mind. He was yelling and cussing right in my ear the entire time and I did my very best to tune him out and ignore his every word. When my parents arrived, he tried to tell them how awful I am and how I do everything wrong, and my Dad got right up in his face and, nose-to-nose, told him that I was the best thing that had or that ever would happen to him. He turned and went upstairs until we were done. As I walked out of the door for the very last time, he went to throw one of my Precious Moments figurines I had missed while packing; right as he threw it down and it broke into hundreds of tiny pieces, I gathered my fingers up in my hand and made the best fist I could muster up, and I socked him right square in the mouth. I can’t even tell you how amazing that punch felt. The look that he had on his face that night after I punched him, was priceless. That’s the stuff you see on greeting cards.

I have often wondered what my life had been like if I had stayed with him and raised my son with him. The guy became more and more of a loser the longer we were together. By the time I left him for good, he had quit his job doing refrigeration and heating/air conditioners to sell Rainbow Vacuums. He had been working at it for weeks when I left, but he hadn’t sold a single vacuum. Later that year, in June, soon after my 20th birthday, he wanted to have Kodey one more time before heading out of state to get away from everyone he did drugs with. He never saw Kodey again, and he never paid me a dime in child support.

I am extraordinarily happy with how things turned out. Every time I tell that story, people marvel over how strong I was for being able to leave. It’s amazing what you do and what you’re able to do, once you become a mother. Every thing that I did, was for Kodey; every decision I made, I asked myself how it would affect Kodey, and would it be a positive decision for Kodey. If I didn’t feel 98% certain it would be a positive decision for my son, I didn’t do it. I have always been very proud of my decision to get out of that relationship when I did. I did not want my son to be raised by a drug-addicted piece of dirt, and that’s all he was to me. He was such dirt that he stole my engagement ring he gave me, rather than letting me have it so that I could buy things for our son–he bought drugs with the money he got for pawning it.

Leaving that person and closing the door on that part of my life was the best and smartest decision I believe I have ever made.

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