16 Jan The Call That Changed My Life Forever
OK guys, so this is a very personal post for a lot of people. So personal, in fact, that I made sure to send a copy to all parties involved to make sure that everyone was comfortable with this post before it went live. Everyone approved. It’s lit. Let’s do this thang.
Remember when you were younger and you would plan out your picture perfect life in your head? Well, I planned my entire life out to a fucking T by the tender age of 10 years old…or so I thought. In that master plan, I was married by age 28 and my husband and I had two sons and a daughter (in that order) and we lived in a beautiful home with a wraparound porch and our dog, Spike. Let’s just say, shit didn’t go down quite like I had planned.
There was the birth of my first son. Then marriage. Then a divorce (yikes). Then another marriage and the birth of my youngest son. By now, most of you know I am the proud momma of three boys, CJ, Ashton and my bonus baby, Elijah (click here to learn more about Elijah), but you probably didn’t know that I have another bonus baby, my step-daughter, Eryn. So really, I ended up with one ex-husband, a husband, three boys and a girl…
just a tad different from my 10 year old self’s picture perfect fairy tale.
Technically, Eryn is no longer my legal step daughter because her father and I divorced 10 years ago, but that has never changed a thing for me and I don’t think it did for her either. I still consider myself her second mommy and I still love her as if she was my own child. Furthermore, she and my son, CJ, are completely obsessed with each other and have the most amazing relationship. You can never break a sibling bond; even through divorce. Looking back at how my journey into step-motherhood began, I am sometimes in awe at how everything has turned out. Let’s just say that life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. I know you have questions so let me explain.
If you’ve been following along with the blog, you know that I was a teen mom with my first son (for more deets on my first-born, click here). It all happened in a very whirlwind type of way. I was in California for college, was in a long distance relationship, got pregnant when he came to visit, moved back to Maryland, pissed my parents THEE FUCK off, and then gave birth to the love of my life, CJ. CJ’s father, Craig, and I stupidly got married and not because we thought we were ready for marriage, but because we thought it was best for our son. I’m not gonna lie, I put a lot of pressure on Craig to get married because I didn’t want to be another statistic. That was my first mistake…and it was a fucking huge one.
Before we dated and got married, Craig and I went to high school together. We knew each other but only in passing. Never did either of us think we would one day date; let alone get married and have a child. While we were in high school, Craig had a longtime girlfriend, Jania, and they were very much in love. I’m not quite sure of why or how their relationship ended, but after graduation they parted ways. However, they still kept in touch and dated on and off. I think most of us can agree that high school love is something that is very hard to shake.
In 2006, when CJ was born, social media was just starting to pick up. Back then, it wasn’t as easy to determine a relationship status or conduct any kind of undercover work to find out what your significant other may or may not have been getting themselves into. Long story short, there was a bit of back bouncing back and forth between Jania and I that we both were unaware of. Here’s where things got a little messy.
Just two months after CJ was born, I received a phone call from a mutual friend of Craig and I. She asked me how I was doing and if I was OK. I was very confused, because at this point I was very happy with the birth of my son and very happy in my relationship with Craig. She then proceeded to tell me that Jania was pregnant and it was Craig’s baby. I was completely dumbfounded.
How is this happening?
I’m literally with him all the time. How could he possibly get someone else pregnant?
He totally wouldn’t do this to me… right?
It didn’t make any sense whatsoever. Or maybe I just didn’t want it to. Either way, I brushed it off, and pretended that it wasn’t real. I told my friend that clearly that was a lie and I didn’t want to hear anything else about it. Big fucking mistake number two.
In the next coming months, things got tense AF. About four months into Jania’s pregnancy, I received a call from Jania herself. She was very upset that I heard about the situation, but did not believe it. I kept my cool and stated that if there was any truth to this whole situation, it would come to light when the baby was born. But until then, I had to stand by the father of my child and take his word for it. Can we say dumb-ass?
About seven months into Jania’s pregnancy, social media was booming. Every other day I was getting a message from our fellow high school classmates asking me what I was going to do and how I could just ignore what was so blatantly in my face. But again, I had no other reason to believe it to be true because Craig had never done anything to me to cause distrust.
It got very ugly. Things were said that can never be taken back. I said quite a few things that I truly wish I could take back and I’m sure that Craig and Jania feel the same about things they said. I won’t go in to detail, but just trust me when I say that shit hit the fan. We were behaving so out of character and I didn’t even know who I had become. I come from a family of EXTREMELY strong women who don’t take shit from anyone and here I was risking my dignity and reputation for a man? But again, all I could do was wait. I couldn’t just take Jania’s word and break up my family. I just couldn’t. You got it. Big ass mistake number three.
Two weeks before Eryn was born, it all came out. Funny things happen when a man is under pressure. Eight months later, I finally got the truth. He was guilty and I looked like an idiot.
So obviously, Craig and I broke up. I didn’t want to talk to him. I didn’t want to see him. Overall, my ego was very bruised. That lasted about six weeks. It’s crazy how when you’re a teenager you think more about how everyone views you, rather than what’s right. I felt so dumb and embarrassed that I need to redeem myself. I needed to show that I was on top and this was just a small obstacle that we could overcome (again going back to the “I don’t want to be a statistic” point). So somehow, in my goofball mind, I convinced myself that because we had just had a child, it was my job to make sure that my child and his father had a good relationship. And that could only happen if we were together.
Craig and I decided to try to work things out for CJ sake. I know. I know. This goes against every single thing that I stand for. I’m all about women taking up for themselves, being strong and not taking any shit from any man and here I am staying with someone who broke my heart and made me look like a fool. But you will do strange things for your ego. And you’ll do even stranger things for your kids. Not only did we get back together, we got married. Fuckin’ A.
Side Note- I don’t normally live with regret. However, on this rare occasion I wish I could go back in time and slap the shit out of myself. As I’m writing this, I am also checking Amazon for a time machine.
The day Jania went into labor with Eryn, I was fucked up to say the least. I only had Craig as the father of my child for nine months and now all of a sudden I would be sharing him with someone else? My son will be sharing him with someone else? I was definitely another statistic. Fuck.
It didn’t help that at this point Jania and I REALLY did not get along. I’m sure that she was even more upset with me because the truth had come out and I ignored it for the past nine months, but there was nothing either of us could do at this point. Our kids were siblings which meant we would be a part of each other’s lives forever.
Craig really wanted to see Eryn, so Jania agreed to let Eryn come over for about an hour one day. Imagine having to watch the father of your child hold his new baby. It was the hardest thing I had ever experienced. Everything happened so quickly and it was just so hard for me to process the fact that he now had two children. I just stayed upstairs and cried. It probably wasn’t the best thing for me to do, but I honestly could not face it yet. And it didn’t help that she was one of the most adorable babies I had ever seen in my life.
Those occasional visits from Eryn became sparser because Jania and I started to have very serious issues. By CJ’s second birthday, I realized that this wasn’t going to work for me. Jania and I had to talk face-to-face and settle this as women. I reached out to her and asked if we could meet up to talk. She agreed. Waiting for her to step into the restaurant was the most uncomfortable 10 minutes of my life. I had no clue how it was going to go, but I knew that we needed to talk. I knew that we at least needed to try to make this situation better for both of our children because the older that they got, the more they would noticed what was going on.
Jania and I sat and talked for two hours. We talked about the whole situation and the circumstances surrounding our current state. I expressed my frustrations and she expressed hers. We agreed that it was stupid for us to be upset with each other. That was the beginning of a trusting relationship between two moms who were growing up and putting their kids first. Things got a lot better between us and the kids. We communicated more often, made sure the kids were around each other frequently and very involved in each other’s lives.
Very soon after that conversation, Craig and I divorced. I loved CJ more than life itself, but I had become so unhappy with my situation and my character. This wasn’t something I was willing to move forward with just for my child’s sake.
Sometimes it’s better for the child to be in separate, happy homes rather than under one miserable roof.
I felt like I had failed. I felt like I let my family down. I felt like I let my son down. At the same time I felt free. I was myself again and free to make decisions based solely on myself and my son. The future was so bright. Even though I had let go of so much, I gained a daughter. Oddly enough, it wasn’t until Craig and I divorced that I got so close to Eryn. It’s weird how sometimes you have to completely remove yourself from a situation before you can see the blessing hidden inside. Eryn was that blessing.
I love Eryn very much. I love her random FaceTime calls where she shows me her outfits or her new hairstyles. I love that we never say goodbye without telling each other we love each other. I love the fact that CJ goes over Jania’s house or Eryn comes over mine and Jania and I are completely comfortable with it. But overall, what I love the most is that CJ and Eryn are 100% crazy about each other. The love they share is so pure and genuine that you would think they see each other every single day. Even if they go weeks without seeing each other in person, they pick up right where they left off. Like I said, nothing can ever break a sibling bond. Especially theirs.
Now for those of you looking at Craig like he is the bad guy, he’s not. He’s actually a really good person who made a mistake or two when he was a teen. Imagine being 18 in that situation. I’m pretty sure no one can honestly say they would’ve handled it perfectly. Regardless of what happened in the past, Craig and I have a very good relationship now. He’s an awesome dad who takes care of both of his children and he loves them dearly. That’s all that matters.
So if you are in a similar situation, keep in mind that your children should always come first. Your actions are always being watched by your little ones and the things you do and say can never be retracted. Know that you will get through this in due time, no matter how difficult or messy the situation is. Your child is growing and learning by your guidance. Show them that they are what matters. Their sibling(s) are what matters. Don’t be that person who tries to break their bond. Be the bigger person and put your child(ren) first.
Whew! That was a lot, huh? LOL. Well that’s my story! Any mommas out there who can relate?