I will never stop fighting

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He was 24, I was barely 18. I got shitfaced the first time we hung out and he didnt take me home, instead he put me to bed, his bed, where the night is still a blur. All I know is when I woke up in the morning I had to find my shirt and piss like no tomorrow.

I hadn’t been being a very “good” daughter. Staying out, not giving a shit about myself or my life. I didnt want my parents and my sisters to think I was sleeping around so I started dating him. That was the first time I let him think that he could do whatever he wanted to me.

I’ll admit, I was lonely. I had never had an actual boyfriend in my 18 years of life. Hell my first kiss was the last day of my senior year. After that kiss I craved being loved. After that relationship went down hill I stopped caring. I stopped respecting myself. Thus bringing us to my first “boyfriend”. We didnt make it to one year before I broke up with him. I wanted someone else. Actually I wanted anyone but him. I couldn’t and still can’t understand what happened that first night and I don’t know if I actually want to. I mean just knowing what happened between us when I was sober, when I was woken up from my sleep with him on top of me. I dont want to know what I can’t remember.

A few months later we reconnect, the guy I liked had a girlfriend and again I was lonely. How’s the saying go? Love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely. I wish I had known that then. It only lasted a few months this time. I was distant, so very distant and secretive. I wouldn’t stay over like I used to. Instead I started hanging out with a friend, yes he was a guy friend. I started sleeping over at his house, in his bed. And while nothing happened between us because I did have a boyfriend, that boyfriend was finally done with me being distant. He was angry, so very angry. And I shut down, that’s what I do when I’m getting yelled at. I just shut down. He screamed and he threw things and the one thing that will stick with me is he called me weak “just like [his] father.” And just like that, we were over once again. I drove to my friends house in tears, not because we were over but because of his words and actions. I was grateful I didn’t have to break up with him a second time, shortly after the first time. Instead I fell hard for this guy that let me into his life. But I’m the one that fell. Once he told me he didn’t have feelings, he pushed me away. And all I knew, was that it was karma. What comes around, goes around.

On Christmas I got a text. My ex wanted to wish me a merry Christmas. I should have let it go. Ignored it, deleted it and him. But I didn’t. I said thank you and he asked if we could meet. And around again like a merry go round. The amount of times we had broken up and gotten back together, each time being shorter than the last. This last time was different. He was clingy, so very clingy. The last time we had sex, I told myself never again. Do not let him in. This was the end of February now and all he had to say was one thing to make me come to this conclusion.. “Oops”

We had been off and on for 2 years at this point. And the one time he knew there would never be anything long term between us, knowing I wasn’t on birth control, he “forgot” to pull out and laughed and muttered that one word. “Oops.” And just like that I was completely done. I slowly pushed him away after that. Hoping to anyone that would listen in the universe that I wasn’t ovulating because as the calendar should have been right, it was wrong and as cliche as it sounds, that one time was all it took. I was a week late when I took a test that confirmed it. And I turned on the shower and just cried. I cried until I had nothing left in me but numbness. And then I called my therapist, the woman who knows me inside and out since I was 13 yrs old. I told her I didn’t want his baby and she took me through the steps. I got off the phone with her and I called. I was still early so they wouldn’t be able to do anything for 2 weeks. I carried a baby, that only I knew about for 2 weeks and when they called to confirm my appointment, I cancelled it. Because during that two weeks, I had a child growing inside of me. I was caring for and supporting a baby. A baby that I had wanted since I was 16 years old. I had MY baby growing inside me. It wasnt his baby at that point. It was mine. And I wasn’t going to let him take my baby away from me, just because he put it there.

I carried this baby for a month and a half after I cancelled that appointment before I told anyone. And when I did it was only a select few people. The first, besides my therapist, being a co worker. Then my parents and then my job since there was so much that I was doing that I really shouldn’t have been, anesthesia, litter boxes, x-rays. And then I told my ex. I honestly was hoping he would walk away, leave us alone. I dont know why I told him. I think its my biggest regret. I should have just let it go. The first thing he said to me, mind you we hadn’t been together for a couple months was “So what? Do we get married now?” I looked at him and flat out said no.

Keeping my baby was the second biggest time I let him think he could do anything he wanted to me. He knew what he was doing when he said “oops” and the marriage statement proved it.

During the next months, he was in and out, checking in when he felt like it. It wasn’t until I became sick and had to be hospitalized my family got extremely concerned for the baby and contacted him and told him he had to be there because they didn’t know what was going on. A kidney blockage and infection, my precious little baby butthead was pushing on my ureter and blocked the flow from my kidney to my bladder. Because of this I was also producing crystals and needed a kidney stent placed and replaced every 4 weeks. The last half of my pregnancy I was in pain and in and out of the hospital. And he was no where, every single stent placement.

My last ob appointment they told me I was due “yesterday” they had told me I was measuring a week early but they had never told me that they actually changed my original due date. When I left the office, I listened to a wives tale and jumped in the elevator. That night I lost my “plug”Ā  and I woke up at 4am on Halloween because I could no longer sleep through the contractions. My sisters and I timed contractions all day long and when 12pm came and they were not getting any closer we drove to the hospital. They gave me something to sleep because I hadn’t slept in almost 24 hrs and there’s no way I was pushing a baby out on no sleep. I was barely dilated so we still had some time. I woke up at 7 am and although contractions were getting worse I still wasn’t progressing but because I was already there and admitted they weren’t sending me home. Around lunch time my midwife came in to check how we were doing and they decided it was time to break my water and that’s when I gave my sisters the okay to call him.

My gorgeous, 7lb 6oz healthy, baby girl was born at 2:56pm, medication free, and while it was only 3 o’clock in the afternoon it was the longest day ever.

Jessie-Rae is the most loving, kindest, funniest soul I’ve ever met. She is the soul I’d been searching for, the soul that would complete me. And that’s exactly what she did. For the first time in my life I was okay, I was okay being by “myself” because I had her. Everything I do, I do for her. I was 21 when she was born. I gave up my 21st birthday for her. I gave up my nights, my breasts, my body. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am the one that chose to keep her, who birthed her, the one that stayed up at night with her, nursed her. I have kissed her boo boos and calmed her from her nightmares. Held her when she was inconsolable. I am the one who paid for swim lessons and took her to each one, every single day for 5 weeks. I am the one who took and paid for her toddler classes so she could play and interact with kids her own age as she isn’t in daycare. I am the one that drives everywhere with her in the car because if something were to happen, even if it was another cars fault, and she got hurt, I would never forgive who ever was driving. I am not your average 24 year old mother to a 3 year old child. I don’t go to the bar, I don’t go to parties unless they are baby friendly and she can tag along, I don’t go out on weekends. I’ve only ever left her one night and I woke up and went home to her at 4 am because I couldn’t stand being away from her any longer. I got an order of protection against my own blood, my father in order to protect her. I would do anything to keep her from harms way, go to any length for her. For the past 3 years its been me.

I now have a boyfriend, we have been together for over 2 years, 2 steady years, none of that on and off bullshit. We have our very own first apartment together, where Jessie was finally able to have the “nursery” she deserved, that my father forbid. I have a full time job and a reliable car.

He is almost 30 years old, a year after she was born he lost his job as a manager and had to move home with his mother and step father. He now works part time at a bar and driving his step dad’s car because his shit the bed for the last time. He pays $30 a week, if he pays for child support. Now that we’re in court for custody he has been granted overnights where she sleeps in his bedroom. The same man that took advatage of me being so young, time and time again. But it doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist because I didnt report it. I didnt report it because he was my boyfriend. The same man that locked his co worker in the office and tried to take advantage of her. But it doesn’t exist because she didn’t report it. She didn’t report it because nothing actually happened. She was stronger, confident, and respected herself more than I did. She said no and she meant no.

And now you know why I’ve been fighting so hard for him to not have overnights, not to have more time than the 3 days a week he has seen her since she’s been born. Especially knowing he is in the same bedroom as my most valuable gift. No supervision. But my fighting to protect her is making me the bad guy. The more I fight the more it looks like I don’t want him in her life. I’ve been told that they could switch custody soley because of that. But what am I supposed to do? I’ve been fighting to protect her since the day she was born. From my own father and hers. From the same fate I had because of these men.

She is the one I choose. For the rest of my life. I will choose her, until the day I die, and even then, I will still choose her.

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