Been a while since I last blogged, and there is so much to inform you about. Just as a warning this blog post will be discussing suicide, so this is your cue to leave if suicide is a trigger for you.
Let me first start by saying that life has been challenging lately. There has been a series of unfortunate events happening consecutively and, in all honesty, my mental, spiritual, & physical health has been on the line. Usually, I remain positive and try to focus on the long-term outcome but when your children endure any type of pain; it changes you. My firstborn son has struggled with bullying for over a year. Just so you have an idea of who my firstborn is I would like to describe him to you. I call him “A”, he’s eleven years old with the soul of an old man, he is intelligent beyond his years, there is nothing he will not do for his siblings or anyone that he loves, his smile brightens up a room, his laughter is contagious, and he has dance moves like MJ! To sum it all up my son is a special little boy and he made me a woman! “A” was my first child. I named him Aidan “the fiery one” because during my entire pregnancy Aidan was always active in my belly. During my pregnancy with Aidan, I experienced mental, emotional, & physical abuse. I was 37 weeks pregnant when my then-husband pushed me to the floor onto my nine-month belly. After the domestic violence incident during my 37th week, Aidan stopped moving, and I had to receive a non-stress test regularly until I was induced. After being in labor for over 14 hours Aidan came into this world hollering. I’ll never forget looking over at my 8lb 15oz baby boy and just crying. I could not believe the baby that I carried for 42 weeks was here in the flesh. Aidan was my “little friend”, which sounds weird right, but I talked to my baby all the time when I was down. Everything I did was for my “A” I attended college during my entire pregnancy, and I was also in the military. Before Aidan entered this world, I had already made up my mind that he would never experience trauma as I did… & boy was I wrong!
I divorced Aidan & his younger brother’s dad after five years of marriage because one day I had an epiphany. One day I woke up and had enough arguing, fighting, cheating, and disrespect. One day I woke up and choose myself. I never knew this choice would lead me down this path. If I could give you all any advice it would be “know who you are procreating with!” I did not give myself the proper amount of time to know this man and that is why my children, and I are now suffering the consequences of my actions. I thought divorce meant freedom, but my experience has been the opposite. My ex-husband is vindictive, and I know this because everything he does is an attempt to get my attention, belittle me, blame me, or hurt me through my kids. Over the years I have been in trauma recovery therapy, and it has helped me cope and better understand that his behaviors have nothing to do with me. The sad part about the divorce is Aidan was old enough to see the dysfunction and it has traumatized him to the point he now says comments like, “why can’t ya’ll just co-parent mommy.” Aidan believes that his dad and I being cordial is easy. My son is innocent and does not understand the reasons I prefer to keep contact and communication at a minimum with his dad. The only thing Aidan knows is he wants all his family together. In the beginning, I often felt guilty for divorcing because I planned to try to stay until our children were at least teenagers. I tried to stay “for the kids” but I was miserable and not happy at all. Staying for the kids started to affect my kids negatively. Our youngest son does not remember, but Aidan was old enough to understand and that breaks my heart. I never wanted my children to go through a divorce or a broken home. If I knew that a broken home would lead to my son being diagnosed with mental illnesses and feeling inadequate, I would have made some different decisions in my life. Truth be told we can not change our past, and should only focus on making our future better.
Therefore, over the last 3 years, I chose to forgive and move forward for myself. Forgiveness meant I stopped focusing on all my ex-husband did to me and made my kids the priority. I have supported their bio-dad being active in their lives since we divorced. I am not a “bitter baby mother.” All I ask is that we follow the decree and be respectful to one another. I noticed even when I bend over backwards to make the co-parenting work; my ex-husband always find a way to make a problem. He is oppositional to any and everything I say, and I understand now that he is vindictive, bitter, and stuck on how our relationship ended. The interesting fact about this entire situation is that for six months straight my ex will be a “super-dad” he will pay support, send items for the kids, be patient, act kind and respectful, and be an “active” dad. Then just randomly he starts to slack again and become disrespectful. Switching between kindness and back to rudeness has been a cycle over the last seven years and this year I just had enough! This year 2022 I decided I will no longer be disrespected and verbally abused. In my opinion, children must learn to adapt, and a part of adapting is to understand that mom and dad are divorced and are not best friends but we both love you unconditionally and will always love you. That being said, the boundaries I set this year must have triggered my ex because he started his narcissistic behavior again. We have been meeting at the same drop-off for the last five years and he just decides randomly without proper notice that he can not meet my husband at the drop-offs anymore. Initially, my husband showed up to the drop-off and just showed proof he was not here just in case this issue came up in court. My husband and I never knew this incident on top of the bullying would send our son into a pediatric psych facility for a suicide attempt.
As I am writing this, I am still in disbelief that our son wanted to end his life. What hurts the most is I thought I “knew” my son. Aidan had expressed that the bullying was a lot and I thought informing school administrators, calling the cops, and supporting him would make things better. I was wrong. Aidan felt like it all was too much for him, and he decided he rather not live anymore. For Aidan, the burden of being bullied and being abandoned by his bio-dad was just too much. After Aidan’s attempt, he was admitted to a facility for pediatric psych patients. Immediately after his bio-dad was notified the narcissism began. Although their bio-dad has never in the last seven years attended a doctor’s appointment or cared who their teacher was or what was happening in their lives; all of the sudden he wants to be involved in everything. I encourage him to be involved with our boys, but what baffles me is that he comes into the situation and attempt to tell me what I should or should not do for our son. He started saying he would like to meet and talk, he wants us to do better for the kids, and he wants to be actively involved. Now, at first, I was ecstatic, because I believe it takes a village to raise a child; but I immediately had a sense of sadness and stress come over me because I know their dad lacks consistency and he often makes promises that he do not keep, and I fear that the inconsistency will send out oldest son over the edge and cause him more mental stress. So as a “mama bear” my first instinct is to protect my cub. Part of protecting my cub is enforcing the boundaries. I told the boy’s dad that he can be as involved as he wants, but that will not include him calling or texting me day and night, unnecessary meetings, or any communication outside of our children. It seems harsh but the inconsistency and lack of boundaries are something that I must not allow for my own mental health. I can not allow this man to curse me out, control me, and blame me anymore. I will leave the door open for him to build relationships with his children but in this situation, my only part is to step back and support my children.
Supporting Aidan has been easy because I understand what it is like to struggle with mental illness, I understand not having a full-time active bio-dad, I understand being bullied simply because you are different, and I understand wanting to die so bad that you attempt to end it all. I understand because I have been in Aidan’s shoes, the only difference is that I did not have the support system and village that Aidan has. Aidan will be attending therapy regularly, participating in in-school counseling, having support persons on his school campus, and he is now on a new medication to help him cope. I am elated to have my baby back home, but I have also been overwhelmed, doubting myself, blaming myself, and simply not okay. I am not okay! This has been one of the hardest experiences of my life. Never in a million years did I think suicide would knock at my door and affect one of my babies. If I could give any advice to anyone going through something similar, I would say be sure that you are taking care of yourself; especially when your main responsibility is caring for others. Over the last three weeks I have felt mentally tired, and physically burned out. I am still not sleeping that well, and I often worry about my son’s mental health and what he is thinking or feeling. When you are a mom whether you carry the baby or not; there is this unspoken connection between you and your offspring, and when your offspring hurts it causes the mother to mentally and physically suffer. The bond of a mother and child cannot be examined in words. No words can explain how I feel about any of my children.
The love for my children has led me to where I am right now while I am writing this blog. I am now at a point of releasing the things I can not control and living in the moment because life is so precious and short. I have promised myself to live more and be unapologetically me more often. I did something major tonight! I started fresh and chopped off all my hair. I believe that hair holds energy and I needed a fresh start. While the hair was failing, I felt like a burden had been lifted off of my shoulders. Cutting off my hair was the fresh start I needed. My main focus now is believing in myself, loving myself, doing what I love, setting boundaries, and living life to the fullest. I just want to continue spreading awareness about mental illness and being an advocate of mental illness because I know the struggle and if I just help one person, I have done what I aimed to do. If you are reading this and struggling mentally, I will attach some resources below; but please get help if you are struggling. You are not alone in this, so many of us are internally dying inside and too scared to ask for help. Ask for help. REMEMBER…It is okay to not be okay!
Talk to you all soon,
Follow this link for tips and resources: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ca0N-p-P5v0/?utm_medium=copy_link