I graduated high school in 2014, and I had been working at a local restaurant since 2012. My plan was to go to the state university and study one of my favorite majors, theater. I was planning on working throughout the summer, and then going to college. I was dating a really great guy, and everything seemed to be going well. Until he started working there, we'll call him Mark; Mark was 31, I was 18. He had two kids with someone else, but as far as I knew they were not together. I did a stupid thing, and I kind of believe that what happened to me was karma. I cheated on the sweetest guy in the world, who was going to my college and living in the same dorm building, amd slept with Mark... In my car... In the parking lot of where we worked. I look back on it now, and I'm disgusted with myself. Why the hell would I ever even touch him?
I think the biggest part of it was because I was terrified to go to college. He was convincing me not to go, saying he needed me. I thought he loved me. He loved the thought of bragging to his friends that he was banging the hot, young chick at work. He loved not having to go home to his children and baby mama. He loved that I made him feel young. He loved that I was blind. He loved that I was stupid; it was easier to manipulate me that way.
So, I didn't go to college. I stayed, because he wanted me to. I went to orientation, and was consumed by this overwhelming anxiety. (Little did I know at the time that I actually do have anxiety and major depression. I was diagnosed a few years after this story). Orientation confirmed for me that I wasn't ready, and it didn't help that he was whispering in my ear to not go. I kept my job at the restaurant, and moved in with him, because my parents didn't want me to see him. My mother was away for work, but my dad and his wife lived in town. They took my phone and got me a cheap ass WalMart phone. They took my car and only let me tske my dads car places, and they tracked everything. I felt like I was a prisoner, so I left. Like an idiot. I moved into a house. with him and two other guys it was a tiny house, and most nights people stayed who didn't even live there. It was a party house. We were up all night, slept all day, and worked in the evenings. It was the party life, without a doubt. Mark and I would smoke pot, getting higher than hell, and then we'd enjoy ourelves. But that was the only time we ever enjoyed ourselves. He had/has a problem. He was a total asshole unless he was fucked up. At first he was super sweet, like they always are, and I really fell for him.
Eventually, his baby mama found out who I was, and that bitch was crazy. One night after work, I was driving my dad's car and I wasn't supposed to be seeing him. He met me after work and we were out back smoking a cigarette, just talking and enjoying each other's company. All of a sudden, his baby mama comes out of the brush with a fucking knife. She tried to stab me. She was going to kill me. Mark pushed me out of the way, and she ended up grazing him. I ran back into the building, and called one of my bosses, and good friends while the manager called the cops. I was hysterical. I couldn't speak through my sobs. But you know what? He protected her when the cops came, and she didn't get arrested. Fucking. Ridiculious. I should've known then, but he would always tell me things like, "she's the mother of my child," and other things I couldn't question because they were "honorable" motives. He manipulated me like a master. I was the puppet, he was the puppeteer. He made me believe he loved me. Surprise, surprise, he didn't. He started getting emotionally abusive first. Cheating on me, lying to me, telling me I was trash, and just spewing words of pure hate almost every day. When I would try to leave though, he would blow up my phone. He would find me and take me home. That's when I knew that I was trapped.
Fast forward a few months, and the first physical abusive act happened. At this point, I was an empty shell of pure anxiety. I was afraid to touch him, because it might piss him off. I was terrified to speak my mind, because he might leave me on the side of the road in the middle of the night... In the middle of no where... Yeah, that happened. I was scared to even move. I was trapped. Absolutely trapped. My family hardly spoke to me, and he worked where I did. People would talk if I told anyone of them there, and not in a good way. He had family working there, like, I was screwed. I felt so alone. One night I went to a friends house after work, and Mark was still at work. He wanted me to wait for him to get off, but he wasn't scheduled to get off for another four or five hours. So I went to my friends, who lived in town. Mark and I had fought about me leaving, and I was pissed. I went to my friends house and drank all her mom's beer, and I'm a light weight. So I was fucked. I called an ex from high school, bawling my eyes out and just saying I'm sorry. It was a mess. I ended up getting a ride back to his place because I wanted to get my stuff and take a shower. He didn't have a car and it would be a long time before he could get back to the house. But the house was locked, and I didn't have a key. So, I entered through a window. But. he ended up getting a ride, and he came back as soon as I started the shower. He was LIVID! He took my phone and read text messages from guys I had texted, and he lost it. He threw my phone across the room, pushed me down so hard that I knocked down the shower curtain and bruised my leg. He grabbed me by my hair and threw me onto the couch in the living room. He screamed in my face, telling me how worthless and stupid I was. How much of a whore I was. How I had ruined his whole life. Throwing shit at me and hitting me in my arms the whole time. I was drunk and terrified. Threw up everywhere. That pissed him off too. He pushed me down and smushed my face into my vomit. Then threw me into the bathroom and told me to wash my nasty ass.
I should've left then. I should've ran, vomit and all, but I was so fucking scared. I showered. I made him dinner. And then he made me have sex with him that night. I didn't even want to be in the same room as him, much less let him inside me every again. But he did, and he continued to take what he wanted from me for another six months.
During those six months, he beat me, belittled me, terrorized me, and quit his job; which led to me giving him my entire paycheck, which he would blow on dumb shit and drugs. I just let it happen, because I was so fucking terrified, every day.
Eventually, my time came though. He was leaving for two weeks to work out of town. By now, it's January 2015, and we had been evicted from our house, so we moved to his dad's up the street... And his dad was even worse than him. He never laid a hand on me, but he did something worse. He brought Mark's baby mama to live with us. Which, by the way, she was 9 months pregnant, with Mark's baby by January 2015. So, it was me, Mark, Mark's dad, Mark's dad's nasty old lady, Mark's baby mama, and Mark's two kids. Living in a three bedroom trailer. One bedroom was an actual junk room. One wad Mark's dad's room, and the other belonged to a nephew that moved out years prior. All his stuff was still in there, and he was a messed up guy. The room was a fifthy mess. The house was a fight mess. There were cockroaches and other garbage bugs everywhere, not to mention serious bed bug infestation. Mark and I slept on the couch, but most nights we stayed up all night, killing bed bugs and keeping them off the children. It. Was. A. Miserable. Life. And. I. Wanted. Out.
When Mark left in January, so did I. I got a hold of my dad and he came and got me. All my stuff was in trash bags, but I left most of it. It struck terribly and was probably infested with bed bugs. I got back to my dads, showered, cleaned all my clothes, and I was starting to feel normal. (They also didn't have hot water for most of the time I lived there. I was a fucking mess)...
But then he found out that I left. He was livid. Blowing up my phone. Texting me like crazy. I had to shut off my phone.
I moved back in with my mom after that, but eventually Mark came back. He visited me on Valentine's Day, and he made me have sex with him again. I couldn't get away from him. He knew where I was all the time. I had no idea what to do.
Until February 23rd came. I wasn't feeling well, and my mother is a registered nurse midwife, so pregnancy was something I was very educated in... So I got a pregnancy test, just to be careful... My heart stopped. It was positive. I froze. This isn't real. This isn't happening to me. I'm 19, living in my mom's house, working at a local restaurant, and the child's father is a monster. I was in shock. So, I don't know why, but I called my aunt. Little did I know that she was with my other 3 aunts... on speaker phone... but she had been through this before. She calmed me down, and told me that I had to tell my parents... So, I sent them both a picture message of the positive pregnancy test. My mother wasn't mad that I was pregnant, just mad about who had gotten me pregnant; but so was I!! My Dad was livid at first, and disowned me for about five minutes until he called me back and lectured me. My mom gsve me and ultimatum, that to stay living in her house, with this child, I would need to go to college. So that month I signed up for online classes.
Then I called Mark. You know what he said? When I called him a sobbibg mess to let him know that I was carrying his child?? "Great. Have a great fucking day," *click* ... What? Now I have to do this alone? And for the first few weeks I was a disaster... but then things started to slowly change. My family was talking to me again. I was on my way to getting a degree. I got a car, and I started to better myself, because hearing that littke tiny heartbeat changed my life, forever. I started standing up for myself, and making choices for myself. I told Mark that he could be in the baby's life, but I didn't want to be with him. I spent my nine months of pregnancy slowly distancing myself from Mark. It was a terrifying nine months. It was a difficult nine months. It was a life chaning nine months.
He only ever came to one doctors appointment, and never really showed interest in the baby. He didn't care about the baby, he just wanted me... Until he found out it was a boy. He made my life miserabke trying to get me to give the baby his last name. He basically threatened me to keep me from keeping my son away from him... But then I had the baby.
I went into labor at work, and worked four hours in labor. I went home on break, and my midwife mother checked ms out. This was it. I was in labor, but it was slow and just starting. We went for a walk around the town, and before we knew it my contractions were 3 minutes apart. The hospital I was delivering at was an hour and a half away, and I was having terrible back labor.
I spent the next six hours in my moms house, screaming and swaying on my hands and knees. My mom had a feeling something wasn't right, because I wasn't dialating past five centimeters. So at 10pm, we left. But not after a horrendous phone call with Mark. He was at work at a local pizza place, delivering pizzas. Woohoo... He followed us to the hospital, riding our ass with his lights in the entire time. I was in the passanger seat, which I had laid back as far as it would go, and every time I contracted I would turn around on my hands and knees and bite the shit out of the head rest.
We got to the hospital and all hell broke loose. There was my mother, my three best friends, my sister, her boyfriend, and Mark. They. All. Hated. Him. It didn'y help that he was asking stupid questions the whole time. I didn't want him there, but I didn't feel like I could stop him.
I got an epidural around 2:30-3:00am, and then everything got hazy. I was in and out of consciousness, because I was so physically drained. I woke up the next morning around 5:30am. Everyone was still there, sleeping somewhere. My sister was in her car because she couldn't stand the sound of my screams. my best friend and my mother were on either side of me, asleep against the bed, and my other twin friends were in the room next door, sleeping. But Mark was no where. He had left, and came back around 7:30am. At around 8:30am, the doctor came in and said I would have to have a C-Section. My son was not getting any lower, and he didn't look good. Mark said goodbye to me as they wheeled me down the hall, and said he was going to the store. Let me just point out that I had never had any type of surgery in my life, and my first one was going to be MAJOR!!! My organs were going to be moved around like uncooked meat, while my uterus was cut open, to bring A CHILD INTO THE WORLD!!!
But, I did it. I had my son, and he was perfect. He nursed like a pro from the start, and from my first look at him I knew that he was God's gift to me. God's gift of motivation, and determination.
The next day Mark returned. His son was already 24 hours old when he held him for the first time. The day after that he brought his other three kids, and asked me to take a picture of all of them together... I looked at that picture and saw my future. Constant hate, and worry. Constant fear for my son's safety. I couldn't do it.
The next day I ripped up the partial affidavit, and gave my son my last name. Mark isn't on the birth certificate, and hasn't spoken to me since my son was four months old; and he only spoke to me then because we happened to run into each other. He gave me $80 for the baby, and that was it. He stopped calling. He stopped texting. I started improving. I stayed in my mom's house, working at that same restaurant, and focused on my son, until everything changed in April 2016.
I met a man, a single father, we'll call him Joe. Joe and I met online, and we instantly clicked. We would talk all day, and he made me feel special. But I was cautious. Who wouldn't be after everything I went through? So, after talking for a while, we went on a date. And he was an angel sent from Heaven, and what I believe to be God's final life changing blessing for me. Joe took in my son as his own, and his family accepted us with open arms. It's now February 2018, and I'm sitting in the living room with Joe, we just put the boys to sleep, and I feel complete. I feel loved. I feel beautiful. I feel happy... Of course, it took me a long time to get here. Joe had to work so hard to earn my love and trust, but he got it. He is what a real man is. He's a hard working, honest, kind, wholesome man. He has loved me through the worse of my depression. He has loved me through my official diagnosis of anxiety and depression. He loved me through the nightmares. He loved me through all the pain I was hiding behind. He loved me back to normal. He loved me through my best friend's suicide. He loved me through it all, and he never gave up on me.
Now, I'm a little bit more than a year away from my degree, I live in an adorable, CLEAN home, I have great relationships with my friends and family, and I found my place in life; being a mom. Being a mother to my son has been the best, most exhausting, most life changing experience of my life. Without my son, I would probably be dead right now.
What I would like people to take away from this story is a few things, one; don't be an idiot. Use your brain. Think before you do. One careless choice could ruin your whole life. The second thing? No matter what you're going through, what choices you've made, YOU. ALWAYS. HAVE. A. CHOICE!!!! I was so mentally and physically destroyed that I felt like my right to have a choice was gone. You are NEVER trapped!!! Talk to someone!! There is help out there for you if you need it! And when you finally get to the other side of the rainbow, don't be afraid to live.