October 17, 2009

My Ultimate Cross

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. You may wonder why my oldest son Marky doesn’t have a name that begins with the letter “J”. The truth is I had him when I was 19 and he belongs to a guy I met in college. I only dated his father for a little over a month before becoming pregnant.

Lesson 24: getting pregnant to someone you barely know = white trash

What could be more shameful than that? Can she top it? Yes, she can! Another fact I hate to admit is that I also don’t have custody of him.

Lesson 25: a mother not having custody of her child = white trash

Now I know what you all must be thinking. You’re thinking I have to be some sort of crack head or prostitute because those are the only reasons a mother loses her child, but let me tell you, I know of some people who were drug addicts and prostitutes and they seemed to have had better luck than me.

I don’t remember much from my first mediating session. I do remember my mom telling me that morning, on the phone, to be sure to take a car seat because Marky would most likely be coming home with me. Surely no one would take a baby from their mother. WRONG!

I had no idea what I was in for. I was 20 years old, for crying out loud, why would I have any idea what it was like to fight for custody? I had recently gotten out of a relationship that was toxic to everyone involved. I was entirely too young and my mental and emotional state were too battered to be prepared for what I had to endure.

I don’t remember anything other than his dad telling me I was a bad mother and then hearing I no longer had custody of Marky. I’ve blocked the rest from my memory. It was the most painful thing I have ever been through. I blocked it the same way I blocked my motorcycle accident in 5th grade, which resulted in a concussion.

The next couple of years I fell into a deep depression, leading to mental regression and a drinking problem. My mom so lovingly calls this time and the year or so prior, “the dark ages”. I couldn’t see past the pain and embarrassment. I had given up on everything.

How did I recover? It took my grandfather to flat out tell me “Oh Jessie, get over it.” It was like being doused in cold water. I realized I was only a victim because I allowed myself to be. I had two options, to learn and become stronger or let it destroy me completely, and it had destroyed me long enough.

This was around the same time Adam and I got back together, and the pieces of broken life started to fall into place. I was able to obtain more visitation rights, which was wonderful. After I stopped blocking the pain and had come out of my nightmarish dream state, my lawyer explained that I could have had custody, but I signed my rights away. He said that he told me these things at the mediating session, but I seriously don’t recall anything like that. I really wish I had someone there for support who could have explained things in a manner my 20 year old emotionally drained brain would have understood, but there is nothing I can do about it now.

With God’s help, I have been able to heal and accept my path. I have learned so much from this experience, and have ultimately become a stronger person. It may not have turned out the way I would have liked, but it ended up the way it was supposed to. I may not know all of God’s reasons, but he does grant me little insights that humble me and make me say, “Oh, I see.”

One time I had a friend, who is very actively pro-choice, say to me in a snide manner, “Oh you’re pro-life aren’t you?”
I smiled and said, “Yes.”
For some reason she felt she had to plead her case. I don’t even know why this topic came up. “Well, you don’t know what it’s like for these women to be pregnant in a bad situation.”
(A lot of my friends forget about Marky because he’s not always around.)
I looked her in the eye and said, “Yes, I do.” Then I sat back in my chair and said, “Let’s talk about something else.”

This definitely hasn’t been easy, and I may only sleep well when Marky is peacefully perched in his top bunk in the room he shares with his only brothers, but I’m going to remain thankful that despite all the hardships I chose life.

No comments:

Post a Comment