Posted by Anonymous.
I’m crying tonight. I’m sad tonight. I’m angry tonight.
It wouldn’t be so bad if those facts somehow distinguished tonight from the last and the one before that, but it doesn’t.
I want to rewind a bit, that for you the basement dwellers to know who I am.
I grew up in a small town, with 4 older brothers, two adoring parents who have been married 38 years now, two special grandmothers, and many friends. I did not dream anything that I wasn’t given the opportunity to accomplish. That said, life was never easy. I was adopted, and while my adopted parents were fantastic, I had a rough start in life, my fetal hood, and tiny baby hood (taken away by state at 2 months old) caused some nutritional issues that hold me still today. Depression has also followed me all the days of my life.
I got through school and chose to pursue a career in animal science, using it to breed horses, the kind I’ve ridden since I was almost 5, in horse shows. At the time I’d already been an assistant at my show barn and helped my coach in all the aspects of her job. I was hired there while attending school, I loved it. I thanked God everyday for giving me a job I’d always love.
Then it happened, one of my best friends up until that point and time had strayed a bit into drugs and alcohol and one day in 2002, when I was 20, she told me she was pregnant.
I was scared, she was still heavily using drugs, I was scared for her, for the baby. I took her in. I suddenly was keeping an apartment, buying everything, and caring for my friend. She promised to get help, and got on Methadone, but ended up using that on top of the other. The baby was taken 6 weeks early due to heart issues. Thankfully it ended up to be nothing. Then one day, when getting ready to leave for work, I noticed her baby, then only 3 weeks old was crying nonstop, I went to check on him and found a note.
She said she’d be back, a few days. My parents and I cared for him, we waited and waited, she came back, 10 months later. I was petrified the entire 9 months that I had him alone. Would the authorities find out? What if he got sick, I couldn’t take him to the doctor unless it was bad. Then the authorities would find out her abandonment. She came back she stayed a year, and then my health declined terribly. I was hospitalized in ICU for 14 days, and when I returned home she’d left with the boy, a boy that I had loved so much…losing him nearly killed me. I wouldn’t see them again for a year. Then I saw them off and on until October 2004, when she called to say she was pregnant again.
It was the same scenario different baby. Except this time she decided she didn’t want the children at all. Neither of them, she wanted to move on do college, start over, and naturally, me, who was up to my neck in a job that requires me to be able to work long hours, and travel, travel like I’ve always wanted too, was her choice to give the kids too. I’ve ridden horses in expeditions in places as far away as New Zealand and Australia (I’m from USA), it was a dream job.
I didn’t know what to do, but I will tell you, you don’t care for a baby for 9 months, you don’t sit up with him at night while he teethes, rock him when he’s cranky, stumble down the hall at 2am when he wants to play, and not love him. And holding that newborn in my arms I could not allow her to hurt them anymore. She signed over legal custody and continued her downhill spiral towards her eventual overdose and death, and I walked into life as a single mother of two, by default.
Sounds great right, and it partially is. Believe me, I don’t care what type of scars or stretch marks, no one out there has gone through more to get their babies than I have. I may not have labored physical pain but mentally I have walked the shattered wilderness more times than I needed. I am their mother, I can prove it…
I can change a diaper in the dark, even a dirty one, and I have walked the floor because it’s the only way he’d stop crying. I’ve been up all night with a newborn and up all day with a toddler. I have potty trained one, hopefully soon another. I have bought the clothes and dressed the kids, I have lost more socks than I could count, I’ve bottle fed and burped, showered in spit-up. I have cried while holding them for their shots. I’ve had to say no, to break up fights, to use timeout, to swat butts. I’ve been through lice, and chicken pox, and super poison ivy. I have done fevers of 105, and limp hot babies in my arm at er. I have done suppositories, and vomit. I’ve done 3 bed changes in one night. I’ve also chased behind the bicycle, explained why you have to wear helmets and sit in car-seats. I’ve done first day of preschool, most recently, I have done heartbreakingly: First Day Of Kindergarten.
I’ve done sleepless nights, more than one in a row. I’ve done ADHD, and fetal alcohol syndrome. I’ve done behavioral therapy, and speech therapy, and run them here, and him there, and him somewhere else. I’ve done soccer, and t-ball, and basketball. I’ve done skinned knees and broken hearts, a lot of the time my own.
I LOVE MY BOYS.
I hate my friend. She’s dead and I seem to hate her even more.
In her selfishness she hurt two little boys. She laid them off on me knowing I’d give up everything I’ve worked so ridiculously hard for, to work a kid compatible job I hate, to run them back and forth from this and that and another, to deal with their various issues which she gave them. She knew me, and she knew I’d do it. Sometimes, when I’m not looking at their beautiful faces, I wish I wasn’t that person, the one who said sure, I’ll drop everything, change everything, over night, say the word, and I’m there.
When the baby was born and I decided to take them both she called me her hero. I got rid of my 2 door sports car and upgraded to a 4 door highlander. I slowly over time cut back my barn hours from 40-60 hour weeks depending on shows, training, lessons planned, to next to nothing. I haven’t shown now in over a year. My life consist of laundry, and more laundry, and saying no, don’t hit your brother until I’m blue in the face.
I love my boys. I miss me. I worry. I worry about them, my 5 year old kindergartener can’t talk well enough for you to understand him. He’s been in speech therapy for 2 years now. He’s had surgery twice on his ears, probably another soon. He has adhd, which I help him control with breathing exercises, most likely he’ll require medication before long. He has FAS, and is socially awkward. His brother faired much better, he’s behind over all in everything, but I think he’s going to be okay eventually.
I was engaged at the time of taking in both boys and that engagement was broken off because the gentleman who was nice, didn’t want to be responsible for the boys. Most of my friends were barn people, and while they have gone on in search of the next great horse I’m stuck up to my eyeballs in diapers and fear.
Do you hear me, do you realize that people, maybe even people just like you have made me who I am? People in my own family act like I’m less of a mother because I did not bear my children. You were lucky, for the most part, so you had to labor and pained through that. Big fuggin deal, you also probably had a few months notice. You also probably had the ability to eat right and not fill your body drugs and alcohol and gave your babies half a chance. You probably didn’t have to give up literally everything, the man you loved, a job you loved, a lifestyle you loved, for an entirely different way of life, the very next day.
What really makes someone a mother? I’m so tired of not fitting in. But I don’t. My old friends want the old me. I can’t even find her anymore. I still love to ride, but now its an escape. I’m not excited about the next better horse I can ride, I just want to love this one. For this one to take me away, for the wind to blow my hair, for the smells of horse sweat and leather to become me again. Other young mothers in my area, have either heard how I unauthentic ally got my children or eventually find out somehow (remember small town gossip) and somehow the fact that I have not given birth, means that my worry will be different than everyone else’s, my hurt, my experiences raising children…different. My advice, useless.
Someone, someone other than my mom and dad please open your eyes and see my mommy badge. My little boys gave it to me, and maybe not when I gave them life, but their birth was the easy part, even for their mother. I’ve taught them to love, to be nice to animals, to care about people, I’ve held their hand through so many of life’s up and downs. I’ve been mama, and mommy. I’ve dried tears, I’ve known that fear when they cut loose from you in the parking lot, or run ahead a few isles in the store. I’ve done the mundane everyday things for almost 3 years now, and even some time before that. I was there when they felt their first major loss, when our dog died, and they hurt. Oddly they were there oddly enough a month and 10 days later when my aunt died in a freak accident, something that only happens in the movies, they had their own devastations then, but I sure held on to them for hope.
Please, someone please, don’t make me explain myself, explain my love. When I have another child, it won't be a child of my own, these are children of my own…they just didn’t grow under my heart, but in it.