On our way back home from fishing, our friends in the car in front of us started spinning tires to show off. It was all in fun as they were young and free. However, I’m sitting on the hump of a F-150 in between my 15 month old son and his father. His father didn’t seem to find an issue with spinning tires with his son in the truck as long as he got to show off, too. I thought before I reacted and I said in a cool and calm manner, “Maybe you shouldn’t do that with our baby in here”. His response was explosive, calling me names with profanity and told me if I didn’t like it then I could walk home.
I just tucked my head into my knees and drew my hands over my ears. Tears streamed down my face. Luckily this time it was only hurtful through words and not with a fist. I was waiting for it, similar to waiting for the bus at a bus stop – it was due to come sometime. Our relationship had been unfortunately abusive for a while now. I noticed the down hill slope while 6 months into the relationship. I continued to be a part of it due to the mental abuse and the guilt trips that he implanted in my head. “If you leave me, I have nowhere to go, so then I’ll be homeless” or “If you leave me, I’ll kill myself”. Sadly, this type of abuse gradually lead to other types of abuse to come, such as physical, sexual, etc. I dealt with it, but either way, I knew better. I knew that this wasn’t love, but I stayed due to the trap and the feeling that this was all I had left. When I finally found the courage to leave, I returned 2 weeks later pregnant with our child. Then, I continued to stay, because I didn’t want to break up our family. I thought that maybe this was the key to making him change his ways…I was sadly mistaken.
As I heard his muffled voice questioning my cries, I knew it was impossible to stop at this point. My heart was aching and I felt weak. I was short on breath to continue my weeping. My stomach was caving in to the weight I was holding inside. In my mind, I felt like I was screaming, but nobody could hear me. So, in my mind I screamed to the only person I thought could be listening – God. “Why?! Why God?! Why does he treat me like this? I just want a happy family! I need a sign! This can’t be what life is about or how it’s supposed to be! Help me, please!”
….It was just then, I felt tiny little fingers gently touch my right arm. I slowly lifted my head to look over and who did I see? My son sitting in his car seat with his hand over my bicep. At that very moment, everything stopped. It felt like the truck stopped moving, but it was still going down the road. I couldn’t hear a single sound, but his father was still yelling over the sounds of the muffler. My eyes locked into his and I just knew what this moment meant. Him smiling told me that it was going to be okay, and his eyes told me that I needed to make it okay. At that very moment, I knew that I had to leave his father. I had been trying to hold on for so long to make this right, to keep us a complete family and my son at 15 months old was telling me to let go.
A couple of months later after some secretive re-arranging, I had finally moved out for good and never returned. To this day, I still think about that moment when my son saved my life. The memory is so vivid that I can still feel that tiny hand on my arm as if it was still lingering there. I am ever so grateful that I chose the hands of my blessing and not the hands of my abuser. This is why I am so passionate and devoted to my son and to his happiness. This is why I care so much about his feelings, his actions and his outcome. Everything I do in life now is all for him. That’s why there is no question where my heart is, nobody can say that I’m a bad mother, and nobody can say that I don’t do my absolute best to provide, support and care for him on a daily basis. This is why we have the bond that we do, this is why we connect so naturally and this is why we have such a great mother-son relationship.
In conclusion, my son will grow up into his adult life and one day read my blogs, and….he will come across this one. The last thing I want for him to do is to blame his 15 month old self for giving me sense of fate to break up our family. That is not what happened here. God gave me a sign, and that sign was you! When I looked through your eyes that day, I could sense God telling me to fully protect you, love you unconditionally, surround you with a good environment and raise you to become the best man that I could possibly make you become. I followed my instincts and I just know it was the right choice. You saved my life from the terrible life that I was living and I have completely sacrificed my life to protect yours. In addition to that, I want you to know that I don’t want you to love your father less. I want you to love your father under your own conditions, not from my recollection of our past. Your father and I got together at a young age, and we just ended being better parents as separated. What I do want you to take from this is to become better than both of us. Make good choices, find a job you love, become a great and respectable man, and find someone who will love you as much as I love you, because you deserve only the best!