I’m writing this to someone who will probably never read it, and if she does, probably won’t listen to the advice here, just like I didn’t when it was given to me. Unfortunately, history repeats itself, and I don’t want to see more kids stuck with a deadbeat Dad like mine are.
Dear Girl who is in the shoes I once was,
Once upon a time, I met this guy. He was in a relationship with a woman he had a kid with, and things were sour, to put it nicely. They both claimed they were only together for the kid’s sake. I spent a lot of time with them, hanging out and being a friend, and made them realize that them being together in that situation, which was abusive and violent, was only making things worse for their kid, and not better. During all of this, I slowly fell in love with him. At the time, he had a decent job, and I was reveling in the fact that I would get to play mommy to his kid, because I didn’t have any of my own. I also knew that he had another kid from someone else before that, and that he never saw her. He claimed it was because the mother ‘was a bitch’ and wouldn’t let her see his kid. I believed everything he told me. I didn’t have a reason not to.
Soon, he moved in with me. Everything was going just as I thought it would, and we made plans to get married. The woman he was with when I met him, who I was still friends with, warned me repeatedly (and simultaneously thanked me for taking him off of her back) that he was going to end up treating me just like he treated her. But we never even fought. I was convinced that the only reason he treated her like that was because of the way she acted towards him.
By February 2003, I had already bought a wedding dress, and had a slew of wedding magazines cut apart, with bits and pieces of them glued into a binder, with ideas of what I wanted our wedding to be. At this time, he didn’t have a job, but was looking for one. February 17th was my 21st birthday. We went out with some of my the friends I’d made at work. We were both pretty drunk towards the end of the night. Some girl was singing karaoke, and he was howling at her like a dog. I kept telling him to stop because her table of friends was glaring at him. But he didn’t, and he ended up getting in a fight and getting kicked out. Somehow, he managed to make it my fault. On the way home, in the car, he was yelling and screaming at me. It was snowy out, and we wrecked the car into a fire hydrant, but he didn’t even stop yelling at me. He just backed up and kept driving. At the time, we were living with his mom and step-dad, because his lack of a job made it so that we couldn’t pay our bills. They were out of town, and as soon as we got into the house, he proceeded to beat the hell out of me. In defense, I hit him one time with my boot, and he
backed off. He started apologizing, and then locked himself in the bathroom. After a bit, I knocked on the door to see what was going on. I figured he’d passed out or something. He replied and said that he felt bad and was going to kill himself. I panicked, naturally, and called the cops. They showed up and asked what was going on, and I explained. They asked if he hit me. I said no. They left a short time later, and told me to call again if there were more issues. I chalked everything up to being too drunk.
Two weeks later, I found out I was six weeks pregnant. At this point, things with step-mommyhood weren’t going great. It was me that constantly had to remind him which weekends we were supposed to pick up his daughter, and when we did pick her up, he didn’t do anything to take care of her. It was all me. And even though I did plenty of provoking and trying to help, he hadn’t done anything about trying to see his oldest kid. He wasn’t paying child support for either of them, either. But I was pregnant, and I already had a dress, so I insisted on getting married. So the dress didn’t go to waste, we put things into high gear, and finished planning the wedding in a month.
On our wedding day, I was 12 weeks pregnant, and could hardly breathe, but the dress still fit. I was in my room in the chapel getting ready, and my mom came in and BEGGED me not to marry him. She said it wasn’t final yet. That I could still back out if I wanted to. My gut was telling me to listen to her. But I just kept getting ready, and told her everything would be fine. Right before the ceremony started, my Dad came in to walk me down the aisle. He said ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’. The music started, and I nodded my head yes, and we started walking.
Shortly after the wedding, I’d saved up enough money from my waitressing job for us to get a place of our own. You would think that not being under his parent’s roof would make things less stressful, but it didn’t.