I was 20 years old and my Dad had just died. He had been a mediator between my mom and I when she would stab me in my back and smile in my face. So when he died, I remember walking down the street one day after getting off the bus and just quietly crying, and asking God, “Where am I going to go once I graduate from college? I can’t go back home because I don’t feel emotionally safe with her. What am I going to do?”
Not even 2 months later, I meet this Muslim guy from Ghana, Africa. I had never seen him on campus before, but he said he knew me or saw me in the computer lab frequently. He was 31 years old (11 years older than me) and a graduate student. He wasn’t exceptionally handsome; just average. I was however impressed by his education and had always been interested in other countries.
2 months later we were married! 2 months later I was pregnant.
He turned out to be controlling, and not flexible at all; his opinions and thoughts were the only ones that mattered. However, in hindsight, although those characteristics really frustrated and confused me at the time, I now realize that lots of people are like that (i.e. if you have a different opinion than someone else, it’s likely that you will bash them or demean them because they don’t share your opinion); but I think it bothered me so much back then because I wasn’t raised around people like that. I found his behavior very suffocating.
I felt frustrated, disappointed, scared, and extremely suffocated.
I gave birth, and by that time our marriage had deteriorated so much to the point that there was tension in the delivery room. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion but it was like we were actually fighting each other.
Less than 3 weeks later, we separated and I’m sent to my moms home witg my baby girl, just the place I didn’t want to be!
My mom told me I need to get on welfare. I was completely petrified of being on welfare. Yet, my husband wasn’t sending money, and I couldn’t work yet because I was still bleeding profusely and could hardly walk.
I also was afraid to be divorced and a single mother. Let alone, all of the other unresolved childhood issues between my mother and I.
I started to feel like maybe I just shouldn’t/couldn’t be an effective mother.
One night I went to the hospital and told them that I need to give up my baby. Then I started changing my mind, crying and going back and forth. Finally, they just said you don’t have a choice. And that was it — my baby was in foster care for several weeks and then my husband got custody.
I wish I didn’t give her up; I didn’t know what I was doing. I wish I had just got on welfare and just lived instead of being afraid and doubting myself.