anxiety

‘Motherhood is really tough.’ You’d think, ‘Well that’s crap.’ Birth was traumatic. As a child of sexual abuse, a traumatic birth can be very re-triggering. I didn’t count on that.’

“I expected to be handed my baby like I was Beyoncé in a floral garden and the heavens open up. Instead, I felt like a potato cake seagulls were fighting over, one stitching me up, one folding my boob like a hamburger to stuff in my baby’s mouth, and one pressing so hard on my stomach I thought she was going to touch my spine. Yep, didn’t count on that.”

‘You catch this baby, or I will.’ My son’s father fainted. He woke up, saw our newborn, then left to smoke. He returned smelling of cheap beer and cigarettes.’

“‘I’m taking our son,’ he said. It was snowing and he was wasted. ‘He will not take my child like this.’ My grandmother walked in from church. ‘Take my son and lock yourself in your room!,’ I screamed. He got in his car and sped off, fish-tailing down the snow-covered road. Hours later, he returned.”

‘You’re an angel,’ he said to me after a night of being told I was worthless. The sun started to shine through the window, it reeked of booze and I had yet to sleep. I wanted to be that ‘angel.’

“My grandma passed away, and everything came crumbling down around me. I was alone. I needed him more than anything now. I needed his support, I needed him to hold me and listen to the speech I had prepared for her funeral. Instead, he did the exact opposite. ‘I need space,’ he said. SPACE?!”

‘You’d be SO MUCH prettier if you lost weight.’ I was 10. My siblings got juice, while I was only offered water. When we got into fights, ‘fatty’ was their low blow.’

“With a disgusted look, my own trainer asked, ‘Why are you SO overweight?’ I felt like I was just punched in my (fat) gut. I cancelled my gym membership and dropped out of high school. Ashamed and embarrassed, I just wanted to crawl in a hole and cry. I always felt in competition with my siblings.”

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