‘When my son was 10 months old, I fell in love with a guy who I thought was the one. The one I was positive I was going to marry. Everything was so great – or so it seemed.’

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“Motherhood for me wasn’t the typical, falling in love and making a baby. In my case, I was a 20-year-old living in a brand new city, and ended up getting drugged, sexually assaulted and pregnant. I found out I was pregnant at three weeks along. I moved away from that new city to a whole new town (moved in with my dad) at 11 weeks along. Most people question, ‘why did you keep the baby?’ Well, let me tell you… something inside me told me this little nugget was going to move mountains. This baby was a MIRACLE. Not only because of the assault, but because I also struggle with endometriosis. Honestly, the minute I saw the tiniest spec on the ultrasound at 6 weeks along, I had this gush of love overwhelm me, along with SO many scary emotions as well.

Whitley B Photography
Whitley B Photography

Pregnancy was not easy, but I made it through. Lots of tears were shed, but also so many laughs. Pregnancy is a wild ride for anyone, but every time you hear that heartbeat, see their little face, feel their kicks and hiccups, find out the gender, and finally meet them face to face after what feels like a million years, you feel this love you have never felt before. It is absolutely incredible.

Now, after (almost) 3 years of seeing my little baby grow into this amazingly smart, handsome, hilarious, and kind soul, it 100 percent confirms I did the right thing. I never had ANY doubt about it, but seeing him explore this world, it really makes me know he was meant to be here for a reason. God knew what he was doing when he picked me to be his mama. I do not know how I got so lucky.

Captured Glory Photography

Being a mom is hard, but being a single mom is harder. Having to learn all of these difficult parenting things you have no idea about, battling with depression, trauma, and witnessing all of these firsts without a significant other – that is difficult. You picture yourself with someone through all these moments, and I was alone. Friends and family helped but it’s not the same. Then I met someone. When my son was 10 months old, I fell in love with a guy who I thought was the one. The one who I was positive I was going to marry. Everything was so great – or so it seemed. We worked together. He was this kind and hilarious guy. He was a crowd pleasurer. We started dating after only 2 weeks and were in such a honeymoon phase. But then slight changes started to show. He loved to drink, but what 21-year-old didn’t? My friends and family all saw the emotional abuse way before I did, but then fights would turn into scarier screaming matches and panic attacks.

After a few months, fights became our normal and emotional abuse was… well, a normal. Self-doubt and insecurities kicked in. I became someone who I never thought I would be. I wasn’t the bubbly, fun me anymore. I was even MORE depressed and was not mentally or physically healthy. I wasn’t allowed to be friends with any guys or follow any guys on social media. He would go through my phone and laptop and search for things. The way he would talk about my child, he would go from saying how much he loved him to saying he would hit him after taking his diaper off, saying he should know better. He was only 11 months old when he made that comment!

Things got worse (I’m not saying I am not to blame for things – it takes two in a relationship) but yet another ‘red flag’ was when my dog got thrown across the room and hit the wall. That made me spiral and have the biggest panic attack. That night I ended up checking myself into the hospital after many self-harm thoughts and cutting because I did not trust myself. I needed help. I was not okay. Everyone told me to leave him after that – but of course I did not. I loved him, or what I thought was love. Not long after that things continued to escalate – emotional abuse far more often, lots of ‘I love you’ and ‘F you’s’ were exchanged.

The worst was the physical abuse. One night he came over after having over 10 drinks, and forced himself inside of me not just once – but twice while I was crying, screaming and kicking. It took me a little while to finally get the courage to be done, to leave. It stayed toxic for a while still. I was so blinded, it makes me sick thinking about it now. It was scary how many times things happened, how many moments of break downs, panic attacks, and self-harm thoughts rushed through my head. After finally getting the courage to leave, getting a new job, and moving hours away, I then took the time to learn self-love. I started my own photography business, learning to cherish every moment in life, and most importantly learned I am strong, beautiful, and an amazing soul.

After finally loving myself and being proud of who I am as a mom and a business owner – I met my price charming. At a wedding. We didn’t speak but I thought he was so handsome. Months later, I decided to message him – even though he lives halfway across the country – and within days we were falling for each other, talking on the phone for hours on end. We learned to talk about everything and anything, and communication was KEY. We quickly started to fall for each other. We had shared so many personal things, we laughed, I cried, and I felt safe already. We clicked so well it felt like fate. It felt like we were meant to be. It freaked us both out how smooth it all went. I didn’t know how to feel since I have only had the worst relationships before. I truly allowed myself to be open to letting these feelings come because everyone that comes into your life is there for a reason.

Before we went on a trip together I already knew I had loved him and it seemed he did too, but we were just waiting for that time together to truly see. And let me tell you, it was incredible. I have NEVER believed anyone when they say ‘when you know, you know,’ but guess what? Those people aren’t lying. Instantly everything felt right. There was no need to hide our true selves. We laughed and smiled the WHOLE time. It felt like there was a missing puzzle piece and each other held that piece. We fit together so well. God led us to each other and in the right timing, too. We needed our time to heal, and then find each other. He is my best friend, my rock, my soulmate. He truly knows me better than I know myself. I’m so madly in love with this man. Did I mention he was excited to date a single mom? I have a keeper.

Now we have spent plenty of time together, he’s met my son and adores him, we have had the hard talks and the good talks, and he has been patient, kind, understanding of everything. He doesn’t see anything as ‘baggage’ or see me as ‘damaged’ – he helps me through my bad days and he supports me in my business. I was at the point of giving up on men. I was ready to accept that there wasn’t someone out there for me. But I was wrong. My prince charming came into my life at the right moment, timing is everything. We both had to heal from our hard pasts to be able to love each other with our whole hearts and not be afraid to let each other in.

I want anyone who is reading this to know, your prince or princess charming is out there. Do NOT settle. Do not just think it is okay to stay with someone that isn’t great to you because you deserve the world. A true man (or woman!) will accept you and your past and not think twice. They will love your child as their own. They will be excited about your successes and be there for you through your hard and sad days. They will not see any baggage. They will love you endlessly and remind you every single day. They will pay attention to you and be committed to you. Do NOT settle. Loving each other will come easy and natural. You’re lifelong best friend. Always remember to make time for each other and always say I love you.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by a woman who wishes to remain anonymous. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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