SIDE NOTE: THIS IS A PERSONAL STORY THAT I'VE SUBMITTED TO JOIN A BLOGGING TEAM. IT'S LONG. SORRY. I KNOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CURIOUS ABOUT BITS AND PIECES OF MY LIFE, SO I'M SURE MANY OF YOU WILL READ IT ALL! NOSEY-NESS IS IN OUR BEAUFORT BLOOD.
It seems as if the wee age of eighteen wasn’t too long ago, right? I was one of those who walked the stage at high school graduation with a baby bump. I was in love with a sweet talking, motorcycle riding, salsa dancing, soccer player. Oh, he was the man of my dreams. Not even a month after turning eighteen, I delivered my first child, Jizelle. Ironically enough, now that I am looking back, she is the rearing force of my post-secondary education. My mom was alright—but I wanted to be amazing, awesome, freaking astounding.
Turns out, Señor Salsa Dancer was not the man of my dreams. (I know, we were eighteen, how could I have been wrong?). He even had proposed to me, while having another girl friend. That ring was living proof that he was ready to be devoted to me, and come home to his family, in our two bedroom shack every night—or not. I woke up one day, signed a new lease, and left.
I spent my days in college classes, majoring in English. By night, I was working as a cocktail waitress (aka shot girl) or handling the door at some local bars and clubs. The money was quick and easy—I made more then, at the bars, than I do now teaching high school English. Shock, right?
Getting paid to be pretty and amicable was easy enough.
When Jizelle was two, I met the second man of my dreams. He was a firefighter in the Marine Corps and the most tender and compassionate soul I’ve ever met. We met in August of 2011 and were married by the end of December, that same year.
I know, I know.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN QUITE SPONTANEOUS AND HORRIDLY IMPULSIVE. IT'S A TREND I AM STILL TRYING TO CONQUER!
During the time of my marriage, my husband was always great. Hell, even more than great. He allowed me to engulf myself into my English studies and back away from working. We spent nearly four years married, and I had my second child in September of 2012, another girl, Presley. Then delivered my third child not too long after, in July of 2014. It is quite remarkable, now in 2017, I have begun calculating all of the mistakes I made in our marriage, that guided us straight to the ledge.
When I say he was a good guy, he was the best guy. Even with my mistakes, flaws, and controlling ways, he still seemed to be patient, empathetic, and never teetered.
I mean, friends would gush about their guy, how he couldn’t keep it in his pants, texted other girls, gave the silent treatment—endless things.
I treated my husband worse than any could imagine, and he never lost love and hope for me.
IF WE ARE BEING COMPLETELY HONEST, I PUSHED HIM OVER THE LEDGE.
I rushed into a marriage.
I know this now. I get it. I am fully aware that since I did not have the most stable and positive family aspect growing up as a child, and swept a failed household with my high school boo under the rug, my heart craved a family. I wanted a sense of completeness. I needed wholeness. I needed a family, a good husband, a degree, and a career to prove to myself that indeed was a worthy woman.
I finished my Bachelor’s in 2013 and my Master’s in 2015. I have been teaching full time since 2014. From the outside, I was an inspiration, an over-comer, and such a nice girl.
Truthfully, I was buried under mounds of unhealed wounds. I continued to ruin that poor man, until I had the gall to admit I could not handle the marriage.
In February of 2015, I’d had it. I told him I was moving out. I couldn’t stand living with him. Looking at him. Sleeping next to him. Each day, I had a new reason why or a one more thing for him to change.
Now looking back, it should have been me gathering books, articles, and self-help guides to be a better wife.
I should have been sprawled on the alter, begging the Lord for mercy and healing.
I packed up, got an overpriced 2-bedroom apartment less than 15 minutes from the house we owned, and left (again). Those days were the most sovereign of my life. The silence, small space, and time alone made me beam with joy.
People noticed a glow, and questioned if I was pregnant again! “No, ma’am,” I’d say, “I’ve just left my husband!” Sorry, not sorry.
So, I’d spent six months alone, February to August of 2015. My husband had still wanted to go on dates from time-to-time.
I agreed. One, free food is great. Two, I didn’t want to look like a bitch and decline the offer. As if moving out wasn’t bad enough, I know.
Towards August, I was like: wow, we have been getting along so great, maybe it’s time I move home and commit to making this work for the kids. I can’t actually get a divorce without giving our marriage a try just one more time.
In comes that evil impulsiveness, I met with him and told him I wanted to move back home. Within a week, we were moving my things back home. I found somebody to take over my lease, and it was done.
I was home. Oh, home sweet home.
Actually not. As soon as I moved back home, I converted back into the evil woman I’d once been. Bitter. Belittling. Bitch, there, I said it.
Perfect timing, of course, my husband was offered a job near his hometown in Baltimore, MD (we were living in my hometown in South Carolina, at the time). He was ecstatic. Yay, we can move near my family and friends, and the kids can play in the snow, and we can go to Ravens games. And our son can play lacrosse. Yay, yay, yay.
All the while, I’m sitting here looking like Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins...
P.S. THAT’S THE WOMAN FAMOUS FOR THE “AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT” NEWS INTERVIEW.
I played the good-girl and said I would move. However, I’m sure as you’re reading this, that doesn’t seem like my style. So, after four months of cohabitation (and losing myself all over again), I declared we were officially done. He was a great guy, but not my guy. I was a good girl, at heart, but I knew I would never be his woman.
I moved into a three-bedroom house in November of 2015. He officially accepted the job up North. We put out house on the market and It sold in a little over a week. On Christmas day, we opened presents, he kissed our kids goodbye, and with his truck loaded to the brim, he left for his parents’ house in Baltimore.
I exhaled the moment he pulled out of my driveway. Bye, bruh.
Of course, now that it’s been over two years since our initial separation, and a year and a half since he moved, I can take the blame.
I didn’t realize this while we were married, no, defiantly not.
My parents never quite taught me things I needed to know to be in a healthy marriage. It seems I was pretty much free to do what I want, say what I want, and act how I wanted my whole life—and until I was married, it never posed a significant issue. It landed me an internship, jobs, two degrees, and ultimately, the wherewithal to raise three children on my own. Heck, I’ve even gotten published from some things I have mustered up at a local coffee shop.
Learning who you are before accumulating children and serious relationships is vital.
I preach to my students, be single, have fun, learn who you are. I can never say I wish things were different, because, well, my kids. Even the slightest difference in my past, would have led to me not having them. And my sweet babies are everything important on this planet. So, I’ve decided my sporadic decisions and nontraditional happenings were supposed to happen just this way.
My actions serve as a model of what not to do for women. As a guide of what to do if things do not go as planned for young ladies who may have a similar story to mine.
I am only twenty-six. I’ve been divorced. I’ve Graduated with a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Education. I’ve adjusted to being a single mom. I’ve gotten used to working numerous jobs—full time teaching as my primary income, even though it isn’t near enough. Taking on homebound students to supplement pay. Working as an adjunct professor at the local technical college. Picking up journalism for a local agency. Building a small business from scratch, though I barely have two nickels jiggle in my pocket, as it. Paying out of pocket for therapy to heal the wicked woman I have buried inside. Seeking redemption in His name (faith is a new journey).
I'm tired, don't try this at home, kids.
Take your time.
Never lose focus of your goals.
Be an eager learner—read, write, research, seek professional help.
Be nice to people, it’s free.
Listen earnestly to those who need an ear.
Be unapologetic of who you are, but that’s not to say that its acceptable to be unapologetic for scornful words and unjust roles in relationships with your significant other, family, or friends.
And lastly, (definitely not the least), get to know what makes your own soul smile and your heart heal.
PSS-- I am still working on that last part.
Aim for progress, y'all. Not perfection.
Hugs, Kisses, and all the love. Cheers, Ty Snowden