2017 was a rough year for me and the reality is that the majority of it was my own doing. I’ve had to really reach deep inside myself, acknowledge the worst parts of me and work hard on changing. Some of my aims for this coming year is to focus on myself, develop my sense of self worth and be more honest. But am I allowed to move on from everything that’s happened this year? Sounds really childish saying ‘am I allowed’ but a year later when others have yet to make peace with it that’s how I feel. Am I allowed to be better? To forgive myself? To be more than what I’ve done?
Let me explain…
I touched on it briefly in another post but basically since I fell pregnant with my first born, Eliyah, I’d been unsure of who his father was. It was between my boyfriend of 6 months and a guy I’d been on and off with for 10 years. I chose not to say that I didn’t know and decided to completely cut off 10 year guy and try and make it work with my boyfriend (we were going through a rough patch at the time).
I could have had an abortion ( I’m pro choice!) however I’d fallen pregnant previous to this and had chosen not to keep it. When it happened then I knew who the father was and they had been told but I was in the thick of an eating disorder, having frequent depressive episodes and had not been dedicated to recovering. It was the right choice for me then and one I don’t regret. This time round I was in recovery and taking action to manage my depression and since it happened within a year of the first I very much took it as a sign that God/ a higher power/ the universe was showing me that I needed to have this baby. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and for me this was an example of that!
I was having my baby. What was I going to do about the Dad situation?
I told my boyfriend that I was pregnant knowing there was a chance he’d walk away because he wasn’t ready to be a parent. If that happened I would go through the pregnancy alone and find out who the father was when the baby was born. If he stayed, which he did, I had chosen the safer and more stable option for my child.
As much as I clearly have deep rooted feelings for 10 year guy there were various reasons why I felt like I couldn’t tell him about this pregnancy…
- He has 2 children with someone else and was trying to figure out a family dynamic with their Mum whilst not being together. I didn’t want to get in the way of that.
- He was all over the place in terms of life, career, family etc…
- He had a temper and an aggressive side that I had come close to being on the other end of once. I was afraid of him a little bit.
- He had been a secret from my family for the whole time we had been together. I was scared of their judgement.
I was a coward but I made the decision in survival mode and what I thought would be best for this baby.
Obviously there’s a lot more context behind this explanation of things but this is a basic overview.
Fast forward a year into Eliyah’s life. My boyfriend, after initially struggling with the idea of becoming a father took it in his stride. He was fantastic. Our relationship had gotten stronger and I loved how honest, creative and open he was but we were still affectionately incompatible no matter how much the issue was worked on. We tried though and figured time could change things. At the beginning of 2017 10 year guy kept trying to make contact and after he got persistent with it I let him in. He wanted a DNA test. He’d seen Eliyah around and thought he looked like his other boys. I refused and insisted there was no point. However I couldn’t get the possibility out of my mind and now that 10 year guy was aware I felt like if I didn’t take this into my own hands right now at some point this would come out again… Eliyah would be older, more aware and more affected by the possible outcome. He was 1 soon, time was of the essence and the worry was killing me.
A DNA test was taken.
2 days later the results came.
My boyfriend wasn’t Eliyah’s dad.
Once I knew I couldn’t hold it in. There was no way I could look him in the eye and pretend.
Telling him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Seeing someone you care so much about break in-front of you and not being able to console them or justify your actions is horrendous. Sorry wasn’t enough, nothing I could say was enough so I sat and took all the anger, hurt, pain, everything… I deserved it. He left and whilst he, his family and friends came to terms with the news I faced the devastation head on. Judgement, disgust, disappointment and outrage I held my hands up and took it. I fucked up. I tortured myself over how my ex must be feeling. How it must feel to have a child ripped away from you. Betrayed by someone you love. Torn away from a new life you’d made for yourself.
What was even harder to take was the disappointment in myself. I’m a terrible person. I’m a liar. I’m a cheater. I’ve ruined someone’s life. How was I capable of something like that?
Pre- child this would have sent me over the edge but Eliyah needed to be looked after, I’m his mum and he still loved me so I had no choice but to get up and face the music everyday. It’s coming up to a year later now and I’m glad I found out the results earlier rather than later and my ex was able to leave and start again. In the long run it was better for everyone. I continued to make wrong moves and started seeing Eliyah’s Dad again, fell pregnant again… with twins and exactly what I was afraid of initially happened… he became physically aggressive towards me.
I’m doing this pregnancy on my own whilst raising our son and over time coming to terms with who I am exactly. I’m not hiding away from anything and I plan on being open with my kids when the time is right. Accepting my mistakes and being able to grow from them has been life changing. It’s shit that it had to be through these circumstances but my babies are the blessings that came from it and for that I’m thankful. It’s happened and I HAVE to make the best out of it.
I’ve forgiven myself.
Lately though the opinion and judgement of others have made me question whether or not I’m allowed to move on. They can’t let it go so should I be able to? Am I an inherently horrible person that isn’t allowed to be anything more? Do I have to continually apologise for what I’d done for the rest of my life even though sorry doesn’t even cover it? Do I have to keep people in my life that are unable to empathise, understand or support me through my worst times even though they’re supposed to be friends?
Am I ALLOWED to forgive myself? Am I allowed to be more or better than what I’ve done?
Is it possible to recover from failure?
I’m really trying.
I do know, though, that even when I have truly forgiven myself it will always be the one thing I regret the most.