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Newly Single Mom...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sorry...this may get long...

I am new to this forum..and new to single motherhood.

To put it bluntly. I am scared. I was not married to my son's father. We were together for 3 months when I got pregnant (I know, I know). Things we really good till I was about 8 months pregnant, then they REALLY started to go downhill fast. It started with late nights with the buddies...not calling...lying...silly childish things. I confronted him about it, and things changed for a short time. (all in all we made it to 2 yrs).

I gave birth to my beautiful boy (now almost 13 months). And he was pretty much M.I.A. the entire first month. He even went to the bar the night our son was born to celebrate with a friend...while I was in the hospital alone. This right here should of been my running point.

But I thought no, I will give him a chance to shake the immaturities out. I gave it a year. It was a hard year full of emotional and verbal abuse. I am a strong woman who has been through alot (previous bf was physically abusive) and consider my self a rock. But he found ways to break me. I spent countless nights alone while he was out doing whatever he pleased. He would lie to me. He would lie about quitting smoking pot (that was the deal when I found out I was pregnant). He got into bar fights. The list goes on...

I threatened to leave him many times...and every time he would physically block or push me so I could not go. He would smash phones so I could not call anyone. He would punch through doors. And when I would push or try and move him I would get thrown. And he would say he was only doing it because I did. Not fair...I am no match for him. And most of the time my beautiful boy was in the same room or within earshot. It broke my heart every time. And still does now, he shouldnt of had to see that.

So the other night...I called up my mother at 1am (after a physical and very verbal arguement on his part, I was very calm) and I left him.

Now I am terrified. I have a place to stay for a few months to get on my feet...but then what? I have this terrible feeling that I have done something wrong. It feels like my insides are going to fall out of me at any time. There were lots of good times. And he did change over the year...just not to where I needed him to be. And throughout this whole breakup he is being catty and childish.

How do I deal with what is ahead? Child support? Visitation? I am totally lost.

I just want to hide...and never have to deal with him again...it hurts too much.

Oh and the icing on the cake is I just moved 2 provinces over and have no friends here whatsoever. I do have my parents....but I don't want to crowd them. They have paid their dues. This is their retirement. And I don't want it to be spent worrying about me.
post #2 of 10
Oh mama, I am so sorry you are suffering. You said you feel like you have done something wrong. For women (like me) who were in abusive relationships, we can understand the feeling of your insides feeling like they are going to fall out, or the feeling of guilt when leaving someone who has only hurt you over and over. I won't go on about the psycology of it, but only to say, you will over come this. ONE STEP AT A TIME. Take care of one thing, then the next. It will feel overwhelming, and it is, but you are a strong mama, and you don't ever want your child to see or hear those things again, and you don't want it either.

Don't allow this to cause you to sink down. Pick yourself up and begin again.
You will have to rebuild your life. These are very hard times right now.
My suggestion to you is to apply for food stamps, and any other thing you can, start a case in the courts for child support (and don't forget health insurance for your son). Just start there. Then think about the type of work you are most suited for, and begin to search for a job. Since you have 1 young son, you are really in great line to be a nanny. You would earn money very quickly, and you may be able to find a live in situation where you have a guest house. Look at your local newspaper. You can clean houses while you are waiting to hear about a job. Use every minute of the daylight hours to turn your situation around, till you do.

Keep a record of your conversations with your ex. Communicate by email only if possible.

Give your son plenty of assurance that everything will be okay too. Love him alot, and keep him close to you. And wake up each morning, brush your teeth, wash your face, brush your hair and wash your hands and look deeply at your self in the mirror and tell yourself this: I am strong, I can change the direction of my life. Do this every day. Never forget it.

And I'd throw in prayer or meditation if you do that. When people ask you what you need, tell them. Maybe you need a cup of tea. Maybe you need someone to listen, or watch your child. Don't be shy about others helping you meet your needs. You will be fine.

And lastly, I believe in you!
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much. You reply brought tears to my eyes. Truly heartfelt and inspiring. I know I can do this, I just need to find my own way. We are taking things one day at a time and I am slowly feeling better about everything. I am almost excited about our new journey together (my son and I). We can and will succeed.
post #4 of 10

Other than a few minor differences, you and I have very similar stories. I also was not married to my 1yo DD's father, and I gave him a year after her birth to get his act together. I endured verbal, emotional abuse through the pregnancy, and after she was born I began standing up for myself which brought the abuse to a physical place. So I left and went to a womens shelter with DD. I am so glad you have left too.

I'm not sure what the legalities of the Canadian system are, but look into restraining order/order of protection type things. I'm sure there are public assistance programs that can help you navigate through the system to get what you need. I used a free court advocate who helps women file the legal papers after being in a DV situation.

I think Jyotsna said it very well. She gave me a good pep talk like post recently too. Stay strong and I know we have some other canucks reply that can get specific with things you will need.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you.

It is really terrible that you or anyone else has had to go through DV. But on the upside...it really does help to speak with someone who has been there. I know he will not come for me, and I feel very safe where I am. So I am not going to bother with a restraining order. I know him...all he will do is mope, sit on his ass...and eventually fade away. In 2 or 3 weeks time I have a feeling he will be so involved with his friends that both my son and I will become distant memories...or a dream...or something to that effect.

So this brings up another issue...Do I go for child support? Because if I do He will want visitation or joint custody or what have you. But if I dont go for it...he will more than likely just leave us alone...what do you do...
post #6 of 10
Just wanted to add that it is a good idea to keep a written record of any contact, phone calls etc you have with him, and maybe journal about past events or find journal entries where you describe any abuse or substance use. May come in handy later.

I know when I was in BC, you could, for free, meet with your ex and a mediator type person, and hammer out an agreement and they would file it for you in the courts. Trying to remember the name of the office - there's one at the corner of 1st and Commercial (upstairs) in Vancouver. That's only if you feel coming to an agreement with him would be possible, and you would be okay being in the same room with him.

Also if you are in Vancouver, call the YWCA (www.ywcavan.org) about their single moms groups (they also have some housing for single moms).

In terms of support vs being left alone, I guess it's what matters to you, what you need, what he can provide and how much you mind your child being with him (alone). I opted for being left alone, because I knew my ex wouldn't be able to provide much anyway. Going through court can give abusive ex's a way of getting to you or making your life difficult, and some people feel victimized by the legal system. (family law in BC www.familylaw.lss.bc.ca)

Money-wise, I'd look into daycare subsidy (getting childcare is such a headache in BC but at least subsidy will partially cover nannies and home daycare), OSAP student loans etc. Apply to housing co-ops (chf.bc.ca) and maybe also call BC Housing. Make sure you are getting your Canadian child tax benefit, and universal child tax benefit. There is also a rental assistance program for low-income people that is worth between $50 - $750 a month http://www.bchousing.org/programs/RAP). The neighbourhood houses are often a good source of info, free services (like classes and consultations) and community (ie drop-ins and community dinners). Family places also have some services.

The Vancouver Status of Women has two publications that they update every few years - the single mother's resource guide and also the welfare resource guide for women... you need to call them to order (http://www.vsw.ca/publications.htm)

I'm also totally biased but I think that being self-employed (work at home) is a good thing when you are a single mom, because it gives you flexibility. You do have to choose carefully and structure your business properly, so it doesn't take all your time. Find something you can charge enough hourly, so at least $60-70 an hour, and find a network or some outlet that helps you get out of the house on a regular basis. You do go a bit out of the system, so you need to look at whether you want to pay into EI etc.

Good luck and if you need some connections with single moms in either Nelson, or Vancouver, I could maybe help you.

post #7 of 10
everyones petty much said eerything. I just had to send you a be good to yourself. My X was abusive also and it can be hard to "get out of their grips" just remember it was NOT your falt!
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your reply. I do not live in Vancouver. I don't need to worry about housing for atleast a couple of months. My parents have been more than generous in opening up their home. So my plan is to work like mad, and save up as much money as I can. I left with a car, my personal belongings and My sons belongings. I have no furniture, dishes, anything. So I am slowly going to rebuild a home over the next few months. As soon as I find employment. There are absoultely no jobs here right now. But spring is around the corner, and it is a major tourist city. So I am not worried.

Also I am receiving child tax, and universal. And sadly since I have not lived in BC for 12 months I do not qualify for the rental assistance program. But I did come across subsidized housing for the city I live in. When I am ready to venture out on my own I am going to apply. I also am absolutely going to apply for childcare subsidy as well, as soon as I have a job I will do so.

I emailed my ex today and told him how much I expect from him monthly...we will see how it goes. He still thinks I am coming back, he is mistaken.


Thank you. you are a sweetheart
post #9 of 10

mamma meghan

i too had a similar situation, i ended up having a knife put to my throat, and finally a broken nose when my son was in my arms, my husband ended up in jail for a year and i still went back thinking he "changed" but it didnt and i suffered and my son, i too am a strong woman, but i want to change this for the good. I am going to start an eco-village for single moms to help them get back on their feet without having to go to a shelter or to other situations that arent for the good of them, learning from each other skills that will give us work to survive so we dont have to be in the welfare system, sharing ideas, compassion, love, children playing and learning. ways to empower us to know that we are bright shining stars, we have a strong spirit just sometimes people try to take that away from us because of their own problems.
you are a strong woman, you left!!! remember, life is a gift, and you have the greatest gift, a child, embrace that every day, and each day is a "present" to us. I will keep you posted as to when this is happening as it unfolds to me.
peace love and compassion to you and your child.....
post #10 of 10
Not to hijack Mama_Meghan's thread.....

But gitteliss - Really? Can I come live there?
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