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My mother was emotionally and mentally abusive my entire life. She even didn't want a child. I've never met my biological father - he walked away while she was pregnant.<br><br>
The only reason I was even born was because when my mother called to ask her mom for money to have an abortion her mom said no - told her she had already lost too many potential grandchildren (this would have been - at least - my mother's 6th or 7th abortion by the time she was 23, starting when she was 15. I'm not bashing abortion here, just women who use it as their primary form of birth control.) Her mom then offered to support her and the baby (who would end up being me) for the entirety of the pregnancy and the first two years of the baby's life.<br><br>
My mother met my father when I was three, almost four. Their first meeting did not go well (she was the daytime bartender at a hole-in-wall kind of place; he serviced jukeboxes and the like by day, was a bookie by night). He accused her of stealing a $50 tip he left for the night bartender, but as it turns out the owner of the bar took it because the other girl owed her money. My mother took great pleasure in telling him leave and to go (blank) himself and to tell none of his friends to ever (blank-ing) come back while she was there, either. So, of course, my father's reaction of hearing this from her was to begin about a two-month long odyssey of asking her out and getting turned down over and over again. For some reason that I was never able to ask, one night she changed her mind. Nine weeks later they got married.<br><br>
When he proposed the first thing he said was that he wanted to be my father, if she would let him. When they got married I even got my own gold ring with a tiny purple gemstone. That ring is across the room in my jewelry box right now and has been since I was ten.<br><br>
Their marriage was rocky from the beginning. My mother had a long history of mental issues and my father drank a lot in the beginning. They went through a series of miscarriages while trying to have another child, the first after over five months of gestation. None of the next pregnancies would go near as far as that one did. My father was my father, though, and I was a complete and total Daddies' Girl. His mother, my Gram, came to my forth birthday party a month later and the first words she said to me were, "I guess I'm your grandmother now, huh?" She's the sweetest woman in the world and I adore her. We still talk on the phone at least once a week, most of the time more, and neither of us particularly enjoys talking on the phone.<br><br>
When I was eight, my mother escalated into physical abuse. Unbeknownst to her, at the same time a cousin whose mother was living with us at the time began to sexually assault me. No place was safe, not even school. I was always the kid who won the spelling bees and came in first place in the science fair every year. Add to that an odd name, looking almost completely different from anyone else, and the fact that I was a working actress and often got to leave school early or miss it entirely because of auditions/jobs? All the kids hated me. And because of her extremely abrasive personality and manner most the adult personnel there hated my mother. Because of this, many of the school officials ranged anywhere from blatantly obvious about their dislike of me too or completely indifferent and thus payed me no mind, so they did little or nothing to the kids who made it their mission in life to torture me.<br><br>
On May 24th, 1990 (also a Monday) my life changed forever, in both bad and good ways.<br><br>
My mother picked me and two of my friends who lived in the same apartment complex up, as she did every day after school. She dropped them off and then went right back out of the complex's gate. She then proceeded to play one of her favorite "games": she'd drive to the local police station parking lot (slapping/hitting/punching me the entire way) and yell at me to get out. I never had any idea of what to do when she did this. Yes, I wanted to get out of the car, but I was also terrified of the thought. My mother had always told me that I was a horrible child and that bad things would happen to a kid like me out there. Also, I was nine and she was my mommy. All I ever wanted was for her to love me. I did well in school - for her; I tried my hardest to make friends, for her; I got paid acting gigs, for her. The list goes on and on. Needless to say, I never succeeded in my quest for her love.<br><br>
So, we're still in the middle of the above mentioned "game," but this time I break the script. See, up until now it always went like this: she'd hit and yell at me, I'd cry, she'd hit and yell at me some more, I'd beg her to stop, she'd hit and yell at me yet again, I'd promise to be good, she'd tell me that if I wanted to come back home with her then I'd have to understand that I couldn't say anything about what was happening and I'd also have to accept that it wasn't going to stop. Every time she did this, that's how it would go. I don't even remember the amount of times, just that it was often. I think back now and always remark to myself how brazen of her it was to abuse her kid in the parking lot of a POLICE STATION.<br><br>
This time, though, I improvised: I started to get out of the car.<br><br>
This set her off even more because this was unexpected. She'd didn't want to be caught - she had always counted on the fear she had drummed into me. She didn't know what to do now that it wasn't working. So she pulled me back into the car before I even got a single foot on the concrete.<br><br>
After that my next memory is of waking up in the hospital next door with my grandfather's face leaning over me, yelling for the nurse.<br><br>
I had been in a coma for eight days, I later learned. My mother had me beaten so severely - all within the confines of a car, no less - that I'd lost consciousness. Immediately aware of what she'd just done, she dumped my body in the parking lot of the hospital in between a couple of random cars and left me for dead.<br><br>
I had a fractured right shoulder, a broken left wrist (from trying to defend my face, apparently), a broken nose, a broken jar, two teeth knocked out, three broken ribs, a punctured lung and kidney, a cracked skull which led to bleeding on my brain which is what ultimately caused my coma, and many more horrible things.<br><br>
It turned out that after leaving me laying prone in the hospital parking lot, my mother went straight home and proceeded to take the most spectacular overdose in history, all washed down with vodka. Her note consisted mainly of trying to lay the blame at all the medication her doctor's had recently put her on, despite the abuse stemming far back from that rather recent event. She went on to say that she knew she was going to get in trouble for what she had done and that she "wasn't going to let the system take it's pound of flesh from her."<br><br>
I was found where she left me rather quickly and rushed straight into the emergency room, who in turn rushed me straight upstairs to the OR. I underwent four surgeries (one in which my heart stopped momentarily and another after I developed an embolism). There was always a family member by my side.<br><br>
Just four days after the attack, the abuse was out in the open (my mother's abuse, at least), my mother was dead after she succeeded in her most recent bid for suicide, and after not leaving the hospital except for the one time to cross to the police station and give a statement, my father stepped out of my room after telling my uncle that he "needed to get some air," and that he'd "be back in just a minute." He was wrong.<br><br>
The fact that his only child was in a coma in the hospital was ground-shaking enough for a man who just a year before was in the hospital himself, having suffered two heart attacks. But add to the fact that no one could find his wife when such a thing had happened? Well, that was insane.<br><br>
Cut to my grandfather, who had just gotten home from work to a ringing phone. He lived in the same complex as we did, so he went down to our apartment to see if she was asleep, as the medication she was on had a tendency to make her groggy, before he came rushing to the hospital himself, figuring that one delirious person behind the wheel was better than two. When no one answered, he used his key. She was already dead.<br><br>
My father made it to his car, but didn't quite manage to get the door open. He collapsed onto the pavement, much in the same way I'm told I was found, dead at thirty-nine, the victim of a sudden stroke.<br><br>
I didn't get to go to his funeral. My mother didn't have one. No one wanted to, I've been told by my brother, "waste the money," considering my now - rather large - medical bills. She was cremated, as per her previously stated wishes. I have no idea what happened to the ashes, but my father's are on my mantle.<br><br>
When I was finally released from the hospital, more than a month later, my grandparents (who, at this time, had been divorced for near on a decade) had rented a house clear on the other side of town and set up my room with all of my things. My dog even had a brand new bed, right next to mine.<br><br>
When I say Mom and Dad, unless I preface the Dad one, I mean them. Even with all the bad blood between them because of the divorce they always worked at putting me ahead of their feelings towards the other and this was the ultimate showing of it. They took me to therapy, family therapy, physical therapy, the works. They took a broken little girl and slowly, but surely, glued her back together again, perhaps even stronger than before. I now knew that it wasn't okay to hit someone, even if you say you'll never do it again. I eventually felt safe enough to tell them about my cousin's abuse. As it turns out, I was not his only victim.<br><br>
They hired a personal tutor for me when I went back to school that fall because it quickly became apparent that I was not ready. With her help, I jumped grades like crazy and when I finally went back three years later it was as a thirteen-year-old junior in high school.<br><br>
I graduated high school as valedictorian at fourteen, summa cum laude from college (just blocks from our house) at eighteen. I finally left home then, to cross the ocean in search of my doctorate in Economics, which I got at rapid speed, yet again, at twenty-one on a Marshall Scholarship. Finally, I received my law degree at twenty-four.<br><br>
I'm twenty-nine. I turn thirty this August. That same month I'm getting married. In January, I will welcome my first child. My life is amazing. I never in a million years would have thought that a story as seemingly tragic as mine could end in such a stereotypical manner.<br><br>
My life is amazing, yes. There's just one thing: I didn't cry yesterday, but I will this Friday.<br><br>
I miss you, Daddy.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I am glad you are happy now. Your story having a wonderful part is uplifting. Congratulations on your wedding and baby! You sound like a strong person. Not sure if you want questions, but I was curious- Was it your mom's parents or your stepfather's parents that gave you a home? That was surely what 'saved' you. Having someone to depend on is important to us, especially as a child.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>karika</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15442865"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I am glad you are happy now. Your story having a wonderful part is uplifting. Congratulations on your wedding and baby! You sound like a strong person. Not sure if you want questions, but I was curious- Was it your mom's parents or your stepfather's parents that gave you a home? That was surely what 'saved' you. Having someone to depend on is important to us, especially as a child.</div>
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Thank you for your congratulations and for calling me a strong person - I like to fancy myself as one, although I'm not sure how accurate it is to do so.<br><br>
It was my mother's mom (my then-Grandma, now-Mom) and her last husband, adoptive father of the youngest of my two older brothers/uncles. Both the boys share the same biological father (her second marriage; my biological maternal grandfather being her first), but he only ever accepted the older as his son. He was an awful man - her second husband, that is. My other brother has said himself that he was better off not being recognized by him.<br><br>
My Dad (my then-Grandpa) and my Mom were giving their a relationship and final, and twelfth or so, try around the time of my birth. He was in the room when I was born, even got kicked out of the hospital for attempting to remove me from the nursery, not once, but twice. After the first time they just didn't want him in that wing, but after the second time they were finished and booted him out on his butt. Before my father came into the picture, he and my oldest brother played 'dad' for me, teaching me how to spit and walk, respectively.
 

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Soooo many (((hugs)))
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I'm glad things worked out for you in the end! Congratulations on your expected baby!
 

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I have tears running down my face. I am so glad you were quickly found and so glad that you managed somehow to rebuild your life.
 

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I read every last word. I am...speechless. My thoughts are with you during this very difficult time. I am amazed by the woman you have become.
 

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It took me four tries to get through your post. Each time I would get to the abuse and couldnt handle it. I am so so sorry you had to endure such awfullness as a child (or at ALL)<br><br>
I am glad you have found such peace, and wish you all the best as you come towards your new adventures!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MPsSweetie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15443855"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Soooo many (((hugs)))</div>
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Thanks. I'm not usually much a physical affection fan (I think you now know why), unless I'm really, <i>really</i> comfortable with the person, but I gladly accept <i>all</i> of your hugs.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rabbitmum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15444120"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I'm glad things worked out for you in the end! Congratulations on your expected baby!</div>
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Thank you both for the empathy and the congratulations. This baby is very much wanted, it's a very happy time for me right now.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>laohaire</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15444211"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have tears running down my face. I am so glad you were quickly found and so glad that you managed somehow to rebuild your life.</div>
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I didn't mean to make you cry, but thank you ever so much.<br><br>
It was just a complete accident that I was found as quickly as I was. If she had dropped me even just a few rows over it would have been in the staff parking area and shifts had just changed an hour before. I'm grateful for the woman who found me (there visiting her daughter and her new granddaughter, oddly enough) every day.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>c'est moi</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15444215"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I read every last word. I am...speechless. My thoughts are with you during this very difficult time. I am amazed by the woman you have become.</div>
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Thank you for your support. It means more to me than you'll ever know. Also, no one has ever told me that I made them speechless before. I'm weirdly honored. I'm also beyond honored by your closing words. The only people who've ever told me that I've become an amazing person are my Mom and my DF.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>happydance</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15444275"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Love to you. I couldnt read and not send you love - thank you for sharing.</div>
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I NEVER tell this story, mainly because I can't stand the pity it can bring out in people. I'm past it, aside from my father's death, which I completely blame on my mother. People (my therapist, my Mom, my best friend) are always telling that I have to let go over the anger to get over it, but I am over it - I'm just still angry over losing my father. Everyday something will remind me of him. It doesn't always make me mad or sad, more often I just get wistful. I wish he was here right now so he could walk me down the aisle (which I'm not doing since he can't) and meet his grandchild come January.<br><br>
Your love is received with open arms and I'm incredibly grateful for it. Thank you so, so much.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Barbie64g</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15444278"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It took me four tries to get through your post. Each time I would get to the abuse and couldnt handle it. I am so so sorry you had to endure such awfullness as a child (or at ALL)<br><br>
I am glad you have found such peace, and wish you all the best as you come towards your new adventures!</div>
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I'm sorry that it was so hard for you to read. I keep coming back to it to "fix it" be it punctuation, spelling, or just the wording. I must have edited a good twenty times by now. It's like my brain keeps telling me, "it has to be perfect, it has to be right."<br><br>
The strangest thing was that up until the very last time, I was always still searching for ways to make her love me, even though I was terrified of her. Like I said before, she was my Mommy and I wanted the connection that society teaches us from such an early age that you and your mother, especially if you're a girl, are supposed to have.<br><br>
The best thing that ever happened to me mentally was when I realized that all of that was nonsense and it took several years of therapy for me to get to that point. It forced me into finally accepting that it was not in any way "my fault" and that finally released me from any feelings of guilt I had leftover.<br><br>
I've never really thought about myself as "at peace" but I suppose you may be right. I love my family and I know that they love me back; I'm engaged to the funniest, smartest, most loyal, best looking guy that I've ever known - he's truly one of a kind; I'm finally expecting my first child after quite a long while of trying for one; I'm leaving one dream job for another, the only difference in how I view them being hours-wise, so that I can keep my passion for justice and still be able to raise my child myself; the house we bought in Brooklyn in January (!) is finally through with renovations as of this afternoon, so we're moving in at the start of June; we both managed to secure time off at the same time for our two-week honeymoon in Puerto Rico where I'm going to swim with the bioluminescent plankton just like I've always dreamed of doing; my twenty-year-old cat was just given the all clear from his vet, after very nearly dying earlier this month; I've got the most amazing friends in the world; and so, so many more.<br><br>
Now that I've typed all that I wondering how I could be any <i>more</i> at peace, really. Life has turned out well for me. I beat the odds. Maybe in the interim between my jobs I should go to Vegas, or at least Atlantic City, and try and win some honeymoon shopping money.<br><br>
Thank you for your good wishes, too. Adventure is exactly the right word there, isn't it? The only thing I know for sure is that I'm going to break the abuse cycle in my family. It stops here. With DF by my side, I can do it. I'm only six-weeks along but I can't even fathom the idea of ever hurting my child. It's just impossible in my mind. I'll never understand what she did. Frankly, I don't want to. I'm just glad that I can look at my baby pictures with her in them now and not want to destroy them. I've finally gotten to the place where I've been able to decide that they're <i>my</i> memories, not hers. And I have to tell you, even though it took nearly twenty years, it feels good.<br><br><br>
To everyone: Thank you all again for reading all this. I know it's long. I'm wordy to begin with but when you combine how I am on a normal day with this week, pregnancy hormones, a defendant who just jumped bail, and not sleep all night because of said three things? I just felt like I needed to get it out, almost as if it was clawing at me from the inside out. If you took this time for the past five years versus how I'm doing this time around it's about a 1000% increase. I can't tell you how much your just getting all the way through and offering your support. Thank you, yet again.
 

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I was very moved and touched by your story. The amount of strength you show is overwhelming to me.
 

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There are just so many MDC smilies that I want to use right now.<br><br>
I'll settle for <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"> for all of the good things in your life right now, instead of giving you sad smilies for the bad things of the past.
 

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Amazing story! Congratulations on the marriage and pregnancy! It sounds like you have so much good in your life now and that is so incredible.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>paintedfire</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15444722"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you for your support. It means more to me than you'll ever know. Also, no one has ever told me that I made them speechless before. I'm weirdly honored. I'm also beyond honored by your closing words. The only people who've ever told me that I've become an amazing person are my Mom and my DF.</div>
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well, i'm glad i didn't say the "wrong" thing after finally finding my words <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I've been reading MDC forums for years now and posting for a couple and this is the first post that I've read here that really made me cry.<br><br>
To see that you are happy and successful now is such a wonderful ending. Big, big hugs to you and enjoy your new Jan. '11 babe - I had a Jan. '10 baby and she is the sweetest addition to my life.
 

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Thinking of you today.<br><br>
Much love to you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Thank you for sharing this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>naupakamama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15445677"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I was very moved and touched by your story. The amount of strength you show is overwhelming to me.</div>
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Thank you. I don't know how strong I am versus just how hardheaded I am, though.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rhiOrion</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15445726"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There are just so many MDC smilies that I want to use right now.<br><br>
I'll settle for <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"> for all of the good things in your life right now, instead of giving you sad smilies for the bad things of the past.</div>
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Thanks! This post was never meant as a plea for pity, it was just something that I felt I needed to do. My brain never turns off, never stop spinning, so I'm constantly thinking about random things all of the time but this time of year I'm usually only thinking about one thing: my Daddy.<br><br>
I guess I felt like I needed to put it out there for him. Who knows? But I am eternally grateful for your (and everyones!) support. I've needed it so much this week and you ladies came through like always. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Carhootel</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15445831"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Amazing story! Congratulations on the marriage and pregnancy! It sounds like you have so much good in your life now and that is so incredible.</div>
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I DO have a ton of good in my life right now, not the least of which is my amazing DF and this little one on the way. My Mom is overjoyed. Neither of my brothers have kids (and the youngest of the two is 47) so she can't get over being able to be called Grandma again after 19 years! She's calling and sending me packages all the time. I finally had to tell her to stop with the deliveries, at least for a little while, until after the move this weekend but I don't know how if she's going to be able to help herself or not.<br><br>
I'm so glad it came out somewhat coherent and that you . . . I don't want to say "enjoyed," since I know that that's the wrong word for something like this, so I'll just say "Thanks" to you. I appreciate it.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>c'est moi</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15445860"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">well, i'm glad i didn't say the "wrong" thing after finally finding my words <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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Not a chance. Unless you had told me I was a "big baby who just needed to get over it" - believe it or not I once I got this response from someone I thought I could trust - then nothing you would have said could have been wrong. Thank you again.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Charbeau</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15445900"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've been reading MDC forums for years now and posting for a couple and this is the first post that I've read here that really made me cry.<br><br>
To see that you are happy and successful now is such a wonderful ending. Big, big hugs to you and enjoy your new Jan. '11 babe - I had a Jan. '10 baby and she is the sweetest addition to my life.</div>
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I really, really didn't mean to make people cry! I'm sorry.<br><br>
Thank you so much for your words. I can't wait for my baby to be here! I'm sure your daughter is absolutely wonderful. I love babies. I'm often tempted to run off with them, but my moral compass usually stops me. Usually.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nmbutts</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15456597"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thinking of you today.<br><br>
Much love to you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"></div>
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Today is the hardest day of all, save for next Tuesday/Wednesday when I found out that he was dead.<br><br>
I'm trying my best to keep it together. Thank you. Knowing that you're keeping me in your thoughts is the best gift I could ask for.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CherryBomb</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15456749"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you for sharing this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"></div>
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It was hard once it was over, but while I was typing it was like I didn't stop to think about anything. Which explains why I've had to go back and edit it for spelling and/or grammar about two-dozen times. I took me about ten minutes to get up the courage to hit 'Submit New Thread,' but the support I've received has been overwhelming.<br><br>
Thank <i>you</i> for your time.
 

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woah. you are amazing leigh. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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