This I Believe

Amber - Charlotte, Michigan
Entered on August 25, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I believe. Relationships are hard. I was raised on Disney cartoons. Fairy tales where young girls are directed by fate, they may have a few trials to overcome but as long as they humbly accepted their situation, luck would come through to give them a happy ending. When I was young I was very protected from the world. I attended a private religious school that was also my church. There was not a day I was not at church/school for the first 12 years of my life. Our mother was fairly strict on at governing the programs and movies we watched, hence, being raised on Disney. As I grew older I came to find out that the fairy tales were just that, “fairy tales.” Through school and the limited access I had to the “real” world I heard stories of “real” people. Stories of parents divorcing, children and wives being abused, addiction, etc. The most horryfing thought to me was to become a victim of these abuses and addictions and made a pact with myself not to ever become a weak woman with no power. Then in my thirteenth year my parents got divorced, two years later I became pregnant with my first child, two years after that I developed a cocaine habit and thought I hit rock bottom. I had entered the “real” world head on. Seven years passed and I pulled my life together. I went to school, got a good job, had joint custody of my son, and was on the right track. But was still missing something. Then I met Jeremy. He was fun and exiciting and nothing I had ever experienced before. We spent one night together and knew we were meant to be together for the rest of our lifes. Our relationship was cemented in ectasy, cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, and passion. It was a match made in heaven. One year passed and I became pregnant. I lost the baby but it had a sobering effect on our lives and made us yearn to “make beautiful babies together.” We became pregnant with our first son a few months later and I became depressed nine months after that. One year later our second son announced his coming and I knew I wanted to die. My whole belief system broke down under the weight of children, depression, work, and a boyfriend who drank away all our income while controlling every aspect of my life. Further and further I fell into the clutches of depression still hanging on to the fairy tale. I just knew if I hung on long enough it would come, meanwhile, everything that went wrong was my fault. When I became pregnant for our last child I lost myself. I lost my beliefs, my religion, my self respect, and most of all my fairy tale. A year passed and I just went through the motions of life. I loathed myself because I had become what I despised the most in the world: an abused woman who had lost control of her life. So I left Jeremy. I gave up the fairy tale once and for all. I wanted to exact opposite of the fairy tale and told anyone I could that fairy tales are all *expletive*! It has been one year since my “bottom.” Jeremy and I are working things out slowly and thankfully we still have the passion. I have regained power over myself and my life yet I still yearn for the old fairy tale notions. However, I now realize that, unlike the old Disney cartoons, not all fairy tales have happy endings. And the only person who has power over that ending is me.