I am the mother of children that range from young adult to pre-school. Like most children from my generation, I grew up waiting for some prince to race in on his white stallion, and whisk me away to his castle, where we would live happily ever after. That didn’t happen, and for the first time in my life, I found myself in a shelter. As a woman in her forties, I never imagined this is where I would end up. While I was there, I learned about a chart that showed all the different forms of abuse, and found that with all three of my marriages, I had covered the entire diagram. With this last divorce, it was time for me to make a change. I had no college degree and no financial security; these were to become my main goals. With all the assistance I could find, I was going to focus on myself and discover who I was. For the first time in my life I wanted to “believe”…….in me.
I have been living alone for a couple of years now. The toughest challenge I faced was to ask for help. Deciding to go to college was the scariest choice I made. The help I needed came, from family and friends. Donations came in from household items, to babysitting, to even money. It even came from my employer, the dates for court appearances were granted, and stepping down in my position to enter college was made feasible. The Woman’s Resource Center became my ally. Obtaining a Pell grant made college possible. The aid I’ve received has been astounding. By tapping into available resources, and overcoming many fears, I had started a journey toward something great, myself.
Being a single mother in school, and working part-time, I have discovered this….The homework is hard; finding time to study is a challenge. Squeezing time in for my children is often a test. Probably the most difficult is finding spare time for the new man in my life. His love and support have helped me more than words can say. Even this relationship is new for me. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel the need to move in, marry, or have a man save me. After a year and a half, our relationship has gradually shaped into one of mutual respect, friendship, and love. Juggling school, family, and work have become a huge piece in learning who I am.
As you can see my life is full of many firsts. I am finding out that the things that I feared for so long are not scary at all. I am discovering things about myself that I never knew before. I found that I could make a change, start over, and find help in a variety of ways. The greatest element of all my discoveries is what is most different this time; this time, I “Believe” in me.
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