Last time we met, I told you about my first marriage and my decision to enlist to the Army.
When I finally returned from Army training nearly seven months after I left my precious son and my shitty husband, I felt strong inside and out.
I was willing to give Brandon and our marriage a shot but I also had one foot out the door.
I felt free, dam
I’m pretty sure I got pregnant that first night home.
But this is God’s plan, y’all.
I look back and laugh at all the fears I let consume my soul.
At six months pregnant, Brandon told me he wasn’t attracted to me and he was going to start seeing other people.
Casual AF, y’all.
Our second son was born in May, he quickly texted his girlfriend a photo of our new baby so she could swoon over him.
It took a while, we lived as roommates raising kids for just over a year.
But when I finally left, I LEFT.
I left Brandon and his negative energy, his “I am God” mentality and I found freedom.
And I moved back to Florida to be near my family and began my life as a single mother.
I will never forget the feeling as I drove south on I-81.
Every mile I drove away from Brandon felt like weight being flung off my shoulders.
I could breathe.
And I could think.
I could figure out who I really was.
I was happier than I have ever been in my entire life.
Our apartment was the size of my current living room.
The lights got shut off once or twice.
I struggled to feed my children healthy meals sometimes.
And I felt guilty as hell that the babysitter spent more time with my kids than I did.
But I worked my ass off and I didn’t answer to anyone after business hours.
I loved being a single mom.
Of course, I still had daydreams of what it would be like to have a big family and a truly loving husband but Brandon did a good job convincing me —
I was damaged goods.
Who wants a single mom of two wild boys?
You guys… I fell in love with myself and I would highly recommend the experience.
I figured out what I truly believed in, I allowed myself to trust in God again.
And I raised my boys as if one day they would be men.
I loved myself fiercely.
That broken, battered, weak woman, I loved her.
Would I go back and erase Brandon from my life?
What if I could erase Brandon but still somehow get my beautiful sons?
Brandon broke me down to nothing and then he tried to build me back up to be exactly what he wanted me to be.
A woman that would judge single mothers in the grocery store.
A woman that would join the Army so that he could pursue a career in absolutely nothing.
All from the comfort of his sofa as he sexted sleazy women in other states.
A boring, broken, cowardly woman without passion for life, politics, religion, or humor.
Ironically, he is remarried now.
His wife works two jobs while he sits at home, racks up child support debt, and picks up our boys every other weekend.
He never built me back up at all.
I wouldn’t let him.
He broke me and I built myself back up.
After all my struggles, He knew I wasn’t going to find myself any old normal, boring way.
In a way, Brandon is responsible for the person I am today.
He broke me down to nothing and taught me that I
God also wants me to forgive Brandon.
And I’m working on it.
For now, I’m oddly grateful to Brandon but not quite ready to fully forgive him.
And I promise, I will never forget him.
Thanks for coming to hear a little more about the storm before my Sunshine.
This was just the beginning of my FREEDOM.
Written By Sunshine. Edited By Herstun.
Check out all of Sunshine, exclusively on Herstun FM Readio. —
III. Freedom (currently reading)
I love this story. My favorite part is when she finally realizes that she can return to Brandon to build her up. And I could feel the pride in her words when she announced that she did it on her own. That is major in the life of a woman. Being a single mother cannot be easy. A single mother of two boys under 5 must have felt impossible at times.
To be honest, my first thought was, ‘this is why we provide assistance’.
We pay taxes in this country so that women and children that find themselves in similar places as Sunshine have an opportunity to access good foods.
In her first post, she gave us a story about her ex-husband Brandon watching a black woman pay for lobster with a
food stamp card.
In my opinion, that is what the assistance is for. No one busting their ass to make ends meet should have to sacrifice ALL THE TIME on the nourishment they put in their body (among other things). Of course, there is already going to be some sacrifice for all members of transitioning or impoverished families.
But the hope is that we can create a system, or contribute to a system, that allows women and men that are raising kids in the financial struggle, (just like Sunshine was when she first returned to Florida), a chance at a little bit of lobster every now and again. Food security should be guaranteed to all families with children. Especially considering the way abortion rights have been swinging Pro-life.
Wildenotes are strictly the political analysis and commentary of W.D. Herstun.