Get that BREAD, get that HEALING, and LEAVE

Alright so boom! I keep typing this and deleting it, writing it down then erasing it, and I’m tired of that so here it goes…

My child’s father treated me like absolute shit for the entire 9 months that I was pregnant. There, I said it. And I’m clenching my jaw as I’m typing this because I don’t want that to be the image that is forever associated with him; but it’s the truth. He ruined my pregnancy with his selfishness, immaturity, inconsistency, and just plain shittiness. (I almost put an LOL there but there is nothing funny about this.)

I found out I was pregnant on January 15, 2020. I called my 2 best friends, reveled in their excitement and anxiety, mixed it with mine, and then got the balls to ca- text Bean’s dad and tell him the news. His response was “we’ll get it handled” and from then on, I knew. I knew any decision I made next was going to have to be for me and me only; so I chose. I chose life and I chose Bean; he chose to take matters into his own hands and try to choose abortion. Planned Parenthood address after address, “I’m not ready” texts followed by “If you keep it, we’re breaking up” messages, paternity denial- the works. I chose Bean, by myself and for myself. And then, I had to shrink myself and downplay my certainty to keep him around. I spent the first 6 weeks of my pregnancy finding any and every excuse to justify my reason for not getting an abortion when “I don’t want to” should have been enough. I found myself texting him asking how he was doing when I was the one creating a life, scared to tell my family, anxious about even going full term with this child. I was the one texting him. I went to every doctor’s appointment alone, went out of my way to keep him and his family included, and still, I was the one texting him- begging him to be a family and a present partner and father.

I was always met with “I don’t want to catch you off guard at the hospital so I’m telling you now, I want a DNA test. I know you didn’t cheat but I still need to be sure.” or “Please don’t put me on child support” or “Nah, I’m not coming to put the crib up today cause I don’t feel like it. Can you do me this favor though?” And like a dummy, I would do the favor, in hopes that he’d come through for me and he never did. I spent 9 months carrying and growing a child, by myself, lonely as a muthaf^€%@ and he still refuses to see what he did in its entirety. And that’s (almost) okay now. Because I get it. It’s hard to be a good and present father when you’ve never had one. That’s not an excuse though or at least not one that I’m going to let fly.

My Bean deserves an active and present father, or father figure, and I will not let anyone deny her that experience- myself included. That means I finally have to post this and forgive him for making me feel the lonely and disconnect and disappointment that he made me feel almost a year ago. I have to continue to forgive him when he doesn’t show up in the ways that I expect him to or how I think he should. I gotta take the current good with the old bad and make it some kind of great so I don’t subconsciously taint their relationship. I have to tell her all his ugly AND mine and pray that she makes the best choices for herself; not for my selfish desires. I’m freeing myself to talk about my experience as often as possible because, although it’s not pretty, it’s mine and it’s apart of our story and you can’t tell a story without all of the chapters. So this is chapter 1: A Fresh Start.

I do NOT like sharing

I do not like sharing. I have NEVER liked sharing; I still don’t like sharing.

This poses a problem in my co-parenting relationship and motherhood journey. I do not like sharing yet I brought a child into this world and committed myself to sharing her for the rest of her life. WHY did I do that?! I DO NOT LIKE SHARING!!!!!!!!

I, honestly, never thought Bean’s dad was going to be in her life so telling him I was standing firm in my decision to keep her seemed easy? Or like the right thing to do at the time? I don’t know; it felt good to do. To look someone who had initially rejected the idea of her in the eye and “flex my voice” and stand firm in my decision to keep her felt good! Made me feel confident, and free. Like “yeah, YOU don’t want her but I do and dammit Imma have her!” And then… he quickly changed his mind. He wanted her and he decided he was going to be a father, and an active one at that, and I was ECSTATIC! That felt even better: “Yassss! I don’t have to do this alone! Yessss, Imma have me a man AND a baby!” Except… that’s not what I really wanted.

I stopped seeing myself as a “typical” woman years ago. Dreams of marriage and babies and husbands and coming home from work to cook, clean, mother, and wife have LONG escaped my daydreams. I knew that when I got pregnant, I knew that when I thought I was going to have to do the whole single mom thing, and I knew that when I spent twelve hours in labor. So why, now, does it feel like some groundbreaking revelation about myself? Why do I feel guilty for wishing I would’ve carried and birthed Bean “in secret”? It’s what I really wanted once I saw those two pink lines- a baby. Me and that baby, alone.

I often vent to my friends like “I want Bean to have her dad and know him and I’m glad he’s around” but… I’m lying. I don’t really want that. Not for myself at least. I want to raise my daughter “alone”. I don’t want to have to share her. I didn’t want to give her his last name. If I could have, I would’ve stayed pregnant forever- to keep her close. I only keep him around for their sake; so my daughter can decide if she wants to know her father and build a relationship with him, on her own. Just as I did with my own father. I’ve allowed him the chance to get to know her, in some capacity; for selfish reasons too- so neither of them can ever say I “kept him/her from them”. More importantly, I owe it to her to know both of her parents and to foster relationships with us from her own perspective and with her own judgements. So, I swallow my feelings and I answer his calls and allow him to visit and send him pictures and videos of her as she grows; but man, I really wanna keep her to myself. And that feels good to finally say.

Deep, heavy, sigh

Let me just preface this by saying: I HATE co-parenting. Truly hate it. Already. Also, I don’t hate my baby day but I definitely resent him for a couple reasons. And yes, there is a difference between hating him and resenting him.

Y’all already know me and Bean’s dad are doing the whole bi-coastal, cross country “co-parenting” thing. Listen…. I hate it. There is a longgggg, CVS receipt style, list of reasons why but the main one? His communication skills suck RASS and I am far too impatient and mean to work through them with him.

So boom, it’s visiting time right? Their first visit since we’ve moved to California three months ago. Now, EYE am a planner. I have to plan every day, every hour, every minute. I do not go anywhere without a plan; even if I divert from the plan. Bean’s daddy is not. Y’all can already see where this is going, right? Cool. So, I’m asking questions- hella questions- because I need a plan… or an idea of a plan. He has no idea or plan but “to see Bean and spend time with her.” Duh! Why else would you be coming here right?? Except, I can’t say that to him cause that’s mean and insensitive and blah blah blah. So, I type that then delete it.

I think to myself: Alright Destiny, time to test your conscious and positive parenting skills. Oh y’all thought that whole “go with grace” thing only applies to the children? Oh, no, sorry. It’s an EVERYBODY thing. So, I formulate a better, kinder response and I’m met with “I feel like you don’t even want me to come”. Deep, heavy, negro spiritual sigh. I don’t respond to that. I bury it and move on and don’t ask anymore questions; whatever happens, happens.

But this is what I mean when I say I hate co-parenting. I do not get to be selfish and callous and mean to him. I have to show him at least the bare minimum version of kind and respectful Destiny so that I can 1: ensure he’ll make somewhat of an effort to be in our daughter’s life (without trying to place blame on me) and 2: teach her kindness and respect and all of the things. I don’t get to continuously flex my power and authority as her mother because all it does, and will do, is create an even bigger power struggle between he and I and listen… I do not have that kinda time. So f^%@ it, you right. I don’t want you to come… what time yo flight land though? Did you wanna take Bean to the park for some one-on-one time or something? Because my daughter deserves that. She deserves a father, in whatever capacity he is capable of being, and she deserves a mother willing to meet him halfway… or at least a quarter of the way. Anyway, wish me luck and restraint. This gone be a long weekend.