Begin reading Rebecca’s story here.
Once we started the ball rolling with the Lawyer, the Ex and I assumed roles for the battle, whether we wanted them or not. The fact that Rebecca was within my blood family and the fact that my Ex and I were not married (at the time) meant it was my name on papers vs Bio Mom. Lawyer thought it best to keep things simple.
No matter how the story ended with my Ex and I, we knew what we had to do for Rebecca. The timeline in my head gets a bit off with all of this but at one point the Ex and I did break up. We still lived together but weren’t together. Yea, makes total sense, I know. Our lives were not like our friends. Everyone else was in full on wedding mode, settling down, working on careers and truly just enjoying life. Most friends just didn’t full understand what we were going through and struggled with how to be supportive or how to understand. Plus, I hated reiterating everything to them day in and day out for them to share a stupid solution….like I hadn’t been through the basics yet. Basically we didn’t have a lot in common so and the Ex and I were struggling to feel grounded.
Basically we were a hot mess and felt all alone on an island.
Our families were there even though most of my extended family had drawn a line on the sand where they stood Even then, our families could only do so much.
Once the Ex and I did get back together, everyone pushed the fact that we should be joining the ranks of our friends and getting married. I honestly don’t think our families knew what else to do or say and that seemed like a positive solution for them. For us, I think we got back together because we were all each other knew by that point. While we used the break up to provide us with a chance to pretend our problems, outside of Rebecca, didn’t exist, it didn’t work. However, I believe we truly loved each other at this point. It may not have been perfect but we did have love.
My Ex worked his ass off. He wanted to do everything he could on his end to pull us through court and what we were doing was costing us a fortune that we didn’t have. I dove head first into everything to do with court and had to shut down my insurance agency, taking a basic office job that didn’t require so much thought as my brain was occupied elsewhere. I can tell you to this day, I think this is the beginning of what wasn’t good for the ex and I and this began his career driven life that he would eventually choose over our marriage.
The Ex and I would sit at night, exhausted, going over things. Our kitchen table littered with documents and research. I would be lying if I said we always remained on the same team. There was fighting and blame placed because we needed someone to hate. Yes, we took it out on each other from time to time but always came back together. Sometimes we lost the glue that held us together and had made us, US. It was a lonely world without the other person so we would find our way back.
I remember one day missing Rebecca so badly, I sat on the floor of her room, curled in a ball, holding her baby blanket just sobbing. The kind of crying where you feel like you are going to puke and don’t know how to come up for air. All her toys were starting to collect dust and life seemed on pause. When children are kidnapped or die young, I don’t completely understand, but I have an idea of what that parent goes through. Life on pause. I just needed to feel the weight of her in my arms, trace her chubby fingers with mine. Breathe her in. Whisper in her ear I was trying everything for her. The Ex came home from work to find me there. He just sat next to me and started silently crying. He didn’t break down often but he did that night. We sat there for a long time, surrounded by smiling Pooh and Tigger, as the sun set, just sobbing. A 23 yr old and 24 yr old just trying to tackle the worst case scenario.
We got up the next day and just did it all over again because what other choice did we have? We just learned to take it one day at a time together. But the point is, the Ex and I did it all together and there is truly no way I could have done it without him.