I remember when....after our divorce was final in August 2015 we were FORCED to move from the marital home that was supposed to be our “forever home.”
My children were just 4 and 6 years old at the time and we had nowhere.....nowhere to go.
I had offered to take over mortgage payments but my ex-husband and his family refused. They simply fixed up the house and planned to put it on the market for $200k more than what we paid for it. Smh.
• My ex who made over $200k/year didn’t offer.
• His parents didn’t offer.
• No one in his family offered.
• Most of my friends were also abuse survivors were living day to day and I didn’t want to burden anyone.
• Even our church didn’t offer to help.
• My family lived in Missouri and that wasn’t an option at all.
At the time I was operating an underground food and clothing bank and my main thought was, “how am I going to continue to do this?!”
It was a business colleague of mine that I knew was building a monster of a house and I knew he had space for my things, furniture, freezers/refrigerators and pantry items.
I asked him, out of desperation while swallowing my pride, if I could store my things in his “house under construction” and would he mind if the kids and I stayed there as well....”for just a few months.”
He agreed. (He offered his personal home and I refused).
I moved all my clothes on racks and placed a mattress on the floor.
The home was beautiful....had plumbing but no electricity. I didn’t care - I was just thankful to have shelter for my kids.
I rearranged what we could fit in that room in addition to some antique furniture he had to make it look like a “bedroom/home” and would store a little bit of dry goods.
I did my laundry at a local laundromat.
We took cold showers and every night....after my kids went to sleep....I would cry myself to sleep.
Every visitation with my ex was a nightmare.
He would drive over to this house in his new Porsche; sometimes late and some times not at all. Sometimes alone and some times with the woman he had an affair with (and later married).
I had to call the police a few times because he would arrive, get out and start harassing me for no reason in front of the kids.
At the time I was driving a 2001 Suburban and it broke down on the highway. I about lost it.
I was so broken.
The next day, literally on Labor Day, a friend of mine drove me to a TOYOTA dealership that is known in the area for helping single moms.
My credit was a wreck.....like 550 or so and I was approved. I used all the money I had left that I had been saving for a rental on a down payment and car insurance.
I drove off the lot that day in a 2016 Toyota Corolla and for the first time, felt empowered - like it was going to be okay.
The following business day....I applied to drive for Uber; later in 2016 Lyft. Between both, I was making $65-100/hour including tips.
In 1 month, I had saved up enough money to move my kids into a beautiful albeit small, Spanish style home in an area called Old Metairie. Rent took up my entire child support but I didn’t care.
I was happy just to have a nice home for my kids; 2 bedrooms, living and dining + kitchen. Guest house that I used as a food pantry.
Started to design websites again and continued to drive for Uber & Lyft.
6 months later...the house sold and we had to move again.
Found a house closer to my son’s school and lived there for 2 years before moving up north of New Orleans where we’ve been living for the last 1.5 years.
I share this with you so you know that just about everyone struggles when they come out these marriages/relationships.
I have some very deep scars. I still have a teeny bit of resentment left along the lines of “How come she.....blah, blah, blah?!” While I did everything for you and you left us?!” I am giving all of this to God so I can focus on being the BEST version of me. Life is too short to hold anger or resentment for anyone you cannot control.
Then I remind myself all the horrible things he did to me and my children and it’s placed into perspective.
My past; your past - OUR challenges are for a reason and that reason is tied to purpose.
I strongly believe this.
Can you imagine a world where if every survivor stood up and turned to help another 10, 20, 30 + more people in one way or the other; can you imagine how AMAZING our world would be?!
Don’t ever give up or give in.
Yes. It’s going to hurt.
Yes. You might be homeless.
Yes. You may lose your car.
Yes. You may have to work around the clock.
But take advantage of SNAP, Medicaid, school loans, get a new car and drive Rideshare - take up housecleaning, tutoring, babysitting; learn how to design and build websites, social media marketing - whatever it takes to keep moving ahead.
SCREAM into a pillow.
Repeat if you need too.
It’s healthy to release - it’s the only way you are going to get through this!