October 18, 1998 I gave birth to my BEAUTIFUL daughter Ariyanna, so fondly known as “Ari”. I recently spent entirely too much money on a “Super Sweet 13” Birthday Party for her.  She is my only child and she is definitely spoiled.  I was 20 years old when I had Ari and I knew it all (I wish I had sarcastic font). I’m amazed at how fast 13 years has flown by as if it was just 13 days ago.  I am woman enough to admit in the beginning I was a HORRIBLE mother.  I wasn’t excited. I didn’t get that “motherly” feeling once she was born, I didn’t feel this overwhelming rush of joy when I looked into her little face, instead I thought to myself: “OH S**T!!! What in the hell am I going to do with this baby!?!”  And it took me a while to get this whole mother thing together, and now when I think I have one thing down she changes and I’m back learning as fast as she is growing.

I think my feelings about being a mother was influenced by the relationship I was in with her father.  Me and her father's relationship was a tumultuous ride.  As I look back on our relationship I realize I never loved him, I was in love with the idea of someone loving me.  (For the sake of “privacy” I will just refer to him as D.B.)  In the beginning we spent every minute that we could spend together, it got so bad that my mom didn’t want him to come to our house to visit anymore.  I thought that his desire to spend every waking minute with me was “love”, when in reality it was a control issue.  Since my mom didn’t want him over every day he had the bright idea that we move in together, and I figured, why not?

Because we spent so much time together we argued often, sometimes our arguments turned physical, but physical arguments were nothing new to me.  As a child I watched my grandparents argue, and my Bigmama often told stories of how her and my grandfather fought during their marriage.  I was a witness to the physical abuse between my dad and my mom, and then I had aunts and uncles as well as friends I saw fight all the time.  I cant say I thought it was “normal” I just didn’t think it was strange.  However, after I moved in with him our small pushes and occasional slaps turned into drag down, knock out, Ike and Tina episodes.  Still as CRAZY as it may seem, I didn’t think that was a reason to end the relationship.  I can admit that there were times when I thought that he was going to kill me, there were times that I used excessive make up to cover bruises, and there were times that I prayed to God that he would just stop hitting me, but I never really thought about leaving. 

I know you may sit at your computer screen and think to yourself, how could someone let another person abuse them? As I write this I ask myself the same question.  I could probably blame the relationship on not having a father, or that I saw my dad beat my mom, or that I thought I was in love but instead I will be honest and say, I think I liked the excitement.  I was young and liked drama and I had a crazy idea of what a relationship was supposed to be.  I can even admit that sometimes I would start the fights with him.  The crazy relationship that I had with him spilled over into my future relationships and I would try to fight with my new boyfriends when I got mad.  It took a very special person to say to me: “Dee you are fucked up in the head. I don’t know what you’ve been through I just know you’re not going to go through it again.  I’m not going to fight you.”

The month of October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and there are millions of women who are currently going through the same things, if not worse, than I went through.  Domestic violence is a very confusing situation because although the abused person is in a situation they know they shouldn't be in they still have a strange desire to stay.  If youknow someone who is in an abusive relationship I would NOT suggest you tell them how "stupid" they are or "if you were them" what you would do. Instead let them know you are there for them.  Support is the most important thing they need.  And if you are being abused, don’t be afraid to leave.  As common as fights may seem to you, they are unhealthy and can be deadly.

When I finally decided to leave I dealt with many psychological issues that I still deal with today.  And if anyone is reading this needs help you can go to www.ncadv.org for more information regarding organizations and support groups in your area.  But if you need someone to just talk to please feel free to send me a message in the contact tab.  I cant give “expert” advice, but I can listen, and I wont judge you.