When you become pregnant you celebrate, pick out nursery themes, and argue over baby names. You don’t think about the chances of having a child with special needs, and you most certainly don’t think about what you would do if you had to raise your child on your own. Yet here I am raising a child rocking an extra chromosome, as single parent.
It doesn’t matter why or how my marriage failed. It’s not really anybody’s business to be blunt. All that matters now is that it did fail, and it’s over, and in the last three months since he left I’ve had to overcome a lot raising Oliver on my own. Three months. When you say it out loud it doesn’t sound like much time, but it has been an eternity since that day. I’ve learned so much about myself, my faults, my issues, but I learned something else through all of this, I am strong.
When you become a single parent everything changes, literally everything. How you eat, how you clean, the bathroom becomes an oasis of peace, until you realize Oliver can army crawl now and you see his adorable little face scooting through the door frame. You must rely solely on yourself. At first it’s petrifying, relying on no one but yourself. Through the late night crying and sick days, there is no one to turn to. There are no breaks, only quick opportunities to shove food in your face or take a relaxing 90 second shower while he cries at the bottom of the tub pulling on the shower curtain because he cant see you.
At first you sit on the floor crying, holding your chest because you can literally feel your heart tearing apart. But then you have to get up, because your son needs you. Little things cause those massive tears that leave you clutching for your chest. When he learns something new and there is no one to turn and look at to celebrate with, or when he is up all night crying and you are exhausted, those are the moments when you feel the most alone. But then something happens. You remember that the heart is a muscle and each one of those tears wasn’t you breaking, but building a stronger, thicker heart.
The once petrifying idea of relying on yourself becomes your strength. The knowledge that you can and will survive builds inside you like warm embers knowing that you can make it on your own. My son is happy; he has been and always will be my number one priority. I am still broken, but the large gaping wholes I could once feel eating at me like endless voids are now but cracks within me.
I am on my own now in this journey, my sons advocate more than ever before. My neon signs burns bright more frequently now, but I embrace what is to come. This is my path now. My Oliver is my future. And just like my son, I will heal and grow and succeed in my own time.