The day I discovered that my ex-partner had moved on with someone new, my heart shattered into a million pieces. It was as if my world had fallen apart. Not only because beneath all the madness I still loved him; but he was now giving some chick all of our son’s time. It broke my heart knowing how much our son needed the love of his father, but he had chosen to give it to her instead. He quickly moved her in and began a carefree life of extravagant dates, holidays – you name it. Whilst I struggled not knowing how I would get the next pack of nappies or baby milk, they sat in the Shard sipping on champagne. As I battled through the cold days, not being able to afford a proper winter coat because every penny went to the demands of a newborn child, they were tanning in Monaco. I felt numb.
It took me a long time to accept that my dream of being a family unit no longer existed and that I would become a single mother again. That the man I once called my soulmate, who I gave five years of my life to, just disregarded it all and treated me like I was nothing. It took time to rebuild my self worth, to embrace my situation and even to laugh again. However, when it comes to meeting someone new, I’ve given up on the idea. ‘I’m done with men’ is what I tell myself. Not that I am turning the other way or anything, I have just decided to focus on ME, my children and my career instead.
Had he been there for our son, maybe it would have been much easier to move on. But being bogged down with a child 24/7, I had no time for anything else except to ensure that I kept my head on straight. After all someone had to be the sane one! What would have happened if we had both given up? What cracks me up about absent fathers is that they walk around downgrading their children’s mothers but regardless of what you may think of that woman she is holding the fort for YOU, so show some respect. “My baby mum’s crazy” is a common phrase used by men who are bitter and scorned. Well guess what? That same crazy woman you laid down with and created a life and that same crazy woman is raising your child and doing the best she can… alone. It is the shit my children’s fathers have said about me, but I don’t even respond. Because any man that has 1 million excuses as to why he has not laid his eyes on his child, but can still blissfully move on with some new chick, is beyond crazy to me. No woman should come before your child. Period.
I know some people will question that I must have known he was going to be a deadbeat or play a minimal role in our son’s life, but there are situations where you have no idea that it will end that way. I never really thought about more children after becoming a single mother with my daughter, but after being with my ex-partner for five years it got to the point where we began talking about babies. Although it did not end well, we shared a fun loving relationship throughout the years. He had a daughter from a previous relationship and seemed to be a good father. He took great care of his daughter, and my own, playing a proper role in their lives. He seemed committed to our family unit. It felt right.
I did not meet my father until I was 11 and watched my mum raise seven of us alone, which gave me a longing desire to raise my children in a complete family unit. My father is a drug addict and chose his habit over his children. He has been in and out of my life ever since I met him. It was only after I separated from my ex-partner that I realised the negative effect that my father’s absence had on me. I have a fear of rejection and my bad choice in men tend to reflect the father figure that I never had. My father taught me nothing about the qualities of a good man, and he sure as hell isn’t a role model to look up too.
Recently, though, things have been great. My children are thriving and I have achieved a great amount. I have written and produced two short films, showcased a theatre play and have set up my own company, A Scott Productions. I will be creating more films and running filmmaking workshops in schools in the near future, which all keeps me busy. But as we all know it can be an extremely lonely experience, as a single mother. When the kids are tucked up in bed, I am usually off to bed behind them at 8-9 pm or up until late working. I often feel unsexy and my passion and charisma has gone out of the window. The thought of having a man around my children and coming into my bubble scares me. The thought of them being abandoned by someone they may get attached to, scares me even more. Will they like him? How will he fit into my time? Do I want someone with children of his own? So many things run through my mind.
Breaking up with the man you love is devastating for anyone, especially when you have a baby to raise alone in the midst of it. I did have a brief fling two years after the breakdown of my relationship, however I still had a barrage of emotions towards my ex-partner. My head was everywhere and it was short-lived. When I look back he was actually a nice guy, but the deeper issues of my situation created a fear of falling in love again. I built a wall around my emotions so high that no one can be let in.
It has been four years that I have officially been single, and I’ve come to a point in my life where I am ready to love again. I know I deserve love and should not be too hard on myself, but there is always that voice in my head saying, ‘what if you get it wrong again?’ I then make excuses about it; that it is still not the right time for me. Being so focused on my children and my career has put me in a rut when it comes to dating. I have been on a few dates, admittedly having lots of fun, but it gets a bit much when they want to see me all the time. When they begin to catch feelings I back off or end up pushing them away.
I know it has nothing to do with my ex’s because I have allowed myself to go through the emotions and given myself time to heal from that situation. I respect myself far too much to go back to a man who treated me like nothing! No, I do not look back. It’s more the doubt and worry that I need to free myself from. As much as I am fulfilled on my journey to success, I know I must allow myself to love again. I know I must allow myself to feel passion, euphoria and all the delightful things that love brings. So that when Mr. Right comes along, I will be vulnerable enough to say ‘I am afraid of falling’ and he will whisper ‘I have wings’.
Written By Aysha Scott
Edited By Shayanne Campbell – firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credits: Raheem Lloyd