As a child I tried to be independent, happy and carefree. My parents were unhappy with each other and not such great parents, which tends to happen when you get pregnant at sixteen and were forced to marry! They are both better off married to the people they have now!! To be honest that start, and things that happened to me through my childhood, good and bad, have shaped the person that I am today. Things could have turned out a lot worse for me, and they would had if I had not had some very special people take an interest in pulling me out of the downward spiral that I was in.
I was therefore colored as the BlackSheep of the family. Frankly I think that even as a 3rd grader the signs of Bi-Polar were there, but they didn't know much about it then, and still won't diagnose kids that young now. Looking back though, it was all there.
So, as I said because I was a little "off", I became the BlackSheep. If I was around, things got blamed on me, even if I didn't do them. We spent a lot of time living with relatives after my parents divorced, due to the fact that my dad was in the Army, and constantly off "defending" his country. I call it running from single fatherhood, but you know how the "greats" never do anything wrong.
As a teen I became overweight, hated school, and for the most part hated life. I attempted suicide several times, and was depressed most of the time. I ended up in residential treatment programs several times due to my depression and attempts to end things. Those places were what changed me. I became aware that the issues that I had weren't really mine, I mean they were, but they stemmed from the things that were done to me as a child. Sexual, physical, and mental abuse can ruin you if you let it. I made the choice not to let it. Of course by then it was to late, things had been set in motion that had labeled me in the family.
I still made some dumb choices... you know like getting married twice just because I could.. that ended badly both times. By the time I met Clark, I really knew what I wanted and needed in a husband, even thought I was only 19. I was still married to #2 when I met Clark, but he knew all about everything and chose to take me on with all of the issues that I had. He saved me, and I do mean that in the figurative and literal sense of the word. I think that had he not entered my life when he did, I wouldn't be here today, or if I was, I would be in a very different place. He accepted me for who I was, no questions asked. I have never felt good enough for him though, just so you know, those pesky little self esteem issues refuse to let my brain accept that someone could love me for me, not what they could take or get out of me. He really is the most amazing person I swear!!
Ok, I got off track.... Back to being the BlackSheep.... So, things in my extended family have never been easy for me. I have always felt uncomfortable when I go back home for big family gatherings, but it really has pained me when I didn't go. I felt like everyone was watching and waiting for me to do something stupid just so they could say that I hadn't changed.
I have not shared a lot about our infertility with most of my family. Those closest to me know what we had to go through to get the Turtle. The main reason I kept quiet was because I knew they would judge me and blame what was now a physical problem on some of my past indiscretion's, even though they have nothing to do with my IF... you know how families can be.
A few years ago before IVF and the Turtle, I went to a family gathering with Kent, and it was all some family could do to not be openly rude about the fact that we had adopted a handicapped child... I said fuck them, and I still do. I love Kent with all my heart, and I don't see him as that poor little handicapped kid they all seemed to have seen.
I promise I am going somewhere with this....
So after all these years and struggles, I have gained a lot of the family back that I lost when I was little. Most of them tell me how proud they are that I made something good out of what started so bad. I have a wonderful life, an amazing husband, and 2 beautiful children. I really have come so far from that scared teen of just 17 short years ago.
So, it really hit me hard and out of the blue a few weeks ago when I found out that my favorite cousin "D" had been telling people from the day Turtle was born that she didn't think the Turtle was my biological daughter, and if we had admitted that we adopted Kent then why couldn't we admit we had adopted her.
Yeah I know right... she put me out there, and I have really struggled with this news every since. I have drafted a hundred letters to her in my heart and in email... none of them sent of course because I worry. I worry about what people will think if I react so strongly to her accusation. Will they think it is true. Not that I give a shit about what they think, but I don't want what I say to affect the families feelings about Turtle. She is my biological child, I mean hell the kid is the spitting image of me really, and most of you here know what I went through to get her here.
I am angry and hurt that this cousin would say such a thing, she was the last person I expected this from, and honestly it has really cut me very deeply. I don't know what to do about it, as I will most likely see her in a few weeks when we go on vacation, and I am honestly not sure I can keep from beating her ass!! I refuse to let her take what I went through to get where I am today with my girl and trash it. I just won't do it. At first I was hurt about the whole thing, and now I am just plain angry. I mean this woman has a husband who is nice, and 4 beautiful children so why in the hell does she need to pick on me??
Dear sweet Internets, I really want to cause her bodily harm for tarnishing such an amazing part of my life with her big mouth. I will not though because that is what would be expected of me. You see I learned a very important lesson this week.... No matter how you change, grow up, and become a better person, people will always judge you by your past.
So, it still seems as though I am and will forever be the BlackSheep no matter how much I change, and as much as that sucks, I really don't give a shit anymore, because I have what I have always wanted... A Wonderful Life!!!
Separation Devistation, Middle of Nowhere, Colorado, United States
I am Erica (Rebel) soon to be ex-wife to Keith. I am mom to an amazing little girl named Lauryn (Turtle), and a sweet son named Cody. Keith and I were married for 20 years. After 14 & 1/2 years of trying our 2nd attmept at IVF/ICSI was succesful, and gave us our Lauryn. After living what I though was the life I wanted all along, my world came crashing down December 29th of 2012. I am now separated from Keith, he has custody of Lauryn, and I am alone and trying to find my way back to myself.