Updated: May 21, 2020
Because I believe in the universe, let me give this a little backstory about the world bringing TMFRs together.
My mom boards horses for a few folks up in Illinois. A few years ago, she met Laura, who was interested in the horse world. They never wound up doing business together, but years later, my mom saw Laura's Facebook posts about mental health and suicide prevention.
I've trained my mother well; my persistent talk of mental health has clearly sunk in, and she reached out to Laura for more information about this unknown aspect of her life.
Turns out, Laura is a real Motherfucker like the rest of us. She wrote to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share her story of romantic relationship abuse, child suicide, and heartbreak, and to spread encouragement for everyone to keep trying.
Laura is an incredibly strong woman, and her children will grow up to be the same.
Here's their story, and below, find my follow-up questions along with her insightful elucidations. You'll find the underlying circumstances relatable; there are no surprises in trauma.
I got married at 18 to the HOTTEST BAD boy around- little did I know the toll that this motherfucker would have in my life! For the first few years together, everything was wonderful. This man who is the perfect dictionary description of a narcissist would leave my children and I broken beyond belief. We planned our beautiful babies... I had our daughter Kait when I was 19, and our son Zachary when I was 21... when Zach was 6 months old, my ex, a convicted felon, could never keep a job- I was at work one night and he called me frantically telling me that I needed to get home because my 6 month old son had fallen off the bed and he couldn't get him to calm down. I remember walking in the door asking where our baby was and he told me "I managed to get him to sleep, let him be"- I decided to pick my baby up from his crib and I had NEVER heard a baby scream the way my son screamed when I lifted him up and touched his leg. I immediately knew something was wrong, decided to rush him to the ER and shortly after - I was cornered by police and child protective services.
My 6 month old baby boy had a fracture on his femur bone- The detective began to question me, I told them the story as I knew it and they asked to talk to my son's dad who was at home with my daughter. They drove home with me at 4am to specifically talk to my ex husband, and they asked him to voluntarily leave the house until further investigating took place. Since he was already a convicted felon and on probation for things he did prior to me meeting him, he pretended to be the innocent, loving husband I "knew" him to be- the investigators arrested him the next day for child abuse, they stated that the only possible was my son's femur bone could have broken that way was through a twisted force motion... Like a good little wife however, I stood by the husband whom had never displayed any sort of violence and went as far as to hiring an attorney and specialist etc... the asshole ended up taking a lesser charge plea bargain of child abuse vs aggravated child abuse which meant prison time, but "he only took it so that his family knew how much he loved us because he didn't want to go to prison" and he swore that he would never ever hurt a child...STUPID STUPID GIRL I was! A fool! I stayed another 4 years until he began to hit me and slap me around- then the seed of doubt "maybe he really did do this to our son"
He was like a drug! I kept going back, making excuses, always believed he would change and finally - his true colors came out putting me in the hospital and forcing me to say enough is enough! It was a terrible situation for my children to be in. I decided to get a court order, allowing me to leave the state of Florida with my children. My daughter was a "daddy's girl" so I felt so much guilt leaving him- I moved to the wonderful state of Illinois where I met a guy who 3 months after my divorce knocked me up! I WAS DEVASTATED! Soon however, I would learn that the baby boy to be born was actually a blessing- he was sent here to protect his older sister and shine light to my soul where I had been so blinded. The first person I called was my ex husband, I told him I didn't want him to hear it from someone else, his response was "if it's a girl, we can raise her together but if it's a boy I want nothing to do with you!" I oddly didn't even think that response was bizarre until I was 6 months pregnant and my world would be turned upside down.
My daughter now 8, and my son now 6 were playing in their bedroom and when I went to go check on them boy was I shattered with disturbing confusion. They were playing "inappropriately" -nothing normal for kid play. I contacted counselors and set up appointments wanting answers of where my kids had seen this- turned out- my daughter had been sexually abused by her father her whole life! By proxy, my son suffered the consequential abuse from what his sister thought she was supposed to do...he was never convicted of the sexual abuse as there was "not enough physical evidence" however, to this day, my daughter doesn't even say his name. When I found out the guilt consumed me! I didn't protect her! I thought this was the absolute worst pain in the world. Since that day, my kids on and off were in counseling- the new guy in my life only lasted a year in my life because he was as abusive as the first one as far as physically- I learned quick though and ventured off into single motherhood with 3 kids. I was proud of myself! As a family, we overcame so much trauma- I put the kids through private school, I was doing good financially, and we were a close knit family~ but then, September 16, 2018 our lives forever changed for the ABSOLUTE worst.
I was living the dream! I finally was approved to buy our dream 5 acre farm - while I was out at the farm giving the earnest money for the contract, my son Zachary decided to take his own life. His siblings, Kait 16, and Lincoln 7, were the ones home with my 14 year old...they walked into Zach's room together and found their brother - the trauma, the PTSD, the Anxiety, the Depression- NOTHING compares to this! I have endured a lot of bullshit in my life, but this...words can't even begin to describe the pain. After he died, I found messages he wrote about his father. Clearly, my child was more affected by the abuse we all endured than he led on to be. I focus now on telling our story to create awareness. THIS SHIT IS REAL! Zach was kind, the happiest kid I could ever know- no ONE saw this coming. I'd love to share more about our story and us! I want to help create awareness in hopes that no other mother, no other sibling - NO ONE should feel this type of pain.
How did this happen?
Well...my mom I believe also chose to be with abusive men- I had a step dad that was mentally abusive to me and my mom ended up sending me to live with her sister when I was 12- she had other children but she always told me my father raped her so I grew up with a huge lack of self worth. My aunt and uncle were the first people to give me somewhat normalcy along with my grandmother. When I met Ryan- he was the "older bad boy"- he had gone to prison at 17 for a ton of crimes such as grand theft- he and his friends would break into rental homes and steal tourist credit cards and would get money orders to get cash for drugs- my aunt and uncle from the get go told me he was bad news- I had never been exposed to "jail" or "criminals" but when I met him, he was the first person to show me "true love" so no, I never saw the signs until much later in our relationship.
I do believe that Ryan must have endured some sort of abuse- sexual for sure although never confirmed- I'm sure being in jail exposed him to violence. His dad too would "discipline" with violence but I was naïve and blinded to it all until he started hitting me... Before he hit me, I never saw any signs- even when the cops told me he was the one who broke Zach's leg I NEVER believed it because all I ever saw was a "loving, affectionate" person- again, until he hit me...then the blindfold finally started coming off. I think the lack of self worth that I carried as a child from my own mother not wanting me around was what made me susceptible to be this way. I had finally found acceptance in someone and he chose me to be his wife and the mother of his kids...lol boy what a fucking fool was I?!!
Are you seeing professional help?
When I finally divorced Ryan for being physically abusive and found the kids playing inappropriately- I immediately put both of the kids in counseling- Zach was 6 and Kait was 8- it came out during counseling that Ryan had been sexually abusing Kait her whole life! So after that, I tried to have him convicted but he had molded her. Her entire life she was told that if she ever told anyone, she would be taken away, so she drew pictures for the counselor, stick figures in the 69 position- started to confide in me, but would never tell the investigators. The kids and I were in counseling until Kait was 14, her counselor at that point stated she didn't see a need to continue counseling as Kait was okay- I was in counseling on and off for the guilt I carried - Zach was more for his ADHD, he never remembered the abuse etc... however, I now believe that it was imbedded in his subconscious.
Zach had been going behind my back when he was 12 and talking to his father - he confronted me not long before he died and said that his dad told him everything I said about him were lies and I was only trying to keep them away from him so I finally pulled up all the court records and showed him- we went back in counseling for a bit then... Zach right before he died (about a month before) started being reckless- taking my car, smoking pot, a girl at school was accusing him of rape - he lost her virginity to her and then broke up with her so she was pissed! He started his freshman year being talked about, getting called a rapist, being threatened. Kait was cornered at a school football game by this girl and her friends saying her brother was a child molester and rapist so TRIGGERS all over the place... I always did what I could going back and forth with their therapist. Zach had made comments of not wanting to live so I took him to a counselor who said he wasn't a threat to himself- UGHHHH
How is everyone doing today?
So since he took his own life all 3 of us started counseling. I don't think Lincoln displays the full effects of this yet...I worry about his teen years- Kait is a mess! PTSD, triggers, and guilt consume her! Her and Zach got into a fight right before it happened - she refused to open up to me until recently but I can see the tired bags under her eyes. I am constantly ensuring that we all get counseling, we talk as a family, I'm pretty real, probably more than I should be.
I've consumed myself in suicide prevention and mental health advocacy but I won't lie, it is exhausting at times- It has helped me but I feel like we're all a wreck!
Interested in connecting with Laura? Shoot me an email and I'll set you up.
Brave enough to share your story? Reach out anytime! I'm always looking to dig in.
Write Jess at email@example.com