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Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Lemon Fell Off the Tree

I was recently asked about the lowest point of my life. The question went something like this: "when did you feel you had really failed and weren't sure you'd be able to recover?" Now - I'm no Drew Barrymore, Scott Walker, or someone who has really overcome anything huge. My name has never been splashed negatively across every newspaper and magazine in the nation. Honestly, I don't have what it takes to put myself in that position. I love politics and I love acting...but I also have a deep passion to be liked. I as a person am not ready to be in a position for so many people to hate me or say negative things. My story isn't amazing and I haven't overcome a disability either...but since the question was asked, I'll respond.

My most lemony moment - I really had to think long and hard about this one. Was it at age 16 when my father, mentor, and best friend died? Was is at age 20 when I placed my daughter for adoption? Was it at age 24 when my husband said 'I don't love you anymore'? Was it at age 34 when I lost the job I thought I'd have forever? Each of those bumps in the road created the woman I am today, but none of them were the lowest of lows. There was a time in the Summer of 2008 that this lemon literally fell off the lemon tree. I fell and rolled pretty far away from the tree...and that my friends was the lowest point for me.

Long story short, I had spent over 1/2 my pregnancy on bed-rest trying to save my daughter's life. This was my 2nd pregnancy. The first time, I was young and in an odd relationship. I was 20 and my husband and I agreed to place our first daughter for adoption. A few years after, we regretted that decision and tried to have another child. Miscarriage after miscarriage eventually led to the demise of our relationship and our marriage. That's the history - so here I am, a high risk pregnancy. I'm on bed rest at home and then in the hospital, etc...March 9th I delivered a lovely little girl. She was crabby, I was crabby, and it was nothing like the dreams I had where everyone was joyous and smiling. My boyfriend had agreed to help me get pregnant, because he knew how much I wanted a child. This was odd, especially considering that on our 2nd date he admitted he never wanted children. I ignored all the warning signs. All I could see was what I wanted. I wasn't thinking about my child, my family, or the ramifications of my actions. I just knew I wanted a baby.

How could this be a low point? That part is coming. My daughter was born in March and we kept things together until just before Father's day. A few weeks before Father's day, things fell apart. I was back to work, commuting 2 hours a day, and now the father of my child was moving 18 hours away. I mentioned the bed rest, right? Not only was I emotionally drained, I was also physically un-equipped to handle the demands of my career, my family, and my infant. I realized I needed to leave my boyfriend to be a good parent, but I had nowhere to go and no resources after being off work nearly 1/2 a year. I ended up living in a camper in a friends backyard. I lost my car, lost the roof over my head, but I was determined NOT to lose my daughter.

The camper situation wasn't ideal, but it was working out. I borrowed $400 to buy a car so I could get to and from work, and my friends were incredibly supportive. I spent that summer trying to win my boyfriend back to hang onto some sort of normality for my family. When only one person is working on a relationship, no matter how hard that person tries...they are going to fail. I failed. I also managed to get pregnant the weekend of my birthday (end of July 2008). By the end of August I had stopped losing the baby weight from my daughter and shocked myself with the realization that I was pregnant. Yes can get pregnant, even you only do it once.

That brings me to the lowest of lows. I was the new mother of a 6 month old, I was 2 months pregnant with another child, I was living in a camper in my friends backyard, AND it was September in Wisconsin. The only thing I had going for me was my job - I had a paycheck coming in...but I had no money in the bank and no clue where we were going to go. That's when I realized that I was irresponsible and that I had failed my children. I was so preoccupied with what I wanted that I thought of no one but myself. I wanted a baby so badly that I proceeded full speed ahead into the eye of a tornado called 'my life'. I had everything I had ever wanted, but no clue what I was going to do with it; there's such a thing as buyers remorse in the game of life and I had it.

There you go - that was the lowest point in my lemony life - I fell off the tree completely and rolled far far away from the ranch style house in the country with the white picket fence, loving husband, and happy little life I had planned for myself.

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