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Single Parent (Pt. 1)

The Beginning—Worries and Self-Doubt

My own personal story begins when my daughter moved out of our place to start her life. And my story begins when I found out I was pregnant with her 21 years ago. You see, with her starting her own life, I'm left with the empty nest syndrome. I'm left with a lot of time to review my life. I was a single parent for her whole life. Her father left when I was pregnant and I never got together with anyone else.

Am I still a single parent now that she's an adult? Now that she's moved out on her how? Did I give her all the tools and knowledge she'll need to fly on her own? Was I a good parent? Was I a good-enough parent? Did I force my fears onto her, my expectations, my wants?

To start with, even before she was conceived, I had already dealt with two major depressions. And I've always had social anxieties and self-doubt. Of course, none of those problems were acknowledged when I was a teenager because they didn't 'exist' medically.

So, I found out I was pregnant when I was 23-years-old. Her father seemed happy at the time, even told me he would be there for me. We didn't talk for a whole week after he went home that day. He would not answer his phone or return my calls, not for lack of trying on my part. I left voicemail after voicemail. He finally called me back and broke up with me.

Panic set in. Do I have an abortion? But I do not believe in abortions. For myself, I do believe that women have the right to choose, but for me personally, I knew I could never do that. I started sleeping a lot . How am I going to do this? I make myself some Kraft dinner and think, "Oh, God! I can't even cook a proper meal. How can I take care of you if I can't take care of myself?"

Adoption? Could I go through the whole pregnancy and then put you up for adoption? Is that selfish of me if I can't? Is it selfish if I do? How can I raise a child if I'm selfish? I feel alone. The only friend of mine who has a child is Josee (name changed because I didn't ask permission to put her name in this), my then sister-in-law and she's going through the 'baby-blues' and it would take her a bit to get out of it. None of my other friends can relate, and Josee is either sleeping or crying. Who do I talk to? Do I want to admit all this self-doubt I have? People will think I'm a bad mom before my daughter is even born. How can I admit to all this self-doubt?

I'm gonna be a mom, a single mom. I'm gonna need to be strong for her, to show her how to be strong and independent. What if the baby is a he? I don't have 'he' parts. I don't know the maintenance of 'he' parts. I hope it's a girl.

Of course, I would never admit to anyone at the time that I wanted a girl, because I thought if I would say it out loud, I would be judged. Or if I said it and then I had a boy, would people tell him I didn't want him because I wanted a girl?

To be continued...