My Boys Are My Greatest Accomplishment - #WhenIBecameFree

Victims stay in toxic relationships out of fear. Fear they wont be able to make it in the world on their own. Fear of what others may say about them, to their face and behind their backs. Fear that they will not be able to provide for their children, and give them a stable home. Fear that they will not be enough. Fear they will not know their role as one, rather than a half of a couple. Fear.
My boys and I - 2006

I had all of those fears and quite possibly a few more, but the greatest fear for me was somehow I
would fail my boys, my two sons. When I first made the attempt to leave a marriage spinning out of control my eldest son was 12 years old and my youngest was just 7 years, soon to turn 8. I literally had no money, no job. I did, thankfully, have a roof - but the worry on how I would keep it over our heads was overwhelming.

I faltered a bit because the weight of the world was too much for me at the time to handle. I let my husband back on promises he would remain sober, and go to counseling. That didn't last long and before I knew it, again I made the attempt to break free.

That time, on top of the situation I had before, I didn't even have a car I could drive - it was broke down in my driveway.

With both my parents deceased and too proud to ask for help from anyone else I did whatever I could to make it. I told my children we were on a "Great Adventure" and if we worked as a team we would see it all through.

Now all these years later I can look back at this adventure of ours with open eyes and see just how much we survived. I thank God every day for the children he granted to me. They are so strong in their own ways. Such unique beings who stood by their mother through thick and thin, including all my crazy antics.
Justin, my oldest son, is a gentle soul. Always has been, always will be. Don't let his gentle ways fool you, he is also a mountain of strength and courage. Born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his tiny neck, Justin came into this world fighting to live. Having mild cerebral palsy did not stop him. Nor did dealing with epilepsy and a childhood spent at the neurologist office and taking medication.

As a mother your heart breaks to see your children have to tackle hurdles you wish you could erase. I felt that way many times as Justin grew up dealing with ignorance from others, judgement from those who didn't understand him, and to even watching him work through his own frustrations. I wonder what life would have been like for him had he not had those hurdles to tackle. Would he of come out of closet so proud and loud like he did last year when he announced he was gay? Not an easy thing to do in small town rural Wisconsin. I am so proud of his ways, and inner strength. I am so very proud of him.

Now, as for Kyle...well, he has always been the child to keep me on my toes, quite literally. His mind has always been creating new ideas - and I swear that has been since the day he was born. That creative mind came into good use when his world crashed down around him - it was his safety net to express himself. He did so first in art, a skill he is quite gifted in.... then, one day, his focus changed to music and before I knew it he was playing any instrument he could get his hands on - but it was when he took to the guitar that I think his emotions came out the most. The boy is a natural blues guitarist and many have taken notice at his talent.

Both my children have special gifts, but the love and support they give to me and each other has kept our little team moving on and forward. Now I get to watch them as young men show the world just how special they are. Justin the hard working employee who has always impressed employers with his dedication to whatever job he was doing, and Kyle, the old soul that he is, bringing back a style that many have thought was forgotten.

In an existence and society where so much could have gone wrong and no one would have batted an eye, my boys thrived.

Our team is coming to a new chapter, and soon. They now are creating their own lives and working towards their own destinies - soon I will be entering my own new chapter - We don't know what the future holds, but I do know as long as the three of us remember the past decade of our Great Adventure, we will be able to survive anything life throws at us.

You can follow Kyle's rising career on Facebook, Twitter, or his website


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