One thing I’ve learned while exploring adulthood is that not everyone is meant to be in your life. Many people that I called “friends” have come and gone in my life and sometimes it hurts when they leave but later down the line I realize it was for the better.
I never realized this more than with my daughter’s father. While he “pursued” me relentlessly, he maintained that we weren’t in a relationship. However, he never felt the need to cease going out on “dates” and being intimate with me. This continued for years and I started to question my worth because I had never truly been in a relationship and had hoped someday that he would come around to being with me.
Unfortunately, the situation became worse when I got pregnant. He didn’t want to have anything to do with me after I told him that I was unsure of paternity at the time. Don’t get me wrong, I understood why he was mad but he could never come clean about whether he was only intimate with me in that time either so I lived life and did things that I am not proud to say I did. Essentially we both did what we did, but I would be the only one to suffer the consequences.
Let me take it back to the whole reason I even became pregnant; I was on birth control the entire time, but he constantly complained about how it made me act. Apparently, it bothered him that I was emotional and that I danced in the car and sang songs out loud and expressed my anger. I attributed my “behavior” to the birth control as I was usually an even-keeled person. So I took it upon myself to stop taking it for a month or 2 (or 3).
Right when I planned to start back up, I found out that I was pregnant. He then began to ignore me and even “dated” someone else that was unaware of his situation but once that fizzled out he came running back to me. But he didn’t come running back to his responsibilities.
We started going out again (still no relationship or parenting talks) and I tried to placate him so that when the time came around he would be ready and willing to be a father in his daughter’s life. I did everything he wanted, but after our child’s birth he once again left my side. I was scared and alone but had hopes that he would be a man and take care of his responsibilities. But even after paternity was proven, he made no attempts to do what is right. I repeatedly contacted him to see what changed and what I did wrong for him to stop talking to me, but he never obliged my request for him to just be in her life. I didn’t want any money or gifts, just his time; to this day he has not even given that much to his child.
It hurts every time to think about how my child doesn’t have that male figure in her life to show her how men should treat women. But then I thought about how he berated me for simple things like being myself and being expressive. I thought about how horrible I felt some days after spending time with him but wanting that connection, so I would still go back. I didn’t do well in school because my focus was on pleasing him and making him happy with me. That was my only focus until I had her.
But once I had my daughter, I had another human being to care for and I took that responsibility very seriously. I couldn’t allow myself to be depressed, because I had to work towards building a future for the both of us. My focus finally shifted in the right direction, and I was able to complete my undergraduate degree. I also recently completed a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and will begin practicing soon.
The point of sharing my story is to inspire other women to focus on achieving goals with supportive people in their lives and not on people that belittle you and discourage you from being yourself. I never thought I would be a single parent, but I knew that the continued presence of her father in my life would not be good for my mental health. We are now very happy and continue to work towards fostering healthy relationships with supportive family and friends.
Ebony Darden a recent Doctor of Pharmacy graduate. She will be taking on the world of retail pharmacy in a small town in Georgia. She can be followed on instagram @ecdarde200