I started college in the fall of 2007. I had been wanting to for awhile, but it was just impossible. I had Caden, no money, and was working horrible retail jobs that I absolutely HATED. But I knew I had to find a way, because I had an abusive husband that I knew I could never depend on for anything. I knew that I had to make a way to be independent, to be able to support myself and my child and not have to worry anymore. Eric had let me down as a husband in every way. I was FAR from perfect, and he was mentally and physically abusive, and terrible with money, we were ALWAYS behind on every bill and worrying about how we were going to survive.
So I made it happen. I started college. And EVERY semester, I didn't know how I would do it. I didn't know how there would be enough hours in the day, and I didn't know how there would EVER be enough money, and I didn't know how I could continue to be everything that Caden needed me to be. But EVERY semester, no matter how hard it was, I found a way. And damn, was it hard. The semester that Caden was diagnosed with autism was the hardest. It was the most intense blow, accepting the fact that my son will never have a normal life. I had tons of appointments for doctors, neurologists, all kinds of testing, several kinds of therapy. And with all that, I was working 2 jobs and going to school full time. It was impossible. But I did it.
And then right after the fall semester started in 2008, I found out I was pregnant. I was horrified, terrified, crushed. When I found out, I was hysterical, crying and screaming. Life was hard enough and I knew I'd have to go through pregnancy alone and I was already struggling so hard to get ahead in life, and I didn't know how I ever would. But I still never thought about quitting, not for a second.
I had extremely horrible morning sickness. So bad that I ended up in the hospital once, because I was so sick and couldn't keep anything down for so long that I lost consciousness. One morning the sickness was really bad, but I had an accounting test that I couldn't miss. So I sucked it up and went to school. It was a very hard, long, detailled test. Halfway through I had to get up, run to the bathroom, and puke my guts out. I came back to class, trembling all over and weak as can be, and finished the test. In the spring semester, I had high blood pressure and my doctor put me on bed rest. But I wouldn't quit. I worked with my professors and worked double time so that I could finish the semester early. I made the dean's list that semester. A week after it ended, I gave birth to my absolutely wonderful and perfect baby girl. I took the summer off and went right back at it the next fall.
I graduated college in May 2010. I graduated with honors, cum laude, with an associate's degree in Medical Administrative Assistant. I also earned 3 career study certificates. It was the proudest moment of my life and I was sure that it would all pay off, that all my hard work and years of never quitting and achieving the impossible would finally pay off.
That was a year ago. And it's been an extremely hard year. It seemed that I got no more attention from potential employers than I had before I even started college. I could not find one decent job. The best I could do was work a few temp jobs that paid little and never ended up going anywhere. I started to lose all hope and believe that all my hard work was for naught. I fell into a terrible depression. I applied for hundreds of jobs. Sent my resume to hundreds of places. Never even getting a call back. I felt worthless. I felt like I never should have had children. I felt like I could never even meet their needs.
Recently I've been hard at it again, sending my resume everywhere, trying to get ANY job, even one of those terrible retail jobs that I couldn't stand and could never support my family with. I didn't even hear back from them.
I had been avoiding temp agencies because I'd been down that road several times and didn't want to deal with it again. But I apparently unknowingly sent my resume to a recruiter at a temp agency, and they called me back. I didn't have any other options and was just grateful to have the chance to work anywhere, even just for awhile, make a little bit of money. This week, I went in for an interview at the temp agency. The next day, she set me up with an interview at a company called Securitech. They run background checks for companies trying to hire new employees. The HR manager told me that it's a permanent position, and the only reason that they go through a temp agency is because the job they need people for isn't for everyone. It's data entry all day.
I LOVE data entry. Call me weird, but I enjoy it. The position starts off at $9/hr, but that's just for a short period of time. They like to give incrimental raises. And he explained to me that they would want me to work somewhere in the ballpark of 60 hours a week. That's a LOT of working, but it's doing something I really enjoy, and with the overtime, I'll be making close to $600 a week after taxes!! And that's just a start! Full benefits, health, dental, and free life insurance.
And they ABSOLUTELY LOVE ME!! Immediately after the interview the HR manager called my contact at the temp agency telling her how wonderful I am, thanking her for sending him such a perfect candidate, and saying how he absolutely can't wait to get me in to start work.
I can't even begin to explain how exited and fulfilled and HAPPY I am!! I'll be working long hours but I'll be doing something I actually really like, and God knows it will be WAY WORTH IT knowing that I'll have enough money to NEVER have to rely on social services or ANYONE for anything ever again! I just can't fit my head around it. I just can't believe it's finally happened. They are an extremely busy company, and they realized they don't have an extra computer, so the only thing they're waiting on is to get another one for me before I can start, and they can't wait to get me in there. And I absolutely can't wait to start!! And until then, the lady at the temp agency, who absolutely adores me, is keeping me busy doing little jobs for other companies so I can start earning money. Today I worked at a law firm down town and made $12/hr for 5 hours, rearranging their filing system. It felt SO AMAZING to be back in the work force, back earning money... I feel like a human being again. I don't feel worthless anymore. I feel like I've conquered the world!!
I feel like my life has begun. I've been hungry, I've been through homelessness more than once, I've been so completely broken down and stripped of EVERYTHING that I thought I would probably just die. And now I've made it. Everything I've ever wanted. I feel like Will Smith at the end of The Pursuit of Happyness. Really soon I'll have my own home. I'll have the means to take care of my childrens' every need, and a lot of their wants. None of us ever have to be afraid EVER again of where we're going to sleep tonight, where our next meal will come from, how I'm going to clothe and diaper my kids. ALL I've EVER wanted for us is security, and now I'm FINALLY able to provide it, ME! By myself!
I just couldn't be more proud of myself. It really is an absolute dream come true.
Yesterday was pretty damn interesting. I had the kids since I got home from the beach on Monday, and I dropped them off with Eric yesterday at noon, I was ready for a break! Josh and I had been planning to go to the Cascades, this 2 mile hike that ends in an AWESOME waterfall that you can swim underneath and everything, but at the last minute Josh's sister Leigh and their dad decided they wanted to take the boat out on the lake and wanted us to come, so we did.
It was fun for awhile. We drove around, got some sun, anchored and swam around, and then we noticed the storm coming. Hall (which is what they call their dad) was determined that it would pass and not hit us, so we just floated awhile to see what would happen. Eventually we realized we needed to get our asses back to the dock, lol. So we started trying to make our way. The wind was vicious, there were pretty big waves, the water kept splashing on board, usually hitting me in the face, lol.
And then disaster struck, Hall got too close to shore at one point and we got stuck on some rocks. In the middle of a freaking thunderstorm. So Josh got out of the boat and started pushing. But then he starting having a full blown anxiety attack. It was terrible. He struggles with anxiety sometimes and this attack was realy bad. So he had to get back on the boat and I got out and pushed and we finally made it back into the water and made our way to the dock. But it took a long time, and Josh was freaking out the entire time. And it was cold and windy and we were bouncing everywhere, and EVERYTHING on the boat was completely soaked. I actually thought it was still kinda fun, lol, an adventure! But I tried my best to take care of Josh. When we made it back to the dock I helped Hall get the boat back on the trailer.
What an awesome day to be on the water! haha
getting ready to go
I was told to pose, lol
Josh when we were still having fun
The beginning of the storm... it got way worse lol. Thunder and lightening everywhere!
So it was kind of traumatic, haha. And we picked a bad day for a boat ride. But I still can't wait to go out again and I'd love to be able to waterski this time.
When we got back I ate dinner with them and then went home to lay on my heating pad for a few hours because all the activity had my back aching. Then I snuck back to their house after their parents went to sleep and sat with Leigh's kids so she could go out and visit her boyfriend, lol. And then spent the night with Josh.
I've never been with anyone who was so involved in my family, and whose family I'm so involved with, and actually really like. AND I'm in good with his friends and think they're all pretty cool too, even went to their damn wedding, lol. It's a really good feeling. Makes me feel like Josh and I will really make it.
I'm starting to really wish he'd propose, but I know I shouldn't hold my breath I don't feel it coming in the super near future.
I haven't been around in forever!! The internet hasn't been reliable lately, which TOTALLY sucks.
Monday Josh and I got back from our beach/wedding vacation. We had an absolute BLAST!!! It was so much fun and so beautiful and perfect. It was his best friend's wedding, and he was the best man. The wedding was on Ocean Isle Beach NC, which is right next to where they live, Sunset Beach. And it's just a little north of Myrtle Beach SC.
This was Josh and I before the wedding :D I got that dress at Goodwill for $4 and it was SO perfect!!!
The gorgeous wedding. Paul and Heather Klink :) And my cute little short boyfriend on the right haha, the other groomsman, David, was like a head taller than him. David was really cool, we hung out a lot and he was a lot of fun.
Josh skim boarding at Sunset Beach. Pretty good! We had a GREAT time.
Paul and and his groomsmen, David and Josh
me and Josh on the beach :)
This was at a club in Myrtle Beach, the bachelor/bachelorette parties that ended up getting combined, haha. We had and INCREDIBLE night! Went to a few bars and then ended up at this club and danced until 3am. Soooooo fun. And I drank like a fish. I usually don't drink EVER but I had a loooot haha. By the end of the night I was on the pavement, haha.
Me and Josh in our AWESOME hotel room! It had a huge jacuzzi, 2 double beds, a stocked kitchenette, it was amazing. And it was in this GORGEOUS resort!
The wicked awesome jacuzzi
Just a small part of the amazing resort! And get this, Josh somehow got that amazing room for $52 a night, tax included! I was shocked and so proud of him. God, we had a really great trip. Neither of us wanted to come home!! Wish we were still there.
But it was good to get back to the kids. And this weekend we're planning on hitting up the Cascades, which is a 2 mile hiking trail up the the most amazing waterfall that you can swim under. It's so much fun. I'm so glad it's summer and we're having a blast!
On a more sober note, the grand jury met and indicted Eric. He was arrested yesterday, and was able to bail out. So I should know anytime now when the court date is. Can't wait til it's all over!
My precious little girl is 2 years old. Unbelievable. It was her birthday yesterday, Friday the 13th. Oh boy, lol.
New purse from mommy! It came with a cell phone, keys, credit card, lipstick, and hair barrettes. So cute. She's always trying to wear my purse, so she loved it.
alligator keyboard from my sister and brother in law
Eating! It was a nice little party.
This is the cake I picked out, it was awesome! Probably my favorite birthday cake yet. It was chocolate with whipped cream icing which was totally delicious. Lana Dayle is a little girl that my mom has nannied for since she was born. She has the same birthday as Shea and her parents were out of town so my mom was keeping her on her birthday, so I had her name put on the cake too. She's a sweet little girl, she made shea a huge Happy Birthday poster.
My birthday princess. It's insane how girly and grown up she is. Courtney got her 6 nail polishes, 2 lip glosses and some hair bows, and she was soooooooooo excited when she saw them. She said "Naaaails.... NAILS!" She always asks me to do her nails. And she went to town with the lip gloss, it was adorable. I was never ever a girly girl, but I love it that she is. It's a lot of fun.
Today I did a TON of cleaning and now we're just sitting around watching TV, ordered pizza. It's a gross rainy day or I'd be taking them to the park or something.
Court is on Tuesday for the grand larceny charge against Eric. I'm so nervous and absolutely dreading it. I hate court. I HATE all this. Why did he have to be so damn greedy and horrible and ruin everything? I don't know what's going to happen but I just can't wait for it to be over with. I feel like my life has been standing still waiting on all of this to be settled.
I don't believe in love like I used to. I was raised to believe that love, and marriage, is forever. My grandparents have been married like 53ish years and no one in my entire extended family has ever been divorced. I met Eric when I was 16, too young to know better, and we got married in the courthouse, in jeans, when I was 19 and 3 months pregnant, and we didn't know where we were going to sleep that night. So obviously, no matter how in love we were or how sure we thought we were, it wasn't built to last.
But I thought I would love Eric forever and ever. And I thought he'd love me forever too. It became a curse. For years after I wanted nothing more than to get over him and move on, I just couldn't. I couldn't imagine spending my life with anyone else, and the thought of him in love with someone else damn near killed me. No matter what awful things he did, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't stop loving him. And then I did. Completely.
So now I'm in love with Josh, and we're discussing marriage. Our relationship is nothing close to perfect, but I'm 26, I have 2 kids to raise, my mom thinks there's no reason to wait, and I am very much in love with him. I'm done being young and wild, I'm ready to have a stable adult life and marriage, and there's no one else I could want to be with. But I'm so scared.
I never wanted to be divorced once, and it really screwed me up. I want to marry Josh, I want to be Laura Hall, I want to devote everything to him. And I guess everytime anyone gets married, there's a chance they'll get divorced. But I'm scared to take that chance. I don't think I'll survive a second divorce.
I told my mom about my worries, about how I don't know if Josh realizes just how much work marriage is. That it's not all happy romantic love. It's work, every day. It's sacrifice even when you know you won't get anything in return. It's never giving up, not for a single second, even when you're not feeling the love. It's impossible. But mom says I can't worry about all that right now. She says he'll learn.
But what if he doesn't? And what if I'm not good enough, again? How will I survive, how will my children deal with it? Is it smart or stupid to worry this much?