Being a Mom of 6 - My #MeToo story
June 6, 2018 3:39pm CST
First of all, I love being a mom. When I was 6 months pregnant with my first child, I almost died, actually we both almost died. I was in the hospital for a week with a horrible infection, and I felt like he was the only person I had in the world, and I was determined to bring him into the world as a healthy baby, and raise him on my own. I was barely 19 years old. I have 6 kids, and on the surface, there are tons of things people see and judge me about, but they don't know my story. In fact, no one really knows the whole story. Some people know bits and pieces, but it is long and complicated. I have 6 kids. Three boys and 3 girls. They range in age from 1-20. There are 4 different fathers among them. All of my girls have different biological fathers, are different ethnicities, and have different last names. My two oldest children have never met their biological fathers. My oldest is an adult and my daughter will be an adult on Friday, so it is really their choice. It does make ma sad, because I see things in them that I saw in their fathers, but that is a different subject. I have only been married once, and that is to my current husband and we have one child, a 21 month old daughter named Amelia, but we have called her Emma since the day she was born. She was names after my grandmother, who died in a car accident when my mother was 11, so we never met her, but I inherited her middle name, which she went by. So my daughters full name is Amelia Colene Behag. Mine is Colene Michelle Behag. My 18 year old daughter, Ari, is going away to college at Stanford and I couldn't be more proud. We have struggled her whole life, and I'm so proud that she is not going to struggle like we did. She's going to be ok. So 21 years ago, I was the one with dreams and things I wanted to accomplish. I met a boy that went to the University of Michigan and flew from California to live in Michigan when I was 18...all alone. It was the most exhilarating experience. I felt so independent! I got a job, a checking account, another job, and rented a room in a house. I felt so free. I wanted to go to college, become an English professor, and write award winning novels. Four months later I got pregnant. So how did this happen? Well, no one told me about how manipulative and forceful men could be. I was sexually assaulted so many times before I met him, and unfortunately it didn't stop with him. He didn't like to use protection, and I didn't want to do things that he wanted me to do...I had been traumatized and so I let him not use protection to avoid being pushed into doing things I didn't want to do. I had had a miscarriage about a year prior and didn't tell anyone. We hadn't been using protection for 4 months, and my naive mind thought that meant I couldn't get pregnant. Maybe there was something wrong with me. Boy was I wrong. The pregnancy led to lots of fights and he spent months making me cry, trying to force me to have an abortion. I couldn't do it. From the moment I knew I was pregnant something changed in me. It became the most important thing in my life. I could never have an abortion...no matter what. That being said, I am pro-choice! I believe every woman should be able to make their own decisions about their own body, and that includes me. I don't think that I should have been forced into having an abortion. It didn't feel right and I know that I could never have lived with myself if I did have one. So, like I said earlier, I got really sick and was in the hospital...alone. I thought we were going to die and all of my friends and family were thousands of miles away. My unborn son was my only family. About a year and a half after he was born I got pregnant again. In between this time, I had been brutal raped, violently raped and I wanted it to go away. I wanted that memory to leave me forever. I felt so humiliated and helpless and I never wanted to feel that way again. So, I had a fling with an old boyfriend from high school, who I was totally obsessed with. I was very drunk. I have no idea why he didn't want to use protection either. I really wish I had had an adult to tell me how unsafe my actions were. I was traumatized by so many men, that I just wanted to be in control on something, but that backfired, because although we only hooked up a couple times, and I thought I couldn't possibly be ovulating, I got pregnant again. Of course it happened all over again. The fighting about an abortion. I told him I was going to raise them both alone. It was fine. I couldn't have an abortion, but I realized that I would always make my partners wear protection, no matter what, and I had a boy and a girl. Life was perfect. By 39 (now), my children would be grown and I'd be free, but nothing could prepare me for what happened next. So I dated a couple guys, and I finally met someone at my work that I really liked. He went to jail shortly after we started dating for stealing parts off of cars, before we were together. He was 19, and I was 22. He was only in jail for 3 months, and we wrote to each other constantly. I knew that once he got out everything would be great and we would live happily ever after. Well, he got out. I worked, he laid on the couch. We fought...a lot. He finally got a job, and we ALWAYS used protection. I was very unhappy. We fought constantly and I knew it wasn't good for the kids. I kept asking him to leave, but he wouldn't, and finally, after I met someone else, I asked him mom to come get him. The next morning I realized something was wrong. I hadn't had a period in a couple months. I took a test and cried. I didn't know how I could have been pregnant, so I called him. He told me that I was really drunk on New Year's and we didn't use protection. I had no memoriy of this whatsoever, and was so angry. How could he think this was ok? I couldn't have another kid by myself, but I had to protect this child. So I let him come back and the next decade was unbearable. We fought ALL the time. Every single day. He forced me to sleep with him. I cried. I hated it. He made me feel guilty for not wanting to, but I didn't want to be with him. I wasn't in love with him, and I just wanted out. I tried so many times and finally, in 2008, I was free. We went out separate ways, and even though he constantly tried to guilt me into taking him back, I found someone else, and I was finally going to be happy. Then, in 2011 he asked me to take him to work because his car broke down. Actually, it was MY van, that he took in the break up, just to make it harder for me to get the kids to school. I agreed. He came over and once again, forced me to sleep with him. I cried, and ever though he used protection, it failed, and I got pregnant. I felt like my life was over. This was my 5th child. My other relationship was over and I needed help because I was so sick with this pregnancy. A couple months later when I found out I would finally have a second daughter out of 5 kids, I was excited. Even though I didn't love him, I loved her. I tolerated his existence for the next 2 years, until my daughter a year and a half. He was an alcoholic and an addict. He was a gambling addict as well. There were many things that made me angry in the time we were together. One day, I went to pick up the kids from school, and my baby wouldn't fit in the car, and he had just recently lost his job and was trying to get sober. Because only 4 kids would fit in the car with me, I asked him to watch her while I picked up the kids. What I came home to was horriific and traumatizing to the children. My baby was screaming and both of the doors were wide open. He was unconscious on the ground. I grabbed her up, and my middle son hid behind the TV. The other kids were scared as well. I called 911. He had OD'd on alcohol and medicine. A week later, he got wasted again, stole my brother's alcohol. I called his mom and had her pick him up...again. He finally got help and got his life together and tries to throw it in my face how great he is doing. He wasn't the one left scarred by years of sexual, verbal, and physical abuse. He's not the one who tries to make these kids have the best possible life...everyday that is my goal. I want them to be happy and go on to live full happy lives. They are my no matter how they came into this world. My body is destroyed and I am dying. I know that the stress of having 6 kids did permanent damage to my body. So, I eventually met my husband, and although our life isn't perfect, we love each other and I know he would never sexually abuse me. We decided to have one child together, my last and his first and last. All of the kids adore her. My daughter wants to sneak her away with her to Stanford. My kids and I are very close. My oldest and I are having some problems, but in the end, I know he loves me. I have 6 kids because I was traumatized and sexually bused by so many men in my life, It is hard to keep count. I want a better life for my kids, so I talk to them. I try to teach my boys to respect women and I teach my girls to reach out when they need help and not hold it all inside. When I was raped at 20, it was the most violent assault I had been through. I won't go into details, but it was horrible. I tried to hide it, because I felt so incredibly humiliated. I didn't want everyone to know that I couldn't protect myself. I finally reached out to my grandmother and tried to tell her. She blew me off and said there was nothing she could do about it. It hurt SO bad. No one was there for me and I never want to feel that way. I want to always be there. I also want them to be there for eachother. My daughter is going to Stanford, which is amazing, but it is also where Brock Turner went. Nowhere is completely safe. After my ex started going to AA, I asked him, "Aren't you supposed to make amends? Don't you feel bad about what you did to me?" All he said was, "Well, I don't do it anymore, do I?" He still treats me like I'm beneath him, but I can't change that. I have a husband that I know loves me, and I have all these wonderful children who have helped me see the beautiy in tragedy. Good things can come from bad things, but that doesn't make the bad things any less awful. It was wrong. All of it. I should have never felt forced to do anything. I should never been shamed, overpowered, or hurt, but I was. Why does our society blame the victims? I don't know. I feel like my whole live I have either been fighting to live or wanting to die. There is no inbetween...
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What a life you have had. I think though that you would agree that you didn't always make the best choices so you also have to take responsibility for some of the problems in your life. I do hope that the men who abused you pay for what they did to you one day. In spite of everything you raised 6 wonderful children which is quite an accomplishment and I applaud you for that.
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