Is the child support I’m paying benefiting you?

Have you ever had a moment where you finally realize that you are not who you used to be and it’s time to let her go? Well I had that moment a few weeks ago, now that I think about it, I’ve had those moments quite a few times but I wasn’t ready to let her go.

Literally the week I was due to leave for MegaFest my sons father told me that he needed to speak with me about something. I was so busy preparing for my trip that I forgot to call him back. Finally on my way to the church for an event (go figure right?) I remembered to call him back. As the phone rang I couldn’t help but get a little anxious about what was so important that he needed to speak to me since we have almost zero communication now that our son is old enough to communicate on his own. When he answered we went through the formalities, you know, the “how are you, I’m good, and you….” both ready to just get to the point, but me more ready so I just went ahead and asked, “What’s up?”. His response was one I honestly can say that I wasn’t prepared for and he completely through me off guard with. He asked me if the child support he was paying was benefiting me. Yeah, I had the same response you have right now, “What?!”. As he repeated himself I took a few seconds to breathe before in my mind, I went from zero to one hundred, real quick. “No, it’s not benefiting me, it’s benefiting your son, as it should be”. I’m not sure what his expectation of this call would be but I don’t believe that he expected to get that response so of course I became the selfish and ignorant baby mother that wants to see him work like a slave to pay his child support. I had to remind him that out of 15 years, he was only paying $6 per week for the first 12 years. As he proceeded to call me out of my name, God reminded me of who I was then and who I am now. Let me pause and take ya’ll on a little road trip to whence where I came from.

I was 19 when I met my sons father, I’ll refer to him as J. Other than my middle school sweetheart I hadn’t really liked any guys. I developed fairly early as a child so I was very cautious about male attention. J was different though. He was a sweetheart and made me feel like I was the only woman in the world. My life was already hectic as I was searching for a love that I had never received before. J was the calm to my storm not to mention he lived in my hometown of Bridgeport, a place that I longed to live as it made me feel closer to my birth mother. It wasn’t long before I began to find out things about J that he wasn’t up front about, things that I was not ready for. He already had two children, from a relationship that had just ended and a child on the way by another women. You would think that after having learned all of that I would have left him alone, but I had already moved in with him at his father’s house and was head over heels with a man I didn’t even really know. 

I can’t say there was a lot of baby mama drama because one lived in another state and the other one just wasn’t crazy. She was angry, but not crazy. I stayed in my place for the most part as the girlfriend and let them do what they had to do as parents. I helped where I could and let him do the rest. 

When I found out I was pregnant there was never a question in MY mind as to what we would do. He didn’t want any more children but he wasn’t crazy enough to request an abortion. So I began preparing to be a mother. I didn’t have a lot of family support at that time so I knew I wasn’t going to be having a baby shower so I headed over to KMart and Walmart and put all the things I would need on layaway, (don’t you miss that good ole layaway??) and applied for housing and State Assistance.  Early in my pregnancy I as well as J and his two children were involved in a car accident. Although we were not seriously injured, we were rushed to the hospital to be evaluated. That’s where BM1 (Baby Mother #1) found  out for the first time that I was pregnant as she stayed with me to make sure I was okay. I certainly didn’t want her to find out this way but God has a funny way of making things right. Although she was hurt, from that moment on she was in my corner, making sure that I was good and delivered a healthy baby. Shoot at one point after I gave birth I stayed with her for a few weeks until I could plan my next move, but that’s another story so we’ll leave that right there.

In June of 2002 I decided that I would be the good girlfriend and pay for J to go visit his then 1 yr old daughter for her birthday. That would turn out to be the dumbest idea I have had to date and also the point where I lost myself. When he came back home he didn’t come alone. He came back with his daughter. Gave me a story that her mom let him bring her back for the summer, even allowed me to speak to BM2 and confirm what the plan was. From that point until I gave birth I took care of his daughter, loved her as if she were my own. Even after I found out through my God given discerning spirit that he and BM2 had slept together while he was there and apparently he proposed to her. 

On July 7, 2002 after much complications, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy via Cesarean that I named Jamir.  I wasn’t able to hold him the day he was born because they gave me too much epideral so I was highly sedated. BM1 came to the hospital and made sure Jamir and I were okay and brought him tons of gifts. On the second day, I had another visitor. One whom I had never met. It was BM2. She flew in from out of state and came to visit me. I was FLOORED to say the least. I thought it was the most disrespectful thing I had ever witnessed. I couldn’t wait to get out of the hospital and as soon as I did I went straight to his father’s house to fight her. Mind you I had JUST had a Cesarean. My stitches weren’t healed and I was on pain medicine. That fight was only one of quite a few she and I had that summer. I was such an idiot, fighting over a man who could care less about me and my value. 

By the end of the first year of my Childs life I had been arrested due to domestic violence, broke car windows, slit tires, egged his car, put sugar in his gas tank and even saved his life when the apartment we ended up moving into was the scene of a real life home invasion. I had literally lost my mind, but boy was I in love. Ha! I can laugh now, but back then the joke was on me. 

One day his father called me to his house and made me look at myself in a mirror and tell him who I saw. I honestly couldn’t even recognize the women I saw in that mirror. I knew then that it was time for me to move on. I looked like a fool and the sad thing is, even though he was only a year and a half old, my son witnessed every bit of my insanity. 

I moved in with my cousin not to long thereafter until I was able to get my apartment and start over, but it didn’t take long for the toxicity that had become so apart of us to follow me. So one dreadful August afternoon after being disrespected yet again I took matters into my own hands and attempted to take the life away from the father of my son. It was only God and my cousins who was able to bring me back to reality and spare his life. That day was the final straw for me. I walked away and never looked back. 

So here we are, 11 years later and I find myself being disrespected yet again, but this time as a saved Christian. How would I respond? I chose to just hang up. That was all, hang up, and then I wept. I wept because just a few years ago God had directed me to pray for not only this man, but also his girlfriend. He had directed me to pray for increase in his finances and for stability on his job and good health. Yet here he was asking me if the child support he paid was benefiting me. I wept because I thought we had find gotten to a place of mutual respect for each other just because of the child we shared. I was wrong.

 So what do I do now? I dry my tears, I bow my head and I pray. I pray as God directed me to do years before. I pray for an increase in his finances and for stability on his job and good health. I pray for his protection and that God would be so kind to continue to extend his grace and mercy over his life. See this was a test to see if I had truly forgiven him. We as single moms and baby mothers often say that we have moved on and have forgiven our counterparts but as soon as they try us we are ready to act like our Mama’s named us Jazmen Sullivan and bust the windows out his car. Call child support and have him arrested or try to get the support enforced all the while our children are witnessing it all. 

I haven’t spoken to J since that day and honestly unless something awful happened to our child, I probably won’t speak to him again, unless of course the lord says otherwise, but I know that I passed the test. I have released the pain I held in my heart and gave him to the lord. What I will continue to do is pray for him. I won’t pray that God changes how he treats me, or even how he treats our son. I’ll pray that God changes the way he treats him 👆🏽. See when he gets it right with God, God will make sure that he gets it right with our son and then with me. 

So I say to you Single Moms. Those of you struggling with unforgiveness. Those trying to get the last say or the upper hand, is it worth it? Is it worth the damage that we are causing our children? Vengeance belongs to God. Trust me he has your back. 

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