Have you ever been emotionally bankrupt? Tonight, I let go of a situation I should have released 11 years ago. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in 2008 who deserved love and acceptance like every other child brought into this world. The circumstances surrounding his birth were complicated to say the least but my unwavering heart still expected the best from his father. Before our child was 2 years old, he stopped sending financial support and without cause was denying paternity, saying he was influenced by his new girlfriend commenting that the child didn’t look like him. Truth is stronger than lies so I took the sensible road and didn’t involve my child in the drama surrounding this unfortunate ordeal. When he was old enough to start asking questions about his father I gave loving responses hoping that one day they would repair their relationship. I reached out to him to resolve the matter several times and eventually went as far as submitting a request to the Rickey Smiley show for Paternity Test Tuesday’s, a segment of the morning show that gets results for parents in my situation. I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to clear my name and put an end to the slander and damage to my reputation that he was causing with his malicious actions. If he didn’t want to be a part of his child’s life, he was not going to be able to use me as an excuse for that any longer. More than that, I wanted our son to have a father. I wanted him to be present so our son wouldn’t feel the pain I see in the eyes of so many black men. Our son was 3 years old when we got the results that revealed what I already knew, he is his father. We still had time to heal this horrible wound before it affected our child. The results seemed to have no impact on him at all.
I continued to share pictures and tried to keep the connection alive. It took 6 more years before he reappeared in our lives. This time around, he wanted a relationship with our son and an opportunity to rekindle romance with me. I lost a tremendous amount of respect for him over the years and would have never considered his offer if not for the gift of forgiveness. I had a spiritual experience a year before he surfaced that I will explain in detail another time. This experience purged my heart of the anger and pain I felt towards him in a way that left me open and curious about ultimately what God’s plan was for our family. I explored the possibility of reconciliation with him for almost two years before deciding to move on because as much as I desired to have a family things just weren’t coming together as we had hoped for. I’m grateful for the time he spent with me and our son to reconnect but fully accept that it’s his relationship with his son that should continue and coparenting is the only connection we share.
This situation left me emotionally bankrupt. I have no choice but to start over and do the work to find my confidence to love again. Letting go can feel a lot like giving up but I liken it to emotionally bankruptcy because it means acknowledging when you’ve given all you can give but the only way to heal is to stop and start over. I am literally writing off the cost of the connection. I am at my limit when it comes to spending energy on people who don’t value me. I feel like he’s taken my heart for granted and it’s time to take a stand. Emotional and mental abuse is the hardest type to prove. Some people punch you in the heart and not the face just because you’ve given them the space to do so. I write this as a testament to my pain but also a declaration of victory against the attacks on my heart that left it bankrupt.
I can’t stop anyone from taking my kindness for weakness but I can stop them from taking from the most valuable piece of me, my heart of gold. The value that it holds is not determined by how someone handles it as much as how I manage it. I’m taking my power back by stopping him and anyone else in their tracks when they seek to hurt me unnecessarily. I used to believe that closure or reconciliation was needed for every situation but I’ve come to realize that it’s ok to say goodbye for the sake of peace of mind. It’s ok to close accounts without warning and set boundaries with people who harm me. It’s ok to say things went too far and I cancel all debts of the heart. I don’t owe you anything and you can’t take from me anymore.
It is my sincere prayer that he will continue to seek to establish a bond with our son but I’ve paid my part by giving him access to a child with a pure heart towards him. The ball is in his court now and I won’t continue to pay the cost of the years lost. I am free and will continue to nurture, care and provide for our seed. He is free to provide for his needs without being attached to me. I praise God for the gifts he’s given me and am committed to continuing to establish my legacy in love with people who invest in my well being and won’t leave me emotionally bankrupt. This time, I’m starting over with God in the position he’s always deserved, first place in my life. When you know better, you do better. I thank God for forgiving me and blessing me with the gift of being emotionally debt free. Here’s to a new beginning! ??