Please welcome my beautiful bestie, Gabriella, to The Garcia Diaries. We have been best friends since high school and have been through everything together. Heartbreak, issues with our parents, marriage, pregnancy, loss, birth, health scares, surgeries… and now divorce. When I asked her if she would be interested in guest posting and telling her story, she graciously accepted. I hope she can help whoever reads this and is going through something similar!
Disclaimer: this is going to be raw and true, so if you can’t handle the truth, I suggest stopping here.
My goal in this is not to hurt or upset anyone. If this can reach one person going through something similar to what I have been through, and can help them, it makes this more than worth it.
Single mom… Two words I never thought I’d labeled as. As I sit here and reflect while Ezra naps and I leave shortly for work, I think of what has gotten us here. I think back to the sixteen year old me. Never boy-crazy and considered prude by the high school boys. I met my ex-husband at a young age. We spent began dating in December 2011. I was head over heels. He graduated a year before me and in June of 2012, he moved out of country to attend Bible college. We chose to stay together and give this long distance thing a shot. I visited him at college once and the whole “long distance” thing was really hard, but we made it, thanks to Facetime, Skype, texting, and phone calls.
Eventually he moved home “for me” and started attending a college here. Things were getting more and more serious. We found out we were pregnant in March of 2013. We kept it a secret because everyone thought I was “waiting until marriage” (which I did for over two years). We got engaged a few weeks later (not because we were pregnant, he had it planned before that, so he says).
We found out at 14 weeks that our daughter had Turner Syndrome and at 18 weeks we lost her. I had to be induced and deliver her stillborn. He sat by my side the entire time. Words can’t explain the intense pain that I endured and still feel to this day.
We got married in September 2013. Marriage was hard but hey, so is love! We wanted to try again, and struggled to get pregnant for months. Finally, we found out we were pregnant again in May of 2014!! But then, a few weeks later during a routine ultrasound, we found out our son had a heart defect. We had genetic testing done but our daughter’s condition and our son’s condition were not related. They told us it wasn’t genetic, that they were both “flukes”.
At that point, I had fallen so far from God and so had my husband. At that moment in my life, I had two paths I could go down. I could trust in the Lord or run the other way and blame him. I chose to trust I him, but unfortunately, I can’t say the same for my ex.
My pregnancy was high risk and stressful at times, but overall it was a fairly easy pregnancy. At 39 weeks, we went in for my appointment and my blood pressure was high, so considering how far we had come, my doctor chose to have me induced. I was in labor for five days… YES, five days. My ex sat with me through it all watched me deliver our beautiful son. We only got to hold him for 30 seconds before they took him to the NICU. My ex went with him.
We were transferred to the local children’s hospital where he had his first surgery at five days old. We got to go home 2 weeks later. We were only home for about 2 weeks and had to come back to the hospital. It was at the time, sitting in hospital chair (aka my bed for the past weeks) that I found messages on my then-husband’s phone dating back to our first year together. Come to find out, he had cheated on me multiple times for an entire year, with several different people.
I was in shock. I look up and see our beautiful, brand-new baby… hooked up to so many IV’s and oxygen tubes. My dad was sitting near me in the hospital room and I couldn’t breathe, so I walked out. I called my ex and he was so nonchalant about it. “How did you find out?” and “Maybe it was a sign…” were the two things I specifically remember coming out of his mouth. He acted like he was completely done with me. Meanwhile, I sat in a hospital room alone with our baby. That night, I decided to go to our apartment with my brother and move mine and my son’s things out. Two cars, one mom who just gave birth, one amazing big brother and we did just that.
A few days later, my ex called me wanting to talk about our “finances”. When I arrived, he asked me if this is what I wanted, to no longer be together and I cried and told him, “of course not.” He gave me a really good sob story… Long story short, I chose to forgive him saying “it was before our marriage and I will give it one more shot. But if you do this again, it’s over.”
One month later our son had to have another open heart surgery. Thankfully, he healed extremely fast and well. We finally got to go home in April 2015 and enjoy him, together as a family, at home. We were house hunting at the time and I had this constant gut feeling he was lying about something… but he denied it. He looked me dead in my eyes and said, “I wish you could just trust me and believe I’m not lying.” We bought our first house together in December of 2015.
A few months later, in February of 2016, I found out he had cheated on me for three months. It happened when he came home from the hospital in April 2015, during the time that our son was doing so well and we were enjoying our little family.
Not only was he cheating, but he wrecked our new car from lack of sleep, because of what he was doing when he was supposed to be “sleeping”. I found out who the girl was… A girl from his Bible college, who knew he was married and had a child. Again, another moment in my life to run closer to God or farther away. Honestly, at first I ran away and was so angry with God. But then I decided I was going to run to God and that I needed him desperately.
At first you blame yourself… Wondering what you did or didn’t do. With a crazy notion of let-me-fix-my-family, I thought “let’s have another baby” (crazy, I know). We got pregnant quickly and I miscarried. He was so insensitive and mean when I suffered my miscarriage. For me, that was it. I was done. I chose to end things with him for good. So, he moved out.
I went through several stages but now I’m so happy. I lost my identity for so long, but now I’m who I used to be before him — only I am a mother to beautiful blue-eyed miracle. If I had to go through all of this, just to get my son, I would do it a million times over.
The only advice that has really helped me is: “It’s not your fault. You did nothing. He has deep issues and it has nothing to do with you.”
Now, we have been seperated for 7 months. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in, physically, emotionally and spiritually, in a long time. I am working two jobs. I’m happy and I feel God working in my heart, my life and my son’s life. I am not perfect–not anywhere close–but I am a good person with a big heart. One day, I will meet someone who loves me and my son the way we deserve to be loved. For now, I am happy watching Netflix alone in my bed, hanging out with my son and friends, and having a relationship with Christ again.
If you are going through something similar, please know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You are not damaged goods and you deserve the world, so don’t settle for anything less.