It's a long story, but, in essence, my child, Nicholas (whom I always called “Nicky,”) is now 15 years old. I don't know where he is in this world.
I was young and naïve and put great trust in a couple of soldiers I knew (man and wife). Being fairly young, and not having had any real examples of true family in my own life, they were kind of my "surrogate parents" at the time. I told them everything. When my tenuous try at a first marriage was falling down all around me, and my husband was abusive, I cried and told them everything, every hope, every fear.
I should have noticed they were playing on my insecurities and spending more time than they should have with someone else's child. They couldn't have more kids, so they decided to lean heavily on an uncertain young mother who was still reeling from the fact that she was responsible for a little life, when she'd never in her life planned on having kids in the first place.
Unfortunately, I was depressed, afraid, and had just gotten out of the Army (came back in later, but for 3 years, because of the divorce and the harsh uncaring command climate at Fort Campbell, I just wanted out of the whole military system). For a time, I had no money, no job, and didn't feel comfortable asking my own family to help me get a lawyer and play a supportive role during this time.
I was stubborn and thought 'I can do this myself.' I don't need anyone. I tried to go it all alone, and I lost the battle.
The courts ruled in their favor. They had big lawyers bought with big money, and seemed to have the ability to pull people out of the woodwork to speak against me (I never got to know people in my unit or neighborhood to whom I could have turned, because I poured all my energy into struggling through that rotten marriage. Another story for another day...)
Hopefully there will be a lesson from these years of pain, one day. I still hold out hope that this couple will not have tarnished my image in his life so much that he will meet me and never forgive me, and never believe me. I just want the chance to reconnect with him one day and tell him who his mom is, and how we ended up apart.
Then, the rest is up to him.
I just want that chance.
In the end, I lost him, and more, and my mother would not speak to me for years. We've since then finally developed a relationship. At times it seems frail, but it’s better than nothing.
Since then, it's been my greatest sorrow that this happened, and that I've never met anyone else with whom I could start a family... I always thought I would, but it doesn’t seem that that was meant to be.
I hope I find a way to reunite with him. But those years lost can never be returned. Losing a child changes a person in ways that can never be undone.
What is wrong with this world? People who have kids abuse the privilege of parenthood, and the people who love their children, (even if they are a little confused about where to begin), end up losing them.