Updated: Jan 12
I'm human. We all are and it's natural for us to let words get to us and let them control our feelings. People talk. People say stupid shit just to get under your skin. And sometimes they say shit that can stick to you for the rest of your life whether they mean it or not. I always thought I was strong and none of that shit could hurt me until I found myself sitting in the shower with the music blasting so no one could hear how hard I was crying. I realized that I was 100% human. People have said shit to me time and time again and I've always been the type to try to brush it off and not let it bother me.
I can't do that anymore. It seems almost impossible. I can't go on in my life with my name being twisted and tied to lies. I regret not telling the truth and being open when I had the chance. Whether people believed what was said about me or not, a seventeen and eighteen year old me was always quick to react and try to explain shit to people that had their minds set on making me look bad. A twenty-three year old me is sick of that shit.
I read an article the other day about how people and relationships can leave you with some PTSD and that shit hit me harder than I ever could have imagined. Sometimes it's not a particular event that traumatizes you.
I feel like the time to address a huge portion of the trauma that happened when I first entered adulthood. What you're about to read is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. All of it is exactly why I'm so fucked up. It hit me all at once when I finally looked back at what I'd been going through for the last five years. No, I'm not trying to make anyone look bad. I'm not calling anyone out. I'm not throwing dirt on anyone's names. I'm not throwing around insults and calling anyone any names. This will be the very last time that I will address this situation. I'm finally burying the hatchet the right way instead of wanting to bury it in somebody's head. I've grown past that shit, the pain is gone, and it's all over.
First and foremost, I'm not perfect and I've never claimed to be. I take a lot of pride in the things that I've accomplished and sometimes I don't give myself any credit at all. I'm in a place right now where I feel like I'm just going through the motions when I should be enjoying every moment of my life with a smile on my face, but I'm not. I can be lazy, mouthy, moody, and irritable. I'm a bonafide brat and I've been spoiled by almost everyone that has held a significant place in my life. Hell, I spoil myself more than anyone ever has. I get pissed off when things don't go my way (in a reasonable manner of course because I'm a grown ass woman). My tongue can be sharper than any blade, but I don't say anything too harsh because I know that I will regret it later. As a teenager, I was as wild as they come. I disappeared from home, I drank at parties,, I snuck out of the house, I had sex before I got married and got a thrill out of some pretty weird shit. I smoked weed and hung out with a few questionable individuals. I can be heartless and cruel and walk around with a fucked up attitude all day long. I nit pick. I whine.
One thing that tops everything else is the fact that I'm a damn good mother regardless of what anyone ever has to say. Everything that I have at this point of my life only happened because I was a mom that wanted her kids to have a good life, one significantly better than I had as a child. I wanted to be able to have my children without the whispers from McDowell County residents saying that I didn't need to have anymore because I couldn't afford to take care of them. I shut up all the negative assholes that said I wasn't going to do anything after having a baby fresh out of high school. I conquered what seemed like the impossible and fought my way to where I've always wanted to be. I'm the shit and I always have been. Even when I doubt myself, I'm the shit.
Even though my pregnancy wasn't discovered under the ideal circumstances, I was happy. I'd always wanted to be a mother just so I could have someone to give me the unconditional love that I always wanted. That's why Draven was planned. Most girls got pregnant to trap their boyfriend's, but I gave Austin the option to walk away when I found out that I was pregnant with Draven even though we'd been together for eleven months. I knew that he could get out of it, but I wouldn't be able to run away from parenthood even if I tried. My heart wouldn't have let it happen. He refused, saying that he wanted to give our baby the family that neither of us ever really had and I rolled with it.
People were rude and insensitive, but I never really felt the need to feel ashamed of my growing belly when I was glued to his side. I guess I thought that they wouldn't be able to say that he just knocked me up and vanished and that made me feel just a little bit better. Momma, Mia, Shakur, and sometimes Aunt Shawn were with me, but I never really felt the same kind of security. You know the story of how you'd never look up to see one without the other.
Things were good for most of my pregnancy. That's why the end was so painful. When my belly got so large that I could hardly move fast enough to make it from class with at least four text books in my arms because there was no more room in my backpack, I was even more afraid of the stares, whispers, and judgement.
I honestly don't know what happened to make everything change. I thought for the longest that it was he was scared. Sometimes I wondered if he was disgusted by my body because I'd always catch him flirting with girls that were thin as a rail. I thought it was because of how my mom wanted him to abide by the rules of her house just like her own children did and he didn't like it because he had never respected anyone with authority. I'm pretty sure that the tension between our families had a lot to do with it. That and the fact that he said I was too controlling were his reasons for distancing himself from me while I was pregnant.
There was no need for a feud to hang between our families. He didn't like the fact that I felt more comfortable depending on my mom than I felt depending on him. I'd shared all of my traumas that involved my parents because I felt comfortable enough to be open with him. When he didn't get his way when dealing with my mom, he would throw up the situation between my parents before I was born, trying to persuade me into leaving my mom behind. He thought that just because I was seventeen, I was just going to be able to do what I wanted. His ideal life for us was for me to move out of my mom's house and live in a trailer in Kimball with him being the sole provider. Even when things were at their best, I still wasn't going for it.
Momma had become a little softer and more lenient than she had been before. When it came to her household, there were just some rules that she wasn't going to budge on. She was the only one paying the bills and rent, putting food in our mouths, and clothes on our backs. The very least we could do was follow her rules. At one point when I wanted him to stay with us, it was Mia that made her realize that I was already pregnant and nothing else could happen.
They were wrong. So very wrong.
We went through arguments, just like we always did before I got pregnant and I was used to it. One of us would end up walking away to cool off. Momma knew that we argued a lot and it made her uneasy. With her past of being in an abusive relationship, she was afraid that our fights would escalate one day and he'd put his hands on me.
I never saw things that way. Sure, we'd argue over some pretty ridiculous shit, but my mind changed completely when I was about five months pregnant and during an argument, he got in my face with our noses touching and he proceeded to yell and cuss at me as much as he could. I had never seen him like that before and I was pretty fucking shook. A month later, he did it again and the third time, two weeks later, was when he was finally physically aggressive. I turned to walk away during an argument because I was scared every other time it happened and I was scared now. He grabbed one of my wrists to stop me and then he grabbed the other to make me face him. I tried to jerk my arms as hard as I could to get away from him, but he proceeded to yell, cuss, and shake my entire body like I was a rag doll. He didn't release me until I stopped trying to fight back and started crying.
My brother and sister had a pretty good idea of what was happening and they knew that I wasn't going to come out with the truth. I'd say that I slept wrong when they could see that my neck was stiff and my wrists were sore. I wanted them to think that I could hold my own if things got too bad and I was afraid of being alone. I didn't know it at the time, but the two of them would stand outside my door whenever Shakur heard us (his room was right next to mine, separated by a thin wall and he could hear almost everything), and he would go get Mia.
The last time he was aggressive, I remember hearing Mia's door open and close, but I never heard their footsteps with Shakur blasting fucking Transformers. My dumb ass just thought she was going to the bathroom. They stood there the whole time waiting to intervene. He must have known they were out there because he grabbed my wrists again, but his grip wasn't as strong and he released me almost immediately. I wasn't quiet whenever I cried and Mia and Shakur would have torn the room apart if they would have heard me crying.
He never got physical with me again, but that was when the insults started. There weren't many while I was pregnant, but they were always his way of shutting me up to avoid an argument. He knew that I was afraid of how bad the insults could get. I was always so shocked by how casual he was when he'd say something demeaning. Pregnancy was wearing me down and I was experiencing bacterial vaginosis for the first time. They gave me Flagyl and whether your stomach is empty or not, you'll still have a stomach ache. I was irritable and in pain from the medication and I was angry that my doctor practically told me that it was because of his hygiene. Because I was in a shitty mood, I was the bad guy and I needed to get over it. In his words, I wouldn't need antibiotics if I got my fat ass up and washed my pussy more often. I was quiet and tried my best to keep from upsetting him for about two months. I would ignore the small remarks here and there just because I felt too vulnerable and exhausted to throw it all right back at him.
When voicing my concerns about supporting the baby and being worried about it, he claimed that bringing up things like that was only pushing him away. I'd make small random jokes that were totally harmless and he'd reply with a harsh shut the fuck up. I ended up being quiet on the outside but I was sobbing on the inside. Somehow that strengthened the bond between me and my siblings. When he started fading away, they stood by my side.
When I'd have to go to an appointment just for them to send me upstairs to be hooked up on the monitor, I'd cry every single time. Momma worked in the kitchen at the hospital and Mia and Shakur were in school. Austin had gone two weeks without talking to me. I had no one to distract me from the pain, but I didn't want him there because I was vulnerable and couldn't protect myself.
Mother's Day was when it all came to a head. I was at the doctors office nearly every other day because I was freaking out about the baby. I'd come home and crashed on the futon. When I woke up eight hours later, there was a status posted saying, "Smh. I'd really like to know how my son is doing." I could have explained what all had been happening, but I refused. It was his own fault. He just popped in and out whenever he felt like it and expected me to try to keep up with him just to give updates about my pregnancy. Every single time he disappeared before, I would worry myself to death trying to track him down and I'd end up right back at the hospital because of contractions. Because I refused to let him demand anything from me, I was the bad guy. He and his family had a field day attacking me on Facebook that night. My due date was approaching quickly, I was already dilated to three centimeters, and having contractions more frequently. When I decided to keep me and my baby away from the drama and toxicity, that was what spawned the misconception that I kept Austin out of his life. With my condition rapidly changing, I refused to argue with them.
At nine months pregnant when I couldn't work but needed stuff to prepare for Draven's birth, I was "a broke bitch." I responded with comments about their welfare checks. I'd want him to act like an expecting father and he'd say that I was controlling him (when he'd spent our entire relationship roaming through my inbox on Facebook just to see who I was talking to). He took to slandering the only people that I could depend on and picking on me because I was emotionally fragile. I truly believe that he's always taken great pleasure in tearing me down and I whole-heartedly believe that he enjoyed seeing me cry.
Draven had been born at 11:41 the morning of May 13th. By 2 o'clock, Austin took off. I wasn't bothered by it at this point because I'm pretty sure we weren't even in a relationship around that time. Tia stayed with me and slept in the bed next to mine. He didn't come back until midnight. I brought up his inconsistency again and that started another argument.
Throughout the summer, he saw Draven on a fairly consistent basis and provided when he could. He wasn't allowed to spend the night because of everything we went through when he stayed there before. There was still a lot of tension between our families and once again, he tried to persuade me into moving out of my mom's house for me and Draven to move in with him. When I didn't entertain that idea, he suggested we stay at his grandma's house. To make this as vague as I possibly can, I never thought about spending the night there and Hell would have had to freeze over before I'd let my baby live under those conditions.
We tried to make our family work by doing things as a family, but eventually things fell off. I remember thinking that I was a fool for wanting to try to build a family with him. It felt like I had a baby and a boyfriend, not a family. As time went on, he visited less and less and I was frustrated because he wasn't there to help take care of Draven. He claimed that he didn't want to visit as often because of my family when in reality, my family just let us do our own thing when he was there so we really could enjoy moments as our own little family.
October 6th was the last time the three of us were together. It was the day Draven got his first tooth. Along the way, I still griped about him not visiting and that's when he got the idea that he had every right to do whatever he wanted to do with Draven. I refused and he held onto the false accusation that I was keeping Draven away from him. To put it simply, his living conditions weren't the least bit safe for a child and him taking off with him was completely out of the question.
Our relationship ended on October 23rd because I decided that motherhood was already hard enough without chasing someone down to make them be a father. Plain and simple, Momma had laid out ground rules for when he came to visit and he didn't like it. Austin has always had massive temper tantrums, more than likely caused by the fact that he never really got to be a kid. They start with him throwing out a ridiculous idea that will surely cause a fight. Then, he'd say that I was trying to keep Draven away from him and he'd say that I was stuck up under my mom and she was controlling my life. I'd remind him that my mother was the only help I was getting and she wasn't the one that called our child a "little fucker." And finally, it was all insults. It's stayed that way throughout the years.
The very next day after our break up, I was blocked from his Facebook. I eventually found out that he just hopped up and was in another relationship. I won't lie, it hurt like a motherfucker. When October 28th rolled around, I didn't have it in me to fight off the seasonal depression. I didn't bother to reach out to him because, more than likely, he was going to insult me and call me names. He even went as far as telling me that he hoped Draven would hate me when he grew up (he chose that insult because he knew that I was afraid of Draven not liking me when he was born. I was usually hysterical when the thought crossed my mind).
I didn't dwell on things. I was trying to get into online classes while trying to keep Draven on a regular daily routine. Around that time, I would vent to my very best friend that had been a listening ear since I was 15 and he ended up voicing the fact that he wanted to pursue me. I remember asking my mom how I was supposed to start dating with a baby because I was caught off guard. I kept the conversations between Austin and I strictly about being parents to Draven and kept them short. We agreed on him buying Draven's first Halloween costume so he could dress up as a lion. But, I ended up having to buy the very last costume in the entire dollar store that was made to fit a six year old. Thanks to Mawv Maw's wicked skills with a needle and some thread, Draven went as a vampire with his costume fitting him perfectly.
I was in a really good headspace with my best friend being pulled out of the friend zone. We'd ended up going on a date to the movies after a week or two of talking. I had fun, but the next morning, I woke up to Austin blowing up every social media page I had, my cell phone, and my house phone. He went ballistic when he caught wind of my date night (he thought that me and my BFF were cousins for two years just because my friend was a Thomas and I was a Thomas, but we were from two completely different bloodlines. His cousin was married to my aunt, but we were in no way, shape, or form related. Austin just assumed that). That was the first time he lit into me viciously. He threatened to kill my friend, even going as far as searching through Mercer County and asking anyone he could where he was. I made it clear that he'd jumped into another relationship with no hesitation and I'd just went to see a movie with someone that I was close to.
I had the delightful pleasure of every insult he could dig up:
a fucking low life
a cousin fucker
I wasn't going to have a personal life because he was going to murder him
I had a loose pussy
He couldn't fucking stand me
Nobody will ever be with me like he was
He'd fight every nigga in the world over me
He had gotten into a fist fight with his mom over me
Nobody will ever love me but him because we had a son together
I was already depressed because it felt like the tight three year friend ship I had was gone completely because of Austin. I was left feeling like he was never going to stop pushing people out of my life so I could be happy. It was so bad that everyone could see the drastic shift in my emotions. That was the worst temper tantrum that I'd ever seen and that's exactly what it was. He was throwing a temper tantrum because he couldn't get his way.
November was when I had no other choice but to pick up the pieces to support my child. I'd stayed home with him for six months and no matter how much anxiety it gave me, it had to be done. Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled by and I didn't try to reach out to him. I was handling being a single mom fairly well.
January changed my life forever. Granny was gone and it felt like losing her made my confidence as a mother disappear. Things were gloomy and dark for me. I was just taking life one day at a time because that's all I had the energy to do. Another guy eventually showed interest in me. He was pretty fucking weird and every time I saw him, something felt off so I knew that it would never go anywhere. All I had was a Text Free number and I really didn't talk to anybody except for Tia and she was home from school around that time. Austin and his family were blocked out of my life for the most part and it allowed me to focus on taking care of Draven so my grief from Granny's death wouldn't consume me.
I rolled over in the middle of the night when I got a text on my app and guess the fuck what? It was Austin, crying about how he lost everything in his life. His grandfather had passed away shortly before Granny and I felt sorry for him, but I was barely able to hold myself together. He begged to be with us and I didn't even respond. A couple more weeks passed and I had a new number, but somehow he got that one too. This time, he went on about how he'd been mutilating himself by cutting and wanting to die. I couldn't respond because I was just as sad as he was when I read those texts, but I was finally strong enough to move on. While looking back at those messages, I can never hold back my tears. How can you proclaim your love for someone, basically claiming that you'd give them a gun and trust them not to pull the trigger, and then say whatever you can to hurt them.
Still to this day, the messages from January of 2015 cut me really deep. I can't believe that I was almost weak enough to fall into something like that again. I can't believe that I was in love with someone that would insult me so maliciously. That seventeen year old version of myself took that kind of begging and groveling as a way to feel like she was truly loved. But who I am now can see that true love doesn't belittle you and tear you down one minute and then try to say sorry and forget all about it.
I kept him blocked as much as I could. When I'd block one Facebook page, another one would pop up. The same thing happened on Instagram. He refused to accept the end of our relationship and I was hoping that he'd forgotten all about me.
More time passed and I was beginning to get my head wrapped around the idea of nursing school. I'd already dealt with the drama that came with him agreeing to help buy stuff for Draven's first birthday party. I waited around for three days and he never showed up, so I uninvited him. In April, he dropped off an Easter basket for Draven. I ended up meeting Thomas in June and we started dating in July. The first time I'd saw that Austin was still alive was because of a picture of Thomas helping Draven on his rocking horse. Austin proceeded to message Thomas with threats.
I didn't hear from him again until December when Thomas talked me into meeting up with him in a public place so he could see Draven. He refused. His exact words were, "if I can't take him with me, then I don't want to see him at all." That was the end of it. We were being nice by trying to meet at the DHHR where Momma worked but he refused.
He ended up showing up at Draven's second birthday party in May where he pushed him around on his bike. He took off and left before he could blow out his candle. That's when Draven started referring to him as "the boy that pushed me on my bike." He never asked any more questions. If he did, that's when I would have geared him into telling him who he really was.
In late May, my siblings and I took Jayden and Draven to the carnival in Bluefield. All of us stood by the fence as we watched our little cousin ride one of the rides. Austin was walking by, talking to a girl when he looked up and looked me dead in the eyes. He kept walking. He ended up walking by us four more times and later that night, he claimed that we kept walking away every time he got close to us. We were literally standing there while Niko wanted to ride the airplane ride for forty-five minutes and Jayden and Draven were too amazed to look away.
By December, we were residents of Huntington and hadn't heard from him. After working a night shift, I woke up to the news that I'd lost a family member. I also woke up to a message from Austin. It was a picture of a newborn baby. Because so much time had passed without him trying to make contact, I asked if he was ready to sign over his rights. Something felt off and I took to telling them all that when I saw a DNA test proving that Austin was his father, then I would let Draven know that he had a brother. Again, he tried to say that I was keeping Draven away from him. I pointed out the fact that I was being nice by unblocking them so they could see pictures of Draven. I let him know that if he had a brother, then he had a brother and the kids needed us to be civilized adults.I acknowledged the fact that he'd been to Long John's which was barely a mile long walk from where we were staying in Havaco and he never made an attempt to see him. His response was,"shut the fuck up you dumb ass bitch. I'm done with you."
No matter how many times I brought up the fact that he knew where we lived, he'd been in our neighborhood, and the environment he lived in, he still insisted that I had been keeping Draven away from him. I think that he wanted me to chase after him, throw Draven at him like a hot potato, and then take off. I was the kind of mom that only let five people babysit my child in his entire life and he was two.
I found myself getting annoyed with the same old shit and I felt like a broken record. His excuses were:
I kept Draven away from him
my mom and Tia were in my mind manipulating me
Thomas was manipulating me
He wasn't in a hazardous environment surrounded by addicts
The reason why our relationship ended for good was because he had stopped coming to see him almost two weeks prior
He was surrounded by addicts and strange people coming in and out of his house
He did live in a hazardous environment
'He'd gotten a massive MRSA infection and almost lost his arm just from laying in his own bed and the police almost got involved until his grandma took him to the hospital
He ran around the entire county on a regular basis
He never made an effort to see Draven
I didn't want Draven around drama and drugs
His idea of being in Draven's life was taking him for days and nights at a time
He refused visits because he wanted to take off with Draven when he was known to disappear and there was no way to contact him
My only stipulation as far as him seeing Draven is supervised visits so they can establish a relationship until Draven is comfortable enough to be with him on his own.
My mind is tired. My body is tired. My soul is tired. I don't have it in me to deal with this for the next thirteen years. I've had other girls coming to my defense when he's tried to flirt with them and I can't thank them enough even when he claimed that I kept Draven away from him because I was a low life bitch. The girl that fired back in my defense restored my faith in humanity by calling me a hard working woman.
Things aren't as bad as they used to be. Not even the slightest bit. I'm on much better terms with his mom and sisters that ask about Draven on a daily basis. Draven took it hard when he would wait for Austin to call him or when he wouldn't call him back. He randomly approached me one day thinking that he was "broke because my dad doesn't want to talk to me." My heart was crushed. That was exactly what I wanted to avoid. When Austin popped back up claiming that he wanted to be in his life, I had no more fight left in me. He said he wanted to be in Draven's life as much as he was in his younger son's life (the one born in December of 2016 wasn't his baby after all). I stood by the fact that I had never been spiteful. I'd thrown out my fair share of insults and I'd been so angry at all of them that I couldn't see straight. I pointed out the fact that no one was thinking about Draven when he was out making those other babies(I still feel like you're a dumb ass if you lay down with a man that doesn't take care of his kids and get knocked up by one). My child deserved nothing less than someone coming into his life to stay.
Things got messy as hell. All of them apologized, but Tai and Taiesha were the only ones that stand behind me and stick with changing like they said they would. Austin is going to do what he wants to do. I refuse to chase after him. He still lashes out and throws a temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way and he's delusional. He still says crazy shit to me like:
You can die and go to Hell
He claims that my feelings for him are standing in the way of him having a relationship with Draven
I only came back into his life because I wanted his money (he was the one blowing me up at work)
He's got a little girl on the way and he doesn't have time for my bullshit
He's tired of stupid ass bitches (meaning me and the other baby momma)
He claims he's not going to suck my ass to see Draven
I've made all of the effort for the two of them to see each other in person
It's my fault that Draven feels like he doesn't love him
He says that the problem is that Draven "a whole other motherfucker is his dad" when that's who's raised him since he was 13 months old
"Man fuck your dumb ass, you just mad cause I told your ass how I feel."
"I'm more of a man than you will ever have in your life."
He said he's got multiple people to watch his kids (none of them that I know and damn sure wouldn't trust around my kid)
He says he's not spending money on him until they get a bond (when he isn't trying to make an effort)
"I'd appreciate if seeing my son didn't involve me giving you some money." We'd literally discussed me borrowing money and paying it back to start his Christmas shopping.
He's dragged me as a mother for the last 5 years because I refused to let him buy stuff for Draven
"All you doing is pushing me away from my kid cause his stupid ass momma is tryna get in my bag, so fuck you my nigga, have a nice day my kid gonna hate you for this one day I swear."
"You the same mf that used to always judge me this the same reason we really broke up because you think your lil petty ass job gonna get you somewhere but that shit not gonna get you nowhere but in debt period."
"Fuck you Bre'A Shicole Belle."
"You stupid ass bitch I've never abused a woman."
He's said and deleted the message where he said the only difference between me and the other girl is that he'd beat her black and blue.
"Lls Damn a nigga start to get a lil money and all my baby mommas wanna bring me my kids."
"I really hope something bad happens to you."
Everything you've read is my life for the last five years. I've been living in my own personal version of Hell. The person that helped create Draven is an absolute monster. That's not an insult at all. I can only see him as a monster that's been calling me names and wishing death on me. Would you let your child be around him and everything that comes with him alone? It kills me every single day because I know that I will have to look at a sixteen year old version of the little baby that stole my heart so many years ago and I have to live with the fact that I've been harassed and abused by the other part of who he is. I'll have to comfort him when he sees what happened when he was a child. I know he'll be angry and hurt and I won't pretend like I never said anything awful, but never to the extent of what I've had to deal with.
To FINALLY set the record straight, I never kept Draven away from Austin. He kept himself away from Draven. I will NOT bow down to anyone. I will NOT be controlled by anyone. I don't fear a single soul and I will NOT put up with this shit anymore. My health has me thinking about my babies having to grow up without me and I refuse to let someone push me even further into my grave. I have not been able to carry on in my life and mind my business to work hard and raise my son for the last five years without periodic death threats and insults.
This is the very last time I will address this bullshit in an attempt to defend myself. If you believe that I've kept that man away from my child when I was foolish enough to fight for him as hard as I did during Draven's first year of life, fuck you. If you think I'm just a bitter baby momma, fuck you too. If you're a dumb ass female that's willing to let him drop a baby off in your womb and expect him to be anything but controlling, abusive, and inconsistent, fuck you. If you want me to burn in Hell for all of this just like he does, fuck you too and I'll see you there wearing kerosene panties. I've been a damn good mother and now everyone that's watched me rise from the ashes like a phoenix over and over again to create a better life for my family can see what I've been dealing with. I've never deserved to be talked to like a dog. No one ever deserves to be treated like that. But I survived. I could have given him what he wanted, but that would be me not giving a shit about my son. He's always hated the fact that he has never been able to control me and that hasn't changed. You can side with him and stand behind him and while you're at it, you can kiss every motherfucking square inch of my ass.
All of this happened for a reason. From August 15th, 2013, the beginning of my senior year up until now, I'm grateful. Austin taught me pain from start to finish and I can't think about it without crying. He could have resorted to beating my ass and there were so many times that I thought about Draven having to go on in life with one of us in jail and the other being in the grave. It was all worth it in the end because Draven taught me love and by him teaching me love, I was finally able to love someone the right way when Thomas came along. One day, he will be an emotional wreck, I won't lie to him, and I'll be there to help him along the way. He'll be hurt, angry, and possibly confused, but we will make it through that storm. Time is slowly but surely healing my wounds and this is my closure.