- Why I moved to Toronto when I was 19
- The early days of my son’s Fragile X diagnosis
- 14 months that had a huge emotional impact on me
- How the death of my friend gave my life a new purpose
Years before I moved to Toronto, I was a kid who lived in a small town. My lifestyle was carefree, and I grew up in a loving, Christian home. Not only did I have plenty of friends, but I was also:
- An overachiever with good grades, who received positive recognition.
- And someone who participated in as many extra-curricular activities as I could. From sports to the arts.
But everything changed in the Spring of 1998 when I spent the night at my best friend’s home. That evening, my best friend’s father digitally raped me.[efn_note]”Digitally raped” is a term referring to a man using his fingers.[/efn_note]
This was a man and family I grew up with most of my young life. Not only did I feel like I could no longer trust them, but I felt like I could no longer trust other people.
The next day, my friend’s family decided to ignore the victimization that happened in their home. Then, my family took me to the authorities, who followed all the necessary rape protocols. But that didn’t go as well as I hoped. The news of what had happened spread fast and everyone in my hometown called me a liar.
But I moved to Toronto, because of the pain I experienced after that…
To cope and mask the confusion I was experiencing, I took new risks, made new friends, and turned to new experiences.
While coping involved new experiences, cannabis was not the gateway drug. It was actually a great way to stay out of trouble, even though it was the devil’s lettuce to my small community.
When I was in my final year of high school, a classmate raped me. I turned to drugs, men, all night parties, and alcohol to find an identity free from pain.
Then, I dropped out of school, did a weekend stint in a New York State Penitentiary, and wrote my GED. Writing my GED allowed me to graduate online, before my classmates.
At the age of 19, I moved to Toronto and didn’t look back.
Some stories need a limited amount of background and aren’t logical. They need more of a shock element for others to understand. At the time, I was missing logic and living rather circumstantially.
When I moved to Toronto as a young adult, I found the big city daunting. It also forced maturity I still didn’t have. But I chose to not seek therapy, despite everything I had been through.
Because I was experiencing far too much disbelief from my first predator. This made me believe that justice is bullshit.
Instead, I spent the majority of my 20s looking for love in all the wrong places.
After I moved to Toronto, I went through a season of my life where I pushed away family and close friends, out of protection—and shame.
I consumed every narcotic possible, had countless partners, and close to 65 jobs. I was unstable to say the very least. On the outside, I was happy as fuck. But, on the inside, I was missing everything that mattered to me.
I balanced work and party not real life:
- The characters
- The darkness
- The high’s and the low’s
I bounced around, and moved to different pockets of the city, hopping into various cultures and experiences.
In 2006, something shook the mould when I met a man who I believed was my soulmate…
Because we met on a high. Over the course of a few years, we had a mutual awakening, found the church, got clean, and got engaged. We planned to have a child one evening, and in the Fall of 2009, I got pregnant with my son.
The best part of my pregnancy was the fact that it was uneventful and enjoyed to the fullest.
At the time, I knew that being a mother was my destiny, and I felt a great deal of excitement about the role I had signed up for. I loved the idea of having something to protect and teach for a lifetime.
In the first year of my son’s life, my ex-fiancée and I broke off our engagement. But this didn’t stop me from giving single motherhood 200% of what I had.
The “200%” part of all this, by the way, is my way of describing what it’s like being both mommy and daddy!