Written by Temeka Burton
In 2001 was a freshman at a small historically black Christian college in South Carolina and she was a sophomore when I first met her. I watched Carol for about two months and I made the first move on her. It was her walk, talk, and natural beauty that had me love struck, and I showed up everywhere she went until she noticed me.
I fell so deep in love until the only thing I did was breathe, sleep, and eat this chick. We were together for about six months. At the time we both met, we each had one child.
My son’s father got mad because I stopped coming home, and he told my mom that I was dating a female and that’s why no one could ever find me. After about a couple of months, my parents stepped in and threatened to never see me again.
I’m my daddy’s little girl and the only girl, so he said if I’m going to be with a woman, I can count him out of my life. If anyone knew me then, they can tell you that I valued that man’s opinion above all else. I couldn’t go on without having my father in my life and at the time I was only 19.
I went to Carol’s dorm room and told her once I left school, I was not coming back. She was devastated, she cried and begged me not to leave. The hurt in her eyes felt like a dagger in my heart. (We still discuss this 14 years later.) She tells me her whole world crumbled that night.
I left school and pretended like this never happened.
My Children Need Their Father, Right?
I started dating a guy who I stayed with for 10 years, and for the last 8 of them I knew it was not for me. By the end of those years, I had four babies and my motto was, I didn’t want my children to be raised without a dad.
I first met my kids’ father when we were in the 6th grade. So when I left Carol, I just went back to a familiar place, that was him.
The first two years were okay. I managed to suppress my feelings for females until I almost fooled myself.
My kids’ father knew I had been intimate with a female and knew I wanted Carol back. In 2005 I told him I was no longer happy, but we could stay together for our kids’ sake.
I endured physical, sexual, and mental abuse from him. He made me feel like if I left him, no one would want me because I had four kids, so I stayed.
He started staying home more and I found myself flinching when he touched me or tried to kiss me. When it was time for bed, I would fall asleep on the couch; and if I was in the bed, I was up by the time he came to lay down.
My Mother Gave Me Permission to Leave
In 2010 I was so depressed my mother was like, “I see you are not happy, so leave or go to therapy.”
I started being angry and I started preparing myself mentally, physically and financially to leave. I started talking to my kids telling them that, “mommy and daddy will not be living together.” I never dressed up or did my hair so I started pampering myself so I could feel like I was beautiful.
Reconnecting With My College Sweetheart
I tried to connect with Carol on Facebook several times, but she didn’t realize it was me, because last time we talked, I only had 1 child not 4.
I found out how to inbox her and when she realized who I was, it was over. We exchanged numbers and talked on the phone like we were teenagers again.
As soon as we talked, I told her I still was in love with her.
I felt all those emotions coming back. I had a glow about myself and I was happy. My heart just melted like butter, and she has been the one who held my heart over all these years.
I reconnected with her in 2009, and in 2010 I started driving 2 1/2 hours to see her. I wanted a change of scenery, so I told her I would move to Georgetown, South Carolina to be with her.
At first we didn’t tell our children about the relationship because we were trying to protect them. Two years into our relationship, we told them and so far, six years later, they are good.
We Have a Big Happy Family
We have five kids together and they are all amazing. We just take one day at a time and work hard at our goals. My kids love her. She taught all of them how to ride a bike, play football, and basketball. Her daughter loves me. She loves the fact that I am in her life and that I do girlie things with her because her mom didn’t and now we are just one big happy family. We are planning to get married September 2016.
My mom said she knew I like females and my dad apologized to me for making me choose his lifestyle over the one I really wanted to live.
I talk with my children about how important it is for them to live their lives and not let anyone make choices for them. We have to take our lives in our own hands and no matter how much we love our parents, they can’t live for us.