We're happy to announce our Women of Strength blog is back! Every month, we will bring you a new story of a woman of strength. This month, Christina shares her story of thriving under and after difficult circumstances, being a single mom, and a painful decision to walk away. Do you have any encouraging words for Christina? Leave her a comment!
I'm Christina. I am the second youngest out of a total of seven kids. I grew up on the South Side of Stockton, California during the Rodney King Era. Trust me, that wasn't a great time for that state. Now, as a mother of four, I live in Eastern North Carolina, working as an assistant manager in the vehicle maintenance industry.
Three years ago, my life was totally different. I was a married stay at home mom. My husband had just gotten out of the Marine Corps, and we were starting life over in Patterson, California. During this time, I was battling with severe depression, and he was battling PTSD. We tried to help each other, but the combination became toxic. Our children were suffering. We were suffering. I had to make a change. It wasn't until that December that the change was made.
I made the decision to leave. Unfortunately, that decision also involved having to leave my two youngest children with him. It was a decision that he and I talked about. He drove me and my two eldest daughters to the bus station two hours away. We got on the bus to Raleigh through tears and pain. My girls and I began life over again.
#1- What is the #1 challenge you have faced as a single mother?
The hardest thing has been to provide the basic living conditions at all times. There have been times the electricity was off in the middle of winter. Times in which the kids only ate because of food banks. Times in which I didn't know where they were going to lay their heads at that night. We have stability now, but that rough patch was brutal.
#2. What are some of the lessons you have learned after starting all over again?
Life is always going to change. Don't spend life neglecting yourself. There may be a time when you are all you have to count on.
#3. Who’s been your biggest supporter?
By far my biggest supporter has been my best friend, Monica. That woman has stood by me through so much, and has helped me in ways I could never imagine. I tip my hat to that woman.
#4. What would you say to other single mothers facing some of the challenges you’ve faced before or are currently facing?
Keep pushing, it does get better. Focus on the positives in your life. No matter what the situation, there is something to be grateful for.
#5. Who are your role models?
Maya Angelou has always been a woman I have looked up to. I admire her strength, tenacity, and ability to grow from the ashes.
Do you know a Woman of Strength? Email us her story at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to feature her in our blog! Would you like to share YOUR OWN story? Don't be shy, email us.