By Jennifer Kelly
It’s been a solid year now since my family and I have been going through literal Hell. On the outside if you don’t know us, you may think we have it all. But what you are about to find out will shock you to your core. We are still in court proceedings and because this is so unbelievable, horrifying, and embarrassing I urge you to read with caution. It is a good plot for a really bad Lifetime movie. However, it is all true, and it’s our life., and I need to get it out. This story is too long and draining for me to tell it all in one post, so it will come to you in several parts. Let me start at the beginning:
My husband and I met one Spring while we were both in other relationships. It wasn’t the ideal situation to meet the love of your life, but it happened. We were in relationships in which we had both produced children and had tried building a life within that family. Yet, no matter how hard either of us tried in those relationships, we still felt as if something was missing and we just could not find happiness. Ironically enough, our exes were friends prior to us meeting, and a few years after meeting each other we actually became neighbors.
Soon after becoming neighbors, we started hanging out at the neighborhood park and talking about our situations. We discovered our oldest children (his son and my daughter) shared the same exact birthday! The irony didn’t stop there. We both had been living mirror lives of each other. We both yearned for the same things out of life that we were not getting from our (at the time) current situations.
Fall was approaching, and as daylight was growing shorter, so was our time together. It was a few weeks after simply hanging out at the park with the kids that my husband introduced me to his mother. She was a pastor at a church and a hospital. I was very intimidated to meet her, especially knowing that she was a woman of the cloth and how close her and her son were. She embraced me with open arms when she met me. She explained to me how she had been praying for me, praying for her son to escape the misery she believed he was in, and for someone to make him as happy as I had made him in the short time we were together.
With her help, we decided to leave our current situations. It was the hardest and best decision we have ever made. I feel bad that we hurt our exes, but that was not our intention. We never imagined to find the love of our lives this way. At this time, I had no vehicle, we had no money, and literally nowhere to go. My husband’s mother offered her place to us, however it was way too far for my husband to travel to work, and to get the kids to school. We had no idea how we were going to juggle it all.
My mother reluctantly let us stay with her and her husband. That was not ideal either, however, it was a better option as we would have our own room and so would the kids. I depleted all the savings I had to rent a car to drive his son to school every day. At this time there was a 50/50 split between him and his son’s mother.
Our exes were very bitter and tried everything to keep us from our kids. After long and grueling court appearances, my ex received primary residency because my youngest daughter at the time was born and raised in that home, and there was no reason good enough to take her from that. My husband received the same 50/50 split with his ex, with her receiving primary residency.
While this was all going on, my husband’s mother was very supportive to me. She hired and paid for a lawyer for me, she let me cry and vent and really open up to her — as a minister AND as a mom. My relationship with my own mom during this was in turmoil as it has always been. She did not support our decision and was very negative about the whole thing. Since my teen years, I hadn’t had a good relationship with my mom and that was something that I longed for. My husband’s mom really stepped in and filled those shoes for me. I confided in her about so many things. I felt so close to her and loved by her.
Soon after this all happened we found out we were pregnant! What the hell were we going to do? We were living in my mom’s house, no money, one car (by this time I had to give up the rental because I exhausted all of our funds), 4 kids, crazy schedules, and no hope at all. When we told my mother and step-father they were furious. She immediately wanted me to abort. And at the time I honestly wasn’t sure. It crossed my mind. I knew how difficult having another baby would be, not just on us, but the other kids as well.
We went to talk to the pastor, his mother. She was immediately taken over by joy. She explained to us how things happen that we can’t explain but God has a plan. I need faith in my life, and she brought just that. She gave me something to believe in again, she gave us hope. She found me a doctor, she drove me to appointments, she attended ultrasounds, and she asked me to give the baby’s middle name her middle name. I even asked her to be in the delivery room with us.
When I was around my 4th month she found a slightly bigger apartment and had us move in. She seemed to make our lives so much easier. She helped us out with money, she bought and paid for my cell phone, she let me use her car; all the while telling us she wanted nothing in return. The joy of helping her kids when they were in need of her was all she wanted. She loved us.
While all this was going on I ended up making friends with my husband’s ex and mother of his son. The mother of his daughter hated me, and rightfully so, I did take her boyfriend away. The mother of his son and I got along very well. However, the preacher was not happy about this. She kept warning me that this woman was crazy, and all the horrible things she did to my husband when they were together. I took that for what it was, but I also knew that was years prior and people change. My husband wasn’t happy about my newfound friendship with his ex either. Both he and his mother warned me about her evil ways. I did not believe them. I really felt like she loved her son and was turning a new leaf. I really gave her the benefit of the doubt. I accommodated all her requests for her son, I watched him on her times so she could work and not have to pay for care. I bought her birthday presents from him on her birthday and met her even though it was our time. I invited her to her son’s events at our house. I let her know that in no way that would I ever take her place, I just wanted a place in her son’s life. I loved him like my own son and would care for him like my own, all the while recognizing she was his mother.
During our time living with my husband’s mother I started noticing odd things. Things that I didn’t want to add up at the time because I had such a hard time with mothers in the past, and I so longed for this relationship I thought I had with her. While she kept telling me she hated my stepson’s mother, I would notice her talking to her at baseball games. And not just keeping-the-peace talking, but full-blown personal conversations. She borrowed furniture from her, she would call and talk to her on the phone. I was confused at first but didn’t want to question it. Maybe she was starting to accept her, I thought. But I couldn’t understand why she kept wanting me to stay away from her. She started acting strangely towards me. She wasn’t as close to me. She stopped texting me during the day, and would seldom respond when I texted her. She was still being super nice to me in front of my husband though. So I just chalked it up to it was in my head. I was pregnant after all. She started getting frequently upset with my daughter for the same things her grandson was doing but blaming it on my daughter. I didn’t want to argue with her, I still valued the relationship I thought we had. We soon moved out of her apartment and were able to save enough to get our own.
We moved. Things were great between my husband and I, however we weren’t married yet. We both so badly wanted to be married before this baby was born. Somewhere during the moving in of our own place, things started to go haywire with my stepson’s mother. I still am not sure what happened, she just flipped a switch. Things were still not going well with our other ex’s either. We soon started relying on my husband’s mother to maintain order between us and his son’s mom. That was so confusing to me. This once-hated woman was now BFF with my soon-to-be mother-in-law. Again, this woman is a pastor so I never felt malice was her intent.
It was a hot July summer day and we were to be wed. My soon-to-be mother-in-law orchestrated so all the kids could be there, and she even performed our ceremony. What an honor, I thought, to be married by my mother in law. Someone who I thought loved me like her own.
But this is where I noticed things really starting to add up, yet still did not want to put everything together.
Stay tuned for more of this story by Jennifer Kelly.
Jennifer Kelly is a wife to the love of her life, and a mother to 3 biological children and 2 step-children. Her days are consumed with trying to finish her degree in order to become a co-parent therapist. As well as chasing after her wonderful babies. Jennifer also writes her own blog where she is a brand ambassador and more at http://www.amotherofalltrades.com.