Dear Dr. Meg,
I am 24 years old. I am a single mom to a beautiful four-year-old girl named Grace. She is a joy and blessing to me and yet I am truly and utterly sad. Her dad and I met when I was 19 and I quickly got pregnant after that. It was a very unhealthy relationship full of physical and emotional abuse. He has changed quite a bit since our daughter was born and since we split when she was one. He is a part of her life and we share custody. He has grown up a lot, is in a healthy relationship that has been since our split, and is truly happy. The incidents that had occurred from going through a pregnancy alone to be a single mom have scarred me so deeply and I am having a hard time believing I will ever be happy. I have been in counseling, multiple times, and tried everything imaginable to heal and nothing seems to be working. I live my life in a state of guilt from a belief that I’m depriving my daughter of what she deserves from me as her mother. I have gone to God more times than I can count. I have involved myself in church groups, talked to priests, etc.
I have had a wild life prior to her being born as well which I think must also play a part in all of this. When I was young my dad was physically and emotionally abusive. As a teenager I rebelled, ended up aborting a pregnancy at 15, and was sent to an all girls troubled teen facility in the mountains of Wyoming. Upon my return after two years out west I attended a catholic university in Ohio which is where I met my daughters dad. It was only a year from the start of my freshman year that I delivered my daughter. I feel like I have lived more in my short life than most live in a lifetime.
I have had so much help, so many prayers, and yet feel so alone, helpless, unloved, and sad. I feel like I’ll never get married or have a family and quite honestly the thought of marriage makes me want to hurl. Do you have any advice on how I can heal? I am desperate, truly desperate.
I have been single now for over four years, many great men have come and gone from my life. I am so scared of being hurt that I am preventing anything that could cause hurt from occurring. I have read some of your work and thought if there was any advice you could give me it couldn’t hurt.
Thank you for your time,
A Hurting Single Mom