I Made A Baby With the Devil: A Black Moms Story of Parenting and Domestic Abuse

By MICHELLE BOND

Many years ago, I met a man who seemed normal, but was actually the devil. Well, not literally the devil. He was more like the guy the devil would turn to when he needed to be amused or inspired. This escaped me when we met and I fell in love with him. I thought, Yes! This is who I wish to create a child with.

I should have seen the red flags—there were plenty. I can see them clearly now, but the thing about red flags is that they wave quietly, like a soft whisper. Red flags should come with loud horns or a Justin Bieber CD—you know, something that makes the soul shudder and ache. But no, they just wave back and forth like a gentle tropical breeze, caressing the illusion of happy and cloaking poor judgment.

When I was pregnant, my son’s DNA provider promised me that he would stop being verbally and physically abusive. I should have known he was lying when he also promised me world peace and a moon-walking Unicorn. Domestic abusers don’t stop the violence because their women are pregnan; in all-too-many cases, they increase it. But I believed every word he said. It was easier to believe and accept this fantasy instead of facing the life I had created for myself.

I clung to denial as if it were my security blanket and avoided reality during my entire pregnancy. He was the local Karaoke King, and charmed both men and women each night. They figured since he had a sweet and sensational voice that meant he had a soul. In public we looked like any other couple. It was easy; we both had our scripts and knew our lines well. His role was to play the devoted soon-to-be father, doting over me and my every need, collecting kudos and pats on the back from his karaoke fans. My role was to smile and nod and pretend that the person on the stage was the same person I was going home with. There was no need to explain any scratches or bruises as they were well hidden. He knew how to land his fists and I knew how to dress accordingly.

The day my son was born I said that I wanted to stay with my mom for a few days, as I knew nothing at all about taking care of a newborn infant. This was enough to create an explosion in the hospital. Yelling at me through grinding teeth, he repeatedly hit my arm where the IV went in. Needless to say, when my son and I left the hospital, we went to our apartment and not my parent’s home.

I spent the first night with my new baby alone, with no one to help me and with no food in the house. The proud father spent the night out collecting “congratulations” from his Karaoke fans.

I fear that my inability to forgive him is because I do not forgive myself. While I love my son with the totality of my heart, I know deep down that this man should not have been my son’s father. I feel such shame for inviting this monster into my life.

My son should be here. His life has purpose. But I regret allowing this man the platform to say the word “father.”  Every time he does, the word should slide down his throat like a razor.

My boyfriend who has been my best friend for close to 17 years was listening to me vent one day. Instead of joining me in my hate-fest, he told me that I need to forgive this bama. He told me, “The hate that you have for this person is not hurting or affecting him, as he has moved on with his life.”  And the more hate you have only binds your own love. It holds you back from being who you are trying to be.

Love.

Love always seems to be the answer.  I know that had this man at any point been there for my son, I would’ve had the strength to stop poking needles in my DNA-Voodoo Doll.  I remember telling him, “Don’t worry about the child support. Do what you can. Just be there for the baby.” He chose to provide neither child support nor presence for my son. He chose to not be a man. Love, huh?

As I write this, I am reminded of this quote: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.” — The Buddha

I am hopeful that one day I’ll write a follow up article to share the wonders and power of love. But for today, I will embrace the hot coal and endure the pain.

Michelle

Michelle Bond is a writer. A mother. A Flower Child. All of these things… not necessarily in that order. She’s written for Today’s Black Woman and regional publications. Visit her at CoffeeBreakDMV.

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

21 Comments

  1. I agree with your boyfriend. Forgiveness is never for the forgiven. forgiveness benefits the forgiver. By not forgiving you remain stuck in the same place wallowing in anger, bitterness and resentment. Holding on to that negative energy blocks the blessings from entering your life. Plus, if God can continuously forgive us of our sins, who are we not to forgive? Take the lessons learned from the relationship and move on…use those experiences to help others in similar circumstances.

  2. I agree with your boyfriend. Forgiveness is never for the forgiven. forgiveness benefits the one who forgives. By not forgiving you remain stuck in the same place wallowing in anger, bitterness and resentment. Holding on to that negative energy blocks the blessings from entering your life. Plus, if God can continuously forgive us of our sins, who are we not to forgive? Take the lessons learned from the relationship and move on…use those experiences to help others in similar circumstances.

  3. Can’t begin to imagine what you have gone through but you do need to find peace of mind / harmony not for him but for you. Otherwise you continue to give him the power. Strength & love

  4. Yes, forgiveness is not for the other person, but for you. For you to release and move on and live as freely and purposely as you are destined to. But… as a woman who has also endured and survived domestic violence from my son’s father, I know first-hand how hard forgiveness and love can be. Yes, my son belongs here. But it took me a long, long time to be okay with the fact that I made the wrong choice — that I picked the wrong guy. That’s something that I’ll have to live with. And that shame stings… just a lil bit. Growing pains.

    Endure the pain. For now. But release, for later. For your precious son’s sake.

    xoxo

    • Thats the most bothersome to me as well. The shame in my choices. This shame I have almost protects the abuser in the same ways I kept things private during the relationship.

  5. Powerful.

    Drop the coal, Sister. You don’t have to love Satan’s sidekick, but you do have to let his hold on you go. So long as you are enduring the pain, you can’t be the best You or the best Mom for Lil Man. 🙂 I’m praying for you. 🙂

  6. Thank you!! I too had a devil of a DNA donor and I was in the same spot. I was left alone with NO family or friends in a new (and dangerous city) for the first 4 days of my son’s life. DNA man would show up occasionally, drunk of course, and abusive. I found the strength to leave and never looked back. It’s been 3 years of therapy, but I learned how to be happy 🙂 Thank you so much for writing this piece!

  7. Thank you for sharing this. As a single mom of twin boys I have/am working hard on forgiveness. I’m a work in progress but I know who I belong to and that even if my kids have a A.D.D ( a dumb daddy) they will be raised in love.

  8. I agree with Nikki. Drop the coal, girl. He isn’t worth it. Use that energy to focus on your son and the man you’re with now, who sounds like what you were looking for in the first place. I always try and leave these sort of people to the most high and mighty. What goes round comes round. Stay blessed.

  9. I wanna send a special thank you for this post, because i’m going thru that right now. Not the physical but the verbal, While in the hospital upon delivery of my baby I spoke with a counselor and I’ve done my research on his behavior. I always thought it was me but then I realized I’m dealing with a narcisist Ex boyfriend (abandonment issues & insecurity) we where in a relationship for 3yrs and I saw the red flags and made excuses because he had a hard childhood and imagined myself in his shoes if my dad wasn’t around I would probabaly walk around angry at the world too. I should have known then to back off, but love is blind but it has been so hard to deal, my baby is only 7 months old so I know I have a long ways to go 18+ of forever to be exact. The logistics are he has denied him twice, then wanna claim him twice and when I said enough is enough let’s get a DNA test we did came back his (as if). Now he wants to claim father of the year and because of all the off/on switch he has put me thru within the last year he thinks I’m wrong for my son not to be alone with him. Telling everyone I’m keeping him from his son and needless to say making me out to be the bad person our lives are better as long as we don’t speak or see each other I want my son to have a relationship with his father, because I don’t want it to come back on me later. But I can’t even trust his narcisst ass to even let that happen, and yet he still thinks everything is all good. I tell him You don’t see you’ve created a mess and the more he plays like he’s an angel the more angry I get and then there it goes, I’m off the handle in a apublic place and his response is see I told you she is crazy. I’m like I’m crazy cause your ass drive me crazy..ugh! This article has put some things in perspective for me so thank you again and if of nothing else to vent 🙁

  10. The devil takes so many forms! My Gaslighter is certainly your DNA donors brother! All kidding aside. As much as I agree with your friend, if you have not lived through abuse it is easy to say words of forgiveness towards the abuser.

    Many people can have the opinion of, “OK, your free” or “It’s been 6 months or 10 years, move on!”

    You can’t just move on. There are nightmares, triggers and mistrust. No matter if you were with that person for a month or 20 years there will be scaring deep inside you!

    I left my abuser in 2/2009. He has hired someone to kill me for $5,000 and just recently threatened to slit my girls throats if they are awarded into my custody (we are still not divorced). Despite the police reports I have he has not served any justice. And now I have to worry about him getting custody of my girls. Oh I could go on!

    I understand your grief and pain! I am going to share your story on my blog to as an inspiration to other women that are involved in DV or out of it. God Bless you!

  11. Very relatable. I appreciate the honesty. It’s unfortunate that you had to experience that. I don’t have children but I have made the wrong choice in a man before. I truly hope you are able to find peace soon for your own sake.

    Peace & Love

  12. I am so very appreciative for all of the heartfelt comments shared. It only encourages me to share my journey on this phenomenal website.

    @Melinda & @ Krystal — Please know you two sisters have been on my mind and I am sending love & light to you.

    This Saturday, I will be on WHUR-World @ 10 AM EST. I hope you can connect and check it out. If you are not able to listen, keep note of the program – it’s called SIGHLENT STORM. It’s a weekly talk show that specifically addresses domestic abuse.

    To find the station go to: http://www.whurworld.com – Saturday @ 10 AM EST — then click listen LIVE.

    ((Hugs to you all)) Be well and Stay safe.

  13. Why do you have to say Black Woman
    Why is there a website just for one race

    • Denene@MyBrownBaby

      *deep, deep sigh* Teresa: Welcome to MyBrownBaby. Clearly, this is your first time and you haven’t read past, like, the headline, much less the entire post or anything else on the site. I encourage you to check out the MyBrownBaby “about” page. If you don’t get it after reading that, I really can’t do anything for you.

  14. I’m suppose to be writing out an domestic violence restraining order to file tomorrow but somehow ended up on this page. It blows me away to feel so alone in this with no support but here you come along and repeat EXACTLY what I’m dealing with and feel. My ex is now trying to use the court system to further the abuse.
    No one should have to go through this. Its hard to sit back and keep my mouth shut as everyone praises my ex with comments on FB for what a great father he is on Father’s day. Somedays I thank him…..somedays I hate him. The only love thats been consistent so far is the love I hold for our daughter. So for her….I suppose I should get back to what I should be doing.

    • I just read the comment above mine and wanted to ask teresa- did you read this story? WHO CARES if this site is just for black women or one race if thats the case. I’m a white girl myself and hadn’t noticed until my comment posted and I read this comment. I gather from Denene’s comment that its not ‘just’ for black girls, but if it is…….I don’t care.
      I hope this comment doesn’t sounds angry. I’m not. Just wanted to point out that the content is what matters most here.

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