Last September I had an ex-bf who died suddenly at 18. His heart had a hole in it and the doctors never knew. He also had a then 2yr-old daughter named Daja, and her mother never wanted her and left her with my ex-bf when she was only a month old. He took sole custody of her with the help of his dad.

My ex cheated on me and that's how he ended up with a daughter. I cared about him and his child even though he had cheated. I helped take care of Daja. I babysat, I took her shopping, spent time with her, I was the only mother she's "really" ever known and I love her like she is my flesh and blood, not like a child that was born because her father cheated on me.

When they moved to Washington State because my ex's father, who is in the military, was given a job out there, I was heartbroken. My son had just been adopted, and I was deeply depressed. Being with them made me feel whole. So when his father was sent to Afganistan and he came back to where I live, I was esctatic!

He moved in with his great-aunt, who didnt want him or Daja, so I had Daja at my house almost everyday, I took her out a lot, my ex and I were kinda co-parenting. It was great. Then I was raped and became pregnant with twins, but my ex was there for me; he was best friend. He was my rock and when he died suddenly about a month after I was raped, the world came crashing down on me.

His dad couldn't come home for the funeral. His aunt and I argued about where he was gonna be burried. His aunt neglected Daja and she wanted to put her in foster care, because she never wanted her. So I decided to seek custody. I was 16 so they wouldn't grant it. His aunt agreed to "keep" her as long as I helped out with her. I glady agreed.

Now I'm 18. Daja is at my house at least 2 weekends a month and I'm hoping that once I get a good job, she will be with me for good. I might be sick now and if the tumor in my brain is cancerous, what's gonna happen to Daja? I hope that it's just a tumor and that they will grant me custody. Daja deserves so much more than she has now and I want to be there for her.

Her dad would've wanted that and I want to do it. I love her as much as I love my son. Does that make me "her" mom; is she "my" daughter?

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