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My daughter.
I never thought I would say those words.
My little girl with a contagious smile.
Exactly what I needed at the worst possible time.

Charlotte 'Charlee' Jean came in to this world on September 7.
Her birth was like any other scheduled birth (other than the med student who fainted).  
She peacefully changed our lives that day and sometimes I still can't believe she's all mine.

Her big brother adores her.
I expected some jealousy, but he is so happy to have a sister.
My son grew up so quickly from the time she was born.
I don't know if it's because I haven't been paying as much attention to him or just that he is more responsible than I ever gave him credit for. 

I thought I knew it all. 
A single parent for 13 years.
Boy, was I wrong. 

Charlee taught me how to love again in a whole other way. 
She taught me that babies have different personalities.
and she taught me that it is possible to function on less sleep when you're an "older parent". 
I also had to learn quickly about baby girl fashion - don't laugh, it's harder than you think.

This post is long overdue.
I've had to write it over and over. 
but it was just never fitting.

My writing is way out of practice.
My mind is tired and occupied.
but my little girl is nine months old today and I have put this off long enough.

The truth is, I was afraid. 
Nothing is perfect
It has taken me a long time to accept that nothing ever really is.
I am working on it.
Even though everything feels scattered - this is us and that is not going to change for a long time.
so I am going to embrace it
and enjoy our little life just the way it is.

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The final straw was when there was physical contact. 
I was pushed. 
I reacted.  
I realized this is not how I want my children to see me.  

Fighting for what I know is right with someone who is so clouded is exhausting.  
Missing my family. 
Events ruined because of the habits. 
I stopped fighting.

I was a strong person.  
I lived through the death of the person I loved the most.  
I survived years of anger and darkness.
I thought I was cured. 
I didn’t deserve this. 
Where is my happily ever after?

I don’t want to be in this office.  
I didn’t want to spend the entire day dragging a baby all over to protect her from him. 
I am a widower, a single parent and now a victim. 

The aftermath is frustrating. 

I want my life back, but I wasn’t even living. 
The system makes me feel like the victim all over again. 
Something so simple is near impossible to achieve.  
And I am alone. Again. 

I used to be stronger than this. 
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