baby

'I got married and pregnant at 18 because my boyfriend said he was dying from cancer. He wasn't.'

Warning: This post contains mentions of suicide and may be triggering for some readers.

My stepdad used to tell me unless I could read it in a textbook, I had no clue. Meeting my now ex-husband re-affirmed that for him.

I grew up in a small country town and so the pickings were slim.

I was 17, in my final year of high school, living with my best friend and her family, after choosing to no longer live at ‘home’.

Escaping an environment that single-handedly caused the majority of my childhood traumas, feeling guilty for leaving my mum, dealing with final year exams, (knowing I needed a good OP to study law) and only months earlier having attempted suicide, it’s fair to say, my emotions were an epic sh*t show.

The signs of an abuser, told through his victim’s phone. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

But on the outside, I looked like I had it all together.

I remember when I met Nathan, there was instant chemistry.

He had just moved here from the city (tick!)

Hadn’t been with any of my friends (tick!)

Ridiculously good looking (tick!)

Very charismatic (tick!)

Could make me laugh (tick!)

The first night we met was a riot. On our way home, Nathan went to throw a Maccas sundae out of my passenger side window. Only in his drunken state, missed and it exploded on impact, all throughout the front left-hand side of my prized bubble Mazda 121. We were in hysterics.

A few weeks later we were engaged at Schoolies, after way too many drinks. But I called it off weeks later. One afternoon I went to see him after school and he was hysterical, telling me his best friend had died. My heart broke for him. We decided to give it another go. We nearly broke up again after I was feeling confused about a previous flame, (the grass is always greener when we’re internally conflicted within ourselves right?) – but I choose to stay with him.

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After an incident with my friends’ family one night that triggered my childhood, I packed up my stuff and went to stay with him and his parents. I graduated high school, with both my mum and my nana there to share that with me, and to have them in the same room together was huge.

Life was going great.

I felt safe, he absolutely adored me, I had a home where I felt accepted, with ‘parents’ that made me feel loved, and we were getting ready to move to Brisbane for me to start uni.

Was this really my life?

After moving to Brisbane, things were starting to unpick. I started to realise pretty early that studying law was not for me.

Our relationship was on the rocks. Finances were tight. Being an adult in the city was hard!

pregnant at 18
At first, Krissy's relationship with Nathan was perfect. Then things began to change. Image: Supplied.

Every time I went to call it off, I would find a noose in the cupboard or I would wake up in the middle of the night with him kneeling next to me, sobbing uncontrollably because he had just come home and ‘someone grabbed me just as I was about to jump’.

Growing up, I was always trying to protect my mum. I myself was internally in turmoil, in so much pain, and found helping others made me feel good.

In many ways, he represented the lost soul of my mother, that I always fought to save. I feared that if I did leave him, he would take his own life and it would be my fault.

I had left uni over the first break and got a job. I was away in Hervey Bay for work when Nathan rang me to tell me that he had passed out in the toilet at home and hit his head. That he had gone to the hospital and had some tests. The results weren’t good. He had cancer and they were giving him 12 months.

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Not long after this, it was six months.

He didn’t want to tell his parents because he didn’t think they would handle it. We talked about his wishes and how he wanted a son to continue the family name. We talked about freezing his sperm. We talked about marriage.

My nana told me he was lying. I didn’t believe her. “Who would lie about something like that?” I said.

So, I started to plan a surprise wedding for him, until he caught me on the phone to one of his friends in the car and wanted to know why I was talking to him. I was never good at keeping secrets, so I had to come clean. He was elated. So, we continued to make the plans together, (the wedding date just after my 18th birthday) and were trying for a baby. We moved back to the country.

Nathan's cancer turned out to be an error from the hospital and was actually cysts! What a huge relief!

The wedding was nearing and a week after my 18th birthday I found out I was pregnant. We were so happy. My nana refused to come to the wedding which destroyed me, but I had to focus on our family now.

While I was pregnant, it came out that he never did have cancer and that none of it ever happened. I was furious and felt so deceived.

But, being heavily pregnant and with how well things had been going, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Our beautiful baby boy Jake came along and when he was six weeks old, I realised that Nathan had to leave.

Nearly two years later, he called me in hysterics. I went around and he told me Kirstie (his ex-girlfriend) had taken her own life and that her family were blaming him. I stayed to console him and by morning we had decided to give it another go. Jake and I moved in.

pregnant at 18
Krissy with her son Jake. Image: Supplied.
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Things were just as they used to be; easy, comfortable, normal.

I was walking to work one morning when I heard my name being called out of a work shed. It was Nathan’s old housemate. He told me how he caught up with Kirstie for lunch the other day.

I re-affirmed I had heard him right and told him how I heard she had taken her life.

He laughed, “No”.

“I was such an idiot! I fell for it again!” I thought.

I have since turned my life around.

I now help to inspire beautiful souls and mummas across the globe. When we come from a place of self love and acceptance, we give permission to our little humans who look up to us and model us, that it is okay to choose ME, to make better, healthier choices and that living our best life requires us to embody these things.

In my life, I have tried saving people, because I could never save my mum and no one ever came to save me.

I have tried helping people because deep down I needed help and wanted someone to help me.

I  realise now I took any validation, any love and would accept things I knew I shouldn’t.

I was young and naive. I made mistakes.

But, they have all made me the incredible woman I am today and thus, I forgive myself for them all.

My ex-husband gave me two of the greatest gifts I could have ever received then. One, to trust in myself and do what I feel is right, regardless of the situation or what I am told – not everyone has the same values. Two and the most important; my Earth Angel – my son. He has been my reason for finding a better way, for breaking old patterns of behaviour, old generational cycles, to be the best version of me and always see the silver lining. My baby boy gave me a reason to live and a reason to find true happiness

I run a Facebook group to empower mummas across the globe and I’m about to launch an exciting new online course around the importance of self-care, self-love and moving towards conscious parenting.

We will be running a free online masterclass on the Price of Pressure to discuss some of these hot topics. Pre-registration is open; register here or join our Facebook group here.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

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