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Pain Turned Into Strength


By Brandi Quintero – Collegiate Staff

Still to this day I don’t know why things turned out the way they did. Does it sadden me? Yes. Did I grow from it? Yes. Do I live my life happily now? Also, yes. I think that is all that should matter. But it’s a lot easier to say this today. If you would have asked me three years ago, my answers would have been different. Let me start from the beginning, to help you understand how my pain turned into strength.

In 2006, a whole whopping 10 years ago, I met the love of my life. Passing down the high school hallway, he walking in one direction, I in the other. But even though we had never spoken to each other before, within the few seconds of passing, we both stopped and knew we were going to be together. Cheesy and cliché I know, but that’s the truth. Within a few weeks, we eventually met up and hung out after school before his practice and my detention, which happened quite frequently since I never could get myself to go to school, or even stay at school.

After meeting Jack, however, my interest in school grew larger and before I knew it I was at school every day, not just on time, but early. Just to see Jack. Jack had a very strict school schedule to keep up if he wanted to play football or basketball. His parents were also very hard on him about not letting girls distract him on his studies and ball. So the time we could see each other out of school was minimal.

That was fine with me because I knew we were just two years away from graduation and after that we could be together whenever we wanted. And that was just what we did. We finished school, saved up money, and got our first apartment a month after finding out I was pregnant with our first son. Love can make you do some crazy things. It can stop your plan, start your plan, or fix your plan and fix me is exactly what it did. I stopped being the rebellious and reckless child and dedicated my life to focusing on my son and our future.

On Christmas Day, 2008, Jack finally proposed to me to officially start the family we both wanted. Six years and two more children later, my life seemed to be going how I expected and wanted it to be. We had another son and daughter and in my mind that was all I needed in life. Sure, there were problems.

Who doesn’t have problems? But they were the good kind of problems, the “I don’t want you to go out with your friends tonight so I can see you” kind of problems.

In 2013, the problems we had were just about to escalate. I heard through a friend who wasn’t exactly “credible” that my fiance may have impregnated another woman. I immediately dropped my dinner plate on the floor as I was cleaning up and even with as much gut wrenching anxiety as I had, I couldn’t convince myself to believe her. So, I asked the source. I found the girl on Facebook and asked her if she wanted to chat about some things and to call me. Days passed until she finally picked up the phone and agreed to meet at my house. When she arrived and we sat down, she told me she was three months pregnant. And yes, it was my fiance’s child. And yes, she was keeping it and knew about our relationship the entire time.

I immediately felt nauseous. The first emotion wasn’t hate, or anger, or even sadness. It was nausea. I felt like my stomach had dropped so far down into my uterus it was gonna drop it between my legs. I was overwhelmed with questions. How? When? Why? Where? I just wanted to know the truth. I needed to know the truth, even though everything she was saying was only hurting me more and more. Even though all I wanted to do was jump over the couch and pummel her into the ground for her involvement. She didn’t have remorse, or regret which was the one thing I can remember distinctly about her. She had a look in her eye of vengeance and jealousy. After I told her to leave, which was the smartest decision to make with my high emotions, I cried and looked up to God and asked him, “What do I do?”

After I knew the truth, though, it left me with two options. Stay or leave. But it isn’t that simple, now is it? What if I stay? How will I learn to adjust with this baby? I honestly even remember thinking that he better not see this baby if we were to stay together. How juvenile is that? It took me prayers upon prayers to get the strength to not want that to happen for my selfish reasons and understand this child was innocent. Who am I to make a father not take care of their child?

I firmly believe I got the courage and strength from my prayers to not be angry with her for participating in such a mean and hurtful vendetta against me after all these years. But mostly not to be angry at Jack for ending the relationship I had invested so much time and love in. I also found happiness in finding the truth out because I had a man who was capable of the ultimate betrayal. It allowed me to find freedom and myself again. I am also able to navigate and find someone who is going to be loyal to me when I’m not with them. But most importantly, I found love in my three children I would not have if I’d never met and created those memories with Jack.

And I suppose Jack learned his lesson too, as he is still currently single as well. Reaping what he sowed into his future, dealing with now two mothers of his kids. His plan failed as well. He has to deal with this outcome of raising his children without me. But for those of you wondering, he still sees the children and is a great dad.

The ending to my journey is still unknown. One thing I know is God is on my side and that’s all that matters. The past is the past and that’s where I intend to leave it. Does it sadden me? Yes. Did I grow from it? Yes. Do I live my life happily now? Also, yes.