Where to begin? I was married for almost 15 years to an emotionally abusive and controlling man. I was manipulated, put down and walked on. We have 2 children together 14 & 19 and even that was something he controlled. There is a big age difference between my girls because after the 1st one I was scared to become pregnant again. I had preeclampsia among other things and had to end up having an emergency c-section then developed an infection etc.
As much as I wanted my daughter it was traumatic and scary and I decided I didn't want to do it again but he threatened to leave me because we always discussed having 2 children. I should have left him then but I caved and again even though I love my daughter it was one of the many times with him I didn't stand up for myself.
In the beginning I was tough and we would fight like crazy and I wouldn't back down to him it was unhealthy but as soon as I had my 1st child I just stopped fighting and gave in to his way every time to avoid fighting. I wasn't raised around parents who ever screamed or fought, let alone raise their voices. This was how the whole marriage was, he would sometimes ask my opinion but it would go in one ear and out the other and he would do whatever he wanted.
I always worked and was never a stay at home Mom. I had a good job working part time at UPS in the evening and he worked days so we NEVER had to put our kids in day care. It was a bone of contention with him because he made more money and NEVER let me forget it. My job saved us day care and covered 100% or our entire family's health care for free! Yes not one cent completely free with minimal co-pays! But it was always I have the last word with him because he made all the money and we were in so much debt and in over our heads constantly because he had a spending problem, even though I tried my best to reel it in (not control) just try to budget our money.
I could go on with this but you get it. I never had enough confidence and I can count on 1 hand in almost 15 years how many times he told me I was pretty or beautiful! We went through a NASTY divorce which again my UPS job paid all of my legal fees. We did 50/50 split custody and he paid me a measly $250 a month for child support and he was furious about that. Mind you I only worked part time and he made about 60-70,000 a year to my 28,000 a year. We also had to file bankruptcy because of the debt we were in and he let our house foreclose which he could have easily afforded the payment. I am someone that suffers from severe depression and anxiety through all this.
When we divorced he remarried 3 months after the divorce was final on the same week as our wedding anniversary. He moved on as if it was a speed bump in the road and my entire life fell apart and I had to rebuild from the ground up with nothing. I had to move in with my parents or be homeless. Needless to say I made the painful journey to start again. We had also just moved to Washington state from Arizona a few years before so I really had no friends. I started hiking with co-workers, I got a second job, saved money this was after of course a little downward spiral and a suicide attempt and a lot of drinking and partying to numb the pain. I saved money for a little over 1 year and with my Dad as a co-signer was able to move into my very 1st on my own apartment at the age of 38. I started working more at UPS as a Saturday Air driver (something I NEVER thought I could do) until I got injured at work and was on disability for 6 months.
During that time I decided to go back to school because I didn't want to spend the rest of my life working 2 jobs. Fast forward while working still at UPS it took me 5 years to finish nursing school and I graduated in 2015 as an LPN. One of the proudest moments of my life. I had always wanted to go to college (another thing my ex-husband threw in my face because he went to college but he didn't finish) I know have a job I absolutely love with a military hospital serving our country's brave men and women. I still struggle a lot financially because it's hard being a single parent and I live in Washington state which is much like living in California (VERY expensive).
I still struggle with my depression and haven't had a serious relationship in 7 years since my divorce. I am very particular about who I choose to be a part of my life now and I just haven't met the right one. I have come a long way and there have been little few angels on earth who have helped me along the way. One is my friend Penny she is older than me and been through a lot of the same things. She is one of the nurses who trained me at my job. She is truly an angel on earth and a fellow beautiful disaster who I love with all my heart. I am not only the single Mom of a teen but I have elderly parents on top of all this who depend on me quite often.
Some days I utterly break down because I want someone to take care of me for once but every day I get up push on and fight through it. I have come a long way and accomplished things I never thought I could. I used to be my harshest critic but I truly love myself now because I have fought and I'm stronger than I ever knew and I am a truly good person and I know I deserve my happy ending someday!
The theme of your clothing line resonates deeply with me because I too know what it's like to struggle, succeed and be a strong independent woman. You can follow me on Instagram at MBW1040. I don't have a Facebook account and probably never will again. I hope you appreciate my story and know that there is always something to fight for so never give up!! Thank you for letting me share a condensed version of my story! 
Love Mindy Watkins
in Puyallup, WA

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December 07, 2018