I almost don’t know where to begin. Everything with CTA’s developement and progress was going better than I could imagine, and then a bombshell hit me, impacting every single aspect of my life; most prolifically, Cargo Train head-on!
December was a great month for the company. I was planning a half a dozen new projects and excited to bring in the new year living a dream that I had spent my life daydreaming about, and in January of this year, that dream came to an absolute stand-still. It’s the first time ever did a personal situation ever effect my work. Most specifically, my marriage.
When I began building this company, doing all of the research, logo designing, networking, etc…my husband would tell me that he was so excited for me, and that he would be disappointed if I ever stopped fighting for my dream with launching Cargo Train, and I foolishly believed his words, until I slowly began to see that the further I took Cargo Train, the more friction began to build up between he and I. I was totally perplexed. He was telling me this, but his actions were showing me something completely different.
I knew things were getting bad when my family members started reaching out to me, and telling me that my husband was “overbearing” and “controlling” me. Having what I thought was a solid marriage and family life, I didn’t want to believe what they were trying to tell me. From that night, I began watching him closer than I ever have….looking for clues and signs that would somehow validate what my family was trying to tell me. So I said, “fuck it”, let’s find out, and I simply went out with my friends one night to a cafe that I had been going to since I was 14 years old. Something I haven’t done since getting married, being a new mom and starting CTA (common sacrifice when youre a self-funded solopreneur…the social life is always the first to go), my daughter stayed with my mother that night, and the night was going smoothly…..that was until I came back home around 1:30am.
With my daughter sleeping in my arms. I opened the door and walked into the living room; I was completely devastated with what I saw. My house was a disaster! I kept my cool, and calmly put my daughter into her bed, and then went from room to room, guaging and “taking in” what he had done just because I went out against his wishes. I walked from the kitchen to the dining room table to find one of my boxes with a knife sticking out of it, and that honestly scared me. I took it as an immediate threat for my safety, even thought he had never been physical with me before, I knew better than to underestimate someone’s ability to do anything. My stomach plummeted, and instantly thought of my office on the 2nd floor where I ran all of Cargo Train’s admin and shipping. Inventory was kept in a room down the hall from my office which doubled as my make shift photography studio……everything had been destroyed! My equipment, my files, the items I had been prepping for sale that week, my props, supplies…..he destroyed everything out of a senseless act of pure jealousy.
I almost didn’t know how to react. So many emotions were hitting me at once. All I could think of was the magnitude of the sacrifices I had made in order to live my dream: time away from our daughter, saving money for more inventory or supplies instead of buying things for myself. The hundreds of hours I had dedicated to the progress of Cargo Train. Severals days every week only sleeping maybe 2-3 hours before going into my dispatching job (midnights), then coming home and taking care of our daughter while he worked 12+ hours, all the while, playing “perfect wife” cooking the meals, cleaning the house….I was cinderella without the fancy dress and my prince charming being my worst nightmare —I was just…..devastated.
He killed my dream. He took the one thing I loved as much as being a mother……my ability to adequetly operate my company.
To me, CTA was just like having a 2nd child. I created it, nurtured it, supported it, sacrificed for it, dreamt about it my whole life….I saw CTA no different than my own daughter, of course the only difference being that I would never sacrifice my daughter’s well-being for Cargo Train, she always came first…regarless of the dreams I had. So mentally, he took one of my children from me. I swallowed hard, and walked into the guest bedroom, where he was passed out on the bed, and I calmly informed him that he had 48 hours to remove himself from the house, or I was going to do it for him. The hardest part was the confirmation of all the “feelings” and “signs” I had been noticing for awhile, but refused to acknowledge. What “good wife” would? I was in denial because I loved him as much as I did.
This was my husband, the man who made an oath to love me and be there for me until the end of time. Never expecting ever that he would be the one that was sabatoging my every effort, every step of the way! Placing roadblocks in front of me, and getting more and more constricting when I was overcoming, not only, being the underdog entrepreneur of St. Louis, but all the extras he was throwing at me as well. I kept reaching goals, and his resentment towards my ambitions kept growing!
I am still coping with the aftermath and the separation to this day now nearly 10 months later, and the struggle didn’t end in back in January…..little did I know, they were only the beginning! The worst was still to come. It probably took me about 2 weeks before I had the strength to walk back into my office and begin salvaging what I could. Being a self-funded startup, I knew I had no extra finances to replace what was destroyed. I cried….a lot, the pain from the betrayal was bad enough, but battling both the loss of my company and the loss of the “ideal” family life was overwhelming. Faking smiles for my daughter so that she didn’t have to see how sad mommy was all the time, and that daddy was to blame. I didn’t want to push my feelings and thoughts of my ex-husband out on her, she still very much adored her father, and coming from someone who never had that privilege, I wasn’t about to take that from her…..so I would lie day after day and say mommy got mascara or my infamous liquid liner in my eye…it made for a perfect excuse for the tears.
That night in January changed me completely…..inside and out! I turned to fitness as an outlet for the pain and increidble anger I was stuck with and as a way of preparing me to become a single mom, and all that was to follow after the separation. Even though, CTA was growing up beautifully, my ex-husband was still the bread winner after my “night job” closed for business; so I relied solely on Cargo Train to fill in the financial gap. The next several months after we separated, I lost everything one by one….the car (repo’d), the house (expired lease), sold many of my possessions just to make ends meet for me and my daughter, and accepting that I was about to become homeless for the first time in my life. I had to send my daughter to stay with my mother while I began this very…….long……road….back to where it was before everything came tumbling down. I am still working on that as I write this. I am still homeless, but looking forward to a new apartment within the next month, and when that happens, you bet your ass, Cargo Train will be coming with me. I will pick up the pieces, and this time around, it will be on my own terms, not under the dictation of another! Some dreams come and go, but real dreams never die! Not a day passed that I didn’t think of my dream that was taken from me. Real dreams stick with you when there seems to be “no hope”, always know……THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE!
Today, I am working hard and looking forward at relaunching Cargo Train Apparel (hopefully) by January 2015. Until then, I am focusing on the crucial steps I need to take in order to reach this massive goal; only this time around, it will be on my own terms, and not under the the controlling dictation of someone else. ():-)
–After some time had passed, I later asked my ex-husband (after we regained our civility for the sake of our young daughter) why he did what he did, and his response….”I couldn’t accept having a wife more successful than me” –My lips pressed together, I simply just nodded, and responded, “Ok”