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free range moms



free range moms



You know how moms are made, so here's the extended version.

free range moms about me

From The North

Hi. I’m Allison. Born and raised in what most people refer to as the armpit of America: Toledo, Ohio. I had the typical middle class childhood alongside 3 brothers, mom and dad. I attended a private K-12 school and went to church whenever the doors were open. We snowmobiled in Michigan every winter, visited the Florida beaches every spring, and camped throughout the Mid-West every summer. I had the privilege of growing up with two sets of grandparents and seeing my extended family regularly. I was an average athlete and played volleyball through high school, and I was classically trained in piano. Now to the good stuff.

Forbidden Love

In the Fall of Freshman year, I met my soul-mate Scott. We fell in love. Hard. At 14 years old, we bought white-gold rings proclaiming our commitment to each other [which was also my most expensive piece of jewelry]. Technically I was not allowed to date until I turned 16, but alas, young love. For a solid 16 months, I kept our relationship from my parents until one day my mom found my journal and life as I knew it had ended. My parents met with his parents and alerted the school administration that we were not allowed to even be seen near each other. 
free range moms about me

Growing Pains

As much as we tried to remain together, life happened and our separation was painful. My heart was broken and I cried myself to sleep for months. That’s when I found alcohol and food to help me feel better. I loved to drink, and smoke, and eat…well, eat and abuse laxatives. I dated other guys, he dated other girls, but we still knew we loved each other. My relationship with food continued to grow through high school and escalated in college when I learned to starve myself and binge and purge. I could literally have my cake and eat it too. The more I tried to control my new secret relationship, the more out of control it became. 

False Bottoms

During my college years, Scott was in and out of my life. His drug and alcohol addiction began in junior high and steadily increased just like mine. He lived in Georgia for awhile and returned home to claim me once more. I graduated from college early and we were finally together again. Our love was undeniable, but we were both completely lost in our own addictions. 

In the summer of 2005, I told Scott to leave for Georgia and start his recovery at a 10-month regeneration center and I promised him I would find help too. I did the best thing I knew to do with my religious upbringing and found a Christian counselor.  Although it seemed helpful at the time, that guidance was just a band-aid. While Scott had truly hit his rock bottom, I had further to fall.

free range moms

Hope Begins

From the outside it looked like I was a thriving businesswoman, but behind closed doors I was still consumed with my addiction. I had zero communication with Scott during his program, but he was permitted to write my dad letters. My parents were obviously 100% against Scott and were hopeful I would lose interest while he was gone. That didn’t happen and Scott knew the only way to have a real relationship with me was to seek my parents permission and forgiveness. After what felt like a lifetime of pining for my love, I received a much-anticipated phone call from Scott and all I felt was extreme pride for him and equal shame for me. He graduated from his program and committed to another 12 months of interning at the center. I was floored. He told me his fears about his decision, mainly that I wouldn’t wait another year for him, but that he was called to stay. I said I would wait and that I was excited for him. The next 12 months were more of the same, except Scott was allowed to call me a few times and a full-blown miracle happened; my dad accepted Scott’s invitation to visit and met with him during a business trip in Atlanta. From that day forward, my parent’s hearts began to soften. Scott was able to visit at Christmas and I surprised him by picking him up at the Detroit airport.  It had been 18 months since I last saw Scott, and the man I met that day was a new man. There was a light and life in his eyes I had never seen before and the peace he exuded was intoxicating. His visit was sweet and short, and it was difficult saying goodbye again. He left knowing I was still struggling and I was ashamed feeling I failed him and myself. However, he left me with a hope I had never felt before and I wanted what he had.

To The South

In the spring of 2007, Scott completed his internship and knew he was called to become a staff member at the program, which forced me to make the biggest decision of my adult life. To leave everything I knew and follow my love to Georgia, or stay and continue the half-life I was numbly living. I gave my landlord 30-day notice, my employer 2-weeks notice, and a month later I was driving on 75 South with mom and dad behind me hauling my belongings [that’s right, they helped me move to Georgia]. I still don’t know what it felt like for my parents to leave their only daughter who had serious issues with a man they barely knew; but I’m forever grateful they did.  

Finding Freedom

The moment I stepped foot on the program property where Scott now worked, I felt something I had never experienced, especially in a “religious” environment: pure love and acceptance. Anyone who had ever met me and knew about my addictions saw me as a problem. They wanted to fix me. The men of this program who had never met me, but knew more about me than most through Scott, welcomed me with open arms. They saw past my struggles and failures and loved me for who I was.

This unconditional love and acceptance helped reveal not only my self-hate and shame, but also my self-worth, beauty and freedom to love myself as a woman. I signed up for their women’s inner healing class and that’s when I found myself. I dealt with the abuse, rejection, hurt and unforgiveness that haunted me since childhood and I met God in my most shameful moments. Mind you I was raised in a Christian home, school and church my entire life and yet I had no concept of, or relationship with the fluid being we call God. 

Because I faced the real issues behind my addictive life, I no longer had reason to cope and my body healed from the inside out. I now carried the light and life I saw in Scott many moons before and I was a free woman. A few months later I was working with the program and enrolled in a counseling training class because I wanted to give to the world what had been given to me. 

Soul Mates Unite

Remember those rings Scott and I bought for each other at 14 years young? 10 years later from the day he asked me to be his girlfriend, he asked me to be his wife with that ring. In 5 short weeks, all our friends and family gathered in Georgia to celebrate our lakeside, barefoot wedding. Six weeks later, I noticed a strange exhaustion and daily nauseous feelings and surprise!; we were pregnant. 

B.C. (Before Children) Bliss

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