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During COVID-19 I was able to realize the 8 year relationship with my three children’s’ father was toxic. For so long I strived to be a “whole family”. When I was younger my mother stepped out of my life and it destroyed me. I was only 4 when this happened. At the ages of 5, 3 and a year old, my kids and I were put on lock-down for 3 months. We stayed at my ex-boyfriends house in Metro-Detroit where the virus spread like wild fire. Instead of being in the much less populated area of a little country town south of Lansing, he thought it was best to stay there. I felt trapped. With online school taking a toll on my mental health and grades, my kids were missing the in-class environment just as much. He did not help with the kids and we never did much together. I had to supply my kids with enough mental stimulant as I could then sit down at night and binge my 4 online classes. I have been through a lot the past 8 years, but with being trapped away from the real world, not knowing what the hell is even going on, COVID changed me. I wasn’t sure at first it was going to be for the better, but I can finally see clearly. I will never take for granted a simple smile across the hall, a hug from a friend or watching my babies say goodbye to me as they walk into school. We all deserve to be happy, no matter what is going on in this planet we live. I am now a single mom, back to work and loving every second of it. My mental health is better every day and I will overcome whatever this life wants to throw at us next.