By Alexis Bott:
At 19-years-old, life changed overnight for Kassy Rust. Leaving behind the familiar and adjusting to a new way of living, she began a new chapter as a mother.
Her son’s father was emotionally and verbally abusive. He started going out late at night and lying about where he was. Without answering the phone, she would go out at 3 a.m. to find him intoxicated at the bar spending her money with his friends, or random girls.
“I was the only one working full-time and paying all the bills while he was partying. I got into this mindset that wasn’t me,” Rust said.
After childbirth, many women experience postpartum depression. After Rust had her son, his dad got a job, but the problems didn’t stop. For the first couple weeks, she went through many stages of feeling disconnected from the world and her son to feeling worthless. Rust felt overwhelmed and hopeless.
“I didn’t really want to be around Colt (her son) as much, and I don’t know why. I lost so much weight because I wasn’t eating. Emotionally I was still not okay,” Rust said.
She got tired of the constant abuse and wanted to give her son a better life. At that point, Rust knew she had to change her life to realize she didn’t want to be like her mother who had kids at a young age and couldn’t take care of them.
“The verbal and emotional abuse didn’t stop, and it kicked in that this was not the life I wanted,” Rust said.
When her son was two months, his dad walked out on her. This left her with one month left on her lease on the apartment, a broken-down car and a job that wasn’t going to pay the bills. After supporting her son’s father and his daughter, she had no savings.
“The day he left me I sat on my bed crying for hours because I had no idea where I was going to live. At moments I was scared I was going to lose my baby boy because I chose to bring a baby into this world that I couldn’t support,” Rust said.
But by changing her mindset, she was able to regain control.
“I became selfish in the best way possible because if I didn’t do everything for Colt and I, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Rust said.
Now, the 21-year-old works three jobs. She’s a waitress for a local restaurant, takes care of the elderly and works at a charity that raises money for orphans. She owns two vehicles in her name and a two-bedroom apartment in Brockport.
“When I look back at the relationship and the struggles I faced with depression, there were times I thought about giving up and giving Colt to his father, but I pushed through it. Colt is my motivation,” Rust said.
She didn’t let anything stand in her way and succeeded despite all the obstacles. To be where Rust is today is something to hope all young single mothers can accomplish.