It was 1974 when my marriage ended. I was young, only 24 years old. My husband refused to pay child support and I couldn’t force him -- I couldn’t afford a lawyer and he threatened to sue for custody of our son if I went after him. My parents, who hadn’t liked my husband in the first place (probably because he had braids and lived in a schoolbus), who didn’t approve of my having children so young and who didn’t want me to be a bad influence on my younger siblings, refused to let me come home.
I had no job. I had no savings. I had no health insurance. I had a 1-year-old son, and I was pregnant.