Interview with Anastacia Fotopoulos
Welcome Anastacia Fotopoulos and a huge thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
1) Tell us a little about yourself. And what you are doin right now?
Hello, my friends call me Ana for short. I’m a student at NYU. I came from Athens, Greece to study public relations. It took a lot of convincing to get my father to agree to let me come to New York. He’s very strict. Since his brother lives here, he allowed me attend as long as I lived with him. I was never allowed to date, so when I met Jimmy, my ex-husband, I had little experience with men. He was so good looking and charming. I guess you could say he swept me off my feet and before I knew it we were married. Little did I know at the time that he swept a lot of women off their feet, something he continued to do after we said our vows before God. I actually caught him in our bed with another woman. Our bed! Someone had once told me that all men have affairs and to just accept it. This supposedly wise woman gave me this advice two days before my wedding. Do you think she knew something that I didn’t? I could never live with that. It was not good advice. My uncle saw to it that I never had to see him again after that horrible day, but not long after that, I’d discovered that I was pregnant. Needless to say, I am raising my child as a single parent. I managed to finish my degree and now I am working for my uncle. None of this was in my plan, but I love my daughter, Sophia, with all heart and want to give her the best life that I can.
2) How does it feel to be running from a bad marriage?
I think Jimmy is the one who is running. I sent him packing. I would never cheat on my husband and I wouldn’t expect my husband to cheat on me. There is no forgiveness for that. But it hurts—it hurts so much. I feel so betrayed. I’m actually ashamed of myself, and I was so worried over facing my parents. I married the first man that paid attention to me. How naive is that? I’m worried my parents will think I’ve disgraced our family. But everyone has been so good to me and assured me it wasn’t my fault.
3) Who is helping you on your journey to a new life?
My uncle Tasso and Aunt Litsa. They own the apartment building that I live in. Uncle Tasso offered me a good job—not the type of job I was hoping for, but Aunt Litsa offered to watch Sophia while I worked. I couldn’t pass up the offer.
My friend Stavros, who I’d met at NYU, and his wife, Soula, are my best friends and I couldn’t get by without their love and support. They have the cutest little boy named Konstantinos and a baby girl, Demetra, just a few months younger than Sophia. Soula is so funny. She already has this notion that Konstantinos and Sophia were meant for each other and that’s why we were brought into each other’s lives. She’s such a romantic. They’re only small children! Who knows what will happen when they grow up. I, for one, hope that Sophia is very careful with her heart and much smarter than I ever was.
4) Do you fear being a single mother or being found by your husband? If so what are your fears?
I’m not afraid to be a single mother. I am so lucky to have people in my life to help me and support my decision to do this on my own. I can’t imagine having no one to lean on, and I feel bad knowing there are young girls out there in that situation. I do fear that Jimmy will find out somehow. Fortunately, I never ran into him when I was with child. If I had, he would have figured it out. I have no idea where he is, but I hope and pray he is long gone. I don’t want Sophia having any ties to that man and I don’t want him to have any claim on her. I do feel bad that she won’t grow up with a father, but that can’t be helped.
5) If you could swap places with a fellow person you are with or have met, who would it be? And why?
I would have to say my mother. Her name is Sophia also. It’s our custom to name our children after the grandparents, and I couldn’t think of a better namesake for my daughter than my mother. It’s funny, but I had all these big plans. I wanted a more exciting life than my mother’s. I wanted a career in something that would be really stimulating. I always wanted to have children, but not right away. I wanted to accomplish something first, and see new places. But now I realize that what my mother has is more precious than a few new experiences. She has the love and devotion of a really good man. She got to raise her children in a stabile home. She has security. I have nothing but uncertainty.
6) What do you believe your main purpose is? And how far will you go to achieve it?
My main purpose has shifted. It’s not about me anymore. Sophia’s happiness and welfare is all that matters. I am doing everything I can to be with her and still be independent. By taking the job my uncle offered me, I have stability, Sophia can stay in our apartment with a loving family member while I work, and I can see her throughout the day since the offices are in our building. I know I will probably never work in public relations or in any job that truly interests me, but that is okay. Life takes unexpected turns. Sophia was the best thing that ever happened to me.
7) Do you think you’ll find love again or has your marriage put you off men forever? If you did find love again what kind of man would you hope to fall in love with?
I can’t think about men or dating. Soula and Stavros have made it their life’s mission to find me a man they say would be worthy of my love. I keep telling them that I don’t want to be set up. I have enough to worry about. I don’t need any complications in my life. Plus, I really don’t trust my judgement. I thought Jimmy was the right person for me. If I could be so wrong once, I could be wrong again. I’m better off alone. I have Sophia. She’s all I need.
To answer your question, though, he would have to be kind and honest. He would have to be a loyal and compassionate person. Not a selfish one. And certainly not one who thinks he needs to date multiple women. Most of all he’d have to love Sophia and treat her as though she were his own. So, I’ll be alone forever because no such man exists. No man is that good.
8) Have you done anything unforgivable to someone else? Was it out of love or revenge? Tell us about it.
No, I don’t believe that I’ve ever intentionally hurt someone. I hope I never unintentionally hurt anyone either. I did cut my sister out of my life. I know that sounds horrible, but if you knew the cruel things she’s done to me then you would understand. It wasn’t out of revenge. It was to protect myself from someone who was so mean that she would stop at nothing to hurt me.
9) What has been your favourite memory?
My favorite childhood memory is walking in the park gardens with my father when I was little. I look forward to the day when he does the same with Sophia.
My recent favorite memory was the first time Sophia was put into my arms after she was born. I never knew that I could love anyone that much.
10) If you could have one wish right now what would it be and how would it help your current situation?
My only wish is that Jimmy never finds out that he is Sophia’s father. It’s such a burden to have it weighing on my mind that he could discover her at any time. It would help me because I could breathe easier and I would be sure that man would never hurt Sophia.
Thank you Anastacia Fotopoulos for taking part in this interview. It has been a pleasure getting to know you.