This is for my son, the 1 in 13. It’s a bit of a pity party, but… I think everyone who’s dealt with multiple miscarriages, a physical assault resulting in a pregnancy, and the love of their life being torn away from them afterwards, has a right to have a pity party every now and then. Especially when holidays require you to face at least some of the culprits for your misery.
I started having sex at 16, and very quickly discovered a SEVERE allergy to latex. I went on the pill, and stopped having sex unless my current beau was well tested, and so was I, and I had the most recent papers in my hot little hands.
However, like my mother, the pill was not always effective, even though I always took it at the same time every day, and never missed a dose. I was a pill baby. I had pill babies too. Between the ages of 16 and 21, I had 11 miscarriages, all but one of them in their first trimester. The one that made it five months, twins, I bled the whole way through, and didn’t even know I was pregnant. By the time I was 21, I had resigned myself to infertility – I had reconciled with the idea that I would never have children, and when I lost the twins, I didn’t even bother to shrug.
I know that may sound callous to most, but… you can truly only lose so much before you just shut down emotionally. When I miscarried the twins, I knew what was happening, but since I hadn’t even known I was pregnant, it truly didn’t bother me at all. They were… not people to me. They were… well, something that just didn’t work out, and so my body just flushed them.
Two months later, after a violent attack by my second husband, I found myself pregnant again. This one, the one created under the worst possible circumstances, stuck.
I know me, very well. I’m a mental person, for all that I’m good at acting emotional, I SUCK at creating real emotional bonds. Financially, emotionally, I wasn’t ready for a child, least of all a child created by an act of hate and domination. I knew at the time that not only could I not provide for that child in the real world, but that emotionally, I would never be able look it in the eyes and see anyone but its father, and the act that had created it.
I made my choice, based on what was best for the child. I was too poor to be a mother. I was too emotionally and mentally screwed up – quite honestly, I was damaged and probably should have been hospitalized, I was so far off the deep end of crazy… and worst of all, I was saddled with a parasite that would some day be a person, and there was absolutely no way, because of everything that had happened, that I could POSSIBLY do more than the rote, physical caretaking. In other words, if I had that child… I would be unable to LOVE it… something every human being, but most especially an INNOCENT human being, needs, and has the right to receive.
I swore to myself I would not raise a child unloved, in the way that I was raised. At first, I considered adoption. My mother was very clear. If I attempted to put the child up for adoption, she and my father would make absolutely sure that they were the ones who adopted it – thus making adoption pointless, as the whole reason was to send the child to a LOVING family – preferably one I’d never meet, therefore my personal feelings about the child’s creation would never impact its life.
As that option was taken away from me, I resolved to do the only right thing left to do. I began to save my money. This was not an EASY decision to make. I don’t approve of it personally, but I approve even less of a child being raised in the circumstances I was in. It simply wasn’t responsible or the right thing for the child, and on top of that, it wasn’t right for me.
It took me until the week before the legal cut-off date to save that money. My job was waitressing – and in Delaware, that means you get around $1 to $2 per hour, and you’re expected to make up the rest of “minimum wage” on tips… but even minimum wage with foodstamps, wic, welfare, and other forms of assistance still didn’t net me enough to actually have a whole lot extra beyond basic survival, and some days, I didn’t even have that.
Friday, the last day of the week before the cut-off date, I had the money. I scheduled the surgery for the following Monday. I deposited my check that Friday morning. I don’t know how he did it, but… by Friday night, my attacker had managed to steal every penny in my bank account.
I was stuck.
Six months later, my son was born. I am borderline Asperger’s, I have seizures in the medula of my brain due to a congenital birth defect (I have extra tissue there) which causes violent mood swings, and I have trust issues larger than the Mariana Trench. Needless to say, combining that with everything else, and I did NOT take to motherhood like a duck to water. I took to it like an Autistic at a rave.
He screamed all the time. He NEEDED all the time. When he wasn’t needing to be burped, he had to be fed. When he wasn’t being fed, he had to be changed. When he wasn’t being changed, he was being bathed. When he wasn’t needing any of that, he was sleeping… but he had to sleep upright because like me, he was born with GERD… and he couldn’t sleep because (although we didn’t know it at the time) he had ADHD, quite severely. And always, ALWAYS with the CONSTANT touching… something I hate most of ALL. Noise was bad enough, but noise plus constant touch – my nerves were constantly raw from over-stimulation. I couldn’t cope with basic conversation after a while.
Two months of me struggling to do the right thing. To do the honorable thing. To touch him when he needed touching. To take care of the basics. To just survive this thing I hated, but was helpless and innocent and didn’t deserve it, so I did my best… two of the worst, most miserable months of my life… and then…
The miracle that changed everything happened.
It was so simple. So silly. It was just changing a diaper. SO silly.
I was changing his diaper, and I looked at his face, and my eyes met his eyes. He’s always had such OLD eyes. Such WISE eyes. Like he knows things that even I, with all my poking around the universe, with all my questions answered, didn’t know. He looked at me with those ancient eyes, and he didn’t just look AT me… he looked THROUGH me… and this… is what he saw – because in that moment, we were seeing the same thing.
He saw a woman who was in hell, who hated herself, and hated him, and was STILL trying to do the right thing, the honorable thing, who was still trying desperately NOT to do the natural thing and blame him for what had happened to her, because she knew it was wrong, and he was an innocent who didn’t ask for this any more than she did. He saw someone who was TRYING ANYWAY… and he saw all the flaws, and all the faults, and all the mistakes, and all the pain… and he loved it all.
That two month old baby boy LOVED me, unconditionally. Not in SPITE of all my failings, not ANYWAY. He loved ALL of me, INCLUDING my failings. I have never, in my life, been loved so much or so deeply… I’ve never had that level of acceptance. It was like God is supposed to be… and so often, because of agendas so far beyond our comprehension, doesn’t actually appear to be at all. And that was the moment the magick happened…
Because the truth of life is… when someone gives you something like that… when that kind of truth, that kind of unconditional love and acceptance shines out of someone else’s eyes… it doesn’t matter who they are, or the color of their skin, or where they come from, or what language they speak, or how they were created… NOTHING matters in that moment but that you GET IT…
And you cannot help yourself.
It’s like the first time you hear a baby laugh… It’s so carefree. So delighted. So innocent. You cannot help but laugh back.
When you’re loved like that, you fall. Hook, line, and sinker you fall. There is nothing held in reserve. There’s no part of you not involved. There’s no lack of trust, there’s no lack of hope, there’s no lack of belief… you fall, utterly, completely, unconditionally in love with that person. You give it all back, you give MORE of it back. It’s like ripping off all the bandages to discover you were never wounded in the first place. It’s the first step towards wholeness… because finally, someone doesn’t think you’re broken. They think that you are God, and you are PERFECT. Michael showed me… that I was lovable, that I was WORTHY. It was the first time anyone had ever done that. Out of the mouths of babes.
It’s a hell of a lot to live up to. But I try. And I do give it back. I may work with my Gods… but my son, I worship.
That’s not to say I don’t see his faults. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not oblivious to the fact that he, like me, is merely human. He can do bad things, and I judge those bad things… And I did have rough patches. As he grew, he occasionally did things that his father used to do, he’d have similar mannerisms, and it would trigger me, and I’d start to worry, “Oh, Gods, is he going to be just like his father when he grows up?” It took a long time to get over that. A very long time. But it didn’t matter. I still loved him even when he scared me. It’s not something I could ever take back. For any reason. I will love like that to my dying day and beyond.
It took two months to get there. I’ve never looked back – never even WANTED to. To this day, not being in his presence, not having him in my life – not packing his lunch, not helping with his homework, not reminding him to put the seat down and brush his teeth, not tucking him in at night, not knowing who his best friend is, or being able to talk to him about anything at all most of the time, is like missing my legs… I always walked before… why can’t I now? How did this happen? How could this thing I need SO much be missing. How could my parents, who have had TWO children, not understand this? How could they do this to a child of their own?
I mean… not that I’m surprised or anything. It’s what they do when it comes to me.
But there is a part of me that will never understand. There’s a part of me that will never recover.
I’ve had 11 miscarriages. I’ve lost 12 babies. I’ve lost a 13th child to my own flesh and blood.
In two weeks, I’m going up north for three weeks. I’ll be with him for one of those weeks, before he goes back to school… but after that, I’ll have two weeks solid with the people who were supposed to love me, and never did. With the people who did more than just break my heart every time I started to pull it together. I have to spend three solid weeks with the people who stole my miracle, my reason for breathing, my air, my blood, my soul, my son.
Of all the holidays I hate the most… this is one of them.
I can tell myself, over and over, “Look at the great education he’s getting. He’ll go really far in life. He always has good clothes, a full belly, he’s safe, and warm, and all the toys and books he could possibly want. It really is for the best… I couldn’t provide ANY of that for him.” Even though it’s true… the thought isn’t nearly enough Novocaine for my heart.
I had my tubes tied as soon as it was legal to do so. They can’t steal any more from me… I hope. They’re always finding new angles. But I don’t think they really understand…
Taking my son away from me… there’s nothing left for them to hurt. There’s nothing else they could possibly do that could EVER compare to that.
I understand violence. I understand abuse. I understand hatred. I understand fear. I understand loss. I understand pain. I understand need. I understand love. I understand so much now.
I wish I didn’t.
I always thought, 13 was such a magickal number.
Turns out that for me… it’s just a bigger loss. I had a 1 in 13 chance to get it right… and when I finally did… I lost the one person that I live and breathe for.
Merry freaking Christmas.