After such an horrendous experience with my first baby you would think, I would have learnt. But, hear me out this was for a different reason call it my desperate need for my daughter not to grow up alone.
I thought of the pain of not having anyone in this country, of living on the streets, of rape and abuse, but I grew stronger and although I was still very unhappy I got used to the fact that this was my a life now. The father of my first child stuck around while I was in the mothers and baby’s home. I guess although I must have looked awful in those days, I still had his first child. I had no clothes of my own and I had to borrow clothes from other children in the unit. I was oblivious to what they must have been saying about me. Don’t get me wrong maybe they weren’t even talking about me, but when you are in a state of shame we sometimes assume that others have noticed.
By the time my daughter was born, her father was already seeing someone else, no surprises there, I was inexperience and naive and just added fun for him, He was in control. The girl well, she probably was his age, but I just got used to it, of course my heart would skip a beat as humans do, when he left the home. I would get anxiety attacks when I thought of it but what could I do, I wanted to belong to someone, I wanted someone to defend me, stand up for me and treat me right. At this point in my life I had no one to love me, or even treat me close to how my father treated me.
As for him, I was just his sex partner and baby mother, he knew I had no one this country and so the abuse continued. It’s amazing how people will treat you when they know you have no defense, after the last abuse by him, I hatched the plan to get pregnant again, especially as by now I knew what caused babies..
He use. to visit me at the home and I would ask him for sex, mind you , I hated it, and I used to lay there, looking up at the ceiling with tears in my eyes, then he would say why you not moving angrily, so I would pretend to enjoy the sessions, I knew my plans were for my daughter to have a sibling and then we could all run away together. Silly me! But I will tell you later…
I tried every week from my baby was six weeks as I knew the father wasn’t staying, I was just a kid and he was six years older. After the first time after my plan to get pregnant, I remember thinking yeah, I am pregnant because I thought you just had sex and got pregnant, I also remember I didn’t have periods when I was pregnant with my daughter, so I knew that would be the sign, but then the next month, I went to the bathroom with that familiar cramp, it came that horrid red colour. I cried and I worried, I thought suppose he left me?
I felt I was damaged goods and no other man would want me because I had a baby. I mean I didn’t actually care if he did but I needed his sperm; therefore I had to make him stay. I went into overdrive and remember the sexy nightdress I told you they gave me for my 16th birthday I put it on. Oh I must have looked stupid. I had a kiddies body with a small frame. The next time he came that was my priority. I needed to get pregnant so this time I made him lay on me for much longer in my sexy red nightdress, with knickers with the hole. The teenage immature, naive mentality was back, I thought if you did it longer I could get pregnant. Yet again,I hated it. This time I went to the bathroom had a cold shower and sat on the floor and cried. I felt so dirty.
then I waited… As the weeks passed.
That month I recalled I felt the familiar cramp, and then I saw it, the bright hemoglobin red cells, they were back. I was not pregnant. So I continued. It now got to a point whenever he came to visit sex was his priority. He would have his bit drop some baby things and leave. My situation now was even worse, as I did not know what else to do to get pregnant. I thought it was positions, length of time, the food all sorts. But the desperation to have a sibling for my daughter became an obsession. I was so scared that I may die and she would be left alone in the world like me. After trying for for three months. I started to get used to the idea it wouldn’t happen.
Do you remember I said I was beaten so badly, by the one they called my mother? Well as a result she damaged my lip and over the months it had developed into a cyst. I was still living in the home and nurse Dowling, remember her, well she took me to the Whittington Hospital and they decided to operate well do a minor surgery to remove it. I recall the doctor asking all questions. Then he said to me”when was your last period” hmmm! I realized I didn’t have one. Inside my heart was racing was I pregnant? Did it work? Oh my goodness, my thoughts was wandering big time until the doctor asked again. “When was your last period” I noticed nurse Dowling was looking at me. “This month I replied” “yeah, this month, sorry I was trying to remember the date”.
“Oh the date doesn’t matter” he said, if I was pregnant my secret was safe. I exhaled slightly as I was smiling to myself. I was told it was just routine questions. I recall walking out the building different to how I came in! I wander if nurse Dowling noticed I thought?
when I arrived back in the unit, I ran to the bathroom took of my underwear and poked myself in the stomach as if to make sure there was nothing inside, waiting to come out, but nothing, no red cells. I went in the room took out my compact mirror, well It wasn’t mine, it belonged to the other girl in the room. I never had any of those luxuries. I went back in the bathroom sat on the floor and I looked inside. I pushed as if I was given birth to see if anything came out, nothing. This is how I did my pregnancy test. Yeah, I know but in order to write my story, well I just have to write the good bits and the bad. Anyway when I looked again there was still nothing. I looked every few hours and days after but nothing. I was filled with glee. I kissed my daughter and told her that she would never be alone like me. That was my promise.
My problem was how do I hide it, one day I was offered my own flat, yes at fifteen. It was different then, usually you had to wait until 16yrs but after all I had been through nurse Dowling told them I showed strength of character and they offered it to me. Nurse Dowling came to my room one day and said, have you got something to tell me. I was wandering what is she talking about, stunned I looked at her. My stomach was churning, I felt sick, I felt ashamed. I loved nurse Dowling. I felt I had let her down, she sat on the bed and she smiled and said I already knew. I looked at her sadly and said, nurse Dowling I don’t want her to grow up alone like me. She said to me “I understand “. Writing these lines I have gone back in time, and my eyes has filled with tears. I guess the pain has remained.
What this tells me, is I need to continue to write, this is a form of healing.
Nurse Dowling arranged all the hospital appointments, strangely but this time I felt embarrassed, I was getting older and my eyes were opening up. I moved into my new flat the father came too. It was completely empty. We slept on the floor. Gradually we bought a bed. Then the beatings started. I had to wash cook and clean and be a wife, he would bring his friends to the house and they would eat, and play dominoes, while I stayed in the room hungry. He was in control.
One day I was beaten so badly, that when I went to the corner shop. The shopkeeper asked me if I was eating an apple. My mouth had swollen to the size of an apple no one came to my rescue, but they knew, the neighbors new. I was being beaten. Once he put my daughter in the next room while he hit me, I could hear her crying while getting punched and I couldn’t go to her. I cried more for her distress than for the beatings. I then dried my eyes and just sat down in the room with her.
One day the caretaker saw me on the steps crying. He took one look at me and marched to my flat. He was so angry, but I held on to his trousers and begged him as I would be in trouble if he saw me talking to him. The caretaker told me to let him know if he touches me again.
To be honest I was more scared of my baby’s father finding out that I was talking to someone about the abuse. Than for the caretaker finding out, so I knew I had to keep going so I took the beatings. I was trying to protect my pregnancy. I attended all my hospital appointments, I was at a different hospital. This one was more modern and each woman had more privacy, I was admitted for observations. there was four beds to a ward. The other women would laughed behind my back, but loud enough for me to hear. This just made me stronger.
At one point someone said, “, is your husband coming tonight” then quickly said “oh sorry I mean your boyfriend” then they sniggered. This just added to my memory of my unhappiness in England, The abuse continued with the baby’s father as he was a gambler…and when he lost on the horses he would take it out on me. For him it was having a place to stay, food and sex. I wished there was someone I could turn to. I still didn’t have anyone else but my daughter and my new baby coming but I knew one day I would be gone.
it just wasn’t the right time.