That Was What Hurt Me the Most Page 8
I was still sixteen years old when I became pregnant for the second time. I was collecting social assistance and using the money to pay my half of the rent and bills of the very small apartment we were living in which was located behind a beauty salon. My boyfriend still worked as an attendant at a nearby gas station. He claimed to be very happy about the pregnancy. He convinced me that it was a good thing and I should be happy too. He promised that he would not side with his parents this time because the last thing he wanted to do was to abort another pregnancy. He said that he loved me more than anything and it was his dream to take care of me and our baby. I believed him and accepted the fact that this would be my life; living in a small apartment with very little money, where my day to day life would be defined by my role as a wife and mother. It wasn’t long before he started staying out later and later, then one night he didn’t come home at all. Very late that night my phone rang. I eagerly ran to it and picked it up quickly before it could stop ringing. I was worried out of my mind thinking that it was the local police calling to tell me that my boyfriend was in the hospital, or even worse, the morgue. I immediately said ‘hello’ then held my breath. I heard a giggle, then someone spoke. It was the voice of a young girl, around my age I guessed. She asked if my boyfriend was home. I slowly spoke the word ‘no’ as my brain was trying to comprehend what was happening. The girl laughed wildly as she responded, “of course he’s not - because he’s with me” then she hung up.
I sat there in silence. My mind was spinning as I was trying to come up with an explanation for what had just taken place. I sat awake all night crying. I watched the sun come up as I finally accepted the truth. Not only did he abandon me, but he used the girl he was with to torture me one last time. I didn’t understand why. Usually when he became angry, he would hit me and call me names but I knew it wasn’t intentional, he was just upset, and he was always very sorry afterward. This time, this phone call, this pain seemed to be deliberate.
I didn’t know what to do. I had no one. Literally no one. I finally decided to call the one person whom I hoped would comfort me, -my mother.
A few hours later my mother and her friend showed up. I opened the door to let them in. My mother’s friend gasped when she saw me and my mother looked at me angrily. I was as white as a ghost with the exception of the dark circles around my puffy, red eyes. I hadn’t slept a wink. My mother pushed past me and looked around my tiny apartment. It was a mess. I had spent the last few hours tearing up pictures, smashing up photo frames and knickknacks, destroying every material item belonging to my boyfriend and I that we had collected throughout our relationship. My mother rolled her eyes as she commented on the mess then told me to hurry up and change into some clothes so we could leave.
I sat in the backseat and quietly cried as my mother and her friend chatted. She complained about the fact that the drive between her house and my apartment was forty-five minutes each way and apologized to her friend for having to give up their plans in order to pick me up. Her friend tried to assure her that it wasn’t a problem as she briefly looked back at me and tried to force a smile. I wondered if she thought it was odd that my mother hadn’t hugged me or tried to comfort me in any way. To me, my mother’s lack of compassion and sympathy were normal, but to an outsider it had to seem bizarre. Not only did my mother not say one word to try to make me feel better, but she seemed to go out of her way to embarrass me and make me feel ashamed.
About a week later my mother came to me and told me that I had to leave her house. I was shocked because I thought things were going well. I was extremely sad about what my boyfriend had done to me and I was very scared about having a baby on my own but it wasn’t affecting my mother’s life in any way. If anything I was making it easier for her. I cleaned her house and everyday she would come home from work to a nice dinner. She lived in a lovely three bedroom townhouse with only my little sister, so it wasn’t an issue of space. I had just purchased a lot of groceries, so food wasn't the problem. I was very quiet and respectable, and I was contributing in every way possible. I didn’t understand why she wanted me to leave. It didn't make sense until she yelled at me for using too much water in the shower and complained about the amount of money it cost her when I used electricity.
After I realized what she wanted it didn’t take much convincing. I offered to pay rent along with purchasing groceries. Financially she was coming out ahead with our arrangement. My mother agreed that I could stay as long as I paid, and as long as I understood that once the baby was born I had to leave. She did not want a baby in her house, she said she had raised her kids (that’s debatable) and she would not do it again. She told me that she never wanted her own children and she certainly did not want other people's children. That was probably the first time she actually told me directly that she never wanted my sister’s and I, but I had overheard her say it several times throughout my childhood so that didn’t bother me. I was just happy that I was finally home, with my family.
Over the months my (ex)boyfriend would call occasionally to see how I was doing. He always left me hanging on to the hope that once the baby was born we would be a family again. He told me that he wanted to be with me and the baby -but he promised his parents that he wouldn’t have anything to do with me. His plan was to keep working and save up his money to get us a nice place to live. I believed him and happily waited for our future as a family to begin. I was not allowed to call his house because he was living at home with his parents so I would have to call the gas station where he worked and leave messages for him. I called and left him a message when I was I in labor. He never showed up at the hospital. It was the next day when I finally got a hold of him. He was at work. I told him that he had a son. He said ‘that’s nice’ then he hung up. I held my tiny son close to my heart and I cried. That was what hurt me the most.
- That Was What Hurt Me The Most Page 9
The doctors dismissed my concerns throughout the first year of my baby's life. Cerebral Palsy was a term I had never heard before but here I was being told this was the reason my son was not developing properly. Who can a seventeen year old, single m