Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My story (part 2)

(Reading over my last post, I discovered that it needs a little bit of clarity. I will slow this story down a bit and in order to make it flow a little better ‘the boy’ will now be referred to as T)

Life for T went on as usual. He still played on the Varsity Football and wrestling teams. He still went about his daily life as he always had. He graduated from High school that year and his graduation present was a week in Hawaii with his family. He brought me back a ring. Not a diamond and it turned my finger green but it was a bit of stability in my scattered life. A promise of  some sort of future for us. 

Life for me was not as simple. I was a real good girl. Many teens my age were drinking, using mild drugs, and other inappropriate behavior. Other friends were of the predominant local faith and were not participating in anything outside the church activities. I didn’t seem to really fit in anywhere.
I was embarrassed by my condition. I was ashamed. And the God’s honest truth is I was terrified. I have a supportive loving family. They were behind me no matter what I decided to do. T’s family was supportive as well. I had watched my more rebellious sister raising her own son who was born when my sister was just sixteen. She really struggled.

Why did I do this to myself? I was supposed to be the ‘good child’. I was the child who didn’t do these sorts of things. But I did do them.
The further along I got into the pregnancy the more I knew in my heart that keeping this child for my own was not the right decision. I had made a mistake, a huge mistake, a life altering mistake and I was not about to make another one. I would give this child up for adoption and help a couple have a child who may not be able to otherwise. It was right.
T was not as sure as I was that it was the right decision. He really had a hard time coming to grips with the thought of someone else, a stranger raising his child. His mother seemed to feel the same way as he did. But I knew that for this child, I wanted a better life than I/we were capable of giving.

I signed up for a mother’s high school that fall. Just one month before my due date (which just happened to be my 17th birthday). It made it a little easier attending school with other girls who were facing the same hard decision and situation that I was. 

But there were some girls in that school who just didn’t understand my choice to give my baby up for adoption. They said they couldn’t look at their child and let them go. They would say that life was tough raising a child but that there was always a way. But watching these girls struggle, watching these children in the nursery everyday and watching my sister just served to clarify it in my mind that my child would be better off. Again, I had to toughen up my defenses and hide my emotion the best that I could. I still knew it was the right decision.

I suppose it was my own defense mechanism not thinking of this thing growing in my belly as a baby. I tried not to think too much about the future but it was coming anyway.  T and I talked incessantly about our future. We spoke on end about our possible future together, our potential future with this child, our potential future without a child. Whether it was because I talked him into it, or just because it was the right thing to do, the decision was made that we would give this baby up for adoption. I worked through my doctor and met with a social worker from the Mormon Church.  I was asked thousands of questions. It was not an easy process but she did the best she could to make it easier.

In an open adoption, the birth mother is involved with the child after the adoption in an indirect way. Pictures sent, letters exchanged and the whereabouts of the child are disclosed somewhat. As I had been throughout the pregnancy, closed off, a bit numb and out of touch with this child for my own sanity, the best choice for me was a closed-file adoption.

In a closed file adoption, after the birth of the baby, all is anonymous. The adopting parents know very little about the birth parents and the same is true in the reverse. It would be too hard for me to see and hold a baby, have the new parents in the delivery and then let my baby go.

On October 2nd 1986, just a week after my seventeenth birthday and my due date, I gave birth to a baby boy. I handled the labor well, I really don’t remember much. Again, my defense was to ‘block’ as much as possible from my mind. I was in a trance, a daze, a dream. I saw but a small glimpse of ‘my child’ before he was whisked away to another room. I remember thinking he looked like T. He had huge shoulders too like T. And the hair! 

I can recall that not one nurse said a word. They made me feel at ease, no disgusted looks, no judgmental eyes. In my mind, the next couple days before I went home were just as though I was ill and taking it easy for a few days. In my mind, I had not just given birth.
I will remember forever sitting in the sitz-bath (a shallow seat filled with a whirlpool of water, used to aid swelling and stitches from birth) there were curtains on all sides of me and I was speaking to a girl on the other side of the curtain. She was younger than I was, only thirteen and had given birth to a ten pound baby.  She was keeping hers.It is funny what you remember in a situation like that. I remember thinking she was crazy, and that she must think the same of me.

I wonder about her from time to time.

The next day, the social worker came to my room. She had a birth certificate and wondered if I wanted to sign it. T was there too. We wept as we signed our names to that certificate. Don’t get me wrong, even though I knew this was the right decision, and even though I had suppressed as many feelings as I could deep inside, this hurt damn it. And I cried often.

(to be cont.)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My story- Part 1

I have a story to share.  A personal story.

I have carried a secret that not many have known for the past twenty-three and one half years. Not a terrible secret. Not a secret that I could not or would not share. But more one of those secrets that takes way too much time to explain to people who may not understand. This secret was not mine to tell.

And now, I can share it. I am ready to share it. And I feel that those involved are ok with my sharing.

I was just 16 years old, life as a normal teen. walking to the mall, homework, dances, and boys were regular in my life. I was not into sports or other extracurricular activities much but had my sights on my career as an architect and just enjoying life as a teen while it lasted.
My teen years were good and happy but I was a really painfully shy teen with low self- esteem. Not an uncommon thing at 16. High school was rough and I was having a hard time finding and keeping true friends. The best friend I had moved out of town when her mom remarried and another moved out of the state. And yet the next 'friend' decided she was too cool for the likes of me. And I was just too shy to make any new friends. Don't get me wrong, I had many friends, just no real close best friends.

The summer between my sophomore and junior year, I met a boy. A very handsome and well mannered boy. I often stayed the night with a friend of mine who had moved to a neighboring town, and we would hang out in the summer air in her yard. I met my now ex-husband that summer as he stopped by her house on the way to see a friend of his. I thought he was the cutest boy I had ever seen. After meeting him, and discovering that my friend was dating his best friend, we spent a lot of time together. We learned more about each other and it seemed we had everything in common. However when you are a teen, it is easy to have a lot in common as lives are not much more than school, possibly work and home life. Because his best friend was dating my best friend, we did a lot of things as a foursome. Life was good.

 We really liked each other. We were in 'Puppy love'. Many of our friends were dating pretty seriously. In our community it is not uncommon to marry just after high school.
Young love is confusing. Feelings and emotions flood into your mind and body. You feel feelings that you don’t recognize. You feel feelings that you are not sure how to handle. I felt as though I was in love. I felt older than my age.I wanted to marry this man.

A few of my friends were sexually active. I was not naïve enough to think that having friends who are, made it acceptable. But he and I thought that we were in love and to be honest, I craved to be noticed. It seemed in my young mind, that boys never took notice of me and he did. We spoke of marriage, yes at age 16 we were planning our lives together.

Things went further than we thought they would between us. We felt as though we were being so mature. We were living the life of two people in love. We were having sex. Me at age sixteen and he at seventeen.I remember the first time. I was scared out of my mind. I knew I shouldn't do it. I was young. I was too scared to say no. I didn't want him to tell me he didn't like me. He was not pushy, he would have stopped if I asked. He probably wanted me to say stop. but we didn't. I have wondered many times since then why we did it. I cannot come to any conclusions.. just that we were curious, young and naive.

But we didn't stop. it seems that once we 'broke the dam' so to speak, there was nothing to stop us. We weren't safe. We didn't use protection. We knew about it. I would never want to ask my parents for birth control. Often I thought about it. I thought I should be getting some sort of birth control from a teacher or friend. I was too scared to ask for it. And honestly figured (in my young mind) that it would never happen to me.

After about six months dating him, I began to feel different, missed a period and eventually saw a doctor. My worst fear was confirmed. Just six months after I met him, I became pregnant, although I didn’t know it until well into my first trimester. The boy and I continued to date. We spoke about it a lot but we didn’t know what we would do. 

We both told our parents and they were not happy to hear the news but all were supportive. Being supportive was about the only, and the best thing they could do.  I finished out my Junior year of high school somewhat in denial and in fear. Although I was 5’7 and barely weighing over a hundred pounds, I didn’t wear maternity clothes and very few people knew I was carrying a child. I didn't show much, wore loose shirts and just didn’t fasten the top button or two on my jeans. I was scared people would talk about me. I skipped a lot of classes until school let out for the summer.

Throughout the summer, I didn’t feel as though I had to hide it as much. My closest friends knew of the baby and I didn’t see many other classmates that summer. I didn't have any side effects from the pregnancy and saw a doctor regularly. 

But just what we were going to do when the time came to have this baby, we didn’t know. We were in love. We wanted to be together forever. But we certainly couldn’t take care of ourselves. How would we be able to parent a child?

To be continued…

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sorry- been a little MIA lately

Blogging is a full-time job and well, I am struggling to find the time for this third job in my life. I love blogging, it is a real stress relief and great place to keep memories.

I am not like a lot of other bloggers, this sight is not for money making or social opinion as much as it is, just 'my place'.

So, although I love the comments and I love the people I have met while blogging and hope it continues, I don't really feel the slightest bit guilty or sad that I have gone a while without a post. My later posts have lacked a little in substance and I don't ever want to get to the point where I am posting just to get something out here.

I have a lot to say, a lot to write about, but a lot going on in my day-to-day life that would be really boring blog subject but is also keeping me from here on a regular basis.

Spring is right around the corner and I always seem to get my second wind when the sun shines more. So I am sure that I will have some great reading material here soon.

In the meantime- I will continue to read and comment on my favorite sites, as time allows and will post something fantabulous  here very soon. So I hope the few readers I have can bear with me and stick around for my creative juices to once again begin their flowing to the page.

I also have a few very personal stories to share, stories of my own life that some may or may not be able to relate to. I would also like to have it so that I may save it for my children. They know the stories but this I hope will be a record for them.

For those in the states, I hope that Daylight savings time doesn't take too much out of you and that you all have a great St. Patrick's day and don't drink too much green beer!

New post coming soon

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Back to reality

Been away for a week. Off celebrating my parents 45th wedding anniversary in the Caribbean. First of all let me say, vacation aside I am so grateful to be able to share this anniversary with my parents.

But the break from routine was just what the Dr. ordered. It rained on the islands we visited, but not a bad rain, a warm rain. We had a blast.So much to see so much to do.

Way too much fun to tell about here. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
Ft. Lauderdale
Key West
A key sight in Key West
Stopping for a Margarita
Ernest Hemingway's home... I hate that it is now a museum.

Love the architecture on Key West
Back on the ship.

There is so much to share, I suppose I will have to write a post per Island