18 years old, still single, barefoot and pregnant. Oh joy.
The father is 32 years old, never married, has a job, a beautiful dog and a weird truck. His sister lives in our apartment building, she’s friendly with my mother and is a single mother of 3 boys that I babysit occasionally. I hardly know him, but he wants to marry me. I hesitantly say ok, let’s do it.
I’m sick as a trash-eating dog, under pressure from my family to get married right away and scared to death. Overwhelmed is the word I’m looking for. Completely and totally overwhelmed.
I postpone the wedding a few times, until I’m big as a house, until it’s a couple of months before the baby is due. My older sister flies up from the states and begins organizing everything.
The first priest we see refused us, on the grounds that I was too young and he was too old for me. Whatever. We find another priest. I get married in a church at his insistence. I refuse to wear a white wedding dress and allow someone to get me a light blue dress and some silly looking hat. He gets a friend of his to drive us in a vintage Cadillac. We already live together and I have already run away, disappearing for a week and scaring everyone out of their wits. I didn’t inform or invite my real father. I was late to my own wedding, mostly because I had locked myself in the bathroom and wouldn’t come out until my brother-in-law picked the lock. My mother’s current loser husband walked me down the aisle. Actually, he had to pull me down the aisle, having already started to walk 3 times without me budging from my spot. I cried as soon as I started reciting my vows. The ceremony was in French. I remember nothing else about it. The “reception” was in my mother’s apartment. Was I there? I can’t remember.
I finally give birth. Difficult. 25 hours of labour, baby was breech and the doctors turned her twice. OMG! That really really really hurt! I kicked the doctor in the face when he put his hand inside of me and turned the baby. Friggin‘ sadistic lunatics! I remember listening to other women screaming their faces off while they were in labour. I remember being drained from all energy, feeling practically comatose. Finally gave birth to a tiny little girl, 6 lbs, 9 oz., tanned skin, black hair and very yellow. She was so jaundiced they transferred her to another hospital for a transfusion, I went home to wait until they would release her. My mother and my husband brought the baby home to me a couple of weeks later. When my little girl was placed in my arms I cried and cried and cried…hopelessly overwhelmed and scared out of my wits. How the hell am I going to take care of this sweet little thing? I can’t even take care of myself!
I stayed married for a couple of years. Left him while he was gone. He was not ready for me, nor I for him. He would get so angry with me, punching out ceiling lights above my head, punching holes in the walls next to head and in the headboard of the bed. Baby girl was a good baby, just sleeping all the day… so much sleeping I had to wake her up with a cold wet washcloth to feed her. I was sick and tired and still overwhelmed by it all. By the time she was 2 years old, I was out of there. Scared of motherhood, scared of him and I weighed a whopping 90 lbs. My little brothers thought I was dying of cancer. I thought I was going to be killed by my husband. I left with my baby girl, our cloths and my records. Went to live with my mother. She’s worse than she has ever been…and so am I.
Good grief. This sweet little girl doesn’t stand a chance. I have to protect her on top of trying to feed her, clothe her and raise her. What a fuckin’ disaster.
I got a job. I wake her up early in the morning so we can take the bus to the daycare, then I can take the bus to work. The whole morning trip takes 2 hours and 3o minutes. I have to carry her every morning because she cannot wake up. I cry every morning after dropping her off at daycare. By the time I get to work I am so tired I can barely see straight.
I sleep on a pull out couch and she sleeps in a lawn chair. I have a small TV someone gave me. I bought milk for her, cereal and a loaf of bread so she can eat. Our apartment is one room, tiny bathroom and kitchenette. After paying rent, which includes utilities, paying for the daycare and buying the bus passes, I barely have enough money for food. I definitely don’t have any money to buy her clothes or shoes. We go on this way for a couple of years.
We get to the point where she will be five in the summer. School starts for her, and she needs the shoes and clothes. I don’t know what to do. I think I’m depressed. I cry a lot when she is sleeping. She is still peeing the bed. We go to the laundromat often. Her imagination is wonderous and she lives inside her head. Our life is bleak, with very little joy. She loves me, hugs and kisses me a lot, cuddles for hours on end. When she sleeps, I look at her beautiful little face and feel completely and utterly like a failure. She deserves so much better than this. Such a loving little creature, so pretty and friendly, kind and smart as can be. How on earth did she end up with a loser like me as a mother? Poor thing.
Her life will be shit through no fault of her own.
What the hell am I going to do?
I have never been so sad in my life.
Writing about this makes me sad as well. My eyes still fill with tears, even after all these years.