The Slut Whisperer [Emotional Rant]

Where my baby girl was born and left to strangers

To my knowledge, there has not been an unplanned pregnancy in my immediate family since my own in 1986. Oh, sure, I have heard of cousins’ kids, or cousins of cousins who were pregnant, “got knocked up”, and the like.  The news is usually shared by my mother over the phone in one of those hushed “did you hear” kind of tones.  I tend not to feed into the conversation and usually respond with an “Oh, that’s nice. Good luck to them”.  I detest the feeding frenzy of gossip surrounding unplanned pregnancies. The words used, the judgment, the rolling of eyes, the disgust heard in voice tones, the “oh-that-poor-girls-life-is-ruined” attitude, words like slut and legs closed and tramp are all too much for me to bear. If you are interested in really discussing options, really supporting the expectant mom, I will talk with you.  If you want to be rude, caddy, old school, religious, offensive, conservative and such, I walk away.

I walked away last night.

It appears my 1986 record is about to be broken.

Late last night, my cell phone went nutty. My mother called me twice and kept calling until someone finally answered (my husband). Others texted me while others messaged me on Facebook.  Without even knowing the content of the calls, I ignored them. I am still suffering, pretty seriously, with this neck/back issue. I am on pain meds and living/working a reduced schedule. I get about four good hours a day and then I am in intense pain and need to rest. Last night was no different. I was resting and caring for me when the flurry of messages began.

From what I have gathered since then, a young woman who is technically my step-niece is expecting. She is unmarried, in her early 20s, and the father does not want the child. The news came to my sibling and mother and other nieces and it created quite a stir complete with crying, tears, gasps and standard expressions of life ruining. They cried and gossiped and I got angry.  Really angry. Irrationally inappropriately angry. Oh, not at them (I did not speak to them) this emotional war raged in my head (and a teeny bit on my hubby).

I am processing my anger today, my conflict and finding myself a bit surprised with some of my own emotions.

The Bias and Ignorance – As mentioned above, I am irritated by the bias and ignorance that accompanies such news in my family. Why is it assumed that this girl’s life is ruined?  What does that say about a child? About motherhood in general? How will that child feel in the future if they hear “your birth ruined your mothers’ life?” My mother repeated to me something another family member said “She had so much potential” (in reference to the expectant mother). News flash people – she still does! Pregnancy does not stunt your growth, take your brains, or cause you to be physically handicapped for the rest of your life. You can still walk upright and talk and think and go to college and meet a wonderful man (or woman). Yes, this mother’s life may be more challenging but she can still do ALL THE PRETTY THINGS she was going to do pre-pregnancy and guess what – she can do them WITH her child. She doesn’t have to abandon her child to strangers to achieve her goals. Children and parenting is hard at ANY AGE, ANY SOCIO ECONOMIC STATUS, ANY POINT IN LIFE. Let’s drop the fatalistic attitudes, shall we? Expectant mom and baby are going to absorb all your negative mojo.  Why don’t we turn that frown upside down and support her, ask her what she wants, how she is feeling, what we can do for her to help her through this time?

Seriously? Adoption? – A family member told me today that the other family members wanted to consult with me about the idea of putting the child up for adoption.  Seriously? Are you seriously going to talk to me about adoption and expect me to support that option?  Part of me (the immature part of me) wants to scream at them. How EFFIN dare you come to me and ask me about this! How dare YOU! And yet the mature part of me is pleased they want to do so. And another part of me is concerned about my delivery and what I would say. I feel I need to be firm with my position but offer her options to learn of others. The decision must be hers and hers alone and it must be a fully informed one. She must know all her options and all the pros and cons of each option.

Why me? – I got all caught up in my head about the fact that they called me. Crisis pregnancy in the family? Call 1-800-Suz-4Help.  I am not sure if I am offended or pleased.  Immature me? What am I the slut whisperer? The way it was relayed to me by a family member, they don’t know how to relate to “those” girls and I do (since I am one of them) so let me deal with it? And let me deal with it while I am heavily medicated and in pain (and they know this). Ugh. The thoughts in my head. Then I flip-flop and my other Gemini twin makes an appearance. Why not me? I AM the person they should come to. I can help them. They are correct. (But do they realize what they trigger when they contact me? Do they have any clue what this does to me, personally?)

Looking into the Past – The confluence of emotions made me wonder, is this what they all did when they found out about me? Did they all call each other and gossip and cry?  Did they say I had so much potential and that my child was ruining my life? I wasn’t here, and if I was, I wasn’t privy to the conversations. My family never ever talked about me, my pregnancy in front of me. They walked around me for weeks before I left for Chicago and never said a word (unless you count my father in a drunken stupor saying something about keeping my legs closed).  They never spoke about it. They pretty much still don’t.  I spent too much time in the shower today visualizing what it must have been like back then. Who called who? Who said what?

The Mistake – During a phone conversation with said family members today, I am told “she made a mistake”.  Really? What mistake is that? Loving a man? Having unprotected sex with him? Why is that HER mistake? Wouldn’t it be his as well? Or are you calling the child a mistake? Why do we consider such situations so awful?  Conceiving a child is not a mistake. It should be celebrated.  I know it is a wonderful thing for the massive industry that has sprung up around children is proof of it.  The billions of dollars spent by prospective adopters who cannot conceive on their prove it. The trafficking of children by agencies that profit by it proves it as well. Children are wonderful and should be treated as such – from conception through to adulthood.

Not About You – A family member, close to the expectant mother, went on and on about it, in a manner that suggested this was happening to her, and it was her fault, and what was she going to do. Boo hoo hoo. Poor me. Uhhhhhhhhhh boy.  Good thing I was not in the room. It could have gotten ugly. This family member’s ability to make everything about her would likely have provoked behavior from me I would have regretted. The focus, the support, the attention should be on the expectant mother and her unborn child. Why is that so hard for people to understand?

I spoke briefly with my mother this a.m. I have no intention of engaging with the family on this.  The expectant mother sent me a friend request on Facebook this am and we later talked via phone. We are meeting for dinner tonight.  This is about her, her needs, her desires, her future life and that of her unborn child.

If you know of organizations/resources in the Hartford, CT area that might be of assistance, feel free to contact me via my contact form or my email at bluestokking at gmail dot com.  I have printed a document from Origins-USA and also downloaded some info on our local Planned Parenthood. I also printed a picture of my daughter. It may help her to see a real face, a human being, behind my story.

 

 

12 Thoughts.

  1. They wanted you involved because they are expecting you to tell the Kool-Aid induced “adoption is beautiful” story.

    This is your opportunity to tell her your truth…what adoption really is like. Tell her the things you wished someone would have told you in 1986. I know you will make sure she is well informed and I am pretty sure that you will help guide her, be her hand to hold, and shoulder to cry on. She is very fortunate to have someone like you to help her choose her right path.

    Lots of hugs!!
    Roni

    • I am not entirely sure they want me to vomit the Kool Aid. I got a very mixed message. All I do know is they have no idea how closely this cuts me to the core.

  2. Oh Suz. I’m sorry your family (and most of America, it seems) is still infected with the bias and ignorance, and how triggering this is for you. I’m sending you peaceful thoughts and hugs from Seattle. I am really glad you’re having dinner with her – I hope she can hear your story with an open heart.

  3. I’m so exhausted today, but one things that stands out in my mind is:

    Imagine a society, that in realizing that most pregnancies are unplanned ( This is statistically true ) there is already a true support system in place, for example, possibly a group apartment complex where the mothers can co op babysitting and help each other go on with life, education and growing and not be isolated, but treated like a normal part of the fore mentioned society ( which they are, in fact, despite everyone trying to pretend that it’s not so)

    Really, I wish that families would be more supportive, but in the absence of that, something that mediates between the temporary situation of: poverty, lack of education, being single etc. would really help women who fear for their future. Something beyond welfare, with actual mentors who help the mother make a life plan for herself and her child and help her become a part of a structure where the women help each other as part of a sisterhood.

    • Darla – I am aware of some groundbreaking organizations that are in the process of such a task. There is an amazing organization in Brooklyn,NY run by my friend Geneva. Young Mothers Dream is a non-profit organization focused on mentoring young/teen mothers with finishing their education. They help with childcare, housing, food, etc. Its a dream of my own to do something similar in my own area. I agree completely with you. Imagine if we helped each other raise our children versus taking them from each other or deciding who is the better mother?

      • I also have this fantasy! ( obviously) Society has obviously changed, ( like it or not judgmental fanatics) we should be more accommodating. At least if it was an option, then giving a child up for adoption would actually be more of a “choice”.

        I have another observation regarding single mothers who do keep their children but go on to more dysfunction in the form of relationships. ( For example, continually hooking up with a wrong choice in romantic relationships just to fill that vacancy) They have been made to feel that they are an incomplete family unit, and as well, look for someone to help balance out their lives. Wouldn’t having a sisterhood help them:

        Survive Isolation or remove it completely
        Become more empowered about their future
        Feel supported- Co op childcare for school, personal time, jobs
        Make better choices in future relationships

        I think it can be achieved with like minded, determined women. In fact, I believe that they would make lifelong friends and become mentors for the future.

        • Darla said They have been made to feel that they are an incomplete family unit, and as well, look for someone to help balance out their lives. Wouldn’t having a sisterhood help them:

          Interesting observation and it certainly could be true in some cases, many in fact. For example, I personally decided I was never having children after I surrendered my daughter for I obviously was not a good enough mother. How wrong I was. I am not embarrassed to state I am a damn good mother to my boys (and I was a single mother at one time following divorce) and I could have been one to my daughter.. Adoption does not guarantee a better life – only a different one.

          • I was a single parent at age 17. I was a really effing good mother. My daughter was my life. I know it would have been the same for you, Suz. We are passionate creatures who fall in love with our children.

            I asked my daughter if she ever wished that she had grown up with 2 rich parents. She said “God No! You were born to be a mother, my mother.” It made me cry.

  4. Good for you Suz I hope it goes well and at least she will get some sense from you. Shame on them all!!

  5. If I may, being married to this fine lady I can personally attest to what a damn fantastic Mom she is to her sons, I’ve told her this many times in fact. Leads by example, always reassuring with positive feedback, love & support. She blows my mind sometimes.

  6. Hugs to you. Yes, when are we as a society going to stop thinking that children ruin lives? Why has this myth survived so many decades? I bet the father changes his mind once the child is born and wants to be involved. Men tend to not be able to comprehend the beauty of babies until they hold their own and then they are become smitten for life.
    Please speak on behalf of her unborn child. Because we all know if an unborn child could talk she/he would say “MOM Do NOT give me to strangers. It is not OK to do that as it will cause me all kinds of pain/loss/abandonment issues for my entire life. I just want to be with you.”
    If someone had told me that I would never had surrended my baby. I believed in the stupid ‘blank slate’ myth and that my baby would be better off with a married couple who could provide everything I could not at the time.

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