Never Again, I will Hate You

It was February 9, 1972 when I went home to wait for what would come it would not be pretty. Around 6pm February 11, I went into Induced Labor after the Instillation Abortion and my mother was quite put out by the inconvenience of my timing. She and my father were preparing for a Valentine’s Day party, now they would have to take me to the hospital instead, damn I was a troublemaker and rude on top of it. My father had finally been told and was not happy with the choices made, there was nothing to do though but go along, it was done. I was driven to the local hospital and escorted into the emergency room. That was it, she left me there they went off to the party, I was alone to finish what she had started.

I will not tell the rest. It was horrifying and terrible. Three weeks later, before I was healed my mother took me back to the doctor and demanded I be fitted with an IUD, because as she had so clearly stated previously, ‘I am not having any more Bastards in my house.’

This was the Year

This was the year I learned to love the Blues.

This was the year I slapped my mother and said, “No more, never again.”

This was the year I began to regularly run away from home. This was the year my mother told the Juvenile Court systems to ‘keep the Bitch’, leaving me in lock-up for 7 weeks while she was in Hawaii. This was the year I entered the Foster Care System and was subsequently declared both a Juvenile Delinquent and Incorrigible.

This was the year, on December 15, I ran away from my foster home and everything else familiar. I wouldn’t see or speak to anyone in my family for just over three years. I had turned 15 that September.

This was the year I started on a path that would teach me everything I would ever need to survive anything life threw at me. The year that would strip the last of any innocence I might have clung to and any hope I might have had. This was the year I made a desperate choice to save my own life no matter the price.

Winding Roads to Perdition

The road from Seattle to San Antonio was long I hitchhiked the entire way. There were stops along the way. Sometimes people were kind, feeding me and giving me a place to sleep for a day or two. There were still hippies on the road back then, people who were willing to reach out a hand for nothing much in return. Other times, people weren’t so kind and what they wanted in return for the offer of a ride, a meal or even a cup of coffee wasn’t simply a thank-you. Sometimes I found myself in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. I learned quickly to evaluate who was offering a ride and politely refuse them if they didn’t ‘feel’ right.

Texas isn’t as cold in the winter as other places, especially central Texas. I have a long history here, which is what drew me back when I ran. Unlike most runaways of the time who made their way to San Francisco and Los Angeles I headed to the land of my heart. San Antonio in the early 70’s was a booming and dangerous military town, not a safe haven but easy enough to find havens for short periods and easy enough to find work if you weren’t too picky. People didn’t ask many questions back then, not how old you were, not for ID.

This is where I met my first husband, at an after-hours bar where I was waitressing. His father ran the poker game in the backroom. It was a whirlwind romance; he swept me away with sweet words, real dates and trips to buy real clothes. Nobody had ever pursued me like this before, treating me as if I was precious and valuable. Within weeks we were living together, Sundays were dinner with his parents and siblings, cards and dominos in the backyard. I was part of a family, prized and cared for.

Everything changed soon enough; I was too young and didn’t see it didn’t understand the signs. First it was the little things, the jealously the screaming rages. Then the name-calling began. As the months wore on my nerves frayed and my fear rose, he became cruel or maybe he always was. It started with open hands, the slaps that cut a lip or bruised a cheek. Soon it escalated, closed fists that didn’t stop with one or two but continued until I was curled in a ball on the floor no longer able to beg for mercy.

Everything Comes Back to You

September 17, the day my choices were forever stripped and I learned the meaning of hate. That day started just like any other day. The day didn’t start out well, I had been sick for a couple days, with fever and cramps, this always tended to cause problems since if I was sick I couldn’t work, couldn’t earn money for the household and by now I was the only one working on a regular basis. It was also the start of the football season, I was supposed to prepare something for a party that evening but I was too sick to get out of bed. This earned me a vicious beating; one focused where I hurt, the region of my Cervix and Uterus. I guess he though if he beat me hard enough he would beat the pain out of me.

He left me on the bed, bleeding and curled around myself. His mother found me three hours later and called an ambulance. I was barely coherent when I arrived at the hospital but I was able to tell them I had an IUD. They were unable to remove it; they were also unable to determine the extent of the internal damage without surgery.

I woke up on September 18, one day before my 16th birthday. I had been in surgery for 5 hours. The nurse looked very sad and said she would call the doctor. The doctor didn’t look very sad, just concerned.

He said my IUD had perforated my uterus wall. That they could not repair it and that there was other damage as well. They were forced to remove my uterus. He also said one of my ovaries had been damaged and had been removed. Finally he said I had Syphilis, my husband had given it to me, there was no doubt about this diagnosis, no doubt where it came from either. My husband, the man who had beaten me, while screaming his love for me  had destroyed my future fertility and infected me with a potentially life-threatening disease. That son-of-a-bitch was standing beside my bed with his parents; hanging his head in shame as the doctor delivered this terrible and terrifying news and all he could do was say he was sorry.

The doctor watched me closely, ‘do you understand everything I have told you?’

‘Yes, I will never have children and he made me sick’

I understood. My rage was cold it was like an arctic ice flow. I asked everyone to leave and told the doctor I was in pain. I could not face the future just then. I thought, as the morphine slid through my veins and I drifted off;

‘I will never love anyone or anything again, I will never love God again.’

Part One: https://valentinelogar.com/2012/06/02/no-bastards-no-choice/

No Bastards No Choice

I have circled this memory so often, shaken this box more than once to determine if it rattled or if finally what was inside had turned to dust. Close hold, this is one I keep buried in the back of the closet and under lock and key, rarely even considering taking it out for closer examination, I know how these skeletons dance. Truth, I know how hot the firestorm will burn when I finally unwrap the chains, release the padlocks and set a match to the dried tinder, I know what is in this box.

I was fourteen the first time I understood what bastard meant. I had heard the term a few times; my second (adoptive) mother had used it in reference to me on more than one occasion, truthfully though I was never that

Florence Crittenton, Courtesy HistoryLink.org

curious as to its literal meaning. In January of 1972, I was sitting in the offices of Florence Crittenton Home for Unwed Mothers aka “The House of Another Chance” and my mother was explaining to the woman behind the desk “I would not be bringing another Bastard like me home”. Surprisingly, she also told the woman this was where my ‘slut’ mother was when she was pregnant with me, ‘like mother like daughter’. She made clear one of two things would happen, I would agree to a closed adoption or the state would strip my rights from me with her help. The ‘nice’ lady behind the desk helped explain that as a child myself, I would have no say in this matter, I had no rights and could not prevent this from happening to me or my child.

Did I mention I had hidden my pregnancy? By this time, I was just past my twelfth week and already had a small bump. I sat in that office arms wrapped around myself rocking and stunned by what was happening to me.

SeaDruNar – Seattle Drugs & Narcotics

Don’t let their glossy new look fool you, back in the early 1970’s they met in the basement of an old house in a not so nice part of Seattle. They were ‘famous’ for their approach to dealing with drug addicts and ‘bad-assed’ teenagers; addict-to-addict mentoring and complete immersion techniques that stripped you of your soul, your will, your entire self and then filled the empty spaces left with something new and presumably better. Don’t get me wrong, my badass at this stage of my life included a bit of inhaling now and again, but I was far from any addictions, certainly, I wasn’t in need of hardcore intervention. I was simply a scared fourteen-year-old, with a baby bump. My mother wasn’t having this, she had her heart set on a disappearing act and SeaDruNar was the ticket. After the first session the ex-addict who ran the teenage group told her it wasn’t the right place for me, I didn’t relate to their problems and issues and didn’t ‘share’ with the group.

A few days later, we were back, this time I was shoved into the adult group. These were grown people with grown people problems, led by two ex-addicts. This is where I learned some of my mother’s story, but as part of her sharing with the group she also shared what an ungrateful and wretched child I was. She threw her head back and howled her own pain, instead of chewing off her own leg to release the trap; she gnawed at mine drawing blood as she shred me in front of her willing audience. I resisted their demands I beg for her forgiveness; I should given them what they claimed as due.

Three days of Hell – You Win

For those truly hard cases, those unrepentant hard to crack nuts SeaDruNar use to run ‘camps’. Three-day away camps, where you sit in rooms on the floor with little to eat, infrequent breaks and are verbally, emotionally and sometimes physically abused until you are broken. Sounds fun, right? Back in the early 1970’s, this was common treatment for addicts and hard-cases. There were no real medical doctors, no trained psychologists or addiction specialists present; just ex-addicts, ex-convicts and us the hard-cases who they hadn’t gotten through yet and whose parents signed permission slips for them to abuse.

Did this treatment work? I don’t know, this would be my last experience with SeaDruNar, my mother certainly got what she wanted from it.

I walked into this thinking I would sit for three days and survive. I would ignore the screaming, crying and sob stories. I did not have to give in, I didn’t have to talk to them, didn’t have to answer their questions; I knew the rules. They could scream at me, I could sit silent and there was nothing they could do. They didn’t scare me. I only had to get through three days. This wasn’t quite the truth of the ‘camp’; I didn’t quite understand the rules.

I didn’t know about lack of sleep.

Really me 1971 School Picture

I didn’t know what pressure on your bladder could do to you, or urinating on yourself can do to your ego. I didn’t know about public shaming, or being forced to sit in your own filth for hours before being allowed to change and bath.

I didn’t know. I didn’t know what fear could do under those conditions.

By day three of this hell I was destroyed. My heart, my soul, my fight was gone. There was nothing left of me. I was convinced I was unworthy to nurture life, let alone consider trying to care for it. I was shown pictures of deformed children and they were mine, because I had smoked pot, I had smoked hash and this is what drugs do I was told. I was an addict, I was a slut I was nothing, I was beneath contempt; I believed, but then I had been hanging on by a thread anyway it didn’t take much for me to believe.

“Yes, you win. You win, how could I have ever thought to want to keep my baby, that I might be worthy. You win.”

By now, I was at my sixteenth week of pregnancy. My mother was running out of time, soon my father would find out and she would be out of options.

The Abortion I never wanted was arranged. I was picked up from the “camp” house by mother dear. No time to change my mind to gather back my soul, to rethink or re-feel. No time to beg, though I begged the doctor and the nurses;

“NO, Please, NO. Please don’t do this. Please I don’t want this No.”

I curled on the table on my side. They strapped me down to keep me supine, to stop me from moving.

“No, please don’t please don’t.”

“There will be a slight pinch this won’t hurt,” someone said that just before they stuck needles into my womb.

I was given an Instillation abortion and sent home to wait.

What happens when choice is not choice and waiting is all we can do, the next box I will unlock in Breaking Chains. 

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