My family life growing up was very ugly, my parents fought ALL the time. My father was always angry, my mom was either happy and being creative, or off the wall mad and moody. (As an adult I came to realize that mom was manic-depressive.) A few things I learned an early age: To avoid confrontation at all costs. That I never did anything right. That I was stupid.
When I was 15, all my friends had been having sex, I hadn't even had a real boyfriend yet. One of my best friends, E, was
being molested by a 20 year old that moved in next door to us in love with an older guy, and one day when we were going to all be hanging out, E's molester boyfriend brought a new friend along, someone that had just moved to town. He was cute, and oh-so-funny. He made me laugh, he made me feel like I was pretty, he gave me the attention that I didn't know I craved. One night I let things go way too far. I knew it was a mistake, so I made sure to avoid ever being alone with him again. Before I discovered I was pregnant, the guys had decided they were going to go see what they could find in Colorado. I was glad they were leaving, as it solved my problem of staying away from him & not giving in to my teenage hormones again. Little did I know, I should have asked a little bit more about him, as he was the father to the baby I didn't know I was pregnant with yet. I knew his name. I knew he was a year or two younger than my friend's molester boyfriend. I had no idea where or how to find him, knew nothing about his family or even where he grew up.
I could not, would not, raise an innocent baby/child in the ugly life I had at home, and I knew that there was no way I could move out, take care of a baby, and continue in school. I also wanted my baby to have a mom AND a dad that loved him. I knew from the beginning that the only chance my baby had at a happy life, to have the happy family life that I did not, was for me to give him up for adoption. Nobody seemed to care that the only reason I was choosing adoption was because of my home life. Nobody cared to rescue me in order to keep a mother & her child together. Nobody tried to tell me that I could get help if I wanted to parent my child. Nobody told me that adoption was not something you never got over. I was easy prey. After all, I myself believed I was unfit to parent my own child. I had proved to my dad just how stupid I was.
In 1979, girls were not allowed to attend the public high school if they were pregnant. It was still the era of "don't talk about the baby, just get back to your life and forget it ever happened". It was still expected that if an unmarried girl got pregnant she would give the child up. Only the "bad girls" kept their babies. Girls who didn't want the best for their children. So, to prove I was really a good girl ~ not a slut, I was a good "birthmommy". (I don't like the b word) I believed the myths, believed I would just go on with my life. I went to the Florence Crittenton Center for the 2nd semester of my sophomore year of high school. This is also where I received my maternity care. I went two weeks overdue with my son, I didn't care because I knew that once he was born, he would no longer be in my life. After my baby was born, I was not even allowed to hold him or look at him - so that I would not change my mind about giving him up. I was allowed one short visit with him at at the maternity home when he was 3 weeks old. The photo on the right is from that one & only time I have ever seen my son.
When I see that black & white photo ~ the song "In Color" by Jamey Johnson comes to mind.
And if it looks like we were scared to death,
Like a couple of kids just trying to save each other,
You should have seen it in color.