Sunday, April 24, 2005
The one where someone else's life is in shambles
Last night I spent a long time on the phone with my mom. She had a lot to tell me, most of which completely broke my heart.
My parents own a restaurant. A year and a half ago, the parents of one of their employees forced her to quit. The girl was happy; she liked the job and had a lot of fun working alongside my parents. My mom, ever the mothering type, had taken her under wing. This girl, M, lives with her stepmom and dad. In their home, this beautiful girl is just the stepdaughter. They allow her to attend school, go to work and do homework. She is not allowed to attend dances, though she can go to athletic events if she is a member of the team playing. She is not allowed to spend the night with friends or go "hang out." M wants to be a nurse when she grows up. Her stepmother told her that she is "too stupid" and would be lucky if she had enough sense to become a dental hygeinist. [Not that there's anything wrong with being a dental hygeinist; it's just that this girl dreams of being an RN] When they ofrced her to quit, it was because they thought she should work at a nursing home to prove to her that she is in fact too stupid to be a nurse. The home she works at is about 3 blocks from my parents' restaurant and days that her shift ends early, she comes to see my mom at the restaurant and confides in her.
I don't think I've adequately expressed just how bad this 18 year old high school senior's home life is. I'm not sure that I can. M is a sweet, beautiful, trusting girl. She runs track and during a meet met a boy from another school who asked for her phone number. She gave it to him, and he called her the next day. Her parents answered and refused to let him speak to her, stating as reason the fact that he wasn't from her town and that they had no way of knowing whether or not he was a "good person" from a "good family." M, was upset, she called him from her cell phone, and they began a relationship. M's family are devout Christians (in my opinion its a name only faith), and as such have told poor M nothing about sex. Her new boyfriend convinced her that blowjobs mean nothing, and so she did it. And then he convinced her to take off her clothes and get into bed with him (this after she had snuck out of her house to see him).
He then convinced her that she was still a virgin since he insisted sex "feels good" and she was in a great deal of pain. She was pretty sure this wasn't true, but really truly didn't know what was involved (her parents had opted her out of the school district's sex ed class because it was against their beliefs). And then they listened in on her phone call while she told her friend how much she loved her boyfriend and what had happened. Her parents insisted that she take a pregnancy test since her period was late. They told her she was a whore and she would go where all the whores go for tests and birth control, which though they don't believe in it, if she was not pregnant they woul force her to go on like all the cheap sluts do. She kept trying to call her boyfriend and every time she did, he would tell her that he was busy right that second, but to call him back in 5 minutes and then he didn't answer his phone. She was so confused because she thought she loved him and that they would get married some day.
Her parents asked her if she had any clue what she would do with the baby they were sure she would have since they would never accept a child of sin as a member of their family and would offer her no help. She said that she knew that she would never be able to care for a child at her age. She said she wasn't ready for that but that she knew exactly what she would do. She told her parents, "I'll just call Miss W's mom, and get Miss W's phone number. She and her husband want a baby and it hasn't worked for them. They'd love my baby. And I know that I can sign papers where they'll let me see the baby sometimes and they'll be really good parents." Her parents then laughed in her face and asked her why exactly she thought that we would want a child conceived in sin, a child who was sure to be as stupid as its birth mother. And she said, "Because they're good people and I know they will. I know they will."
M had an appointment at Planned Parenthood for Monday. Her period started on Sunday night. Her parents have not let up. They continue to remind her that she is nothing but a dirty whore. They've told her that even though she graduates in early June, they aren't sure where they will allow her to go to college or if they will allow it at all. If they do, they want her to go to a 2 year voc-tech school, or to get an associates because she isn't intelligent enough for anything else. They told her that she doesn't have good enough judgement to go away to school, that she must live with them and follow their rules: she will go to class, come straight home, do homework and go to work. She will not be allowed to do anything else. At all.
M is considering what to do. She really thinks her stepmom and dad love her and want the best for her and on some level thinks that maybe they are right. She's afraid to try anything else because they've convinced her that she can't.
And so, as I start the 2 week wait (positive OPK Saturday am!), I've asked my mom to tell M that I want her to move from the midwest to New York. I'd like her to come live with me, free of charge; to help me with things that I won't be able to do if I do succeed in achieving a high-risk pregnancy. Mr. W has agreed to get her a job working for his corporation so that she can earn enough money to pay for her education. Maybe she will...and maybe she won't. I only hope that she does. My mom is so afraid that M's depression and self-image are low enough right now that she may either run away, attempt suicide, or seek solace in some other boy's bed. Mr. W and I are pretty sure it would be the last; we know that if that is what happens, a resulting infant would be offered to us. And we decided last night that regardless of the outcome of our two week wait, we will accept and we will help this girl in whatever way she needs.
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