Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Coming out and saying IT

A few years before my father passed away, his older sister invested in my fractured soul by enlightening me regarding the inner workings of my paternal family. Apparently, the Hughes clan were "casual with their offspring" and while I've no doubt romancised them to a high luster; the patina wears thin in many places. My father descends from successive men of violence, abusive and addictive tendencies and questionable moral practices. Bluntly put, my father was the center of his own universe - undone only by a force greater and more disturbed emotionally than he was. That being my mother.

My mom's maternal line carries its own blend of perpetual crazy - peppered with the occasional kind soul embodied in my maternal grandmother. When her husband returned from WWII with notions of running off to marry an English sweetie, my grandma placed her not so dainty feet squarely in his boney hide and refused to divorce him. My mother was born into this union, a month past term, via c-section and with multiple birth defects. She is an amputee, her right hand is deformed, and her cervix is incompetent. Had my grandmother been given the opportunity for an ultrasound - it is possible that my mother would have been aborted. My grandfather railed at my mom's birth and refused to claim her as his own. Because of this, and her challenges as a child who was "incomplete", my mother became something of a monster. Although she has rationalized her father's denial of her as his own as due to his own parents possibly being siblings (unproven but interesting) she still bears the scars of herchildhood both in her physical appearance and in her soul at a core level.

It is my opinion that my parents should never have reproduced. The mixing of their DNA had the potential for creating the perfect storm of a child. I am still convinced - even as an adult that my mother is incapable of truly loving another human and my father, when I truly needed him to stand up for my very identity - caved. As a result, my parentage will always be in question. I will never know if my father who raised me is my father or if my mother's first boyfriend and current husband is my father. Say what you will about "your father is the man who raised you", in my case the only thing that matters is the truth I cannot have.

As a young woman, I did not want to have a husband or children. I had deep trust issues and no desire to invest in someone who would do me harm. I was 22 before I started dating seriously and when I finally fell. I fell hard. My lack of self discipline resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. I was still living at home and my mother wasted no time in telling me all the torment I might face if I happened to carry whatever genetic anomalies she carried. I didn't trust the father to stay in my life should I choose to be a mother, and simply put, I did not want a child. And so I made the decision afforded me by legal right.

Fast forward a couple of decades. As the politics of the day swirl around me like so much powdered creamer congealing in a cup of tepid brew - I am reminded of that "Choice" I made. I've been married for over 20 years to that man I thought would leave me. We have two beautiful - whole children. And I have an ache in my soul in the shape of a baby I will NEVER hold. While my Creator assures me that I am forgiven and loved - and I see that forgiveness in my two healthy kids and my solid marriage, I am still not released from the consequences of my own free will.

I hear the arguments. What if you're raped? What if its incest? What if there's a health risk? Well let me see. Great Granny and Grandpa were possibly brother and sister - check incest. Grandma carried mom ten months - and mom had me early and miscarried two after me due to her own physical issues - check - there are many people in my family who have contributed to me who themselves were the result of unsolicited sex. Its rampant in my family history. Its a different story when looking at your own existence based on the "Choices" your predecessors made.

I'm not here to dissuade anyone from his or her current position. I'm not here to advise you of your political correctness, duty or lack thereof. I am only here to define my own point of view. I know in my heart what it means to bring life into this world and to stop it before it is born. In my heart - I now know that even if I were carrying a child due to rape, even if I were in danger of losing my own life by allowing a child to be born - I could not take another life. You see, even in the most horrific of circumstances, half of that baby's DNA is from its mothers - and the whole responsibility of providing that baby an opportunity to BECOME - rests with the mother. There is a moment when I came to terms with both my own mortality - and my immortality. These two things meet in my offspring.

I could have been the perfect storm. I could have beaten and abused my kids. I could have cheated on my husband. It was what I was taught. It was all I knew. But I didn't and even I am not sure why. I just registered somewhere that life is precious, sacred and so far beyond what I feel in my skin. I know that unconditional love - in its true form is completely selfless. It gives entirely and expects nothing in return. While I know my mother was incapable of loving me - I deeply love my children. If I had another - no matter what the circumstance - love does not harm. That is the kind of love I desire and that is the kind of love I would give.

If you are pro choice, that's fine. I have no quarrel with you. I was pro choice. I get the position. It is not foreign to me. It isn't who I am now, but it is who I was. While I would not abort a child who was a product of a rape, I would damn sure castrate the rapist without the benefit of painkillers even if he was a sibling, - so my humanity is still very much in tact. I also believe that the federal tax should be abolished, all elected officials should work for salaries not to exceed 75k per year, the drinking age should be lowered to 18, we should start completely over with the whole "Wellfare program" the death penalty should be reinstated in all fifty states, corporal punishment should be brought back into schools and our teachers should make more than our government officials. I am actually pretty ornery in my view points which is why I usually refrain from any comment. I like you. I don't want to offend you.

Where Pro Life and Pro Choice are concerned though - its wrenchingly real for me. It is the reminder of the biggest mistake of my life, personally. It is the one do over I wish I had. It will be in my heart always. And so, I choose to tell you my story. Now you know. We all come from somewhere. It is my hope that you will be gentle with those who have points of view in opposition to your own. They may just be carrying something within their hearts that is deeply personal - and completely colors who they are. This is who I am.



Hrishikesh Bawa said...

If you ask me, I am a Pro-Choice.. But our different views don't matter to me that much in this because we come from different backgrounds and upbrinings, and this causes us to view things differently.. I believe it should finally be the choice of the mother because she is the one who will go through the process of giving birth and raising the kid (with her partner).. Others can only give her their opinion...

TL Boehm said...

Exactly. Hrishikesh. We come from different backgrounds and upbringings. And I appreciate your friendship and the fact that where ever we differ - we still respect one another. That is the most important thing, my "son!"