A guest post by Jordan Blaylock
As I write this on Saturday, May 11, 2013, the day before Mother’s Day, I have had little to no sleep, and I am anxious. I am anxious over things I have no control over, but I still worry about them. I mainly worry over my daughter, who will be twelve this year in November.
Yes. At twenty three years old, I have a daughter that will be twelve in November. The story of her conception, birth and subsequent adoption is not one that is too uncommon but rather one that is hidden with victim shaming, lack of acknowledgement of the baby’s existence, and with very little help in counseling for what has occurred.
Let me tell you a story; a story of an eleven year old girl who didn’t realize she was pregnant because she didn’t recognize the signs. The story of a little girl who had innocence stripped away from her, became a mother, and did something that many would be unable to do. Let me tell you my story.
I am a survivor of sexual abuse. At the hands of my grandmother, from three to seven years old, I was molested. At the hands of another relative from seven to nine, I was molested; then, from nine to eleven I was raped and beaten. After being raped repeatedly, every day, for almost a year and a half, I did conceive my daughter; Madison. I had no idea that I was pregnant because I was sadly ignorant in the ways of my body’s functions. The rapes and beatings continued.
The night before her birth, I was beaten and raped. In the morning, at 4:00 am, on November 11, 2001, I started to hurt. I didn’t understand what was going on. At 7:00 am, my water broke and she came into the world. I gave birth to her at home, in the bathroom, because I didn’t know I was pregnant. She wasn’t breathing when she was born. My mother resuscitated her, and I was going into shock from blood loss. Emergency services were called, and I was taken to the hospital, with Madison wrapped in a towel, in my arms. That was the only time I held her. But, in that moment, I knew I had to keep her safe. Safe from my family and from the stigma they would force upon her, safe from the abuse, torture, and mental anguish I felt and was forced to endure each and every day. I had to ensure her future. In short, I did what any mother would have done; I protected my baby.
I never saw her first step. I never heard her laugh. I wasn’t there to soothe her cries or to get up for nightly feedings, I wasn’t there for her first day of school, or to teach her to read or tie her shoes. Another woman, the woman who raised her, her adopted mother, was. And I am thankful for that every day because even though I grew up in the environment that I did, she didn’t have to grow up there as I did. I am thankful that she was there because it meant that she was safe from the ones who had hurt me. She was able to grow up, to laugh, to feel joy, and not know abuse or the so called stigma of her birth. She was able to be a child. Something I never had. Though I struggled through my childhood, she was able to escape that. She was and is safe. She has a strong support system. She will have a brighter future, far brighter than mine. And, while I am not the one who raised her and I am not the one raising her, I am still her mother. I am not just an egg donor or an incubator. I am a mother, if for no other reason, but the fact I put her needs first over my desire to raise her. Though it pains me to have missed so much in her life, there is not a day that goes by I do not think about her with a smile.
You see, this Mother’s Day, I want to acknowledge something that has never been acknowledged before. I am a mother. With situations like mine, where abuse is present and a child is conceived from the abuse, adopted by another family, the abuse is swept under the rug and not talked about except in counseling. And so is the baby. I remember my family acting like nothing had happened; they wouldn’t even mention her name. This was after saying I should have told them, that I must have done something to provoke the abuse. And there is no mention of the baby. The life that you had inside of you for nine months, that you labored to deliver, and that you held, doesn’t exist. And neither does the identity of your motherhood. So, not only are you blamed for the rape and abuse, you are denied a part of who you have become. At least, this is what happened with me.
A mother is someone who is strong enough to put her child’s needs before hers. A mother is someone who will protect her child, love her child, and do what is best for that child, no matter what; even if that means letting them go to a better home than the hell they are facing. For all of the women out there that were and are in my situation, you are a mother. You are a survivor. You’re not an incubator, you are not to blame, it wasn’t your fault, no matter who says it was. You are strong, courageous, and beautiful. The scars that are on your heart, and the stretch marks upon your body, make you a tiger. You are also so loved by the Creator! Never let anyone take
away a part of who you are by denying anything. Stand up and make it known that you are a survivor. This is the whole point of my writing; to reach out and encourage whoever may need this. I know I am not the only one out there who has survived this. You are not alone!
You are a mother. You are a survivor.