Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Happy Birthday

So, somewhere along the line, this thing just became my cry file.

Yesterday, my daughter would have been fourteen.

When I was 22, I had an unwanted pregnancy. It was unwanted for so many reasons, not the least of which was the father - an unmedicated schizophrenic who nearly killed me and ultimately stalked me from New York to Michigan in an attempt to be close with me.

I was also my own sort of messed up, still recovering from childhood, still recovering from being hurt in my first serious relationship, still recovering from being in a relationship with a schizophrenic. On top of that, I was living in a shack with my ex's family.

Regardless, I didn't get an abortion. I wanted one, but at that time in my life $300 was no different than $3,000,000 in terms of attainability. I considered adoption again, but my sister wanted the baby.

Something in the way it was presented changed things. Where I was able to distance myself from the first child I had given up for adoption as a teenager, this baby was still sort of mine. She would be in my life, and we may even have ended up with a loving parent-child relationship. Yet, I still didn't want her. It was all jumbled up in my head, with a major dose of pregnancy hormones as a mixer.

However, that didn't happen. Instead, when I was two weeks overdue and being induced, the worst happened. She died and I had multiple weeks in the hospital and months in recovery.

I spent years and years self-medicating and avoiding myself. I'm still not great at being by myself. Even through it, she was just part of what was wrong with my life. She wasn't something I told even the people closest to me. The conflicted feelings about it (and everything in the world) almost define me.

Somehow, probably through missing a few days of my thyroid meds as well as age and having pregnancy and lack of it consistently in my view, I'm having a bad time of it. Maybe it's just the idea that she'd be a teenager, and that seems so real. My brain did that ridiculous, self-torturing device of imagining what she'd have looked like over the years.

This is one of the big things I don't talk about. No one wants to hear about it. People don't know what to do with that information.

Calliope would have been 14. She would have been an eighth grader. She'd probably not be interested in makeup and clothes, since I am. She would have been close with her cousin Angel and probably obsessed with Angel's son. When I met her sister, Kelly, she would have come with me. Maybe we'd spend summers together. Maybe she would have forced me into sanity earlier.

When a baby dies, all you're left with is the bitterness of what might have been.