Warning for distressing content and graphic details.I miscarried after getting pregnant from the week in my grandparents’ home town when I was 14, during which I was raped by many different people. I think this pregnancy was about 9-10 weeks when I miscarried, so that would make it some time around November 1988.
Jul 2 2008, 08:45 AM
This is hard to write. Trying to describe a recent new memory. I feel so unable to process this one. I think I should at least try ...
I was coming home from school and it was very hard. I had really bad period cramps (not at the right time, which puzzled me) - it seemed early or late or something ... I couldn't remember properly when the last one had been. I wish I could remember that now ... it means the age of the little one I lost, which is something I feel I ought to know ... but I can't remember. It was spring. I'd been wearing a jumper but it was too hot - at first I thought that it was heat that was making me feel so very sick, sitting on the train station waiting to catch the train part way home. So hot, cramping, dizzy. So very dizzy and tight-feeling in my chest. Panicking I think and surprised in a cool kind of way that I was when there was nothing to panic about, I thought. I nearly left my violin on the station. I'd done that another time and had to go back for it. Thank goodness I remembered in time. It was very crowded on the train and there was nowhere to sit till we got past L (better not say the name) and people shifted up a bit. It was hard to hold onto my violin and the railing by the door at the same time.
I think I thought about jumping out at the bridge. Why????? I'm not sure where that is coming from. I didn't understand it then either. I was thinking about some accidents that had happened on the line ... someone had been killed sticking their head out of the door. It was a very busy system - that kind of thing did happen. I was thinking of finding a way to stick my very, very aching head out somehow. I was shocked to think that I would wonder about what it must have been like for them or for the people on the train so vividly. I was upset by that and thought it explained why I was shaking and feeling so nauseous. My jumper made my backpack a bit too stuffed and hard to carry. I wanted to take it out and put it over my arm instead but had to wait till the crowd cleared a bit round the bus stop to put my stuff down. I was still being careful of the violin - the old German one (later I had my brother's).
I doubled up at the bus stop and felt so bad. Everything was grey and sparkly at the edges. Man, these were bad cramps. I wanted to get home so I could go to the toilet. Maybe that would help. I felt like crying but I didn't want to do that in public with all the other school kids around and adults who might ask me why as well. I really didn't want to have to explain to anyone. I didn't know what it was I didn't want to explain but I didn't. I felt kind of embarrassed too - after all everyone got period pain, or almost everyone. I told myself not to be a cry-baby. That felt so mean, though, it almost made me cry in itself. And something bothered me about the phrase too. I didn't like to be called a baby. I'm the youngest in my family so it's a big thing, you know?
My computer crashed just here and I went through lots of new emotions (I'd been kind of numb about it) and remembering how I felt ... so desperately upset, I cried and cried and shook for hours and took some sedatives to help me calm down and get a little sleep. My husband was amazing. He is so gentle, wise and good. I can't write more today ... I'm still too stunned and upset and exhausted. I am sick too with a fever and flu which makes my stamina for all this very low. I will come back to this, probably Friday, after I've had a bit of a rest if I can.
Jul 4 2008, 05:28 PM
I'd got up to waiting for the bus, right? So I was doubling up with cramps, but then straightening myself out again and trying to hide it and act normal. I had my backpack across my stomach so I could lean on it without it looking too much like I was hunched over. I didn't understand why I was hurting SO badly and so frightened of anyone seeing that I was - after all people do get period pain. I guess there were a lot of teenage boys as well as girls waiting at the bus stop and some adults. I really, really didn't want to be trying to explain it to any adults and I didn't want to have to talk to other kids who mightn't understand or think I was weird too. I was puzzled as to why I thought they mightn't understand.
The bus finally came and I managed to find a seat. I was very relieved that no one I knew got on today. I looked out the window deliberately so people who I knew a bit wouldn't bother sitting with me. I was watching the trains coming in and moving out. I was very spacey. I was scared I was leaking blood onto the blue vinyl-y seats of the bus and that someone would see or have to sit in it or I'd have to clean it up. I was praying my pad was holding. I felt heavy and soggy inside and very nauseous. This was the worst, nearly as bad as that time on the beach, I thought. I missed my stop because things were going sparkly and I was vaguing out and consumed with cramp-pain. But I got off at the next one and walked back a little. I remember I used to have a recurring dream of trying to cross that road at that point, usually with someone chasing me or following me down the road and me being scared I'd be hit by a car because I was so dizzy and dopey and couldn't see or concentrate properly. I'm thinking now this might be connected.
I made it to the tree on the corner. I had to rest a moment. I put my violin down on the ground. I wanted so much to disappear. I didn't know what it was that made me feel so hurt and ashamed, so desperately scared and like disappearing and hiding but something did. I thought about climbing the tree, like I had when I was a little kid, but it was too small, it was outside the house of people I vaguely knew and who'd think it was weird if they saw me, and I'd have to leave my violin at the bottom so that would be a dead giveaway to where I was anyway. I just sat down and leaned my back against it instead. It was hard to pick which side. I didn't want anyone from the house nearby to see me sitting there and I didn't want anyone driving past to see me either and I was scared that other people might be coming up from the road or from the bus and see me too. I didn't want to be seen. I was very scared of anyone seeing me so sick. I was very, very upset too. Feeling like crying so much. Just feeling desperately scared and sick and panicky ... I felt very dizzy too.
I tripped over on the rutted dirt driveway that my sister and I sometimes raced each other from. Saved the violin, but bumped myself. I just lay there for a while, fighting for breath and fighting to hold back tears. Very afraid. I so so wanted to get home. But when I got to the front path I realised I couldn't go in the front door even though I had keys because someone might be home and they'd see me and I needed to deal with whatever this was ... I really needed to go to the toilet and change my clothes before anyone might see blood on them if I had leaked. I hoped I hadn't. I'd sneak in through the side door instead, even though it was longer to walk and my legs felt like lead.
I got to the carport without falling over but I was getting very dizzy and worn out already. I got the key from under the right brick in the path but I fell over again. This time I fell onto the concrete floor of the carport - swirly concrete. It made me flashback what happened in the second garage (I haven't written about this yet but I will when I have the strength to). I was feeling like I was being dropped on purpose, dragged across the concrete, scraping my arms, pulled and struggling, panicking. It took a while to stop hyperventilating and "pull myself together". I kept telling myself too - what on earth was it making me so panicky? Bloody hormones! I didn't know, you understand, that I had been raped or tortured like I had. I didn't know what had happened - I had forgotten it in my conscious mind. So I was totally puzzled and very frightened by not knowing what was happening. I thought I was going crazy, or really sick or something.
I got through the side door fairly quietly, which was just as well because my sister was already home and in her room studying. I was able to keep quiet enough to not disturb her ... hopefully she wouldn't know that I was home. I made a dash for our downstairs bathroom. The cramps were really bad and feeling kind of ... gushy. I knew I couldn't control them or keep this in. What in? I kept asking myself questions like that, so puzzled ... knowing and not knowing. I made it to the toilet and I was bleeding a lot.
After a little while I realised that it wasn't just going to stop, or be about cleaning up a pad that had been soaked for too long and putting in a new one. I was bleeding too heavily and there were clots and bits of tissue that were bigger than I'd ever seen before. Something felt very badly wrong. I hadn't had time to lock the door but I thought I'd better do that now. I managed to get across the room and lock the bathroom door. But I couldn't get back to the toilet. I was lying on the cold brown square tiles instead and I was crying and crying - sobbing with tears down my face now - in so much pain and so afraid because the cramps were kind of contractions and each time more blood came out and it was periodical and making me cry out. I got the yellow raggy towel off the back of the door and twisted it and put it into my mouth so that I wouldn't scream so loudly someone would hear me. That made me cough and choke as well in between and flashback more of the incident in the second garage, when it started at my grandparent's place (they'd gagged me with a towel in my mouth - I asked them to to stop people being able to hear me scream when I couldn't control myself enough not to make any noise). I bit on the towel and watched the blood and tissuey bits draining down from me into the drain in the floor.
I cried and wanted so much to have my mother holding me. I was imagining her arms round me. But I knew I could never have that. I was thinking - Granddad's going to kill me. I wondered why - normally you'd think that, not seriously, about your parents if you did something wrong ... but I hadn't done anything except mess up the floor and I'd clean that later and it wasn't my parents I was thinking about ... I was serious too. I really thought that he'd kill me and anyone I told, anyone who saw me hurt, anyone who I asked for a hug. I was so very lonely. So very afraid.
I feel that this one was a little boy. I have no idea why. I've never thought any of them had a sex before, even the ones old enough that they must have. I knew I was "losing my little boy" and I cried and choked and tried to stay quiet and screamed with the contractions and tried to stay quiet and pull it together somehow. I sat in the corner after the contraction-y bits had mostly passed and the cramps, though still there and bad, were not as strong. I sat there and watched the blood trickling down from me into the drain. I was numb and shocked. I was cold and shaking and feeling like I'd felt before ... puzzled again but a recent incident ... where I'd lost a lot of blood. I was dizzy and the edges of my vision kept going grey. But I was having horrible images in my mind. Images of what I'd done to myself with the things they'd got me to torture myself with. I remembered what they made me do but I didn't remember the gun, that they were making me do it. I thought that either I was sick and crazy and bad for imagining something so awful or I was sick and crazy and bad because I'd actually done that ... and seemed to be getting off on it (something they actually made me pretend to do). I felt like I'd caused the miscarriage even though I still wasn't sure that's what it was ... how could it be when I'd never had sex with anyone - I couldn't remember - was I missing chunks where I'd done bad stuff? I didn't remember anything bad but then this didn't make sense. I must have been bad. How could I sleep with someone and forget? Was I just being weird ... as if I wanted a baby at 14? I didn't ... did I? Why would I imagine having one if I didn't? Asking myself all that kind of question.
In the meantime physically very shocked and overwhelmed. I made it to the bath just in time to throw up over the side. I washed it down. I was going to have to wash this all down before anyone might need to use the bathroom. I was going to have to deal with it soon. I just wanted to disappear. I wanted to fade through the wall and never come out again. I was backed up shaking in the corner, when I wasn't being sick over the edge of the bath or in fetal position on the floor watching the blood coming from me. I'd taken off my uniform tunic and hung it over the rails near the window when I realised that it was messy - I had leaked a bit onto the back of it - or through my pants anyway, which made me suspicious. But I hadn't taken the shirt off. It was white. Not so good for all this mess. I took it off quite soon and just flung it as far out of the way as I could. I couldn't get to the rail any more, not from the floor. I was probably going to have to wash it too - all soon, all quietly ... so exhausted. I wanted some help and comfort and I couldn't have any.
I thought maybe it would feel better than the last time (not sure if I thought this at the time and wondered what I was talking to myself about!) because at least I was at home and not on the beach. Not so far to my bed. But being at home and having to sneak in and hide all the same was very, very painful. I was there a while. Sitting in the corner. I was wondering if anyone would see my violin because I'd put it on a blanket box we used to call the hassock near the side door upstairs before I'd gone down to the toilet again. Mum and Dad got home. I tried to be even quieter. I heard them putting their stuff down and settling in and I snapped out of shock a bit and started to wipe the floor up with the towel. I'd rinse it then and put it into the basket or straight into the machine so that no one would notice. I stuffed myself with toillet paper while I did that because I needed to go upstairs to get new underpants. That wasn't going to work. I'd have to put the old ones back on again with a new pad (from my bag) instead. I still had my school bag because I knew it had some pads in it. So I tried to dry out my underpants a bit and then put a new pad in and got dressed. I put my shirt on inside out, which someone (my sister?) commented on later as if I'd been wearing it like that all day (I remember that normally) but I hadn't been. I'd only just turned it round. I felt so hurt and scared and sensitive at that criticism (such small and not unkind criticism too) because I'd found it so hard to get dressed at all and I'd had to do a hard job all on my own in cleaning up and making it all look like nothing had happened, but I'd missed that bit and someone had still noticed. I felt like a real failure.
That was displaced emotion a fair bit. I felt like such a failure for not having been able to carry the little one I lost to term. I felt responsible for protecting it, for it's growth and health, and I'd failed it somehow and it had died/not grown to be alive properly and now I'd lost it. I felt such a tearing sense of loss, even though I still didn't know it was a miscarriage and was very puzzled in all this too. The sense of confusion I remember is so painful. I felt like the world had been turned upside down and the sky was all of a sudden coloured green or something. What was happening wasn't possible. I didn't remember anything that would make it possible. But I'd learnt enough in science lessons to think I recognised it. I felt like I was losing a baby - most of all. And I felt stupid and bad for that ... wondering what would put that into my head, wondering if I'd taken those science lessons too much in somehow. But I hadn't ... I knew because I knew. And I didn't know because I had traumatic amnesia for the rapes and had never voluntarily had sex with anyone.
I felt so confused too (not sure if this is then or now looking back) because I didn't know where this one came from. I didn't know with the others either but there was a stronger sense of them coming from me ... but this one ???? I can't know who the biological father is. Was I its mother? Is this memory even real? Does it count when I didn't know what was happening?
All I can say is ... it mattered to me. It matters to me deeply. I don't know what there is for me to love or not love ... but all life is precious, and the life created inside me (however it was created and however lost) is something that gives me a special sense of responsibility, connection and tender, painful grief. I felt such loss. I wanted to bring it back somehow and that confused me again - bring what? That was disgusting! You couldn't put your period back inside you! But maybe I was disgusting. Maybe I'd done all these terrible things to myself for sexual pleasure and was now very badly hurt and going to die that way as well.
I wanted to see a doctor - I thought I really needed one. But I couldn't ask anyone to drive me there and it was just too far to walk ... it would be hard enough to act normally on the way to my bedroom. I had to rest on the way. I cleaned up and could then hear my parents asking my sister if I was home and her saying she didn't know and them saying, "ah, her violin's here". I yelled out that I was just at the toilet. Finished cleaning up. Finished shaking in the corner. Washed my face in the bath trying not to throw up again or fall into it head first. Put my ponytail back in and tied the blue ribbon again, then went out and met them at the top of the stairs.
Mum said I didn't look very well. I was so scared when she said that. I said I was OK but had bad cramps. Mum was always sympathetic to that since she had very painful periods as a girl. She said would I like to go to bed and she'd bring me some tea later. I got an icecream container from the kitchen and a roll of toilet paper in case I was sick again and went to bed. I just stared for ages at my white shelf near the bed and tried to lose myself somehow. I think I fell asleep for a while. I felt very dizzy and weak but was also in a lot of pain and very upset. It was hard not to cry. Every now and then I started sobbing very quietly but stopped myself in case my sister (whose room was next door) or my parents (on the other side) could hear. I could hear Dad typing on his computer. Mum brought me soup and some crispy end-piece toast for dinner. Chicken noodle soup. Tasty, salty, probably just what I needed really ... it was hard to eat but I did ... I felt kind of dead inside - flat, totally worn out - spacey, dizzy, deeply confused and ashamed and very bad about myself and ...
This silent stillness of hot and frozen grief at my very core.
I feel like I don't have the right to feel that way ... the little one probably never had any chance to develop since I'd been so badly tortured, it would have changed my life dramatically and probably not in a safe direction if I'd had the baby at 14, I don't even know who the father was (which still makes me feel like a "slut" or that people would call me that, even though I know that it wasn't my fault - that I wasn't "sleeping round" but being gang-raped instead.
Do I have any place at all in the context of being a mother in this situation? Of being the mother of what or who? Do I have any place to grieve for my than just myself.
I was terrified, in so much pain, bleeding, scared I'd die, exhausted and so very confused, thinking I was crazy and bad, flashbacking torture I didn't know had happened while I was miscarrying etc. I don't know what to think about that, about myself.
I think that's all that happened. I cleaned up. Life went on. I miss him. I feel bad that I "let" him die. I didn't do that ... I had no control over it either way - either getting pregnant or bringing the baby to term. No control at all over my body in this situation and feeling so cut off from myself because of that.
Feel very hurt.