Happy Birthday to The Son I Never Knew

I gave up a child for adoption September 19 1975, almost 40 years ago and every year around mid September I find myself getting depressed, it is not anywhere near as strong as it was 30 years ago, but I find myself counting down the days of September and I will cry I am sure. It won’t be all encompassing, I won’t curl up in bed and cry all day like I used to. The first and 2nd years after he was born I had to take a week off work, I couldn’t function, I was a crying basket case, my boss sent me home and I booked an appointment with Vancouver’s best therapist. It was scary, I had functioned all year, I had gone back to school, concentrated on my studies, completed grade 11 and all of 12 in one year. I held my head up high despite the whispers in the school hallway and the boys who asked me out because I was “easy” . I graduated with B honors. I had a baby boy, I held him, I handed him over to the nurse and I never shed a tear. I signed the papers giving him up for adoption and I never shed a tear, I think I even went to the welfare office alone. I had gained a lot of weight and I went on a diet. i functioned admirably.

Back in 1975 unwed pregnancy was NOT accepted, parents still sent their teenaged daughters to a far away “aunt” for a year where they had their baby and came back and no one was ever the wiser. I didn’t even have a boyfriend so the speculation went wild and the whispers and gossip took on a life of its own.

I remember when I found out I was pregnant I told my very best friend and I no sooner got it out and she said, “OH, I forgot, I have to go straight home after school.” and she ran off and joined a pack of girls walking home ahead of us. In that pack of girls was a girl named Dalyce, I didn’t know her but she knew my friend Kathy and that day when Kathy ran up breathlessly she told this group of girls my secret. She didn’t have the decency to get out of my line of sight before she broke my trust. Dalyce told the girls to go on up ahead she would see them tomorrow and she came and asked if she could talk to me. She told me Kathy had told everyone I was pregnant and she thought I should know Kathy was not a true friend. Then she said, “You don’t know me but if you ever need to talk I promise I will not tell a soul.” And she never did. Her and I became the best of friends and I will always remember her kindness. I had one other friend Debbie who was as solid a friend as anyone could ever hope for and those two girls were what got me through a really tough time.

39 years later I can bring it back in my mind like it happened yesterday, I remember the weather that day, I remember how afraid I was, but I was strong. I continued as if nothing was going on, wore bulky sweaters and set about doing what I needed to do. I called the Hot line for pregnant teens, I called ProLife and Prochoice, I got all the information I could, I contacted a home for unwed mothers. I was 16 and scared to death but I was more afraid to tell my parents and I was going to deal with it on my own. The guy who got me pregnant was a guy in his 30’s, a family friend who was married to a girl who grew up on our street. They were close with my family and he had groomed me for a year before he tried anything. Actually, in true predator fashion, he groomed the whole family.

For some reason my father thought I was the town slut but at 16 I was still a virgin. That summer I got a job as a waitress and my dad didn’t want to leave me home alone while they took my brother camping for 2 weeks. It was all arranged that I would stay with Wayne and Karen for the two weeks.

For at least a year, maybe longer I can remember Wayne priming me for eventually having sex with him. I was very innocent and naive, like I said I was a virgin and had no experience sexually, to be honest I was not even sure I had a vagina. My mom had wanted me to use tampons so I could go swimming in summer and my dad had forbid it, I was, in every sense of the word a virgin.

Wayne was very good looking and extremely funny, he had a dimple in his chin and deep blue eyes. Karen could not believe her good fortune to have met him. She had met him while riding a bus and by the time they got to their destination they were in love. It was meant to be, he had been so smitten with her he would not give up, he called her telling her how much he loved her and they started a long distance romance which ended with him moving to where she lived and then them both moving back to her home town. She brought him to meet the family right away, they gushed at each other, telling about their love at first sight chance meeting. Karen had a job but Wayne hadn’t worked since they met, with moving and all and he was fresh out of the army. On a whim he had joined the American army and got sent to Vietnam where he saw horrors he didn’t like to talk about but did say he had a friend’s head blow off right beside him. He had been injured in Vietnam and couldn’t have children and he was getting a large pension from the army. The whole family loved the guy, my dad; a street wise tough as nails prison guard pulled a few strings and got Wayne a job at the prisons, Wayne was always at the house,  he worked shifts, so did Karen and when she was working he would be over having coffee with my dad. He knew my dad’s shift schedule but he started dropping by when my dad was at work and I was babysitting my little brother. Nothing inappropriate happened, we talked about school and boys. He knew I smoked and he’d give me smokes. He flirted with me, I was shy but developed quite a crush on him. I remember being in the kitchen with my mom doing dishes and giggling about how cute he was and I wanted to meet a guy just like him and mom agreed, Karen was a lucky girl.

The first night i was at Wayne and Karen’s, Karen was working grave yard shift and Wayne told me she was having an affair with a cop, that she was always partying with the cops after work. He would take me out for drives and pretend we were dating. That night he started talking about sex and saying he wanted to make love it me. I felt very uncomfortable and I was afraid, yet excited also, it was all very confusing. I got angry when he kissed me and I ran upstairs slamming my bedroom door. Next thing I knew he had kicked the door down and was on top of me on the bed. I told him no but he was kissing me and it felt good, I was so scared and before I knew what was happening I felt excruciating pain and I was no longer a virgin. No sooner was he finished we heard Karen come home and he jumped off of me and went down stairs. I never did find out what he told her about my bedroom door being kicked down and she never asked me about it. The sheets were all bloody and she never asked about that either.

He drove me to work the next morning, gave me a really loving kiss and said he was sorry he had to rush downstairs right away and asked if I was ok, he said he would pick me up from work. He did and acted like we were a couple, we went home and he wanted me to make supper but I was not into playing his game, I was confused and feeling guilty. I didn’t know if I had been raped or not. I refused to eat dinner and he threw it in the garbage and later when I was hungry he tried to make me kneel in front of him so he could feed me from the garbage can and I refused and ran up stairs. he tried to make it a joke but I didn’t see the humor. I had been dating a guy, Sam; who was smitten with me. I was ambivalent about him but when he called to ask me out I went.

The next day Wayne came in the restaurant half way through my shift and told me he was going to pick me up and whatever I did, don’t take a ride from anyone else and he would explain later. After work he was waiting for me and told me that he had seen Sam parked outside the townhouse complex where he lived. He said he had noticed the guy the last couple of days and he was concerned for my safety, he thought Sam was a wacko. I never saw Sam parked outside. So I spent all my free time with Wayne when he was off. My parents came home after one week before they headed off to another destination and they stopped to see me. Wayne and my parents were in the kitchen and I didn’t know how to get one of them aside to tell them what was happening. I told my mom I wanted to go home and stay alone for the last week but Wayne told them about Sam stalking me. My dad was furious but Wayne assured him that he had it under control, he had talked to the guy and threatened his life if anything happened to me and he was not going to let me out of his sight. I asked my mom to bring me my alarm from home but when she brought it over I lost my nerve.

when my folks got back and I went back home Wayne would drop by and want sex while I was taking care of my brother and I would refuse, sometimes he would be persistent enough that I would just give in. He would set up meetings and not show up usually he would be waiting for me to walk by on my way to school and pick me up. We would go to the river and he would have his way with me and then drop me off at school. One day he took me into Vancouver and took me to a sex shop, he bought some sex toys and a pair of crotchless panties and garter belt and stockings that I was to wear every time we saw each other. He got a hotel for the afternoon and we had sex.

It didn’t take more than a couple of months and had made up my mind I was not going to see him any more but then I missed my period, I was pregnant. Wayne accused me of having sex with someone else because he was sterile, I told him ,”Then it is a miracle because I haven’t been with anyone else.” He insisted but I was just as insistent. He was pissing me off, I may have only 16 at this time but I also had no problem standing up for myself.  I knew I didn’t love him, but I thought I should, I was scared to death, my dad would kill me. He said he knew someone who could take care of it but there was no way I was having an abortion in some  God forsaken dingy hole in the wall. He panicked and I didn’t see or hear from him for a long time. My friend Debbie said I was started to show and I had to do something soon. I was going to run away by myself but I needed money so called Wayne. He picked me up and took me to some body’s house. He wanted sex but this time he was in horrible pain when he orgasmed. I asked what was wrong. He didn’t want to talk about it. (I didn’t know it at the time but he had gotten a vasectomy)

He finally said we were going away together and we planned when I would leave. he picked me up and drove into Vancouver, he got a hotel room, we had sex and I cried. He was angry because I wasn’t the least bit concerned with how he felt, my dad was going to kill him. I remember saying I don’t give a Fuck what my dad does, I am the one having a baby and you are the father.

He left me there with a promise to come back the next day, which he did. After sex he took me over to the YWCA, gave me $50 and left, promising to bring me more money the next day. I never saw him again. A room was $5 a day so I didn’t have long and I was not going to call my parents. I took a taxi to a home for unwed mothers run by nuns, they were very nice but I was so shy I couldn’t bring myself to stay there.

I saw an ad on a bulletin board in the Y. A couple who couldn’t have children were looking for an unwed mother to come live with them, care for their 1 year old little boy. The unwed mother would have free room and board, be paid spending cash for caring for the child and they would get the baby when it was born. I called the number and a woman answered, she sounded very excited and said her husband could come and get me so we could talk and I could see the house and met their son. I was so scared, they lived in North Vancouver which meant we had to drive through Stanley Park and I had no idea where we were going. He was a nice man, in his early 30’s I guess, she was very nice also. They had gotten their son this way and it had worked out well they said that they kept in contact with the girl and she was allowed to visit etc. I was used to caring for a baby, my brother was 9 years younger than me and I had baby sat him for years, I always had to have suppers started at home so cooking meals was not a problem. I just didn’t know if I wanted to give the baby up or not. The couple told me that if I decided I wanted to keep the baby they would understand but they still wanted me to care for their little boy. I decided I would do it. The man dropped me back at the Y with the agreement to pick me up the next day at noon.

I was packed and walking out the door to wait for him and I heard someone call my name. The lady behind the counter was frantically waving, someone was on the phone wanting to speak to me. I hesitated and then took the phone. It was my dad crying saying he had always wanted to walk me down the aisle in a white wedding dress and now he would never see that day, how could I do this to them, then Karen got on the phone and was screaming at me about how could I do this to her. I was ready to hang up on them all and to this day I wonder how things would have worked out if I had. I asked to speak to my mom, she asked where I was and I told her, she asked me to come home and I agreed, but only if she came to get me and not my dad. I called the people and told them I was going home and I could hear the disappointment in her voice.

I went home, my mom was afraid of what her friends were going to think, my dad called the police and insisted on me giving the cop all the gory details while he sat there. It was hell. The whole pregnancy was hell, I was shamed and an embarrassment.

The neighbors were very sweet, I had always babysat their kids and they never treated me any different, even bought me flowers when Jason was born and a little silver chain for my wrist. My two girl friends Debbie and Dalyce were my staunch supporters. Debbie was dating this guy Lionel who lived with 3 other guys and I was always welcome along with them, the guys were all like big brothers to me, very protective and even when Debbie went away to work at a guest ranch for the summer the guys had me over to their place. One of them fell in love with me and wanted to date me but I didn’t feel right about it being pregnant and all. Even after I had the baby I just did not want to date anyone.

Wayne and Karen stayed in the town for awhile, obviously Wayne quit his job at the prison especially when it came out that he had been screwing all the guards wives while they were at work. My dad did a search on CPIC and discovered Wayne had worked in a hospital and had been charged with trying to push a patient off the balcony but the charges didn’t stick. He had been discharged from the army because he attached his superior officer and almost killed him. Eventually they left town after Wayne tried to run my dad over.

I was in labour for 3 days and my dad was there through it all. He got me a private room so I didn’t have to be with all the happy mom’s who were keeping their babies. I had been told by my parents that if I chose to keep the baby I could not come home from the hospital and I knew I could not raise a child all on my own, the baby deserved more than what I could give it.

I finally gave birth to a chubby healthy baby boy who I named Jason Alan, he was 8 lbs 8 1/2 ozs. The nurse went to take him without me seeing him but my dad had talked to the doctor and insisted they let me hold him. It was unheard of in that day and age, if you were giving up your baby they never let you hold them. But I got to hold him, count his fingers and toes and say goodbye.

I was back in school but Oct 1 st. I held my head high, refused to answer all the noisy questions and concentrated on graduating on time. I don’t remember much of grade 12.

I became anorexic after that, I also developed uterine cancer before I turned 20. The doctors did what they could to keep the cancer at bay until I could have a child. I was paranoid I would never have a child of my own and my first husband and I tried for a couple of years before finally I was pregnant. When Kris was 2 I had a hysterectomy.

I didn’t know it at the time but I am sure Wayne was my first narcissist or psychopath. I did really well avoiding them for the next 24 years, until I met my ex at 41 and he seemed the exact opposite of Wayne.

Jason turns 39 this year. I have never met him. I hope he didn’t get his father’s genes. For most of my life I always thought it was the worst thing I had ever been through or would ever go through. I always thought “If I could get through that I can get through anything.” and I always did. I was never going to be reliant on a man again and I made it all the way to 41 and then I had the worst experience of my life.

I have a follower of my blog whose name is Jason Alan. He was born the same year and month as my Jason Alan but his profile says he was born in the states and the day of his birth is not the same.

I hope you have a happy birthday Jason Alan wherever you are and I hope you had a good life.

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4 Replies to “Happy Birthday to The Son I Never Knew”

  1. Aww my god carrie…my heart bled for you reading this and i have wrecked my makeup now..ur a wonderful lady and your son would be proud of you as i am. You help so many women and men. Could you look for your son or would it be to painful….i could say loads more but i just want to give you a huge hug. Bless you my lovely adotped aunt …love fee xxx

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  2. You are an amazingly strong woman, Carrie. I can only imagine the fortitude it took for you to be real with your experience with your friends & schoolmates at the time, or the courage it takes today for you to share all the details here. (((hugs)))

    I was adopted as an infant and when I got pregnant at 15 I didn’t know if the sire was my adopted father who had been raping me since my adopted mother died when I was 12, or if it was the 21 year old boyfriend who I dearly loved. I didn’t want my boyfriend to get in trouble and t couldn’t imagine going thru the pregnancy as I was pretty sure my religious nutcase of an adopted father would kill me when it became apparent to the people in our congregation that I was pregnant. I had an abortion, paying for it by becoming a house-cleaner for the woman who worked the front desk at the clinic. The only person I told was my best friend at the time, and when her boyfriend picked us up from the clinic I remember him jokingly asking if they had sterilized the coat hanger. This was in 74, shortly after abortion became legal in the states, so my child would have been the same age as yours had it been born. I’ve never since told this story to anyone. I learned shortly after the procedure that I had an undiagnosed STD which caused me sterility, so I was not able to have children. Such sad karma. I learned to forgive myself for what I am sure were my best choices back then, although I still wish things could have been different.

    I pray that you are able to receive plenty of support at this time and that somehow you can find moments of peace during this week of the birth of your son. And let me echo what freedwithin said, Jason would be proud of you. (((another hug))) <3, O.

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  3. Ouch for you Carrie. I know I’d be looking for him, while preparing myself for all possible outcomes. It’s probably not to late for his father to be brought to justice either? Isn’t it interesting, this codependancy/toxic addiction/Stockholm Syndrome and how we can sometimes get set up for it…for me the worse thing was never their BEHAVIOUR but the threat of abandonment. These people are LETHAL. So glad you’re safe now.

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