A Life Worth Living. Chapter Sixteen
Pregnant At Seventeen
While we were living in the cottage Barry had continued to slap and punch me whenever he thought I had done or said something to offend him. I got so that I was afraid to speak. Looking back, I cannot believe that my self esteem was so low as to put up with that kind of behaviour, but it was. I had no understanding of self love because if I had a inkling of self love I would not have been in the situation I was in with an abusive boyfriend.
Easy for me to see and understand now that abuse from boyfriend means zero love. If your boyfriend is hitting you then you have no self esteem makes sense now but I was just worn out from it all when I discovered I was pregnant. I felt that I had no choices in life and that I did not have the right to choose what I wanted in life. If I thought I had a choice I would have left. Now I understand we all have choices. We can choose to put up with abuse or not put up with abuse. We have a choice.
For a couple of months during my pregnancy Barry did not beat me. I had hope that we had a chance of living a normal life. I was scared but looking forward to the birth of my baby and to being a mum. I was living in fantasy land and in reality, we were in a mess and unable to cope with whatever trauma we had suppressed so long ago. We needed help but we had no one we trusted that we could talk to. It seemed back then as if it was us against the world. We thought the world and everyone in it were our enemies and we were wrong.
The cottage having no toilet or bathroom was not suitable to bring a baby into, so we had to move again to create a home for our new baby. The only house we could get to live in, was in the same streets that I was born in, and a few doors from where I used to live with dad. It was a dark street and it was a street that never saw the sun. My heart sank even deeper at this point of my life. I was eighteen and I believed that my fate was to follow in my parents footsteps and live a life of misery.
I had no access to knowledge of how I could change my life or how to stop what was happening to me. I was uneducated and had no access to information and knowledge of how to change my limiting beliefs.
Most of the houses on the street we lived on were derelict and boarded up and that included one house next door to us. On the other side of our house lived a woman who was constantly screaming at her kids. I could hear her clearly through the walls, 'Eat it you little bastard before I choke you with it'. The woman sounded just like my mother had sounded, demon possessed. I suspect her children might have been terrified, I know I was. Every day that woman screamed at them kids as if she was going to kill one of them. I felt for her kids but was afraid to do anything about it or to confront her.
I thought, like many other teenagers, in similar positions as myself, having a baby would make our life better, he would love me more and life would be good. In my mind I was playing a pretend game that we would settle down and play happy families, once the baby was born. I was wrong so wrong. I did not feel worthy of anything better than what I had and it was a nightmare.
We had nothing for the baby, not even a pram or bedding. We had no nursery painted in pretty pastels and furnished for our new baby. We were not ready for a baby and had no idea of parenting. We had no idea of how to look after ourselves and I wondered how we would cope. I remember promising my unborn baby that I was going to be the best mum I could possibly be and I would protect her with my life. I would make sure no one ever hurt my baby like I had been hurt. She had not even been born and I failed her.
Wedding From Hell
With every fibre of my body screaming at me not to marry Barry, we married in the registrar office, two weeks before our baby was born. In my heart, I cared for Barry and did not want to hurt him but I did not want to get married. The reason I married Barry was because he had told me that, if we were not married when the baby was born, the baby would be registered as a 'Bastard' on the birth certificate. To prevent that from happening I had to be married to the father of the baby before our baby was born. I panicked and we got married on my expected date of delivery. My dad joked that he would book an ambulance and have it waiting at the wedding venue.
I borrowed a dress and we got a ring from a second hand shop. On the day of the wedding I was stood on the steps of Barnsley Town Hall Registrar Office and something inside me was telling me to run and run fast, not to go through with the wedding. I eventually did attempt to run but my eldest sister caught me, 'Get back in there and get married. We have bought new clothes to come to this wedding so get on with it!', she said. So I did.
We had to travel home from the registrar office on the bus and I had to stand up. I felt totally ashamed as I stood there on that bus in my wedding attire and clearly ready for having a baby at any minute. I could imagine people thinking that I only got married because I had to, they were right. I married to give my daughter a name. I married for the wrong reasons.
My wedding photographs were taken in my street and in every picture, barring one, boarded up homes in the background, can clearly be seen. Not my ideal wedding, not the one I had imagined I would some day have, with a white dress and veil and horse drawn carriages. I did not have photographs of my wedding that I was proud to show anyone and I was too ashamed to talk about my wedding.
I did feel ashamed, but I did not understand what I was feeling, or how to change my situation. It is very difficult and hurts for me to remember the horrors of my life back then. I feel the horrific feeling that I felt when I believed that life was shit and was always going to be shit. I believed that my life was meant to be a fight for survival and a life of suffering. I got what I believed from life and felt there was no way out.
A Stirring Of Inner Strength
Barry had promised me he would never hit me again if we got married. I tried hard to believe him. He lied and I spent my wedding night, alone, because Barry had beaten me and left me bleeding, hurt and stunned. That night he ordered me to sleep on the settee. The next morning I woke up again to black eyes and a busted lip reflecting back through the mirror. After every beating Barry would cry and beg me not to leave him. I was emotionally drained. I did not have the strength to leave at the time and I had no where to go, no one to turn to. I remember feeling that I would not know how to survive without him, like I really needed him just to survive life and I was scared. I felt trapped. I believed I had no choice but to be with this man.
Two weeks later, my baby, a little girl who weighed five pound eleven ounces, was born. I felt different after giving birth to my daughter. I felt what I had never felt before, a stirring of love and of inner strength and I instantly wanted to protect her. I had promised myself I would be a good mum and I would love my baby and protect her from the horrors of abuse that I had experienced. She was not going to be subjected to that abusive environment and get damaged like me, I would make sure of that. I would make sure that no one would get close enough to my new baby to ever hurt her. I would fantasise about how it would be with my new baby, the glossy magazines, with smiling happy babies in them, fuelled my imagination, but I was living in a fantasy world which was far removed from the real world I lived in.
I used to think, my children were going to be happy and want for nothing and I was going to love them and them me. I did not know the meaning of love and did not know how to love myself never mind a baby.
Looking back I can see clearly that neither of us were mentally equipped to deal with the responsibility of a baby, to be parents. We were struggling to take care of ourselves and now we had a baby to cope with. I was desperate to be a good mum but my negative beliefs were creating my reality of failing to be a good mum.
If I could go back in time, I would have learnt to love myself.
AIl I ever wanted from life, was to feel loved. I wanted to know how it felt to be loved. I wanted to know how to love another and that love feel good.
I had a negative self-esteem and negative outlook on life. I had no understanding or experience of love because I not experienced love. I did not know or feel that I was worthy of love. I did not believe I was worthy and my life reflected my negative beliefs. Negative experience's was, what I thought, normal part of life.
Chapter Seventeen to follow.
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- A Life Worth Living.Chapter Seventeen.
At the age of eighteen I had a new baby and was in an abusive relationship. My violent husband was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and I was left without support, and a baby, to care for him.
- A Life Worth Living; Chapter One
Born into a violent home, I was given last rites within hours of my birth. My first day of life was a battle to survive and there were more battles of survival to come. This is my journey of survival.
- A Life Worth Living. Chapter Fifteen.
I trusted the little old man, my landlord but he thrashed me with his belt leaving me shocked and sobbing. I had no where to run so had to go back to my abusive father. My partner was beating me, he left his teeth marks in my face and there was no es