I don’t want this blog to turn into a self help thing ,with me theorising too much about my experiences,after all they are only my experiences,everyone has them. So I am going to be more frank and straightforward about it and if I veer into the analysis I will try to get back to the factual approach as I felt it at the time…because to analyse to much is to ponder and can lead me to procrastinate …2 things I am expert on!!!
When I was 18 and I found out, I was absolutely “in shock” about it, for ….well forever since really. It’s been like an incredibly slow ‘come down’ from a very bad trip.I now wish I had written, a diary…anything really…just to remember more, tho I did once write a poem, but its lost now….
After coming out of hospital, I fell into a kind of wide awake coma, I really was on the inside looking out.The world, its hopes and dreams sailed in front of me and passed me by.I knew without a doubt, that all real future happiness had been stubbed out like a flame on a candle and I felt completely and totally alone in that knowledge.Useless is the word I would give to the feeling I had about myself in the dark times after that.I felt I no longer had the rights of passage to live my life as a woman.How awful is that?…to be feeling like that as a teenager..
I do remember, that for the 1st year, I had no words to explain or descibe or relieve my confusion. If I could have done anything at all, it would have been to scream for about an hour in a closed room where no one could hear me. But I wasn’t in a closed room where no one could hear me….. and so it was a silent scream…yes, a distant silent scream from my heart, my head and from deep inside my soul. But publicly I felt I shouldn’t be screaming at all….I felt I should be quiet and not make a big fuss about it.
Then I told myself that I was 18 and I wasn’t supposed to have a baby yet, or want one, (even tho I wanted to know that I could have a baby if I wanted to! ) I was totally brainwashed by societies expectations of me. If I was 22, 21 even… well, there would be every right to be very vocal about it and everyone would sympathise and understand about how awful it was. (a weird self reassurance technique) But at that age, I thought people would still regard me as not much more than a child, they would think I was mad, especially having little or no understanding of it and I couldn’t explain myself.I had no words enough for what I felt …. so what would I say anyway?.
Old Skool….A bit about before.
I had been a bit of a rebel child, a frustrated creative child, dying my hair, bunking off school, smoking and piercing more than 1 hole in my ear, (with a bottle of scotch and a darning needle) I was a girl who desperately wanted to escape the humdrum of suburbia and get my independence and freedom. I suppose I had a normal upbringing, I thought my parents were quite conservative, they were in their early 20’s when they had me, I am the eldest of 2 girls.
I was great at school till the age of 13. I was popular,much too chatty and hardworking and only a bit shy underneath it all. At 13 I was bullied by an older girl at school, mainly instigated by my nosiness, honesty and my big gob, which always got me into trouble, ( still does! ). And even though I was bright, when I’m anxious, I can’t focus. Subsequently I did no work after the age 15 and I left at 16 without any qualifications , it was also the age I left home.
I had gone on the pill at 15. but stupidly not taken it properly. My friend and I used to take off our school ties,before going into the family planning clinic, as tho we were obtaining illegal drugs! ……and I remember that just before I was 16, there was a problem….
I started bleeding, it lasted over 2 weeks in the Summer Holidays, I carried on, priority shopping trips with my friends to Kensington FashionFair. But after ten days of hoping it would stop, my body gave way and I nearly fell down the stairs. My Mother couldn’t believe I hadn’t told her, she immediately took me to the Doctors, my Dad had Health Insurance and so I was also examined by two old men who were ‘Harley Street Specialists’ a week later, when it had stopped.
They fluffed through it their lines, my Mother trusting them in her silence. “they didn’t know what it was, because of the time lapse” but I should “come off the pill”.( Not a mention of a D & C! )…I was outraged…..(mainly because I considered it ‘cool’ to be on the pill )..However, I did actually stop taking it, after they said “they had seen cases of women who were allergic to it, die!”…I think that was a shock tactic for problem teens.
Its hard to imagine now, but even in the early 80’s … Teenage sex was a bit of a hush hush thing. Periods,contraception, under age pregnancy and abortion…Everything was still a bit of an awkward whisper when it came to talking with teachers or parents (unless you had a hippie mum and dad)
Remember this was before GAY was really OUT in the UK and before AIDS came IN…..The worse thing that could happen to you as a teenage girl, was that you graduated from Slag to Single mother while still in the playground! It was when Maggie Thatcher was the most formidable woman in the country and to a certain extent it felt like she was the Headmistress too.
I knew once I escaped the restraints of school and parents I would be OK.I had no fear. I guess I get that from my parents….and I was a grafter, I had worked from 12 yrs old and from 16, I nearly always managed to support myself .I had a constant but somewhat on/off badboy boyfriend, (hence the on/off status, he was away at times getting into his own ‘trouble’)…. I hoped he would grow out of it and that we would get married and of course have children,tho I wasn’t thinking about babies then!
However …by sweet 17, having left home, I had become a hardened clubber in the West End, out up to 4 nights a week til 3 in the morning. My best friend and I regarded ourselves as the original “Wild Childs”of the 80’s…I suppose compared to most 17 year old we kinda were, but not to the extent we imagined.
………and so by the age of 17 I had experienced
Living on my own….. Success in work…..Earning a good living…..The glamour of sex, drugs and drink ….and the London scene…….. I have to say that while my old school friends were thinking about going off to college and drinking in the local pub.I felt long gone and regarded myself as a bit of a ‘powerwoman to be‘.I was streetwise and more than capable in London’s shiny1980s lifestyle, already in the game with a future ahead. and …that was my short adult life prior to 18 and Shock Discovery
So after the shock , I later questioned myself, that maybe I hadn’t taken life seriously enough,there must have been things I could have done to prevent this situation. Had it been my lifestyle? Was I too sexually active back then? The nurse said I was ‘scarred internally’ and asked me if I had ever had an abortion? I hadn’t and I hadn’t had any sexual disease. I don’t think a doctor ever really spoke to me at the hospital, apart to briefly mumble what I’d already been told ! I was mortified by the whole thing.
For the next 5 years, I was fuelled by my desire to try to have a baby and I made certain decisions in that knowledge, decisions that were to shape my life. It was partly conscious and partly subconscious. I am finding it quite painful and interesting writing this, as so much of it I have ‘let go’ from my mind.This is like a therapy for me.I have been trying to forget……I feel like this could consume me, if I don’t keep some distance …..not sure know how I feel about that…