Friday, May 12, 2006

A long time ago

My mother missed her flight out of New Foundland. The blizzard had closed the airport, her plane was snowed in. A man (later known as my father) had offered her a ride to the airport. When she couldn't board the plane, they drove somewhere together. He seduced her. Or maybe she seduced him. She flew out a couple of days later. She was glad to get away. My dad was clingy, even then.

Three months later she was in Panama, 27 years old, long blond hair, wearing homemade bikinis and painting boats, getting ready to set sail and go adventuring. My father was far from her head. She was nauseus all the time, even when on land. That's when she realized I was inside her. She always says what happened next was the biggest mistake of her life. I don't like it the way she says that.

She called my dad and told him. He loved the news and convinced my mother to return to New Foundland where they would marry and have the baby. Too scared to arrive home pregnant and unwed, my mother agreed. After several months of my dad controlling everything my mother ate, who she saw and where she went, I was born. Or tried to be, at least.

I came half out, the doctors pulled and pulled, dislocating my hips. Finally they cut my poor mother's smooth stomach to look inside. A tumour at least half the size of me was attached to my spine. My mother blames the toxic paint she was around before she realized she was pregnant. But to this day no one can be sure why or how it grew that big inside her, killing my twin sister. No one, in this small rural hospital had seen anything like it. In fact, the only maternity doctor was still drunk from a party he'd been called away from. Somehow they got me out. Sewed my mother up. And put me in an incubator, where I was closely watched. They thought I was going to die then.

By the time I was strong enough to travel, my mother had seen another side of my father's personality. Throughout the pregnancy he had become increasingly controlling and aggressive, and once I was born, he grew even nastier. She fled in secret one night, taking me back to New Zealand, her homeland.

A month or so later my mother got a phone call from her lawyer. A man had broken into the lawyer's office and gone through her files, he was looking for my mother's address, and he'd found it. My father was in the country.

Over the years, she has left him many times. I remember vividly hiding with her at friend's houses, skipping school so he couldn't find us, watching his face outside the window, locked out and pleading. They celebrated 25 years of marriage last year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one is a mistake, you are wonderfull, valuable, precious, special, worthwhile. Write these things in your secret place so that they will never wash away...

5:06 PM  

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