Losing My Daughter (part 12)

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Losing My Daughter
Page 12 of 18

This woman was a prostitute who worked from the house. I mention this because my support during this time came from various minority groups and people who were considered lesser in society. The young girl who had become my friend, who had run away from a sexually abusive father; the gay young man who let me sleep in his bed with him while I sobbed for hours when my daughter finally went from me. The prostitute who lent me canned and packaged food so my food cupboard was adequately filled when the policewomen and social workers used to do random inspections of my room. My contacts with these people have been lessons to me all my life. Their examples taught me never to make judgments about people because they were this or that.

My father visited me on occasions to literally throw the rent at me. On one occasion he came in the middle of the day. I was washing diapers in the sink outside my room. He was insulting of my daughter, asking me did I like washing “shitty nappies” in a sneering voice I knew too well. I asked him if he wanted to see her. He lost his temper and hit me, saying that he would wring the f******** rabbit’s neck if he got near it. I stood in the doorway of my room so he could not go in and he hit me across the face. I had another black eye. My head ached for days. I think he did some permanent damage as if I look at the eye he hit twice now, it seems different to the other eye, and this was not always so. My friend thought so as well at the time.

When the social worker came next she asked me about it. I told her my father had done it, and she said it served me right.

I was upset about having a bruised and blackened eye because I had seen and applied for a position from the paper. It was for housemaid to the Catholic Archbishop. I received a phone call that week for an interview. We used a common phone in the house for incoming calls. My grandmother had called once, she was interested to hear about the baby, but asked me to do as my father wanted. She went on to say that they could not help me as my grandfather relied on my father’s help in various ways. My grandfather had suffered a stroke when I was twelve and he needed my father’s help, or so he thought.

I went to the interview the next afternoon. The woman who lived near me in the house cared for my daughter. It was the first time we had been separated since I came home from hospital. My friend told me to say my bruises came from a fall. I did well in the interview and the woman who interviewed me asked me when I could begin, that the position was live in. I told her I could move in immediately. She said she would let me know. I told her about my daughter and she told me that this position was not available for unwed mothers. So it was back to the newspapers. I was disappointed about this job I have to say, I had believed the Catholic Church might have helped me.

 

Losing My Daughter, continued.