Losing My Daughter (part 15)

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Losing My Daughter
Page 15 of 18

Soon after my daughter was taken, I was invited to see my grandparents. I could see they were sorry for me, but nothing was said. The less said the better about my pregnancy. I at least had some access to food, but my anorexia was bad at that time. My anxiety attacks were ever present. My great-grandmother was broken hearted for me and said as much. But she was eighty-five, blind and vulnerable. She could not say anything to anyone about me.

When I went back to my room in Hobart, I began to look for work. I began work as a nurse’s aid in a nursing home. This was to lead to my training as a geriatric nurse later. In the April of nineteen sixty-seven I met my future husband. He lived across the street from me. When I told him about my daughter, he said he would need a few days to think about all this, and this changed matters. I didn’t see him for three days, and when I did, he said he would still be my boyfriend, but that I must never tell anyone about my pregnancy. One woman at work was so full of praise for him, saying how lucky a girl like me was to find any man who would have me. This is the stigma that I lived with, and I know I am one of so many thousands of women.

I was convinced that I needed to be married; I thought that this was the only way I could be rid of the fear of being sent back to Mount Saint Canice. I was married in the January nineteen sixty-nine, and I felt safer. I felt cheated because knew that I had married for different reasons than some of the people I knew. But this is what I felt I had to do at the time.

I was reunited with my daughter when I was thirty-nine. Although we were in contact for many years, this contact broke down. We do not agree on some things. I am sad about this, but resigned to the fact that she will not be in my life.

I have one daughter with whom I have a good relationship. I have lovely grandchildren and I watch with wonder and joy as they are raised with so much love and good parenting.

I am at peace at many levels. This has been achieved by years of therapy from my therapist whose intelligence, compassion and determination to help me thrive has been my saving grace.

I had many years of therapy for treatment for Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although stable and well, I am extremely careful about any exposure to stress. I consider myself fortunate in that I was able to work with my doctor towards wellness. I will never be totally well. I am grateful to be here to write this, both for me, but for the other women who can’t. Some are unwilling, some are unable, and some are no longer alive. There are many casualties as a result of women being forced to give up their babies for adoption.

 

Losing My Daughter, continued.