Losing My Daughter (part 5)

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Losing My Daughter
Page 5 of 18

Later that day - about six p.m. - my father arrived with his girlfriend. My father had been drinking and pushed his way into my room. He called my many disgusting and bad names, including a “worthless slut who was as bad as my mother”, that I disgusted him. These words still make me cringe as I type. I was humiliated and ashamed. He said to me that he was going to put me back into the home. I begged him not to. He said the baby was nothing to him, and that it would be given away. I told him I would not give my baby away and he hit me across the face and began to punch me.

I screamed and his girlfriend stopped him from doing more harm. I was badly bruised and had a black eye. He left saying he would return. I am still traumatized by his menacing and violent actions to me through my early life. My landlady had heard all of this, and said to me later, that I could stay until my baby came but she didn’t want any babies in her house. I slept with my friend that night. She bathed my eye with a wet face washer.

Later that week, my father’s girlfriend asked me to go with them to see a place where I may stay and have my baby in comfort. I went with them to a large house in West Hobart. I saw the sign “Elim House” as I recall, outside and I remembered that this was the place where many of the girls from Mount Saint Canice went to have and give up their babies. It was the place that I had heard such horror stories about. And it was the place where the lovely young girl I had known had come from before hanging herself. I began to run up the street, over a fence and into a park until I was a long way from my father and his girlfriend. I would have rather died than go inside that home.

I spent the next six weeks at home except for the days I would walk to visit my friend who was married and also expecting a baby. She and her husband were very good to me, always making me lunch when I was there. I had very little food and tended to get by on bread, milk and Weetbix. I had some money in the bank, but I wanted to save this for the baby’s needs. My friend who had come to live in the same house began to knit for my baby and had a good idea of what I would need. I had no idea. My friend had been raised in a large family and I suppose her knowledge was a product of this.

My father continued to harass and belittle me, calling on me once a week or more. One time he came when I was talking to woman who rented a room in the house. My father listened outside the door and heard me say I would never give my baby away. He was abusive and violent again that day, kicking my thigh.


Losing My Daugter, continued.