part thirteen

What I didn’t mention while I was writing about wedding preparations etc was my very first visit to a gynecologist. I knew I wanted to take the pill because I didn’t want to get pregnant right away. My best friend, Kim, took me to Planned Parenthood. I remember my mom calling me because I was house-sitting for an aunt and telling me that she and dad were going to California for some job related thing and telling her I was going to PP with Kim later that day. I know she had something ‘flip’ to say but I can’t remember what it was.

As the time for my afternoon visit approached I began to get very, Very sick to my stomach. I knew I needed to take care of this but I was terrified. We arrived at PP and Kim waited for me in the waiting room. I met the doctor who proceeded to tell me I was too heavy for my height. She then compared me to her and all I could think was “Yea, I know, I’m a pig.” (I wore a size 8 people) Then we went into the exam room and she left me to undress and cover up. When she came back, someone had taken my blood pressure etc. The doctor looked at the chart, looked at me, looked at the chart again and said “You’re either very nervous or you’re going to drop dead in about two seconds.”

She did the usual examination of lymph nodes, breasts etc before telling me it was time to put my feet in the stirrups. As I lay down I was shaking terribly. I didn’t know what to expect. Next thing I know, I was telling her to stop and I needed Kim. She heaved a big sigh like I was really mucking up her day but she went out to the waiting room and got my friend. Kim came in and held my hand all the while telling me it was ok and I didn’t need to be scared. The doctor checked me out and asked me if I’d ever had sex before. I said ‘no’ and she said “Honey, you need to get some tampons and start working on this because I’ve never seen anyone as small as you are except for babies.”

She pulled out a speculum that is normally used for adult women and then she pulled out the smallest speculum available and told me the small one was still too big for me and the big one was what I could expect my first time. She used the smallest one and it hurt like hell. I bet I squeezed Kim’s hand hard enough to hurt her but she was so good to me during the whole thing. When it was over and we’d left with my pills in hand, I made Kim stop at R’s and I told him to forget it. There was no way I was going to deal with all the crap the doctor had told me.

Of course, I did get married and I did deal with it. Now, though, I wanted a baby and a baby was not happening. I remember praying every night for god to help me have a baby. I didn’t understand why it was so important, I simply knew it was. Eight months went by, we celebrated our 2nd anniversary and still no baby. One night I was up most of the night very ill. As I sat in the bathroom praying to feel better and praying for a baby at the same time, I got to thinking. I don’t know why something clicked in my brain at that time. I always believed it was because god was listening. Now I’m not so sure.

The next day I went to the library and was there for several hours. I read every book I could find on women’s reproductive health. I had to be serious about it because even as a married woman, I was discouraged from learning about or knowing anything about how my body worked. I was determined though. I left with the information I needed and went home to wait for R’s arrival home after work. I was laying on the couch in stunned disbelief when he arrived. I’d been there for hours simply sick to my stomach. I didn’t understand the implications of what I’d learned even then. R asked me what was wrong and I said “I know why we’re not getting pregnant” and told him what I’d discovered. He looked at me oddly and said “I figured that’s what you were going to say.”

I was still technically a virgin. Un-fucking-believable. I felt so stupid. He’d known all along. And preferred sex of the anal variety so he didn’t tell me what I needed to know. My familial history, including the events I didn’t remember, along with years of being told I wasn’t worth anything if I wasn’t unquestionally serving Jehovah had trained me to ask no questions. Ever. I swore right then and there that if I ever had a child, I would make damn sure that child was never as naive and uneducated as I was. I believe now that was the beginning of my quest for information about everything.

I had always been a reader. A voracious reader. Even then, I could barely stand to read a Witness publication more than once. Now, however, I read books about everything. I read about history, science, and health issues. I read the newspaper and anything I could find about things I knew nothing about (which turned out to be alot). I read novels, biographies, books about children and a gazillion other topics I’d not explored before. During this time my husband sat down with me one day and told me he didn’t love me anymore. It got so ugly and he left the house. I packed my stuff, got in the car and headed out of town. I was going home to my mom. Before I left, I stopped at the home of our friends to tell them I was leaving. I knew R would return home later and worry.

Yep, you guessed it. I stopped at that friends house and in his oh-so-elder-ly wisdom, he reminded me that if I left I was unchristian and a wife’s duty was to her husband no matter what. He informed me that by leaving I was opening myself up to all kinds of allegations and spiritual difficulties. Even when I told him what had happened earlier that day and said it wasn’t the first time he’d gotten a bit physical, it didn’t matter. I needed to go home. I had an enormous welt on my palm where the pan had burned me earlier and still I went home. I was beaten down and unsure of myself. I just wanted to please Jehovah. I didn’t want to face the fate of the world at the end of the system of things. I wanted the perfection promised by god. Four days later I learned I was pregnant.

to be continued

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Boston Pobble on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Damn but I’m pissed. Who were these people to do this to you?????

    Okay. There. I’ve said it now. We now return you to your regularly scheduled supportive, noncommital Pobble. 😉

    Reply

  2. Oh, Traci. {{{{{{{{Traci}}}}}}}} Sometimes I am stunned that human depravity seems to have no limits. And then sometimes I am surprised that I’m surprised by anything, ya know?

    I understand many of the things you have written about here. It is so cruel when people are ‘trained’ to be violated. This makes me so angry. Yet there is still some dread. ie: I am three months overdue for my annual and I just can’t right now…

    Reply

  3. Not only trained to be violated, but blackmailed, deceived, and coerced into compliance. The more I read, the more I admire you for who you’ve become, and the mother / woman you are. Self-educated, self-supported, self-reliant, free-thinking. Beyond amazing!!

    Reply

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