Memory Triggers....Loss, Abuse, Pain & Hope

11:49 PM


It's funny...or not so funny how things or places can trigger memories and bring up a flood of emotions from the past.  Today I was at the graveyard putting flowers on my grandparents' grave when I had a flashback to one of the most painful days of my life. About 10+ years ago, I was visiting the graveyard with my baby boy Alaka'i.  We go there periodically to put flowers on my grandparents' grave.  In Hawai'i people put vases of flowers adjacent to the grave.  It's such a regular occurrence that you almost feel bad for the graves left flowerless.  

So I was there with my boy and it wasn't a good day.  I was hurt, beaten up by my ex boyfriend and newly pregnant.  Yeah... yeah... This was before I knew Jesus as my Savior, before I became a Christian.  I was living in sin with my boyfriend at the time, naive and lying to myself hoping and wishing that one day he would change...and he never did.  I was about 14 weeks pregnant at the time and I had gotten beat up the night before.  My ex came home drunk and on God knows what else... He pulled me out of bed  and proceeded to punch me.  As I woke up from a dead sleep I ran to my son Alaka'i who was laying in his bassinet as my ex was chasing me.  I grabbed my baby and ran, blood streaming down my face from my nose that he had punched, aching and bruised from getting attacked in my sleep.  I ran as fast as I could and hid in the bushes.

He went away and stopped looking so I went and took my son and my bruised body and snuck home, grabbed our stuff and left.  I was at the point in my life where I had been beaten down emotionally and physically so much that I couldn't take it any more.  I was so afraid to raise my son and the baby growing inside me alone and even more fearful to go home with my tail between my legs to my parents whom I had let down so much in the year or so prior to this night.  I was 20, almost 21 and I was all alone with a baby and another on the way.  My parents, being the ever forgiving souls they are, took me in and took care of us.

The next morning I went to the graveyard with Alaka'i to think and have some quiet and put flowers on my grandparents' grave.  I sat there and sobbed with my baby in my arms.  I remember looking at his fat cheeks and kissing them and seeing my arms, bruised and battered, holding him close to me.  When I stood up I felt a sharp pain in my stomach...or so I thought.  I ignored it and thought it was just food I had eaten.  I went to go fill the small bucket I had with water for the flowers and I felt a sharp cramp in my womb.  I feared the worst but refused to admit what I knew in my  heart was happening.  I grabbed Alaka'i and started walking to the car and the cramp I felt was so severe that I fell to my knees.  Right there next to the garbage can filled with dead flowers...I felt the warmth flowing down my legs as I lost my baby.  There was so much blood...I was in so much pain.  I sat there not knowing what to do so I put Alaka'i in his baby car seat and put a towel on my seat and got in the car hoping and praying it was just a false alarm even though I knew it wasn't.

The cramps kept coming and I was still bleeding and it got to the point that I could barely drive so I went home instead of to the hospital.  No one was there, my parents were working, it was just me and my son.  My little brother who was a teenager at the time, came walking up and saw me crouched on the ground in tears in our yard...He didn't know what to do, you could tell that from the expression on his face.  He asked if I needed help and I told him to take Alaka'i in the house for me and play with him.  I stood up and went to the bathroom, dripping in agony.. I was having a miscarriage. I got in the tub to rinse off and I knew what was happening, what had happened.  Without going into the gross details, my precious little baby had died and I had miscarried him/her.  I  was so broken, so hurt, so angry and so lost.

I blamed myself.  I still do.  I put myself in that situation, stayed with an abusive guy because I was too stubborn or selfish to realize that he was not a good person, not right for me. There was this little itty bitty part of me on a towel in my bathroom, barely big enough to sit in the palm of my hand.  My heart broke.  If I had left him when I should have, I would be a mother of two today. If I had walked out when he cheated on me, my baby would not be gone.  My baby is in heaven, I know he is.  I should have pressed charges on my ex for what he did to us.  I was stupid and I didn't want my son's "father" to be in jail so I never did.

My parents didn't know I was pregnant again.  I think only my ex and my brother knew.  My brother helped me clean everything up and took me to the doctor.  He helped me bring my itty bitty baby smaller than my hand home and bury him or her in a special place in my parents' yard. It's so hard to write this but I felt like I had to.  Today I was at the graveyard and the flood of emotions washed over me.  It was 10 years ago since I lost my baby and the pain is still there.  For the longest time I lived with the guilt and blame I imposed on myself.  The thoughts...If I had waited and married a good guy, this never would have happened... The blame... is this a punishment from God because I had babies out of wedlock and was living in sin....  I was raised a Catholic... I knew Jesus but I didn't really know Him.

My ex came to my parents' house to "get the car"... He wanted to take MY car out to take a girl on a date... Yeah... I had a twisted relationship.  I put up with a lot of terrible because I "loved" him.  I was so angry and hurt I told him no and to leave.  He tried to hit me and I was at the point where I no longer would allow him to hit me.  Before, I never ever fought back.  I would protect Alaka'i.  But Alaka'i was safe with my brother in our locked house.  I told him to leave and he hit me and something in me snapped.  When I lost our baby a part of me died.  I charged at my ex and threw him against the car and hit him in the face.  He looked at me shocked and angry.  I told him if he didn't leave, I'd call the cops and that if he cleaned up his life he could spend time with Alaka'i but that we were through.

That was the single most liberating and freeing moment of my life.  I was so beaten down emotionally by this guy that I felt like I was never worth anything.  He tried to hit me again and I dodged it and grabbed a stick from our tangerine tree and swung it and told him if he didn't leave, he'd regret it because my days of letting him hurt me were over.  My neighbor came out and told him to beat it so he left.  He came back once after to get his stuff and told me he didn't want anything to do with Alaka'i or me and that was the last I ever saw or heard from him.

One visit to the graveyard brought up all these emotions for me.  I think about my baby all the time and I know someday I'll see him or her in heaven.  When I met my ex I was in college and living a sinful life full of partying and drugs and rebellion.  I thought he loved me and he didn't.  I lived in sin with him and got pregnant by him twice.  My son Alaka'i is the greatest blessing I could ever have asked for.  I don't regret him at all.  However, I do regret not being able to give him a good father.  I should have waited and not believed the first guy to ever tell me he loved me.

I may write about this again in the future but this mash up of thoughts and emotions was triggered not only to my visit to the graveyard but by a girl in the blogosphere whom I spoke with earlier.  A girl who is a lot like I used to be.  A girl in a bad relationship with a guy who abuses her and she has two babies with him.  I talked to her for a couple hours via email today and I won't divulge her name but she told me she felt like she was too ashamed to tell anyone what she was going through and that by leaving him, she'd be forced to tell people.  I never really thought of sharing my painful past with anyone let alone the blogosphere but I wanted to, I felt I needed to.... For the women like me who were or are abused by boyfriends or husbands..  I was a victim of violence, you don't have to be.  I escaped it and so can you.  I had a miscarriage at the hands of a violent ex boyfriend and it was devastating.  It took a long time for me to stop hating myself for my miscarriage, it wasn't until I became a Christian that I was able to forgive myself and turn my life over to God.  I'm so thankful every day to have a new life, to be free of the chains of my past sin and free of that abusive man.

Regardless of what your beliefs are, no one...no one... deserves to be abused.  Jesus saved me.  Perhaps you had something or someone else save you.  I'm just sharing my story.  If you know anyone who has been abused or is being abused, help them...comfort them... talk to them.  When I was getting abused, my ex alienated me from all my friends.  Reach out to yours if you know someone who is going through that.  You might make the difference in their life.  Just listening can help the person to get the strength they need to leave that abusive situation.

I hope my sharing this story of pain and loss served some sort of purpose.  I don't normally get deep on my blog.  I try to keep it a really positive place... I felt a burden on my heart to share my story for that girl I spoke with and many like her who feel isolated and alone... who feel like there's no way out. There is a way out.  There are programs to help you escape and people to be there for you.  Don't settle for the abuse you are experiencing.  I shared my story to show you that there is hope.  If any of you are going through abuse or need to talk, email me jean@whatjeanlikes.com.  I promise I'll be a neutral ear to listen and a friend to give warm advice.  Abuse is hard enough to deal with let alone losing a child.  I'm here for you.  Life can be joyful, you deserve to be happy.  No one deserves to be abused, beaten or emotionally ripped to shreds.  No one deserves a miscarriage.  Don't be scared to reach out... everyone needs a friendly shoulder.  Call a friend or family member, or email me and I'll try to help you find programs and resources to help you escape.

Aloha,



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