Today, the world has become far more modernized in terms of technology, in terms of quality of life and the most important in terms of people’s frame of mind. Freedom was not a concept that people enjoyed, that is except the rich and famous; they could do whatever they wanted without the fear of judgment. But the regular folk like me lived a different life, a life that was bound by the shackles of orthodox thinking.
I’ll give you a realistic picture of the times I lived in. A picture that will stun you to your core. I lived in a time when HIV AIDS was called the gay disease. If someone had it, he was considered a demon, as he had dared to defy God’s intention. For you see, God did not want a man to love a man, that was forbidden.
However, those idiots did not think of one fact; if God did not wish that, then he would not have made them like men. People did not use logic much back then- even rape of considered a taboo, not a crime. A woman who was raped, nobody consoled her. She was not regarded as a victim instead of the offender.
That was the terrible reality of women in the 80s.
The Biggest Taboo
In a time like this, I decided to have my child on my own. Let me tell you, I was neither married, nor I had the desire to marry the godforsaken father of my child. He was a drunken mistake of my life, and I did not want to carry it forward for the rest of my life.
When I told my parents about my child, I knew they were not going to be the happiest, but I never expected them to do what they did. My father gave me two options, either I could abort my baby, or he would disown me and throw me on the streets. I chose the latter because I did not want to be a murderer.
That was the worst day of my life; I just had a few pairs of clothes and about 15 pounds with me, with no job and no high school diploma, since I was not even 18 yet.
I knew no one was going to help me when my parents didn’t. It was challenging to understand, but eventually, I did.
Getting a job as an 18-year-old with no previous work experience was almost impossible. I had to manage. Still, my first job was that of a waitress at a restaurant, and I hated every second I was at work. It was paying the bills, so I had to swallow the bitter pill. I kept studying on the side because I knew my education could help me get a better job.
The first trimester of my pregnancy was so horrible, and I almost thought my body would lose the battle. Between the morning sickness and my boss’ nagging, every second felt like an hour. I wished I had the option of getting easy loans so that my debilitated body would have me to go to work.
By the last few weeks of my gestation, I barely had enough strength of going to work. I just wanted the baby to come so that people would stop staring and judging my pregnant teenage self.
On 21 June 1982, my baby girl was born, and I was the happiest woman on the planet. I did not have much savings then, but I was managing, though barely. We were not as hard struck by inflation then.
The sleepless nights and drowsiness filled days had started taking a toll on me. However, the beginning of 1983 turned the fortunes for us. A lady had just moved into the flat next to mine, and she was a darling. She helped me with my baby a lot and got me a job at the clothes factory. I sewed and embroidered women’s articles. The best part of my job was that they provided child care. I could bring my baby to work and be worry-free. She also found a few friends in the other worker’s children.
The job paid enough that I could save for the first time in my life. On my baby’s fifth birthday, I bought her the pinkest and shiniest bike that had hundreds of bells. The smile she gave me was worth enduring every difficulty in my life.
People often her about her father and it, and i get kind of awkward for both of us to answer. I never married because there was no room for more love in my heart. My daughter occupied every crevice in that small muscle.
She is all grown up now and a women’s rights activist. She has helped hundreds of women get out of their abusive homes and rehabilitated them. She is always on the road in her search for the next distressed woman she can save, and I could not be more proud of her.
Thinking back on the time when my father asked me to lose the child, I thank God every day that I did not. Even after almost 4o years, my parents still don’t talk to me, and I don’t even know whether they are alive or not. I never returned to my hometown since the day they asked me to leave.
In 2016, there were about 140 million babies born, and about 21 million were out of wedlock. I commend every mother who took the step of raising her child alone. Trust me, and you don’t need anyone; being a mother makes you strong enough to endure every hurdle life throws at you and that too with a smile.