Authors: Katrina Robinson
Tags: #16 and pregnant, #bullying, #domestic violence, #justin bieber, #myley cyrus, #prayer, #pregnancy, #self esteem, #sex, #substance abuse, #teen, #teen mom, #young, #youth
teen mom tellS all
ENTER THE MATRIX
DR. NIDO QUBEIN, PRESIDENT,
The MATRIX is a metaphor for choice.
Two worlds. Two pills. One choice.
A choice to live in the
shadow of the past, or in the realm of the unseen where dreams and
capabilities lie. A choice between
Which will you
“Sometimes finding yourself feels
like looking in the trash can.”
Living was a little
different now. We were in the county where more family resources
were available. There was more subsidized housing, cleaner public
transportation, and better schools. At one point, the rent at our
subsidy was $1 per month. It was also a different landscape. There
was space, trees, grass, and a lot less noise. I grew to like it.
The yellow buses took me and my sisters to school everyday. My
mother finally got a car too. She enrolled in college and got a
degree. My sisters were growing up and got to take full advantage
of county living. Grandma being right across the street secured us
even more. She lived in her house for 30 years. It was paid for.
She wouldn’t be moving any time soon. I played lottery numbers
often for her. The lottery clerk knew her handwriting on my number
list. Those tickets earned grandma regular income; aside from day
care. She was always hitting! And when she did, the whole family
got blessed. Whatever the family needed, she gave. When I went to
the store I’d say
, “Grandma, I’m going to
the store. Do you want something?” She’d say, “Yes, a Cadillac car,
a diamond ring, and a man.” I’d reply, “I’ll see what I can
Too funny! Her house was where the
whole family gathered for special occasions. She was the anchor of
the family. (I miss her much.)
t this point, I was doing well
scholastically, participating in school sports, and spent a lot of
time with my friends. I grew close to two in particular. We met at
school and shared a lot laughs together. Many secrets too. I looked
so regular and healthy on the outside; but internally I was
bleeding. I had issues about being adopted. I didn’t look like any
person in my family and I was the darkest. It was pointed out
often. I also had abusive memories haunting me off and on. Our
single parent family was not equipped to get the counseling and
intervention I needed. Mom had no interest in doing anything that
would be to my long-term benefit. Besides, she had her own ghosts
to deal with.
She had come a long way, but
it never changed her attitude toward me. For some reason, my dark
skin was offensive. One day she said,”Have you really looked at
your bottom lip?” My bottom lip was a little pink; discolored from
birth – like I had been smoking. I thought, “What’s wrong with my
bottom lip?” She said, “It looks like a monkey’s butt!” I went and
looked in the mirror. I just stared for a minute. Then I went to
the encyclopedia to see if I could find the picture of a monkey’s
butt. Couldn’t find one. Back to the mirror I went. Something
changed this time. I wondered how many people looked at me and saw
a monkey. Then, I looked at my dark skin and short hair. UGLY! I
was ugly. Every time I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see my
unblemished skin, my slanted eyes, or my nice shape. I just saw
ugly. An ugly dark skinned girl, living in a house with better
I didn’t want to look much
in the mirror anymore. My looks no longer mattered. I was ugly, and
I accepted it.
“Getting pregnant early is like
postponing a worldwide expedition..indefinitely.”
With my mother working, in
college for the 2
time, and playing catch up in her personal life,
I was watching my sisters after school. I did a horrible job with
the big sister thing. Boys had my attention now because they gave
me attention. I was walking home from school with them, paging
them, dating them. When I couldn’t get out of the house, I was on
the phone with them. Trouble and hardship knocked on the door and I
let them in.
Neighborhood boys are the
closest ones to get hooked up with. You can conveniently see them
when you’re bored, broke, or lonely. They’re always nearby to sneak
around with. The next thing is to start experimenting sexually.
Along with that may come alcohol abuse, drug dealing or crime. Idle
time can yield a lot of stuff. Costly decisions are easily made
when you’re immature. One of those is unprotected sex. All of a
sudden, pregnancy emerges. An unplanned one. Unplanned pregnancy
had found me. After feeling sick for a few days, I decided to get a
pregnancy test. I went to Planned Parenthood. I didn’t tell anyone,
I wanted to go alone. It was a little scary but I had to know. The
test was positive. My stride was much slower when I left the
facility than when I went in. That kind of news will slow a anybody
down. Man, oh Man. The bus trip from that building back home seemed
like a lifetime. My mind was racing and my heart was beating fast.
Of course I told my two best friends. They just looked at me, but
they pledged their support. I felt like daaag…everybody is having
sex, but I got caught. I had to tell the father. When he found out,
he was not happy. Looking back, I guess that’s understandable since
we were both high school students. Neither of us was mature at that
point. But I never expected him to desert us. Being abandoned was
the farthest thing from my mind. I really thought he would do the
right thing after he got over the anger or when the baby was born.
He never did. I never thought about how much pain I would be in if
he disappeared. His family hurt me to my heart. Around my
month of pregnancy, I saw his mother in the grocery store and
she was so nasty to me. She was convinced I was on a mission to
destroy her son’s life. (He obviously had played no part in me
getting pregnant!) She almost ran me over in her Chevrolet another
day. She stopped in the middle of the street, got out of her car,
and started yelling and screaming. Of course she turned a deaf ear
to anything I had to say. It was all about him not getting into
trouble with the law. H
er message very
Abort that baby!
Maybe to her that was the best thing to do, but I
was so overwhelmed I couldn’t decide what to do. Even abortions
cost money and her son had completely cut me off. She took my phone
number and vowed to help pay for the procedure. I never heard from
her ever again. I started thinking more and more about having an
abortion. At the time, I was working at McDonalds. I started saving
money for a procedure. Good ole’ mom. Most women know when someone
is pregnant. They know the signs. She saw how I was laying around
all the time. Hiding in my room. Ducking her out. Women are not
stupid! “Katrina, are you pregnant?” she asked. “No.” I knew I was
lying and so did she. She was in my room one day and found the
abortion money. She put a stop to that abortion nonsense. She did
not support abortion in the least. I’m so glad someone stopped me
from making a terrible mistake. The whole ordeal was scary and oh
so painful, but I’m glad I went through it.
When delivery time came, I
was at the hospital alone. The baby’s father didn’t come, his
family didn’t come, and my sisters were too young to make it. My
mom came when I went in for surgery. I was laying in the hospital
bed and all of a sudden all the wall monitors started going off. My
mother called the doctors in. They came rushing in, yelling at each
other and moving fast. They adjusted and rolled my bed out of the
room. I said, “What’s wrong, what’s wrong?” None of the doctors
would answer me. I guess they figured I was just another kid
pregnant before her time and I wouldn’t understand anyway. I
started crying. I was scared to death. Is the baby dying? How much
pain will I be in? My son was having fetal distress (difficulty
breathing while inside the womb). They had to rush me in for a
That meant a permanent scar and
a long recovery.
My mom had to stand
outside the operating room because of sterilization.
I looked around the room and I was surrounded by
strangers. Nobody in there knew me, and I knew none of them.
My body was exposed, I was in pain, and an
emotional wreck. I just couldn’t stop crying.
During birth, I was sick to my stomach. I probably vomited at
least 5 times that day. Fear overtook me and I didn’t have a soul
to lean on.
The nurse who came to comfort
me and hold my hand was no consolation to me. She was a stranger
too. All I could do was lie on that table and recall the promises
my boyfriend made.
I had flashbacks of bad
memories too. I was so glad when surgery was over. My son was
finally born. I was wheeled back to my room afterward, but I lost a
lot of blood. I couldn’t even stand up the next day without
fainting. I almost killed the nurse that tried to break my fall.
She fell too. I stayed in the hospital for a few days. My boyfriend
never contacted me. I just gave up on his father and decided it’s
me and the baby. He was so precious at birth. All babies are.
Holding my son helped me forget about some of the pain. He was as
the bible would say “a goodly child”. Strong, healthy, and cute as
a button. His father missed out on that.
We moved from place to
place; living with parents, family members, in a shelter, to living
with a guy. I lost possessions with every move. It wasn’t a time to
try and hold on to anything of sentimental value, and it hurt. We
were unstable, and would be for the next few years. I remember
living off food stamps, medical assistance, and cash assistance
just like my mom did. I remember the low wage jobs, trying to get
day care and trying to find a house all at the same time. I
remember waking up some days and saying, “I’m so ashamed of myself.
What am I going to do? What’s going to happen to us?”
My uncle saw me struggling
and suggested applying for unemployment. Unemployment benefits? I
had never heard of unemployment before. I caught the bus to the
unemployment office, and signed up. There was quite a bit of money
paid into my insurance. That money carried me for a little while.
Renting a house was a first for me, but I had to find one. The
townhouses I found were cheap and in the middle of nowhere.
buses ran once every
It was the cheapest rental I
could find. Tidewater Village, I’ll never forget that place. My
first permanent home away from home.
rental office denied me, but would approve if I had a co-signer.
Thank God for my dad. He co-signed so the kids and I could have a
roof over our heads.