Chapter Seventeen: Aftermath

To be entirely honest, much of what followed being raped was…I guess suppressed by my own mind. I don’t remember much of my pregnancy with my first daughter. I believe this time span is when my mind and body began to fully deteriorate. Most of the pregnancy, I was exhausted. Sleeping. So much so that Gypsy’s sister (who, despite her brutally honest nature and “in-your-face” attitude, still remains as my favorite member of his family, next to his late grandmother.) had been taking care of my son – and when she was sick, to boot (which I didn’t know at the time). I awoke one afternoon to the sounds of my son screaming in the kitchen.

When I went to investigate, I saw that Gypsy’s mother was holding my then-14 month old son’s head still so Gypsy’s sister could force feed him a jar of baby food. See, my son was very…odd, even at an early age. It took until he was 8 months to crawl, and 11 months to walk, which was normal – but he was not talking, and had an issue with certain tastes and textures of food. I was, at the time, involved in getting him into an early intervention head start program, which Gypsy insisted at the time he did not need. In Gypsy’s words, our son “did not need to go all his life being labeled as developmentally delayed.” Whereas, in my opinion, he needed the acknowledgement to increase his chances of being given equal opportunity to other children – a way of putting extra effort into keeping his development as close to on-track as possible. Regardless, due to his issues with textures and tastes, I would add certain things to his veggie baby foods (salt, broth, other veggies, etc), and taste it myself to insure that it was something he would like. I also warmed it up to a very specific temperature, and would feed him veggies with a side of fruit so he would still feel motivated to eat it (fruit baby foods were very sweet-tasting, which he liked) But because I was 8-9 months pregnant, and constantly exhausted, Gypsy’s family had taken to feeding my son – when he didn’t want it.

“What’s going on?” I walked in and asked

“You need to take care of your fucking kid.” Gypsy’s sister said to me angrily, “I’m sick, I shouldn’t be doing this.”

“Well, he obviously doesn’t want that, why are you forcing him?” I said, obviously alarmed.

“Because he needs more than just fruit! You need to learn how to be a fucking mother.”

Eventually, (And I don’t remember how) I managed to get everyone to leave him alone. I let him sit at the table a moment while I altered his baby peas (added carrots & salt, watered it down a little so it was easier to digest and not so pastey), grabbed another jar of baby bananas, and then I move him to the rocker in the livingroom. He sat on my lap as I played classical music through Comcast on Demand, and I would feed him a small bite here and there, alternating one, then the other, until he turned his head from the spoon in refusal. I then gave him a small sippy cup of water/juice mix to rinse it down, and held him until we both fell asleep.

But I’d forgotten to eat, and had been sleeping all day already.

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