A Rose Among Thorns

Chapter 5 A Babys Cry

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Most of the time becoming pregnant is a joyous occassion for a couple. With me and Bruce the pregnancy was unexpected and, for me, very terrifying. I contemplated whether or not I should tell him. I didn’t want any secrets between us, but I feared for my child’s life.

I eventually decided to tell Bruce about the baby, not knowing what to expect from him.

He was not happy about the news. We began discussing things as a couple normally would. He told me that he would not be a fit father and he wanted me to give the baby up for adoption.

I told him I couldn’t and wouldn’t do that. Just because he didn’t want the baby didn’t mean I didn’t want it to. This only proceeded to make him angry, so he demanded that I have an abortion.

I could never consider such a thing. That was my baby living and growing inside of me. I couldn’t send it off to strangers wondering all the while whether she was cold, or hungry or even loved. I most certainly could never take its life. I would live with that for the rest of my life.

I refused the thought of abortion, voiced my opinions very strongly on how I felt about abortion and this only made Bruce angrier.

He moved across the room so quickly, he was like a flash of lightening. Before I knew what was happening, he had thrown me down on the ground on my belly. I remember curling up into the fetal position as the first blow hit across my backside. He had lost all sense of sanity. He went into a blind rage, not really knowing what he was doing. He proceeded to kick me over and over again. I felt each thrust of his foot. I began to sob and cry out to him, stop. Stop It.

After a few minutes he fell to his knees, crying out as if for the first time realizing what he had done. Over and over again he said he was sorry and pleaded with me to forgive him. He held me tightly in his arms and rocked me back and forth.

Things were forgotten for awhile, until I collapsed at work the following day threatening to abort the child within me. I was rushed to the doctor immediately. He ran some tests on me and found that the beating I had suffered had damaged my kidneys and that was threatening my pregnancy.

I was put on one of the strongest antibiotics for the kidneys and was sent home for two weeks of bedrest.

I would not know for eight months what the exact effects of that one beating would leave on my child. But it did cause problems and complications that would last for years.

When my daughter was born, I was not told, nor were the doctors aware that there was a problem with my baby. I took her home, anticipating much pleasure in the experience of motherhood. However, things did not turn out as expected.

When I got my daughter home, she cried constantly and she never slept. I complained to my mother about this and she said, "Baby’s don’t sleep all the time". I said, "You don’t understand. She never sleeps." It was not until we moved in with my mother that she understood the full impact of what I said.

When she was a few month old, I’d lay her down in her baby bed. She’d constantly move about, never stay still. Things started to develop in my daughter’s condition. She would break out in a rough, red, itchy rash any time something touched her skin. She could not tolerate her formula. She would cry and scream at the top of her lungs. I took her to the pediatrician because it had been three days since she’d been able to take a bottle. While we were there Kat was wailing out in misery. No amount of comforting could quieten her down. In annoyance the doctor shouted at me, "Can’t you shut that baby up?" I turned to her angrily and responded quite rudely, "This is the reason why I’m here. My baby can’t eat and I can’t get her to stop crying."

The doctor changed her formula. This had little effect on my child’s appetite or her disposition.

She was in and out of the hospital with unexplained rashes, intolerance to food, her surroundings, and even the clothes she wore.

I began seeing a series of doctors trying to find out what was wrong with my child. But no one had any answers.

As she grew to be nearly a year, her condition had worsened. But none of the dozens of doctors we saw new what was wrong with her or knew how to treat her.

The rash had grown to cover most of her body. When she ate, the rash would worsen. It would turn red and itchy. My daughter would scratch until she bled. I would try to doctor her rash, and cover it with gauze bandages so she could not reach it to scratch. However, this only irritated the rash and made it much worse.

The doctor’s tried her on several medications, not really knowing what was wrong with her or what would be best for her condition. She could not tolerate the medications they gave her.

She’d have numerous reactions to them.

This was unexplainable to the doctor’s. The first year of my daughter’s life she saw no less than ten doctors. They were all puzzled as what was wrong with her.

By now she was sleeping in my bed because she could not tolerate sleeping in her own bed. We had sheets over the couches and chairs my daughter sat on because any time she sat on something, her skin became inflamed as if someone had poured hot grease over her entire body. When she went outside she had to be covered from head to toe because anything that touched her skin would set off a reaction in her body.

She could not eat normal food as you and I do. Any time she ate, her rash would break out and worsen. Again the scratching fits would occur and then she would bleed.

I remember a time when she was just about two, I had fed her one piece of sausage. Drove five minutes to the bank and while we were sitting in the drive through, I heard Kat cry out, "Mommy I itch". When I turned back to her, she had scratched herself from her wrists to her elbows on each arm until there were streaks of blood oozing from her. I rushed her to the emergency room. But they were unable to do anything for her because she was allergic to benadryl. My daughter was allergic to most medications she took, so we were limited to what we could do for her.

When she was between one year and eighteen months, I was tired of watching my daughter needlessly suffer while incompetent doctors could not treat her. I decided I would take things into my own hands. My daughter needed help and I was determined to see that she got it.

I went down to the libray, pulled ever medical book I could find off the shelfs, took them home and read them from cover to cover.

What I discovered was that, because of the strong medication I had taken after the beating I suffered when I was pregnant with her, my daughter had not developed an immune system.

And because of this lack of immune system, the foods that she ate, caused her to have eczema all over her body. Once I made this discovery, I was able to find an immunologist that could help her out.

He prescribed an oral medication for her and topical ointments, bath treatments and lotions. They were expensive, the medication was impossible to find, but I would call every drug store in town and drive miles and miles to get it. But it was a wonder drug. The lotion had to be special ordered through the pharmacists and well in advance of our needing it.

At 18 months my daughter was tested for allergies. She was allergic to most everything. Most every food, dogs, cats, dust, etc. The Temaril help her with her scrathcing. But when she was four, I received a letter from the manufacturer of the drug that they were discontinuing making the drug. I was devasted. How could they quit making this drug when it was the only thing that could help my daughter.

At the age of four my daughter was tested again for allergies. Now she only was allergic to oats, peanut butter, pork, chocolate, apples, and mushrooms. So we avoided those things in her diet.

By about 5 1/2 years of age, my daughter was showing definite signs of improving. By six she was well on her way to living a normal life. But the first few years of her life were excruciatingly painful for all of us.

I had left Kat’s father when she was just 11 months old and moved in with my parents. I had called the police, had him arrested, and while he was in jail, I packed everything up and moved out. I threw everything that belonged to him, into his car.

At that point I didn’t care what happened to him anymore. He deserved whatever punishment he got.

After I left him, he ended up in prison for two years for nearly hitting a motorcycle cop while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

When he was released, he called me to get back together with him. I told him flat out, no, I wasn’t interested, I wanted no part of him anymore.

This only made him angry. That night, he was out drinking with his friends. One of them said something he did not like, so he took out a knife from his pants, and slashed the guy across the face with it.

He called me from jail, laughing about it, thinking it was going to impress me. It made me even more terrified of him. The man had to have over five surgeries to repair the damage done by that one knife slashing. He did not file charges and Bruce was released to his own devices.

The last time I had inquired about his well-being, his mother has said that he’d been sober over a year and was living and working in Dallas. He had made contact with Kat (through his mother as he is not allowed to know our physical address for our own protection) about two years ago. He had sent a birthday card to her, then a valentine’s card and an easter card. I told her she could write him back if she wanted to. She said no, she didn’t want any part of his life.

He has since stopped writing or sending cards. I do not know if he is still sober and drug free or not.

It goes to show you that domestic violence does not only hurt the mother, it effects the children as well. My daughter, could not sleep at night for fear that her father would come in at night while we were sleeping and stab us with a knife.

I had to get an alarm system, and we had this ritual at night that we had to go through before she could rest at night and sleep. Only a few months ago did she finally move into her own room to sleep.

She will probably live with this fear for the rest of her life.

I can only hope and pray that she will have much better luck with men than I did.


When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and they sleep shall be sweet.

Proverbs 3: 24


Domestic Violence is more and more prevalent than it used to be, even in other parts of the world. Women live in fear for not only themselves, but their children as well. We should not be forced to live in fear. Our lives should be full of hopes, joys, and peace. Instead, we worry how we will ever survive the beatings day after day. We worry how we will protect our children from being hurt. Even our children begin to see our pain and suffering. Children are smarter than we give them credit for. They see and know all. We cannot hide it from them. Eventually this fear will take over them, consume them, just as it did my daughter.


Dear Lord,

When we sleep at night, please keep us safe. Protect my children, keep them from harm. Help them to grow up without the scars of abuse and fear and anger and hatred. Please help them to live a normal life. Thank you for taking us under your wing and watching over us.


Chapter 6 The Road That Leads To Darkness

Chapter 7 Recovery After Breakdown

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