Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Not a lot of us have actually had to make a choice for ourselves based on the life of another person. I'm not suggesting that people don't care, they just simple haven't had anything of that stress placed on their shoulders. When you are the only one who can make this choice, it usually leaves you in some sort of heart break. But at the end of the day, you realize that what you did was a completely selfless act. Your choice helped or even saved the life of another human being.

A couple days before the school year ended, I simply stopped talking to David. I went back home with my mother, step father, and step sister. I did not realize exactly how horrible I was living at David's home until I was finally able to go into the kitchen and get a snack, all while not having to worry about what I was going to eat tomorrow. I'm lucky that my mother and the rest of my family welcomed me back with open arms. 

I called my father when I got to my mother's house. I  talked to him about everything that was going on with David. "I don't know what to do Dad. I don't want my child growing up without knowing his father. But I can't do this anymore." My father comforted me. And after a long talk we decided that the best decision, not only for me, but for the baby was to take a break and go up to Georgia to stay with my family in Woodstock. 

After a lot of thinking, I had decided not to tell David I was going up to Georgia until last minute. I knew what type of problems it would cause for me. And with the amount of stress I had already had placed on me by David in the past, I knew that the baby couldn't handle anymore either. 

So it had been days since I spoke to David. He kept trying to call me, telling me how sorry he was. And I just ignored it all. Finally, I had broken free of the hold David had on me. My dad bought me a plane ticket for the day after school ended. I was excited and scared all at the same time. I knew that it was up to me to do this for my son, since he couldn't make a choice for himself.

I remember  calling David when I got to the airport and telling him that I was leaving. Of course he wasn't happy about that. I eventually got sick of the yelling and screaming and hung up on him, turning off my phone so he would stop harassing me. A person sitting near me in the terminal heard the whole thing. He came over in front of me and asked if I was alright. As I looked up I tried desperately not to cry. I didn't want to break loose in front of a total stranger. I looked at this man, he had to have been in his 50s or 60s. He sat down in the seat next to me. We started talking about life and what I was going through a little bit.  He said something I could never forget. "You know, there are certain struggles we have to go through. Certain issues that make each and everyone of us different. You have a very hard decision to make. Because this one isn't just about you. From now on you're gonna be on a mission to do whats best for your son,  then yourself. And right now, you're taking the first step."

I've never told any body about this meeting with this older man. I'm not entirely sure why. But that moment was probably the instant my whole thinking changed entirely. I wasn't staying with David because I wanted our son to know his father, I was staying with David because of my own selfishness. Because I didn't want to see David find anyone else. Because I was afraid that no body else would ever love me.

When I got to Atlanta, an overwhelming rush of freedom came over me and I was so emotional. I remember crying myself to sleep that night, totally unsure if I was just so happy, or so unbelievably depressed. The most amazing thing to me was that for once throughout my whole pregnancy, I could go to sleep not terrified of the day that I was going to wake up to. I could sleep in peace, whispering soft words to my son and not be told to shut up. I could go to sleep and dream. 

"From now on you're gonna be on a mission to do whats best for your son,  then yourself. And right now, you're taking the first step." I went to sleep that night thinking about this statement the old man had said. He was right. I did this for my son. For the person who was going to have such an impact on my life, before I ever even knew it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Truth Shall be Truth

Sometimes I feel like I'm stuck in a world with people who have never heard of the sacred "Golden Rule". I feel like the value of truth is beat down by dishonesty. I have yet to meet a 100% honest and truthful person. I'm not saying I am, but you'd think that at least one person out there has the ability to be a kind person. It breaks my heart to know that there truly might be no hope for our moral values.

As the abuse got worse, I was lost in my thoughts. David's friends and families had no idea what was going on. Only my family did. But my mother kept telling me not to go back to him, and every single time I did.

I fell so quickly for David's whole, "I promise Rebecca, it will never happen again! I love you. I'll never hurt you again." I wish now that I would have been able to see the lies in his eyes. He didn't change. And every time I went back to David he continued to hurt me. His lies grew deeper and strong with every passing time. No matter how hard I cried, or tried to break his hold on my heart and mind, I could not succeed.

As I came around the four and a half months along mark, I could feel my body and attitude towards things start to change. Not only was I starting to get a baby bump, but I was starting to get a lot more comfortable with the thought of being pregnant (a complete 180 from the beginning when I was absolutely petrified). I was so much nicer to people, and this allowed me to become calm and take a step back and observe every situation. As I began observing others challenges, I started looking at my own. I soon realized that I couldn't do this game with David any more.

David and I broke up, for the first time. We got back together when I was about five and a half months along at our first ultrasound. He was crying more than I had ever seen him when he was looking at the screen. We could see the spine, the hands, the feet... David and I were so amazed at the beautiful little life we had created. And after doing some measurements, the ultrasound technician asked us if we wanted to know the sex. David said yes and so did I. He squeezed my foot even harder than he already was, and as she came around the little baby, she pointed to what looked like a little white blob on the screen. "That is the little penis. Congratulations! You're having a boy." The technician took some pictures then left the room to go get our paper work.

David then came over to me and hugged me, crying so hard I remember his tears dripping down my back. "This is our little boy! This is Noah! We have to be together Becca! For him! For our beautiful baby boy!" I was convinced that this was it. David would finally change. He had realized how badly he was hurting me and his soon-to-be-born son. And our relationship was perfect for a while. He loved me and held me like never before. But after a month went by, near the end of the school year, he hadn't changed...

The fight that ended it all for me was the night David lost his mind. I can't remember why I was so upset, but I was crying. I was also drawing something for him. David asked me a question and I guess my answer wasn't what he wanted me to hear. He got up off the bed and flipped it over. Then he started punching the walls, then he came over to me and if I hadn't moved my leg, he would have punched it with his full force.

David started cradling his hand and screaming. When I wiped the tears away from my face I asked him what had happened to his hand. David grabbed me by the back of the neck and showed me his left pinky knuckle, all while screaming in my face, "This is what YOU do to me!! You did this to me!!! YOU!!!" As I had his knuckle pretty much shoved in my face, I saw that it had been pushed back to the middle of his hand. This was all from me giving him an answer to a question, an answer he did not like...

Like I said, this ended it for me. I couldn't feel for him anymore. He didn't love me. He didn't love his son, Noah, at least not enough to stop the abuse and keep him and his carrier safe. I felt completely lost and abandoned. I didn't know what I was going to do. I wasn't going back to David. Not this time. And I knew I could raise the baby on my own. This was the pivotal moment of my decision process.

I knew what adoption was, but could I really go through with it?... The first step to either decision was getting the fuck out of Orlando.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Maybe its lack of control. Maybe its meant to be said. But the emotions we hide inside our selves always come out when you don't expect for them to. We lash out on the ones we love. And we say hurtful things that sometimes we don't mean to say. But once they're said and done, there isn't much you can do to take them back.

Once both of our families knew I was pregnant, David and I started planning what our life would be like having another little person practically consume all of our time. The more we tried to figure stuff out, the more my family seemed to hate every decision we made. 

I became pregnant on January 9th of 2010. Two days after I turned 17, and just two weeks after David and I started dating. So we definitely rushed into things. I'm not entirely sure why we had sex so quickly. Maybe it was because no body had showed me that much attention in years. But whatever it was, it soon became apparent that David and I just might not work out as a couple. 

David and I started fighting about every little thing. And no matter how the fight progressed, in the end it was always my fault. After about two or three months, it started getting a lot worse. It came to the point where he was spitting in my face and screaming hurtful things to me. I can remember the most horrible thing he ever said to me. His mother, Marissa, absolutely hated it when David would lash out at me. But she didn't do much for that either, because she would yell at me most of the time too. I guess it's just part of the Puerto Rican culture (no offense to any Puerto Ricans reading this). I can't remember what it was that David was so upset about. It all seemed to just blend together at this point. But as I stood in his room, he grabbed me by the back of the neck and whispered in my ear so that Marissa wouldn't hear, "I swear to God if you weren't pregnant I'd beat the shit out of you."

Don't ask me how I felt at that moment. I guess it was fear. But all I did through out most of David's and mines relationship, at least when ever the fights started, was blank out all emotion and take what he had to say, and sometimes do.

As time went on, I knew I had to tell my father eventually that I was pregnant. So when I called him to tell him, I made sure he was at work so there was no way he could fly to Orlando and kill me and David. This way, he could have sometime to cool down. My father is a tug boat engineer and he works for three weeks at a time. So I did plan it perfectly. 

After I told my father, things between my family and I got worse. I started lashing out on my mother, taking out all the pain I felt inside from David and self regret, and throwing it at her in hateful words and actions. I can't help but cry when I think about it. If I could change anything, just one thing. It would have been how badly I treated her when I was with David. I wish I could have controlled my emotions.

Soon, my mother couldn't handle me living there anymore. So I packed up the stuff I needed and moved over into Davids apartment with him, his little sister, his mom, his moms boyfriend and the dog. Five people in a two bedroom house can get pretty stressful. 

The more time David and I spent together, the worse his attitude got. I found out from his mother that he was actually supposed to be taking medication. He apparently has severe anxiety. But David refused to take it. Things quickly started getting worse between David and I. I pretty much felt like his door 

He started yelling more, and soon the verbal abuse became a tag team with physical abuse. He would pull my hair, grab my arms and neck so hard I would have slight bruises. And I didn't know what to do. So I kept blanking it out. I kept pretending like it wasn't happening. All while this beautiful little life growing inside of me was telling me that I had to do something. This abuse wasn't going to stop, and it hadn't gotten better, it had only gotten worse.

'Maybe I should leave. Maybe I should just stay and keep ignoring the truth.' I told myself a hundred different things. But it all boiled down to one thing, leaving David meant I would be alone. The bridge between my family had been burnt, and I had no where else to go. I didn't know what to do, for myself and for the little baby I was five or six months away from having. What was I going to do?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What to do? What to do?

This wasn't the first time in my life that I've ever been scared of what was going to happen next. I was seven when my parents got divorced. I might have been to young to understand the entirety of it all, but I remember more than anything the sadness and fear I felt in my heart. I didn't know what was going to happen next. But it all seemed to just fall into place. 

As I looked down at my stomach and realized for the first time that I was actually pregnant, I was hit by a feeling of emptiness. A feel that can only be associated with being completely and utterly lost in fear. So, I did what any normal, newly pregnant, 17 year old girl would do. And that is cry. I cried and cried for what seemed like hours. What was I going to do? How was I going to tell my mother? How was I going to tell my FATHER?! I was absolutely, 100%, completely petrified of it all.

David, the father of Phoenix, seemed to be totally comfortable with the thought of having a child so young. But I should have guessed he would be. His older sister Alena had three kids of her own and she was only 21, the oldest being five. So David had this easiness about him that I never quite understood until now. 

So, I did all that I could think of doing; I thought of my options.
Option #1: Abortion. Could I really go through with something like that?
Option #2: Adoption. Eh. My father and aunt were adopted.
Option #3: Motherhood. Was I ready?

When you're pregnant, these are the only options you have. It doesn't seem like a lot. And some religions actually ban one or two of them. But I was surprised by that amount. It was almost too much for me. I wished I had only had one choice, that way I wouldn't have to choose. My life would already be planned out for me. 

When my mother found out, it was with a pregnancy test. What she didn't know was that I was already two and a half, almost three months pregnant. I was totally aware that I was pregnant, but she had no clue. When she asked me if I wanted to get a pregnancy test, I asked why. She said, "I just want to be safe Rebecca." We joked around and laughed in the store as we were buying the pregnancy test. To be honest, I have no idea how I kept so calm, knowing that my mother could kill me within 30 minutes. 

When we got home, I took the test. We waited and finally it said yes. Now, I don't know why, but remember when I said I cried and cried when I first realized that I was pregnant? Well, I cried twice as hard, if not harder when I read the word "Pregnant" on the test. I guess it was a true wake up call that I had truly gotten myself into one of the deepest piles of shit I could be in; A pregnant teenager.

My mother's first reaction was looking up abortions. I know now that she was afraid because she loved me and didn't want to see me hurt. But at the time, it didn't seem like it. Finally, once she calmed down (about three days later) I was able to discuss it with her more in depth.

"I'm scared for you Rebecca. I'm scared for your baby. I don't want either of you to go through any of this." All I could say was, "I know mom. I know." 

So she set up an appointment at an abortion clinic for me. When I told David about it he was furious. So furious he cried on the phone with me for hours. Finally, I  came to the first decision-elimination. I called the abortion clinic and cancelled my appointment, day of. Now I was down to only two options.

When I arrived at school the very next day, David was there. He had only been to the school twice in the past three weeks. Simply because he didn't feel like going, I guess. He begged me to not go through with it. When I told him I had cancelled the appointment, he dropped out of school. I guess this was his way of helping himself get a job and "man up" to him responsibilities of becoming a new father. 

Now that my family in Orlando knew that I was pregnant and refused to get an abortion, they all looked to me to see what I was going to do next. Here came the hard part...

The Beginning

Another day gone by. And I find another way to go on with my life without him next to me.

Life is a beautiful thing. I know that's cliché, but for those who actually take the time to appreciate everything around them truly understand the significance of it. Like when the birds chirp, or when a baby cries. It’s all part of a cycle. The cycle of life. We're all part of something bigger than what we see. No matter who we are or what we believe. That's why we have to take a step back, and love our lives for what they are.

Life comes with great obstacles. Most people find a way around them. Well, I choose to go through them. No matter how large or difficult they might be. All my life I've had to face certain challenges that set me apart from the rest. And without those challenges I wouldn't be who I am today. It’s how I overcame them that make me different. It’s the choices I made that gave me the ability to get through the greatest challenge I have ever had to face.

I do have to say that my decisions have brought me a lot of grief, but they have also brought me happiness. The struggle I went through within the past year has helped me realize all of what I have said above. If it weren't for life's challenges, I wouldn't be where I am today. And I am thankful for them every moment. I'm glad I have to opportunity to share with people who are interested in my story the true self-triumph I have made in such a short time. 

So, with no further hesitation, I will now begin my journey. No slacking. No censoring. This is my tale. Well, it’s not mostly about me. It’s all about a special someone. Someone who came into my life and changed it within a split second. It’s about the people who affected me in many different ways. And it’s about true and total selflessness. This is a tale about a Phoenix.