Hand in Heart Icon

The Obscenity of Infant Abandonment

child-abandoment“Mama, why didn’t you love me”?

I didn’t realize that I had unresolved, abandonment issues until my husband woke me from a deep sleep: “Honey, are you okay? You were shouting, ‘Mama! Mama! Why didn’t you love me?” He cradled me in his arms while I shook uncontrollably. Then I cried my heart out for what seemed like hours. My hurt inner-child clung fiercely to the person who loved me without rhyme or reason. I was grateful for that. But how could he truly understand the raw pain that can’t be seen? He hadn’t been abandoned. He has loving parents who had not thrown him away like trash.

Deep down inside, I envied my husband. I would have given all I had just to feel that parental security even in my mature years. Yes, my husband’s unconditional love has over the years of our long marriage kept the emotional powder keg of abandonment at bay. But not my deep wound of rejection. It was still bottled up inside me. Now, I realise that it had become more debilitating to me than any physical pain I had known. No one can understand or imagine this emptiness, unless they are in my shoes. How am I supposed to feel, forsaken utterly by a woman who bound me to her womb for eight and a half months? No sponge can soak up the tears because I had unanswered questions: Why did my mother discard me like an old mattress when I was a helpless newborn? What possessed her to bury me alive? Why didn’t she love me? How could she sever the umbilical cord without any emotion? Did maternal bonding die with her spiritless feelings? Did she just walk away and pretend it didn’t happen? Even if she were alive I doubt I would get the truth from her. How can one truly rectify something so heinous?

Being a mother myself, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like to cover a newborn’s face with dirt and walk away from the gravesite. Nevertheless, she has never stopped being a part of me. Even to this day, I still cry for a mother I have not known. I long for her hugs and kisses. I ache for the warmth of her body, her heartbeat. I’ve longed for the words, “I love you, my little princess.”

As a “forsaken” child, I would often find myself searching women’s faces. Could this one or that one be my mother? I would sometimes pick a face I liked who had a hint of my features and silently muse: “Will you be my mother? Will you adopt me as your own? I’ve got lots of love to give you.”

Are abandonment issues difficult to deal with? Yes. You never get over the feeling of not belonging to your biological roots. I’ve heard it said, “Even God can’t change the past.” But the past can be changed if you take control of it before it eats you alive. Yes, I’m in command of my “loaned” life-vessel on earth. So it is up to me. I can either end up on a shrink’s couch for the rest of my life, or become who I really am … a worthy opponent to whatever is thrown my way. Having to cope with life and its difficulties is hard enough. Thank heavens. What has happened to me did not predetermine my life, not shattered my self-worth. I’m stronger than ever. At the
same time, when I feel the dark shadow of my ugly past creep into my veins, I sabotage it with a hug from the first person who crosses my path. Alternatively, I look in the mirror, give myself a compassionate look. Then I proudly tell myself that I made the beauty I see, not my mother. It just drowns my soul to think how a mother who has carried a baby in her womb can simply throw her child into a dumpster – place her in a brown bag, dump her on the side of the road – bury alive – flush her down a toilet – drop her off at a hospital – murder her offspring. All this has happened for real. I’m one of those tragic statistics. I have survived to tell the tale. In my opinion, it is the worst abhorrent crime committed against a child who NEVER asked to be born.

There is NO excuse on this planet for these deplorable actions. Women who commit these acts should be accountable never be called mother again. What goes around comes around.

For all the unselfish moms that have raised their children despite economic or family pressure, I love you.

Afterthought and inner examination: After completing this article, a friend opened my closed, bitter heart when she disclosed a stark reality. “I feel for the mothers,” she wrote. “One can wonder if there isn’t some small hope in those mothers’ minds that someone, somehow, will find that newly delivered infant and give it a life, a good life, that they could never have been able to do themselves.” True. My mother was very young, practically a child herself. Totally ignorant of what pregnancy truly means. She had absolutely no-one to turn to. There are teenagers like my mother, who cannot face what society demands of them: chastity. In some
cultures such as unchaste behavior would lead to death. In others women are possessions of men.

They will suffer consequences should they not obey. In our own country, it may be a young girl on drugs, one who has not the ability to reach out for help – or others, who are naive, inexperienced, fearful – totally afraid (probably with good reason) of their family’s reaction. From this day forward, I wholeheartedly bury (forever) the unrestrained, “rejection” anger that I’ve felt in my heart for so long. On the other hand, I strongly feel that we do need a world where babies are wanted, regardless. How can infant abandonment be avoided? Education is key – teaching girls at an early age that there is always a solution to all of life’s difficulties.
LIFE must be revered. We are responsible and accountable for each other.

I now unconditionally love all mothers. And I’m too old now to adopt!