About 10 years ago, I set out on a journey in search of change, not only for my career but also for my personal life. Change of geographic location seemed to be what I needed most at a time. I unwillingly accompanied a friend of mine on a business trip to a foreign country whose language I still think is the most difficult to learn, I swear. But thank God the universal language is English and most people there spoke it very well enough for me to be able to effectively communicate with them.
There, we both shared our knowledge and skills in our field of expertise with a group of women. Our business partner and I hit it off almost immediately. I’m not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that we shared the same birth month, one day apart but different year. We adopted each other as sisters and have since, in spite of all the challenges we both face separately and together, been like a hand in glove.
The weekend when we were scheduled to leave, we decided to have some fun and I met this really great looking guy. He introduced himself. After briefly chatting with myself and friends, he took me for a spin on the dance floor. I had a wonderful time, though we parted without exchanging numbers, something my friends thought was crazy! I was just out of a 5 years relationship and I was not crazy about kicking it with anyone, so I let that be, although I thought he was sizzling!
The next day, we were out exploring the city and I thought it was uncanny that I bumped into mister fabulous. I don’t think to that point I had ever met a man that was soooooo fine, fabulous and beautiful all at once! He was tall 6′ 4″, light brown in complexion, beautiful brown eyes; an interesting mix of Spanish and a bit of probably everything else. Sported a nice wave of soft curly black hair that was cropped close to his scalp, a nice body, not lean but the extra weight he carried was evenly distributed in all the right places. 🙂 I guess he owed that to his regular work out on the football field.
He was dressed in all white and I was totally flattered that he remembered me from the club. We were both taken by surprise when we saw each other so we chatted briefly again and exchanged numbers. He came by where I was staying so we could talk some more, as I was scheduled to leave the next day. I found out that he was an attorney, divorced with two daughters and was currently single. After several weeks of communicating back and forth via telephone, I was invited to return for his birthday. The decision was easy to make since my ‘sister’ also wanted us to get together for some business. I decided to kill two birds with one stone.
The birthday celebration was fun. We all had a great time at the party, we spent all our free time together and everything appeared to be going well except there was this thing bugging me. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was. When I looked into his eyes, it was cold, no warmth at all. His eyes were dead and that bothered me a lot. The darkness I felt was eerie. He often used to ask why I was looking at him the way I did. I remembered sharing how I felt with my friend who knew me for years. She thought I was being my usual meticulous, sometimes complaining-self and casually brushed me off, saying “he is a nice guy, everyone is not perfect”. I dismissed my thoughts and went with the flow.
It is so important to explore feeling of uneasiness. Your entire being knows when you are not in a good place, be it a physical location or your relationship with an individual.
In my quest to pursue the change, I also convinced myself that I super loved the country, the people were great, the food I was not too crazy about, the night life was always swinging over all the energy and the vibe of the city I thought I could settle in was a positive one. I decide after several back and forth trips to give it a shot. He appeared to be great guy. I never had to compete for his time or attention. He was always there and things seem to have been going well for us.
The novelty of my new found love wore off very quickly, even though in my head I thought that I had made the necessary adjustment. Reality sank in, I realized I was miserable, my life was routine and monotonous, I hated the place and the language was getting to me. If we are watching the news I understood nothing. Someone had to be constantly translating everything. When hanging out, I could not be a part of the conversation, unless they decided to speak in English. That use to tick me off. I guess it was more natural for them to converse in their native tongue, though most of the times they were very accommodating and considerate.
I realized now that it is very important to explore all the options when making major life changing decisions; it is so easy to get carried away.
I also discovered that Mr. fabulous was not so fabulous. He had a major flaw that didn’t sit well with me. He was extremely jealous. The first time I experienced his outrage, it scared me out of my wits though he never got physical with me. We were having what seemed to be a perfect Friday evening, which usually started with dinner, then a drink at a bar and clubbing afterwards. That particular evening I was lucky to see a female friend of mine, whom he also knew. Her boyfriend was visiting with a group of guys for a golf tournament and so I introduced everyone. It didn’t seem to be an issue, at least not at that moment. About 5 minutes after, the guy came back over to me with a question. Our chat lasted less than 3 minutes. Lo and behold, Mr.-now-not-so-fabulous totally tripped. He demanded the car keys which was in my purse and started fussing about god knows what. The entire evening was ruined just because of whatever was going on in his head. I never understood what happened but that night the clubbing was off and we ended up going home and to bed without speaking to each other.
We didn’t speak for about two days. When he finally came around I was ready and prepared to deal with a drama king. I agreed to meet him for us to talk, as I was still staying with my friend at the time. I was totally blown away when in the middle of the park he got down on his knees, took his pinky ring off and ask me to give him a chance to make it right and that he didn’t want me to leave, he loved me, bla, bla, bla. It was an awww moment! I admit, I really wanted it to work, and yeah I got weak (after all I am only human) enough to forget everything I felt, especially that I didn’t want to stay. I succumbed. That night the love making was magical and it once again felt perfect but the unthinkable happened. I’m not sure if he broke the condom on purpose or it was just one of those things that happened randomly. I still believed he some how did it on purpose as a part of his plan to keep me in check.
Several weeks after, I discovered I was pregnant. I always had issues with irregular period so I never worried when it was late. I never had any morning sickness or any of that stuff most women experience when they are with child. I had this strong feeling all along that he knew. Later, I felt tired a lot then I suddenly felt sick after having a glass of wine one night and he suggested that I do a test. We picked one up from the pharmacy and did the test together. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the plus sign. He was much happier than I was for sure—he was waiting outside the door sporting a huge grin and a hug. A moment that was most women dream felt like my worse nightmare. I felt trapped. Though I had stuck around in my heart, I was not planning to stay. I was not happy. I really didn’t like it there at all. Three weeks was fun but living there on a permanent basis was not cute. The news of my pregnancy was greeted with ambivalence.
My job took me travelling so I was able to break the monotony of my life which became almost an unbearable routine. My travels created further drama for us; he saw it as me ‘jumping about the place’, so having a baby with him was certainly not in the cards for me. I pretended to be okay though on the inside there was turmoil. I could not understand why I felt the way I did. My ‘sister’ even stopped talking to me, she thought he was an idiot and I deserved better, a sign I totally ignored.
Your friends and family sometimes can play a major role in helping you to see a person in a different light. More often than not they are seeing what you can’t. My mother for example had an amazing eye for people. It does not mean every time your friends or family react in a negative way to someone you are dating that the person is no good. But you should certainly take a closer look. There are lots of ways to go about taking a step back to explore what others are seeing. I admit this could be very challenging but not impossible. I usually don’t like a whole lot of people in my business, I have since learnt to pray about stuff and discern for myself.
The first time I heard my baby’s heart beat on the monitor was when the reality hit home that I was carrying the life of another human being in my body. I cried and vowed in my heart to embrace my blessing. He was there with me and waited patiently for every doctor’s appointment I had. The wait always seemed like forever even with an appointment. My partner was really trying his best to be as supportive as possible. We were now living together with plans to be married, an idea that didn’t sit well with me either. I even hated the house, he changed the furniture but it still felt dark and gloomy, like a dudgeon, you know.
It went well for a while. One day, out of the blues, I got a call from someone who was near and very dear to me. She called with news of being diagnosed with cancer and was given several months to live. My first reaction was to go to her. I wanted to see her. He was right there when I got the phone call and created a scene. Despite the protest, I left.
I believe I really needed the getaway. I felt like I had just come up for air. It was as if I was held under water for an extended period of time and I desperately needed to breathe.
I spent a lot of time praying about my situation. The feeling of not being in the right place I could not seem to shake off. The two weeks I spent with my dying friend I would never forget because she eventually passed. I remembered she said something that I believe helped me to connect with the decision I had already made in my heart. She said “if someone really truly loves you, he would be supportive of you. Never give up on your dreams to please someone, as resentment is bound to step in later”.
I went back to my home knowing fully well I was going to leave. I was prepared myself to raise my baby alone, if I had to. We discussed how we both felt but could not come to a common understanding. He helped me to make the decision I never regretted. A minor misunderstanding ensued and I got a chance to experience his outrage. Things were broken, he never raised his hand at me but the volume of his voice went up higher than normal in the middle of the night. It was at that point that I decided to get the hell out of there! I did not want to find out if I would be the next one to be flung into the wall after the remote control, and secondly, I never wanted my child to be exposed to that kind of environment.
Leaving was easier than I thought since I had been praying about it and was packing for an upcoming business trip. I put all my belongings into the two cases I owned. He left for work and I made a phone call. My friend and her mom got me out of there in a heart beat! I left him a note with his keys. Even though he knew where I was, he never called or came looking for me. He was too angry and maybe also could not be bothered. We parted ways with him, my baby and I, and we were back to my home town a few days later.
I tried my best to stay strong but, between my business travels and the stress from the relationship, it took a toll on my body and I was placed on complete bed rest at about five and a half weeks pregnant. I spent the week praying and asking God to keep me and my baby safe. I cried and prayed trying my best to stay calm and strong. On the fourth morning the word I received was “do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is”. Reading those words shook me to the core. I knew my baby would not have survived so I prepared my heart and my body to embrace an experience I would never wish even for my worst enemy!
Two days after, it was a Saturday morning, I would never forget, I woke up with a fever that shock my body in the worse possible way. My bones felt as though they were about to be dislocated from my joints. It seems to have lasted for a while. The doctor came and checked. Everything was ‘okay’. Got some medication and went to sleep. I woke up again with the same shiver but this time it was accompanied with pain, I felt as though I was in a battle for my life. I cried and I prayed in all the tongues I could muster up. I comforted myself, knowing that one of my best friends was on her way.
Sometimes, when you are in an encounter with physical and emotional pain there is nothing anyone else on the outside can do.
I literally felt as though my child was dragged out of my body. There she was, though not fully developed, I could see her limbs her tiny little fingers, her face. It was peaceful as ever. She was definitely an angel on her way back to heaven, from a mother who was not initially crazy when she was first conceived, grew to love, accept and embrace the fact that she was there. I called her by name. My friends were all happy for me. I got the love and support I desperately needed from her father, from them. Though they never met her, they all predicted that she would be gorgeous. I thought she would be also.
Since I left his house that day, we never set eyes on each other though I have made several visits to his country. What I thought was profound was that he had known that I was hospitalized but never once made a telephone call to find out how I was doing, I felt the wrath of his anger in the worse possible way. Inspite of all this, I still extended him the courtesy of a telephone call to inform him that the baby did not make it. His response was very matter-of-fact. His words, “that is very unfortunate”, pierced my heart, and those were his last words. The coldness I once saw in his eyes was the same coldness I experienced in the final moment of our connection.
I really never knew that losing a child could have been so devastating; the pain seems to always linger. The weeks after was not easy either, because persons who knew I was pregnant kept asking, “oh how is your baby”? “What did you have”? Oh man! You would not believe some of the dumbest and most insensitive things that came out of people’s mouth in their attempt to offer words of comfort. Sometimes it’s easier to say nothing. I always responded “you know, its God’s will”.
To this day I don’t know where she was buried. My family took care of that. I was still in hospital but in my heart I still think of her and I guess she would always be a part of me. The child I never held in my arms. It has been so many years and it still hurts like it was yesterday. Oh the tears! I thought I shed more than enough back then. They still flow as fresh now that I am sharing as it did back then.
I am happy that I was able to keep the faith and embrace God’s word, “do not be unwise but understand the will of the Lord” It was not easy but it has been my foundation for recovery and overcoming such a devastating experience. I was never angry or questioned God. I know that at the end of the day, inspite of all my mistakes, He loves me unconditionally and would always want the best for me at all times. Today I understand He may have honoured what I had in my heart all along. I wanted to be in a loving supportive family structure if a child is to come along. I guess I would never really know but I believe the future has a way of revealing the mysteries the past. You may not always presently understand all the questions you may have when things in your life go wrong.
I thank God that I survived the ordeal and for the strength He has given me on a moment–o moment, day-to-day basis. I most of all thank Him for His grace, that I can honour the experience and share from my heart. I wish I could give you the formula for how I got over this one but I can’t. Hopefully, just knowing that you are not alone in your situation will help you to overcome yours. Let God be your rock. He saw me through. My mind is still intact and He can do the same for you.
ZOE MENDEZ, July 20, 2010
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