A guest post by Leanne Dyck
“Hello, my name is Jenny McLean and I am a victim of incest. These words sound odd to me. For so long I hid the truth. My family was ‘normal” I told myself: white picket fence, dog, parents who loved me.
Until one day my Mom discovered the truth.
You see my Dad had this drinking problem. He didn’t beat anyone. He just helped himself.
It all started when I was a stupid little ten year old. He told me I was beautiful. He told me Daddy’s little girl needed to learn how to be a woman. I was so dumb. I believed him. Before long his night time visits had become routine.
When Mom discovered the truth she wasn’t angry. She was hurt. Dad was the breadwinner, I was just the kid. So she made it clear that I was the one to go.
So I became a street kid. I had to find a way to feed myself. So I left school to hook. Believe me it’s not the life that a little girl dreams of. I turned to drugs to cope.
Then, one morning I woke up throwing up. Somehow I remembered in my constantly high state that I hadn’t had my period for at least two months. I knew that wasn’t normal. I prayed it wasn’t this.”
She points to her swollen belly.
“I needed to find out what was wrong. So I found a walk-in clinic. It was there in the walk-in clinic that I got a real education. You see I had to wait. As I waited I looked around. I saw a mother who had to be 40. She was a mess. Still worse were her kids. Her baby wouldn’t stop crying. Her toddler looked like shit. Snot dripped down his face to his chin. His hair was in knots and tangles. He just couldn’t sit still. They looked uncared for and unloved. You can’t love a habit and a kid. It just doesn’t work. You have to choose.
It was like someone gave me a hard slap across the face. I woke up. I realized that I could go on hating myself but I had to love my baby. She needs a fighting chance. She didn’t do anything wrong.
So I talked to the receptionist. She directed me here. It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been damn hard. I’m a user and it’s hard to shake the instincts. But, hey, I’m here. I’ve been clean for five months. The day I walked through those clinic doors is the day my baby got a fighting chance. One thing this program has taught me is to come clean. Admit the truth to yourself and to everyone else. It’s the only way out. Thanks for listening.”
She sits down.
–Knitwear Designer ( www.oknitting.com) and author (Novelty Yarn) Leanne Dyck’s career as an Early Childhood Educator spanned fourteen years. Her final position was in a young family day care centre. There Leanne befriended many teen-age mothers while she cared for their children. ‘Bad Girl’ was written as a tribute to these dedicated and courageous young women. This story is included in a collection entitled Maynely True.