Story of the 'Unwed' Mother: "Who Am I?"
by Robin Westbrook
Look at me,
Look closely at my face and truly see me.
I am the face of the housewife, the store clerk, the doctor, the teacher, the doting grandmother, the "childless" business executive, the judge, the florist, the drycleaner on the corner, the crossing guard...all these and more.
Behind my face, lies the truth you deny. Behind the wall I have built for self-protection, is the pain you refuse to see.
My face does not reveal the open wound in my heart, but it is there.
I am the forgotten face, the face that fades into the crowd, that re-invents itself in order to fit in with all the rest of you.
I am the face that many wish would remain forever anonymous, the face that many long to see yet the face that others fear.
I am the face of denial and repression. Behind my silent, sealed lips, there are cries of grief and screams of rage. Behind my dry eyes, is a lifetime of unshed tears.
I am the face of long-ago shame and yesterday's scandal. I am the face of an imprisoned soul, punished for breaking obsolete and unloving rules.
I am the face of one-half of a whole. I am a missing piece longing for completion. I am the face of a traumatic and unnatural separation and a primal wound.
I am the face of grief without a grave, questions without answers and secrets unknown.
I am the face of an unfinished story, a life in limbo and a victim of the needs and desires of others.
I am the face of remorse and betrayal and a singular brand of loneliness. I am the face of unique tragedy.
I am the face that, now, emerges from obscurity and calls out to be seen. You can call me the birthmother, the first mother, the natural mother or whatever term meets your comfort level, but it won't change the fact at hand.
That fact is that I am a MOTHER without her child.
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Robin Westbrook Copyright © 2000