March 28, 2016 (Savethe1) — As a first generation immigrant from the Caribbean islands, life really came at me fast. In November 2010, at 17 years old, after a lifetime of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my parents, they decided to rid themselves of the burden of having to live with me. I was a high school senior in Florida at the time — six months shy of graduation. I had already secured a full scholarship to Howard University in Washington, D.C. My future was pretty much laid out, so I thought.
Then that's when my parents made the fateful decision two weeks before my 18th birthday to send me to go live with two male relatives, both of whom were notorious for a history of violence against women. I begged and pleaded for my parents to accept me to return back home. I sought outside resources for shelter; but as fate would have it, I would end up living for a total of four months with these men. Within two months of living there, the unthinkable happened: I was brutally raped of my virginity, molested and physically abused in every single way imaginable. I was told by the two male relatives that if I told anyone, I would be killed. To say I was horrified, dehumanized, terrorized and completely shell-shocked is an understatement.
In the summer of 2011, during a routine physical for college, I learned that I was six weeks pregnant as a direct result of the incestuous rape. I was a virgin when the rape took place and I had never been with any other man. My doctor was just as devastated as I was. I remember the doctor and nurse practitioner repeatedly telling me they were “so sorry that this has happened.” Immediately, my doctor told me I had three options: 1) Abort the baby 2) Adoption and 3) Keep my baby. This was not a tough decision for me. I am and have always been pro-life. What furthered my convictions was that my doctor ordered an ultrasound for me at six weeks pregnant. As soon as I saw that ultrasound, I realized that I was carrying a human life inside of me. No matter what, I did not have it in my heart to terminate this human life, regardless of the heinous, barbaric crime that had been perpetrated upon me. I never associated my unborn baby as being responsible.
Of course the rapist demanded I get an abortion and my family demanded I give the baby up for adoption. Adoption was not an option for me because I was already beginning to bond deeply with the unborn child I was carrying. No matter what, this was MY child! This was my flesh and blood and I was her mother. In February, 2012, I gave birth to my daughter Valencia Marie. Having my daughter alone at 19 years old, even though I was terrified, confused and shaking, when my mid wife handed me my child, I knew it was love at first sight.
By 2012 a full-on criminal case investigation was in full effect to get my rapist convicted of the crimes he perpetrated against me. After immense pressure from my family, I pursued child support. In retaliation, the rapist filed for partial custody of my daughter and then for full custody. I fought hard to protect my daughter from this monster. Luckily, the courts did not grant my rapist any parenting time and he has never spent time with my daughter, though he's still fighting me in court. Along the way, I never ever regretted not choosing abortion or adoption. Raising my daughter has been completely worth it. I never associated the rape with my daughter.
I am so thankful to be a mother. First and foremost, my biggest blessing in life is my daughter. This gorgeous, intelligent child never ceases to amaze me. Each and every day I fall more and more in love with her personality, her charm, and her bright energy. Being a mother is absolutely the gift that keeps on giving. I learn more about my daughter each day as she learns more about me. I am absolutely a loving nurturer, so being a mom just always came naturally to me. It is truly something I wake up every day thankful for, because I know there are some people who cannot have children. So the fact that I get to experience this great milestone in life is a huge blessing. I await the day I am blessed with more children in the distant future. The fact that my own mother was very awful to me and never loved me, taught me that a mother’s love is undoubtedly one of the most important forms of love in a person’s life.
True Love is when I look into my daughter’s eyes. Valencia is the love of my life. And whenever I have more children, they will always be the most amazing love of my life. To be a mother really shows you the love your capable of. I would gladly die for my daughter. I want nothing more than for my daughter Valencia to feel the endless love my heart has for her and for her to have all the happiness in the world. I want to raise my daughter to know that no matter how far we are, our souls are connected and that nothing can ever break our bond. There is nothing my daughter can ever do that can limit my love for her. This is the type of motherly love I will always have for any future children as well.
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I went on to attend technical school and graduate with a certificate in Medical Administration. I am now earning my Bachelors in Health Services Administration, then I plan on earning my Master's in Management. I currently work in medical education at the largest medical school in the country. Later on down the road, I plan on becoming a Hospital Administrator or working in Emergency management, since I handle crisis very well. So you see, having an unplanned pregnancy out of rape, in no way ruined my life or my education.
I have never loved my child any less because of her biological father. Often people ask me how I feel about my daughter because her father is a monster who brutally raped me. I ask them a rhetorical question: “If a child's biological father was Hitler, Saddam Hussein, or Bin Laden, does that make them less of a child worthy of endless love?” The fact of the matter is NO, absolutely not! As human beings, we do not choose who our biological parents are. Whether it be a serial killer or a rapist, that child is pure, and that child is innocent. That child is a new life. I believe new life begins at conception. In the future, when I have more children, I know for sure I will not view little Valencia who was conceived from rape any different from my children conceived in wedlock.
Reprinted with permission from Save the 1.