One of the pathways to crime and eventual incarceration for women includes growing up in a family that has been impoverished for generations.
It’s not surprising that as the woman’s teen years approach, she experiences a deep desire to leave this environment, particularly if it has been chaotic or dysfunctional.
Then as so many ‘inside’ women write about, along comes “baby” a short time later, providing a great blessing to her, but also a supreme financial burden for a young mother with an incomplete education, undeveloped job skills, and a fractured family system.
Here’s a piece scribed by CS this week that details this pattern:
In nine months my adult self would be born…
When born, you cannot determine
how you will be raised.
For me, it was within a carnival scene,
so alive and adventurous,
it would leave you amazed.
I had to grow up fast till the age of 16.
I left my home a long time ago,
tears running down my face as I ran out the door,
and all I wanted was for you to follow me,
‘cause without you felt so empty.
Brought up by a man of alcoholism and abuse,
he brought me down so far,
I thought, “what’s the use?”
So I thought if I could change, I would.
I searched in all the wrong places,
at parties and bars, and all the wrong faces.
I met a man at the age of 18
just like my father, very mean.
We made love at such a young age,
that in exactly nine months
my adult self would be born.
When I found out I was in my first trimester stage,
then we got married, written down and sworn.
I never got to be a child myself,
but as a child I was bearing another child.
So I put these toys upon a shelf
though they are not for me – isn’t this wild?
Now at 31, I am still married
with a beautiful daughter and handsome son.
And yes, I am still married, but I am not buried.
So I set out on this new journey of life.
2 thoughts on “children bearing children”
Very early motherhood usually doesn’t end up with the girl marrying and rare for her to stay married. Luckily this exception occurred for this young woman and her spouse is not abusive, as she states earlier in the poem.
Health education for young people is so important and has been around in schools for over 20 years, however babies continue to born before the parents are ready to take on this huge responsibility.
In the prison, where I worked, the women had a choice to receive a 90 day supply of birth control pills, with recommendation to go to a clinic within 60 days of release for more. Unfortunately this wasn’t a priority for most as several returned pregnant, a year or two later.
A significant way to break the cycle of poverty is education (school and of the self). It’s so much easier to complete an education without the added responsibility of having a child.
Hi, Alvarado! Responding to your comment, it seems that this young woman did marry a man like her father. I completely agree that education (from pre-school on up) is essential toward developing the fullness of a person. As always, thanks for your insightful comments. MB