Growing up in the state of Virginia, I was always stared at and mocked upon by others. They said I didn’t look like them and it would be best if no one ever looked like me. In grade school the kids would reference me to a baboon making monkey noises while jumping around me in circles. “Bonnie the baboon” they’d shout out as I would run all the way home. The children would pull on my hair, and would trip me in the playground. I looked different compared to the other children in my grade and it only got worse throughout the years. I was pulled out from school by my mother in the fifth grade and I made sure to make the most of it. I would go through the trash of the school and the trash of some homes, making an attempt at finding a good book to read.
Last year at the age of only seventeen, the doctors had informed my mother of what was to come of me. They told us about what was going on in the state of Virginia and said there wasn’t much that we could do. I would have to be sterilized against my will and would never be able to have a child of my own. Knowing that I could never have kids was such dreadful news. I always wanted a miniature version of me, a little me who would have curly blonde hair and rosy cheeks, with long curled eyelashes and thick eyebrows. A little me that would possess the ability to play soccer with her classmates without getting judged and without getting laughed at. A little me who would have actual friends and wouldn’t have to sit alone while eating her lunch beside the creek.
I have Treacher Collins Syndrome or TCS for short. It’s characterized by deformities of the ears, eyes, cheekbones, and chin. This is a result of new mutations rather than inheritance. Unfortunately I’m the only one in my family with this condition and I guess god wanted it to be this way. The goal of eugenics is to improve the genetic composition of the population. The government believes that the act of sterilization can be imposed upon the insane, idiotic, imbecile, or moronic and convicted rapists or criminals if recommended by a board of experts. In a week I will have to be sterilized, and forget the thoughts about having children and grandchildren. I will have one inch removed from each of my Fallopian tubes. The tubes will be ligated and the ends cauterized by carbolic acid followed by alcohol and the edges of the broad ligaments brought together with continuous suture.
Every night I sit at home and cry about how little time I have and what they are going to do to me. The tears stream down my disfigured cheeks as i sit upon the window seal. I watch as the crickets chirp away to the sound of the rain. The lights are out in the neighborhood meaning everyone has a candle beside their window. I can hear my mothers snoring from across the room, it’s one of the reasons I can’t seem to fall asleep at night. As I attempt to get up from my seat I accidentally knock over the candle that stands tall beside me and awaken my mother from her slumber. I try my best to not be seen but it’s too late. She hears the scuffling of the carpet as I try to scratch off the wax from it, this leaves a stain on both the carpet and my dress. My mother sits up and looks right into my direction, although it’s dark, I’m still able to make out her facial expressions. Throughout the last couple of months her hairline had started to recede, and gray hair was forming. She seems to have a face of concern, she’s scared and worried. Her eyes don’t seem to sparkle i. The moonlight like they use too.i know she’s thinking about me, that seems to be the only thing on her mind lately. Without hesitation my mother stands up to come and sit beside me on the floor, near the stained carpet. We sit this way until the deck of dawn, when the birds start chirping and you could hear the sound of cars driving by, just below my window.
- “Momma I’m scared.”
- “Don’t worry Bonnie my precious baby, they don’t know what they’re talking about, I guess things were meant to be this way.” My mother says as she gives me a kiss on my forehead
My mother always told me to pray to god and to talk to him, even if it meant that I would get no answer in return. Growing up I thought god made me this way because I had done something wrong to upset him but I couldn’t recall any sin I had committed. Or maybe mama was to blame, I would think to myself. Had she sinned when she was a youngster? Maybe she stole items from the fair, because her parents were poor and couldn’t afford everything. Or maybe mama lied and it could be why papa left us. For a huge part of my life I blamed her for the way that I was and she never seemed to yell back at me. Maybe it was because she pitied me and felt sorry for the way that I looked and sounded. I’ve always been religious and never meant to cause harm to anyone, but unfortunately I can’t seem to say the same thing about them. All I can do is pray to the lord that this procedure will go well and I can make it out alive, and I can then be able to move on from this traumatic part of my life. I hope that in the future they’ll be able to see how many lives they ruined and how many dreams they shattered, and the number of families they’ve torn apart.