JANUARY – KEY KEEPER
After I graduated in June of 1994 A.E.V, D.B. and I moved to grandma’s in Chicago. I worked and A.E.V. did not. In July of 1995 I found out that I was pregnant with MMM. A.E.V. was not wearing any underwear during the time that I got pregnant. I was told by D.B. that he was told to get me pregnant on purpose so I could not leave him. I had tried to leave him because he was so hateful and abusive. I even took another guy named M.K. who is friends with D.S. and D.J.S. to a party that was held on New Year’s at T.S.M.’s house on 60th and Talman in Chicago. That was the last party T.S.M. had.
I took M. K. to the party because I really wanted to be with him, until I saw him with two bears in his hand. It was a New Year’s Eve party. A.E.V. spent the entire time in the bathroom crying to K. M. about me leaving him. K. M. was one of my best friends in high school, and was the maid of honor at my wedding to A.E.V. she also works in insurance and has since we were in high-school.
I felt terrible about what I did bringing M.K. to the party because A.E.V. made me feel terrible. I could hear him crying and carrying on about how much he loved me and how mean I was being, and how I would not listen. I was the key keeper that night and just about all the time, and everyone else was extremely drunk but me.
A key Keeper takes everyone’s car keys when they walk in the front door and is the babysitter for all the drunk people at the party. They make sure it doesn’t get to out of hand and cut people off when they drink too much. Mostly, I just made sure no one left and kept their clothing on. I enjoyed being the key keeper because I got to watch everyone get drunk and act silly. They are sleep over parties meant so you can have fun but no one gets into an accident and dies. The only way home after I take your keys is by cab. If you can’t stay you can’t drink.
By July of 1995, I became pregnant with M.M.V.M. I was working at a company called Midland Transportation. I had just gotten the job and my cousin S.Chorn. was a truck driver for the company and talked to her boss and he interviewed me and I started working there. I was making eight dollars an hour. I was an Administrative assistant to the night Terminal Manager La. B. he was a very kind man and used to tell me to dot my eyes and cross my T’s so I would not lose my job.
When I became pregnant it was only a few days before I would qualify for health insurance. While working there I was told that I had best think about my job before I decided if I was going to keep my daughter. I informed the Main Terminal Manager that if he fired me, he would be sued. I looked at him and said, “I guess I am calling a Lawyer.” I kept my job but they kept making it harder and harder for me to keep by constantly changing things and adding more and more work to my checklist.
A.E.V. did not have a job at the time and it did not seem like he wanted one. He also tried to push me into having an abortion but I refused and called his mother and told her I was pregnant and what he was saying. As far as I was concerned you cannot see the future and for all I knew that might have been the only chance I had at having a baby. I think babies are blessings and that is my opinion for me not for everyone. I believe in a woman’s right to choose and do not judge others but it was my body and my baby and my decision to make regard-less of what anyone else thought or felt. I was the one who was going to be raising the baby it was my business and no one else’s. D.B., my grandmother, L.B. and my cousin S.K. all tried to push me into having an abortion and I was shunned by the family for my refusal not to.
It went so far that L.B. even called me and told me that if I ever wanted to hear from her again then I would get rid of the baby or lose her. I told her that was an easy decision and hung up the telephone. If she could not respect me and my choices then I had no alternative choice.
My grandmother wrote D.B. a seven-page long letter talking about how I should have an abortion. The letter was put on D.B.’s table but I saw my name at the top through the envelope and the letter was written to me. I read the letter and became infuriated as it said that I could have an abortion and should wait to have children. It said I would never be able to find a job, and I would not be able to manage, and that A.E.V. would leave me and I would end up on public aid and not be able to find a new husband. She said I was unmarried and that a lot of women made mistakes. I carried the letter around with me until M.M.V.M. was five years old.
I set out to prove my grandmother wrong, I got married, bought a car, got an apartment for us to live in, paid for my own wedding, with the help of W.E.V., my father assisted with the Cake and DJ. A.E.V. did not have a job but I did love him so I married him anyway. While I was married to A.E.V., I was not allowed to get a job nor was I able to go to school. Every time I got an interview, he would pick a fight with me after I got all ready and was about to walk out the door. If I did get the job, he would cheat on me or pick fights to make me late. Once I came home and found that he had slept the entire time I was gone and did not feed or change M.M.V.M. for twelve hours and I exploded I decided that I had to quit the job and take care of M.M.V.M. because A.E.V. was not to be trusted with her. At this point we were living in Bridgeview and A.E.V. was working at the Daily Southtown which got the week we got married and was the only job he had while we were married.
D.B. was infuriated and he asked me if I thought I was going to “Live on Love”, I responded “I do not know but I am sure as hell going to try Millions of women do it every day why can’t I?”. Later on, after I suffered a placental abruption brought on by stress and nearly lost M.M.V.M. at 32 weeks D.B. and grandmother seemed to change their mind and bought a bunch of baby stuff and brought it to my house. I was on bed-rest at the time and A.E.V. and K.M. decorated the nursery because I could not.
I began to call clinics to find a doctor that would take me with no insurance. I had almost had a miscarriage and needed an ultrasound to check and make sure I was still pregnant. The place I found did an ultrasound and I was able to see her heartbeat. She was a tiny blob of cells on the screen but she had a heartbeat and was alive. I almost had a miscarriage, I had to tell my work that I was pregnant and that is when they said they were not going to pay for my medical insurance for the pregnancy. They said that the pregnancy was not covered as it was a pre-existing condition. I felt bullied but ignored them. Due to the high cost of the ultrasound and because I knew there was help available for women like me, I called around until I found the clinic inside the basement Bridgeview Courthouse. I had to go there one time a month for a while and had to sit all day and wait to see a midwife.
The week I got married to A.E.V. I quit my job due to harassment by the administrative assistant to the daytime Terminal Manager Pam. Her son was trying to obtain custody of his child, from the mother and all sorts of terrible things were being said, including the planning of things they could do to set her up to lose her child. I do not remember the things that were said and did not like the conniving and hatefulness which is why I did not talk to Pam and did not think much of her and refused to take any orders from her.