Sunday, October 30, 2016
Often learning about ourselves can or will be a roller coaster filled with twist and turns we believe we are ready for yet, it can shake the living soul right out of our own body. One of the most eye-opening ways of learning about one's self is being brave enough to ask, "So, how do you see me as a person?"
We may feel we are ready to hear the truth but in reality it can be shocking as if lighting coming from the vast dark sky and bolting right through our very core of our body. It can take you from the place of where you stand and throw you into a direction landing you in a very unfamiliar place.
We as people have or should have always been taught, "love who you are, flourish on what you do best, and the rest will follow"
When my mom learned of my uncle's transgressions sharing of my life as a baby which was so personal to my mom and dad and yet me left with this puzzle of life that seemed to have so many missing pieces. Often when we spend hours trying to piece together a thousand piece puzzle. We see the end is finally near to an end then suddenly you learn there are a few missing pieces.
We search the floor like a trained detective or we look at the family dog wondering if he or she ate the last few pieces. The puzzle will not be complete until we find those missing pieces such as myself.
Because I caused my mom so much grief and pain my heart was beginning to shatter. My loving side wanted to take her in my arms and hold her while begging for her forgiveness, then the evil side of me wanted to yell and shout to the mountain tops demanding answers to something she clearly knew.
As the computer age was growing and finding things on the "Internet" were becoming readily more available, I turned to my birth certificate once again. Pulling it out, I began to search once again for the hospital I was born in. Each of the hundreds of phone number I had found on the internet I found myself with more negative feedback over and over landing me in one dead end after another until finally, this one lady, this one very single elderly lady that had answered the phone told me;
"Rose-Netta Hospital, you were born in Rose-Netta?" I could hear the shock of her voice through the phone. I became increasingly worrisome once again. What was wrong with Rose-Netta and why didn't it exist anymore? My mind turned to the many hospitals in the area that have been standing there brick and mortar for years. I have never ever heard of a hospital shutting down.
"Why does that surprise you when I tell you I was born at Rose-Netta, what's wrong with being born at Rose-Netta?" I asked with both curiosity mixed with fear.
There was this long overwhelming pause from the mysterious woman. I could hear her taking in breaths as beginning to speak and then stopping herself over and over.
"Do you know something about Rose-Netta, why aren't you telling me?"
"I think you need to call the Los Angeles County Historic Records and get some information from there. I believe I am the wrong person to share that information."
The mysterious lady took what little hope I had left and stomped on it as if killing the pestering bug that would not die. My heart just sunk. I was so close and yet so far away from finding anything about me. The black cold and impersonal tunnel of life I had lived in just got colder with each second of my life. I could feel my heart sinking my breathing was short and hollow followed by some heavy sighs.
I could feel my eyes filling of the salty tears about ready to fall. I cleared my throat and decided if I possibly shared my emotions and mystery she might change her mind. As I began to share I could sense the uncomfortable woman on the other end of the phone.
"Stop, please stop," said the strange woman. "Okay, I used to work there in the early sixties, I was a nurse there. Please, do not ask anymore information about this place. This is a place I wish to no longer remember, this is a place that changed my perception of doctors from what I thought was good from bad to evil."
With one swift move there was a dead phone line. The woman who held so many pieces of my life that could possibly answer about my birth was now gone. I didn't hesitate to call her back but all I got was a busy signal.
But hey, I had at least one step in the right direction. I called four-one-one and got the number to the Los Angeles Historic Records and the first man that answered the phone I began sharing what I was looking for. He put me on hold then I talked to another, put on hold again, then another, another hold then finally I got another elderly woman.
"Why do you want information about Rose-Netta?' asked the elderly woman. I could sense the mystery in her tone.
"Because I was born there, I was adopted and I am searching for my birth mom."
"Deary I'm sorry to tell you this but all the information regarding that hospital is no longer available. It was shut down in nineteen-sixty-three because the doctor was not from here. I believe if memory serves me, he came from Princeton, Kentucky. He theory on medical care was very unfortunate.
"Can you please tell me about this place?" I begged and pleaded, "something, anything? I feel as if my entire life is a mystery and I need answers, I need to know where I came from and why my adopted mom and dad don't want me to know."
"I-I-I'm not sure you will want to know honey." stammered the old lady her voice filled with fear and concern.
"I want to know, no, I need to know. Imagine walking your whole life and never knowing where you came from or who your birth mom is or what nationality you are, what makes you, you."
The elderly lady cleared her throat and took in a heavy sigh, "maybe somethings are better left unsaid I am fearful what I know and share can change your perspective even more and make you even more confused then you are now."
"At this point, what do I have lose, at least I have some pieces to that puzzle I have been trying to find."
After a long agonizing pause from the elderly lady, she began her story. "Well, the hospital was a seventeen room hospital. It was a bi-racial hospital meaning he employed bi-racial people of mixed ethnics. But not just people that were employed there, it was for women who were expecting bi-racial babies."
"Go on," I demanded, I was finally getting some answers to where I came from at least.
"Well, I think the hardest is the nightmare stories I have heard from so many that have worked there. The hospital had an electroshock therapy room for women who fought for wanting their babies back after placed in adoption. Women were tortured there and if they fought the system that was in place, they were dragged to this room in the back of the hospital gagged and put onto the chair strapped down to endure rigorous electroshock therapy pain. The other stories I heard was while women where getting shocked they could hear the torturing screams of pain and the smell of burning hair or flesh of skin."
My heart just cracked in agonizing pain wondering if my birth mother had this horrid treatment put upon her. I just sat there stunned, shocked at what this doctor did to so many women who were forced to give up their babies.
"Well, now I know why my adopted mom didn't want to tell me anything about my adoption. That explains so much."
"The last time I checked," began the elderly lady, "and this was some time ago, the hospital has since been torn down due to torture and malpractice and a house was built there. Now it's considered the worst part of Los Angeles to even walk in during the day. At night, you don't even make the attempt the walk there."
"So that explains why I can't find any medical records of any kind. How apropos, my life ended before I even began to live."
With one single breath, my life had changed forever.