Friday, August 26, 2011

Facing The Truth

One minute he's safe inside of you...warm and secure, he can hear your muffled voice and the sound of your blood flowing, and the beat of your heart...all is right with the world.  The next second he's being pulled from that safe place, into a world that is too cold, or too hot, and it smells funny. He can't see more than a couple inches from his face, and he has no control over his own body. Someone immediately starts trying to put something scratchy on his butt, then something itchy on his body. They poke him with needles, and stab his foot to draw blood, and he doesn't know what's going on...only that his thigh and foot hurt and no one is stopping it.

Then they wrap him up and give him to you.  You put him up to your breast, and he feels safe again.  He feels as close to being inside you again as he possibly can.  

"Finally...Momma...there you are..."Snuggled up to you he hears that familiar heartbeat he's known since his life began so many months ago, and is soothed by your voice. You are his whole world...the one person who is close enough to his face for him to see...the only one he WANTS to see. He just studies your features, amazed at how wonderful you are...finally he gets to see who was doing all that talking all that time. He falls asleep in your arms because just being with you makes him feel safe.  His trust and love for you in this instant will never be matched.  The world is scary, but with you there, suddenly everything seems like it might just be okay after all.

Then something happens. Someone he doesn't know comes and takes him. They walk quickly with him through hallways, and he's scared. All he wants is his momma.  He just wants to be in her arms...
hat happened...everything was perfect a minute ago..." They take him into a room, undress him, take off his diaper and strap him to a board. The board is cold, and it hurts him to be stretched out like that.  He can't move his arms or legs, and that's scary.  Someone puts a thin sheet over him, and it's so confusing.
"Where's my momma?  Her voice makes me feel so safe, and her touch calms me..."

 He can hear other voices, but can't recognize his mother's in the group, and he see fuzzy things moving around above him.  He's not sure what they are, but the voices are coming from those moving shapes.  He cries for you, but no one comes to save fact his cries are completely ignored until someone sticks a sweet pacifier in his mouth. For a moment he stops crying, not sure what it is in his mouth, but the sweetness makes him forget what's going on around him for a second. He sucks, and is soothed by that.

Suddenly he feels a hot burning. It's coming from down near his feet. He can't reach out and find out where it's coming from because his arms are strapped down...he loses his breath and flails his head around, searching for you..."Momma...Momma...!!"
Finally he manages to get a breath, and lets out a scream...again that sugary pacifier is put in his mouth, this time he chokes on the's not helping him forget what's happening as they tear the skin that was fused like a fingernail is fused to your finger, from the end of his penis. He cries and cries for you, choking and sputtering on the liquid someone keeps trying to stick in his mouth.
"Where are you momma? Why are you letting this happen? I thought you said I was so said I was perfect..."

He goes into shock as they cut through the skin to create a space big enough for the circumcision tools to fit into. Suddenly he stops fighting, suddenly he stops crying for help...he just lays there, closes his eyes, and imagines life before he met when you were a muffled voice and a heartbeat...back when you would have done anything in this world to keep him safe...

When they bring him back to you, his face is red, but his tears are dried. When he looks at you, he cries again.

He squeezes his eyes shut as hard as he can and thinks,
Where were you? Why didn't you come and save me?"

There is no Health Organization in the world that recommends routine infant circumcision.

"Why did you let them do this to me? You said I was perfect, momma... You said I was perfect when I was born, just the way I was...and you were right! I didn't need to live through this, and I will always carry a memory in my brain of crying for you and you not coming...the most horrible pain I'll ever experience, and you not saving me.  And now when they bring me back to you and I look at you and cry, it's because my heart is broken."

From the emotional and physical trauma he's lived through, he sleeps. He's trying to heal his body, and find security in the only way he can now. His trust in you was broken. He learned a harsh lesson about life and love, and he was only just tiny. He learned that only sleep will make it all go away, and that even when someone is supposed to protect you, sometimes they don't.  Sometimes all the love in the world isn't enough to make them ignore generations of misinformation to do what their heart tells them to do...keep their baby whole, as nature and God intended.

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