I had always known that my Mother was 14 when she got pregnant with me, but I never questioned my Father. My Mother had many problems when I was growing up, including alcoholism, bouts with depression, and bi-polar disorder and even once had a nervous breakdown. She was divorced by the time I was 9 and raising my brother and I on her own. The instability of my Mother was not easy to deal with. By the time I was 14 I had met an older man, who was 21 at the time, and I ended up sleeping with him. My Mother was outraged, and me being sure I knew better than she did, I couldn’t figure out why. I had practically raised myself and my brother. My Step-father who raised me until the divorce had made it clear by that point that he was no longer wanting to act as my Father, and so I had also learned about my biological Father, who was 22 when my Mom got pregnant. This man was a consolation to me and I felt I needed him. It wasn’t until I was older and realized that that relationship should have never happened. It was wrong, and he took advantage of me. That is when it clicked. What had happened to my Mom?
So I began asking questions. I learned that my Mother had been molested by 2 other men. She was very vulnerable and had a low self esteem because of it. When my bilogical Father walked into her life, he presented himself as someone she could feel safe with; as someone she could trust. He made her feel loved,special and unique. Even though she was reluctant to sleep with him, she did. Within a few weeks after this encounter, my Mother found out that this man who she looked up to so much, had been molesting much younger girls. She realized that she had been abused, and taken advantage of, and worse, she was pregnant by this pedophile. It took all the courage she could muster to tell her parents what had happened. My Father left town as soon as he found out she was regnant. There were never any charges filed against him by anyone. At this time in 1977, abortion was legal. Everyone around her insisted that it was her best option. She, and my grandparents, said no and firmly stood their ground. She was forced to drop out of school, and even the insurance company pressured them to have me aborted. The only place she found refuge from the pressure was at a Catholic hospital. They encouraged her to have me. They supported her when she was trying to decide if she would keep me or give me up for adoption. They gave her what no one else could…they gave her love. My Mother not only chose life, but at her young age, she made the brave choice to raise me.
I have met my Father. I have stood face to face with him. I don’t really know how I feel about him. But I am not angry at my Mom for the life that I have had. I am not angry at her for being young, and confused, for not knowing how to be a Mom when she was just a kid herself. I am thankful. I have had a difficult life, but one that has led to great joy. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters of my own. I have a great relationship with my Mom now. We have both found healing; healing in God and healing in each other. My Dad was a pedophile. My mother was not violently raped, but she was emotionally preyed upon and abused. There are a lot of stories out there about people who have been conceived in rape. You have to look pretty hard to find their stories. You have to look even harder to find stories like mine. No one says anymore that a statutory rape is a real rape. People say that for my mother to have kept me and raised me, she must not have been abused that bad. I can tell you, that her hurt and mine is valid. I can also tell you that my life is not a mistake. That I am not a lesser person, and even though my Father was bad, I am not. The pedophile did not create me, God did.
I know my story is different. I know it does not fit the typical rape narrative. But it is mine. Writing this has been an outlet for me. I thank everyone who is a part of this website for their work, and for speaking up for people like me, who have felt so much shame and confusion about where we come from; who have wondered if some part of us is bad; wondered if we weren’t supposed to happen; wondered if we are really loved by God. It is my hope to gain the courage to speak, and to keep fighting for the unborn in what ever way I can. And I hope you continue to do so as well. God Bless.
Amber Masterson is from Warsaw, IN