I will never forget the day Ian broke up with me. It was the evening and we were standing a few feet away from Carole’s house next to the gate by the pool. He said, “I don’t want to go out with you anymore. I will pay for the abortion, and drive you to and from the clinic. “I looked at him and said, “I’m not getting an abortion.” He then replied, “Like my father, I’m not having anything to do with that kid.” We walked away from each other. I didn’t cry, I simply went home feeling very hurt. I was 13, my first boyfriend had just broken up with me, and in less than seven months I was going to be a mother. I knew Ian meant every word. He was not going to have anything to do with my child. Several days later I was cleaning the home of Ian’s next door neighbor. The Rosenthal’s said after I finished cleaning their home, I could watch their bootlegged video tape of E.T.. Lou, for reasons known only to him, stayed home from work. He witnessed me crying on the couch. I didn’t have to explain to him why I was crying. Ian worked for Lou’s father and commuted to and from work with Lou and my step-brother. I wiped away my tears, took a deep breath and asked him if he knew of any other neighbors who needed their homes cleaned. I explained to him that it was illegal to hire 13 year old and that my earning potential was severely limited. To my amazement he had a solution to my employment; he was going to prostitute me out to his friends. I NEVER took him up on his offer, but I never dismissed the offer either.
Shortly after school began, my parents found out I was pregnant. They told me I was getting an abortion. I refused, and then ran away. My parents found me several days later. A week or two later they underhandedly drove me to a NYC abortion clinic. The first thing I noticed when I entered the clinic, still unaware of where I was, was the many frowns upon the faces of the women sitting there. The look on their faces told me where I was. I started crying. The doctor came out to speak with my parents. He said, “There is a report here that your daughter ran away.” Then he looked at me and asked if I was willing to undergo the procedure. No was my reply. He turned to my parents and explained to them that they couldn’t force me to get an abortion.
I don’t recall if my parents ever stated to me that they were not going to help me and the baby. I assumed that they were not. I assumed I had to do everything on my own. I had no knowledge of housing for homeless teen moms. I was naïve to the availability of food stamps and financial assistance. I was aware that I was too young to work and too young to rent an apartment. The reality of giving birth on the streets was becoming more apparent, and Lou’s offer was now a consideration. It never even occurred to me that my baby was entitled to child support from his father. Unfortunately, my parents said all the wrong things to me, and after their deception, I no longer trusted them, nor wished to have any type of relationship with them. Prior to my parents finding out I was pregnant, I had a very loving, wholesome, happy relationship with them. That relationship was destroyed at the abortion clinic and left me vulnerable to those who preyed upon the vulnerable. I was deeply troubled at the idea of prostitution. I was sickened at the idea of giving my baby away. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I was keeping my baby, even at the cost of losing my family and losing my self-respect.
For 28 years I never told a soul about Lou’s proposal. When I finally told Ian he said, “I didn’t know about Lou.” “That’s a lot for a 13 year old girl to digest.” What I expected was a simple, “I’m sorry for putting you in that position.” Next I asked him how he would feel if this happened to his wife or sister. His reply was the following, “They would be smarter than that to get into a situation like that. Additionally, if they were ever in a bad situation, they would not be afraid to go to their parents for help. I know as a parent I am very involved in my kid’s life. They think that they are smart, but we are much smarter. I even police their Face Book pages. That being said, if you are an involved parent teach your kids properly, give them emotional support they know that they can come to you for anything. Good or bad. Here is a perfect example; my son was approached by some seniors asking him to try drugs. He turned them down and walked away, even as they razzed him. Do you think that if he didn’t have the proper upbringing he would have made that decision? I would venture to think not. You keep putting this all on me. If you didn’t have sex with me back then like you shouldn’t have we wouldn’t be here right now. ”
How interesting that Ian would mention the words “proper upbringing.” I guess he wasn’t brought up properly because when he babysat for the neighbor across the street he was paid in bags of marijuana instead of cash. That is not hearsay, I was there when he received his goody bag. I then asked him if a guy did all the things he did to me to his wife or sister, how would he feel towards that guy? He replied, “I don’t know, I hope to never be put in that situation.” With that being said I could only infer the following about Mr. Ostrager; I was quite possibly dealing with a Narcissist. This man not only didn’t care at the age of 17 that his infant son was going to be exposed to the dangers that prostitutes face, that had his child lived and experienced abuse, as an adult he still didn’t give two shits! One has to wonder, if a 48 year old man is incapable of sympathy, empathy, compassion, or remorse towards his own child, then how does this individual interact with other human beings? Is he capable of feeling compassion, sympathy, or empathy for his friends, or just as importantly the people he works with eight hours a day? What I found equally appalling was when he contacted us about this post, instead of dealing with me he had to deal with an adult male, he actually began to blame his PARENTS for his behavior! Hmmm… I guess his parents are responsible for him taking a knife to our neighbors too? I’m happy to say, his bullshit was not tolerated, and he was put in his proper place.
Although I was spared a life of prostitution, I lived in shame for 28 years. When I first began dating my husband, I told him about my pregnancy and the things that Ian and his friends did to me. When I finally spoke up about the prostitution he said, “So many girls love their children immensely. They would do anything to provide for their kids. I’m glad you were spared that life.” I cried, but this time I didn’t cry alone. My husband held me in his arms, and 28 years of shame was erased.
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