My Lonely Secret

*Trigger warning – miscarriage

I drove from Austin to Dallas for a company training event. I was in this beautiful hotel in downtown Dallas and excited for what the weekend held for me. I never would have expected the hours of horror I would encounter alone in that hotel bathroom.

It was a crisp December evening and I was waiting for my assigned roommate to show up. I had never met her but I was excited to explore downtown, find some delicious food, and chitchat. Since she never showed up I headed down the streets of Dallas checking everything out by myself. It was such a nice night and the food did not disappoint. After a couple of hours, I headed back to my hotel room to relax and prepare for the full day of training that lay ahead. That’s when it all began…

I wasn’t expecting my period so when I started getting cramps I rolled my eyes. That’s not something new for me. I’ve always struggled with crippling menstrual cramps since I was a young teenager. The kind where you can’t eat, drink or sleep. You’re just trapped in the prison of pain and nothing helps to even ease the misery. So I thought if I could take some Tylenol before it got too bad I might be able to change my normal outcome. But this wasn’t going to be anything normal or anything I had ever experienced before in my life.

For the first hour or so the cramps felt strong but similar to the pain I’d experienced a million times over again. I tried laying on my side with a pillow between my legs hoping to relieve some pressure but the pain just began to intensify. I went to the bathroom and realized I was bleeding. I thought it was so weird because again, I was not expecting my period. I was on birth control to help regulate my cycles and for the intense cramps that I always dealt with.

Going into the second hour, I was bawling. I was in so much agony and had no idea what was happening. I kept the tv on hoping that the noise that came from the rectangle on the dresser would pull me out of this haze of suffering. I turned it up in a way to implore my mind to become distracted even if it were for just a moment. Nothing worked.

The bleeding became heavier and the pain was so violent that I couldn’t move from the position I had on the toilet. The deep gripping spasms were so profound I couldn’t even catch my breath and I ripped all my clothes off with the hopes that having no pressure on my skin with help alleviate this torment. So I sat there, naked, alone, sobbing, and bleeding to the point where I felt lightheaded. I didn’t know what to do. I was terrified and sluggish. That’s when I realized what was happening.

I sat there for what felt like an eternity with blood and tissue pouring from between my legs. I would look down and between my blinking tear-filled eyes, I could see it all. I was having a miscarriage there in that bathroom, fatigued, confused, and so alone. I should have called for help and I should have gone to the hospital but instead, I sat there on that toilet until the excessive bleeding stopped. It wasn’t until after 3 in the morning that I was finally able to move but just to the cold floor that held my feet so firmly.

The feelings that followed are still hard for me to comprehend. I felt ashamed, I felt pathetic, I felt scared, and I felt more alone than ever before. Although I knew what had happened, I couldn’t really make sense of it all. I was so tired and felt as if I was dreaming with my cheek smashed against the cold hard floor of that white bathroom. I still had some cramping and bleeding but it was easing up after hours of havoc.

I finally managed to pull myself to a sitting position and looked down. I had blood on the insides of my thighs, on the floor, and on the toilet. I didn’t know what to do so I wrapped myself in a towel and went to lay in bed. I cried softly to myself. I didn’t call or text anyone. I just lay wrapped in that white towel, in the white-covered bed, and stared at the tv until my alarm when off.

As my alarm sounded I took a deep breath in and turned to lay on my back. I was exhausted and terrified of what had happened. I reached for my phone to turn off the screaming sound of reality. I had to get up and go to work. I gathered my weak limbs and stood up on my shaking legs that carried me to that white and now red bathroom. I cleaned up the toilet and the floor before I got into the shower. I washed my powerless body as best I could in such an uncertain time. I wasn’t sure what else I was supposed to do. So I got dressed, grabbed some breakfast to try and gain some strength, and headed to the training.

I still had some cramping and bleeding that day. And when I was around people I smiled and acted as if nothing had happened. How do you tell someone that you didn’t realize you were pregnant until it was in pieces falling from you? I didn’t tell anyone until two and half years later. And I just recently shared this with my own mother two weeks ago. It’s a strange thing to be ashamed of but here I am, still feeling a weird sense of shame and sadness.


Adam, My Brother

“My brother died so leave me alone!” The first time I said those words I was in fourth grade. A group of us were jumping on Jamis’ trampoline and a couple of other boys came up to me and started making fun of me because my brother was gay.

“Your brother is a fucking fag! He sucks dick and puts stuff up his butt!” they yelled at me from the side walk.

I didn’t know what to do. I was embarrassed for both of us. I already knew that he liked boys because, as his baby sis, I just knew him. Before he ran away to Florida as soon as he turned 18 we were together ALL the time. He was my best friend. I just knew who he was fully and completely. But I didn’t know exactly what being gay entailed so the thought of anyone putting “stuff” up their butt seemed horrifying.

I jumped off the trampoline and ran the half block back to my house. We lived in a duplex up the street above a store. I ran up the stairs then I slowly opened the top door and calmly walked in the house. I stood in the hallway and could hear my mother’s voice in the living room trying to explain to someone that everything was fine. “No, seriously, I just clicked over from talking to him. He was just on the other line. Who said he was dead?”

Those boys lived just a block the other direction next to a cousin of mine and ran to tell her about Adam. She picked up the phone immediately and called my mother crying and confused. Why hadn’t anyone told her.

“I have to go. Let me call you back.” my mother told her.

“Abigail Faye, what the hell is going on?” my mother called to me from the living room. As I turned the corner she looked at me and said “Why would you say that Adam died? That is so messed up! What is wrong with you?”

“The West boys were making fun of me because Allfaye’s gay.” I said through tears rolling down my cheeks. “I didn’t know how else to make them leave me alone.” and I ran to my room.

A few minutes later our cousin was there and I was called into the living room. “Little lady, why would you say that Adam died? That’s a terrible thing to say.”

“Tavon and Taft were making fun of me because Allfaye’s gay.” I didn’t have the words to say that I was tired of them always teasing me and hurting my feelings. I didn’t know how to express the anger they filled me with. How I wanted to jump off that trampoline and punch them in the face and kick them while they were on the ground. The rage I felt when I heard their voices overwhelmed my senses.

She looked me straight in the eyes and said something that has stuck with me my entire life. “You should be proud of who your brother is. Don’t ever let someone else make you feel bad about who he is.” and she hugged me. She may have even said more but that’s what I remember the most. “Be proud.”

From that day on I told everyone I knew that my brother was gay if they asked and even if they didn’t. I told them about my gay brother and all the amazing things he did (even though most of them didn’t matter if he was gay or straight). If I was talking to someone who didn’t know my family dynamics then I’d say “my straight brother” or “my gay brother”.

The amount of pride I’ve always held for being the little sister of my two big brothers is powerful. The strength I’ve received from that power has helped me through a lot of turmoil. I’m so thankful Josh and Adam were my big brothers. I love them so.



***Names of people outside of my siblings have been changed to protect their identity