Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right
An alien or a baby?
A cruel, ever-present reminder or a treasure?
Guilty by association or innocent despite the circumstances?
The triumph of love or the victory of victimhood?
All of the above questions were faced, with agony and heroic struggle, by Miriam Virgo.
At the age of 19, after freshly entering the workforce, Miriam accompanied some co-workers to a bar. There she ran into someone she knew from another group of friends. This fellow, Rob, handed her a glass of wine laced with a drug. Miriam passed out and was assisted out of the bar by Rob who later raped her.
Miriam had very little memory of what happened that night and preferred to put the whole thing behind her. She knew something odd had happened, but didn’t think she was assaulted sexually. However, months after that night, she began to have medical troubles and even passed out in a grocery store. A friend, after listening to the symptoms, told her it sounded like pregnancy. Miriam scoffed at the idea. She was not sexually active and therefore it’d be impossible. But, to satisfy her friend, she took one of those at-home pregnancy tests and found to her shock and dismay that she was indeed pregnant.
Miriam knew immediately that the father could only be the man who gave her the drink that fateful evening when she went out with her coworkers, the same man that took her from the bar. She called Rob and confronted him with the news and he readily admitted what happened. On a subsequent phone call, however, his apologetic tone was gone, replaced by an obstinate denial and a suggestion:
“What’s this got to do with me? How do I know this baby is even mine? You’ve got to get rid of it”
On consultation with her family and friends, Miriam decided to terminate her pregnancy.
“Coming from such a Christian family, I’ve never believed in abortion, but suddenly finding myself pregnant with a rapist’s baby, I looked at it differently . . . I just couldn’t face the thought of the baby being born and looking like Rob – it would be a constant reminder of what had happened. I didn’t have long to decide what to do – 24 weeks is the latest you can have an abortion . . . I just couldn’t stop feeling that I had an alien growing inside me.”
The day came for the ‘procedure’. Miriam was dressed in a hospital gown and walking toward the operating room accompanied by a nurse when, in her own words:
“Suddenly, I was overcome by a rush of love for the child inside me. I didn’t understand why, but in that moment what had felt like an alien suddenly felt like a child.”
When a police officer arrived to collect the fetus for DNA evidence against her rapist, she had to inform the officer that the evidence was no longer available . . . evidence, which is just a thing, had become a person, a baby.
After Miriam’s decision, persecution and disappointment followed. She was accused of making up the rape and one friend of Rob even threatened to kick the baby out of her stomach. Adding further insult to injury, the police dropped the case against her rapist, concluding that it was her word against his.
Miriam finally had her child on January 4, 2002 and named her Kayleigh. From the moment of her child’s birth and onward for several months, Miriam was uncertain she made the right decision:
“When they handed her to me, I was gripped by panic. I knew it had been my choice to have her, but suddenly I wished I’d chosen differently. She looked so like Rob I didn’t want anything to do with her. I looked after her well enough, but I won’t pretend I was affectionate or loving. I could barely bring myself to hold her. Friends started commenting that she was always in her crib.”
Over time, though, a bond formed. Miriam concluded that none of what happened was Kayleigh’s fault and she immersed herself in the special love that can only be between mother and child. This love turned out to be both a healing love and a liberating one. Instead of a victim, she became a victor and Kayleigh became not a burden, or a reminder, or an alien, but instead a treasure and a launching point in Miriam’s life, honing her determination, her moral identity, her sense of purpose, and her charity.
Miriam ended up working part time in odd catering jobs and telemarketing in order to support her and Kayleigh and to work around her daycare issues. Eventually though, Miriam applied to become a police officer. She was accepted into the training academy and now serves as an officer. She believes that as a police officer, she is able to counsel rape victims from a deeply empathetic perspective.
Miriam Virgo learned, and truly knows at the deepest levels possible, the old truism uttered by many a parent: Two wrongs don’t make a right. She, against her will, was enrolled in probably one of the toughest schools of hard knocks that life can impose . . . a rape resulting in a pregnancy. Miriam faced the two wrongs decision unlike most of us ever will . . . an alien or a baby?
Miriam decided, “Kayleigh.”
“Watching her grow up, I feel lucky to have her in my life: I love her with all my heart. For a long time I felt as if it was my fault . . . My life is proof that something good can come from something so terrible. And I don’t regret my last minute change of heart one bit.” Miriam Virgo
Source: Daily Mail Online . Please note, there are pictures there as well of Miriam with her beautiful child. It’s well worth a visit.