Set in 1969-1970 Love Child has created lively nostalgia among my peers. The clothes, the make-up, the hair, the music, ‘Bandstand’, the lifestyle – and all knew of the unwanted pregnancies; but none of it resonates with me.
I would have been the age of these girls at that time. I am aware of girls who became pregnant at such a young age. The girl my mother said was my best friend – we were ‘joined at the hip’ I was told – had a baby in our home town and gave it up for adoption, which was apparently quite shocking. Another was sent off to a catholic ‘home’ and was forced to relinquish her child. These are the facts but I have no memories. I became pregnant at 19.
I witnessed the emotions and turmoil of the girls in Love Child; the fear and uncertainty, the bonds created, the camaraderie and support for each other and I cried.
The vacuous sadness that cannot be explained, believed or understood, that pain that embodies ‘Mary’ – I felt it.
That life that cannot be remembered – neither the good nor the bad – separates me from the world.
Did I feel that companionship with my girlfriends? What clothes and music did I enjoy? Why on earth did I become pregnant – did I feel fear and uncertainty, what thoughts did I have about my life or the future?