December 15, 1979
It was a very cold December day the air was heavy and Utah was covered in a beautiful white snow. As Jeanine sat looking out the window, she wondered what her life was going to be like. Her contractions were getting closer together making her think how she was doing this again so soon. Eleven months one day prior she had just given birth to a little girl and here she was again. She looked at Jessica as she slept in her crib and began to become nervous. She was suddenly brought out of her thoughts by a familiar voice. As she turned she saw her mom. She had come to take care of Jessica while she was in the hospital.
Jeanine grew up with her mother, father and other siblings in a small town. She grew up in the LDS community and she was further from that. She didn’t believe in the teachings and was not going to bring her children up in something she herself struggled with. When she met David at 16 she fell for the bad boy persona and the fact that he himself did not believe in what the Mormons believed to be true. They married at 18 and shortly after had Jessica.
David was in the next room complaining to himself about going to the hospital. He did not want another child, not this soon. He could not imagine what his life was going to be like. He was definitely not happy and there was nothing no one could say to change his mind.
David was a troubled man, it started from an early age and it continued into his adult life. He was raised primarily by his dad, his mom left him and his other siblings when they were young. His search for love left him between wanting love and having a distrust of others. When he met Jeanine he thought that this is what I need, but the distrust left him in constant termoil and caused major issues in his life.
Jeanine was already having a hard time with everything going on and her mom saw the pain in her eyes. You know, David will have a hard time changing, said her mother. I don’t think so Jeanine said. He is just stressed, we didn’t think we would have another child so soon. Jeanines mom looked down at Jessica and said well there is nothing your able to do now and being this angry will not help any situation. I just wish you would leave him and come back home, he is not a good person, alcohol and drug use is not good for you or the kids. Jeanine sighed and changed the subject. She herself knew it wasn’t good but refused to accept the fact that David wouldn’t change. In her heart that was not an option.
David yelled from the other room let’s go before I change my mind again. Jeanine kissed Jessica and her mother thanked her again and left out of the room. When they were in the car Jeanine told David he did not need to be that demanding and rude. He looked at her and scoffed. Who are you to tell me said David. I don’t even want this child, it is hard enough right now with one. Jeanine looked down and said there is nothing we can do now, is there? The remainder of the trip to the hospital was silent and all Jeanine could do was think about was the little soul she was carrying was going to have a a hard life, if David did not change the way he was thinking about this little life.
They arrived at the hospital and was admitted to a tiny room on the third floor. The nurses hooked up the monitor to keep track of the baby’s heart rate and then placed an IV. Labor was going by slowly but steady and she was happy, as with Jessica this child was going to be born natural no medications needed. Jeanine was in labor 5 hours and at 6:37 PM a beautiful baby girl was born 7 lbs 14 oz and 19 inches long she had black hair and was just beautiful. She was born around Christmas so after the nurses cleaned her up she was placed in a Christmas stocking. Jeanines mom came after with Jessica to see her new granddaughter. What is her name asked Jeanines mom. I was thinking about Shantelly Lace, Jeanines mom stated you will not name her that. Jeanine did not argue and settled on Shantel Lyn.
The hospital stay was short and sweet they went home the next day and the life of Shantel begun. Her and Jessica were very close in age and Jeanine was definitely feeling the strain of having children so close together. David was very much of a help at this time and was angry. His alcohol use did not help with the situation. David became angry a lot and started taking out this anger on Jeanine, belittling her and blaming her for his short comings. He also began to physically abuse her along with the mental and emotional abuse. Jeanine started to become codependent and thinking to herself all David needs is more love and he will change, she thought I am the one who can do this for him. The abuse got worse, but Jeanine would not leave David.
Months passed with little to no change from David he had begun to use drugs and with this came other issues, he was unable to keep a job for longer then six months. Jeanine had to change her role in the family dynamic they had and become the main breadwinner. David took this as a challenge and became more angry with himself, but like any abuser took it out on her. The two girls were no exception they were not given the emotional support they needed. Not saying Jeanine did not love her girls but her emotions and attention were so fully focused on pleasing David and the girls were put more on the back burner.
Through the years David and Jeanine had two more children Jennifer and a little boy which they named David Jeremy. Now David J was the pride and joy of his father, finally a namesake. David senior would say on more than one occasion. “If he would of been born first I would not have had more children”. Words that David senior would never understand hurt his girls like no other, piercing their hearts.
Shantel grew up like any other child in a abusive home filled with drugs alcohol and a father who despised any female presence except for his wife Jeanine. Maybe because Jeanine took care of him and accepted the madness. Not like any of Jeanines sisters or her mother who never understood what Jeanine saw in him. They still wished she would wake up and stand up for her children, more so her girls.
Now we cannot say everyday was filled with sadness and with abuse, there were the periods where things went well and the family was happy. Going on camping trips and having movie nights. People would say the good times came after the storm and they would call it the honeymoon phase of the cycle. For Shantel it was a time for her to be close to her father something she wanted so much. The acceptance she wanted was always a arm reach away and it seemed every time she was almost there, it was ripped away. As a young child you could never quite understand the whys, but it would always stick with you that you were the problem or issue even though you were not.
As for Jeanine she continued to work and provide for her family and do everything she could to keep the peace so the storms would not come as often. This kind of thinking would prove to be dangerous and cause more harm to not only her but to her children. The pain would be life long and cause a distrust in the hearts of the children she loved.
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