Britain’s Daily Mail just reported that Tressa Middleton’s pregnancy at the age of twelve was not the result of casual drunken sex as previously believed (and as I previously responded to here). Turns out the story is even more complex — and even more tragic — than many might have thought:
Her baby was the product of a rape and the child’s father – the perpetrator of the attack – was her own brother.
Last year, Jason Middleton, then 19, was jailed for four years for the attack. He was 16 when it happened, at the family home in West Lothian, five years older than his sister.
Because of her age at the time, Tressa could not be identified as his sister, or named, so the two stories could never be linked.
Uh … wow. Although I responded to the facts as they had been previously reported (that Tressa Middleton was a drunken product of a horrible home environment), I feel horrible in light of these new revelations. Because of the fact that Jason Middleton was jailed for the attack and the timeline coincides, it seems that Tressa’s story is completely true:
Yet, today, partly because her relationship with her family seems beyond repair and also for her own peace of mind, Tressa has taken the extraordinarily brave step of waiving her legal right to anonymity (one afforded to all rape victims, whatever their age), to tell the Daily Mail the truth about how her child came to be.
I am honestly kind of impressed with this young woman’s courage in coming forward with such an obviously painful incident. A part of me remains a bit cynical about how she allowed herself to be portrayed by the media, but I applaud her for coming out with the truth (and the media certainly spins things in the direction it wants them to go in many cases).
However, I stand by my opinion that the little girl born as a result of this debacle should be left alone with her adoptive family. Tressa Middleton should be allowed to move on with her life, and she should allow her child the same opportunity.
I went out with a group of college friends in the home state of one of them once. We congregated at the home of “Sally,” the childhood friend of one of my buds. I noticed various pictures of a baby on top of her bureau when we were getting dressed to hit the club and asked Sally if it was her niece or something. I was at first embarrassed when she informed me that it was the baby she’d given up for adoption when she was sixteen, but then I was just so impressed with Sally’s strength of character. She was thrilled with six month updates via letters and pictures that allowed her the peace of mind in knowing that her child was living a wonderful life where she was loved, cared for, happy, and healthy.
Sally thinks about her baby girl every day, but she knows that her decision was right for her child. So does Tressa Middleton. So while I certainly feel differently about her than I did when I wrote a post in response to the prior Daily Mail article, I am still frustrated by her inability to give her child the gift of a normal life.
Tressa Middleton said in the new article, “Babies always love their mothers, don’t they? It’s one of them things about life.” Man, this story continues to break my heart.
What do you think about the new developments?