This isn’t just another blog, or another story. This is my story. This is a story that’s never been told. I carry it with me every single day and it is a painful part of my life that never seems to heal.
I grew up in a small town. I was fortunate enough to have my parents still happily married, as were my grandparents and my aunts/uncles. I had all of the “normal” family structures around me. What I didn’t have was the understanding of why I needed to tell my doctor that I was on birth control. You see, I had surgery the fall after high school graduation. I was on oral contraceptives and never told my doctor (I got them from Planned Parenthood and was happy to not have the sex conversation with the family doctor who had been seeing me since I was a kid).
What I didn’t know was that this bit of information should have been shared with my doctor.
Fast forward about two months. After my hernia procedure, I was feeling awful. I had stomach pains and felt like junk. I wound up in the local ER, but was never prepared for what the doctor was about to tell me. I was pregnant.
My birth control was made ineffective by the antibiotics I was on after my surgery. I had no idea that could happen. I got pregnant. Here I was in the ER and my partner left.
He left me there.
He hadn’t just left me there in that room, but he also left me at a time when I needed him most.
We decided against having the child. I’m still not sure that it was an equal decision, but in the end, that’s what happened. In hindsight, I wish I knew that I could have reached out to my friends and family. I could have asked for their unclouded input on what to do.
I wish I’d known I had options.
His best friend took me to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. You read that correctly. He didn’t go. His friend had to go with me, walk through the line of protesters with me, sit in the waiting room for six hours and drive me home, after encountering the protestors on the way out too.
You may think what I’m getting at is a wound from the breakup, because that certainly happened later. That is farthest from it.
15 years later, my abortion is on my mind every single day. I think about the child I should have. I wonder how different my life would be, how it would have been different for my parents to have a grandchild, but I also think about my husband. My abortion is something I am still so ashamed of that my own husband doesn’t know.
Would he think differently of me? Would he feel like I’m tarnished? Would he love me less? Do I roll the dice and tell him? What if the fallout is horrible? Is it worth it to chance that rather than carrying this in my mind all the time?
One thing I do know. Young girls, our generation has failed you. We’ve failed you and continue to fail you. This movement to make abortion ok is failing to honestly tell you about the silent wounds so many of us carry daily. It’s more than what your body has been through, it’s more than what your mind and heart have been through.
It is a piece of your soul that will grieve that decision, that child and that part of your life forever.
No one wants to speak up and speak out to educate you on what your decision really holds, but it is one that we need to speak out on. For you.