On A Serious Note

Searching For Peace

Dear readers, in this post I will cover a topic that I have not yet written about. Since July 2012, I have been using this blog as my outlet; using it as my tool to try and create lyrics of thoughts running through my head. I have written my experiences, my downfalls, my victories. But one subject I had not yet had the courage to share. Perhaps I was not ready, or perhaps I feared stepping into a territory that is often belittled, abused, and harassed. No matter the reasons, I have decided that it is time to come clean.

This is the story of my abortion.

In June of 2011, I had just moved into a new apartment with a boy named Trevor*. I had no income, was going to school part-time, and had barely enough government help to buy food.

Toward the end of the month, I began feeling ill. I had all of the classic signs of pregnancy, but since I was on birth control, the thought didn’t even cross my mind. After an ER visit for nausea (the life of having no medical insurance), the Dr. came in from reading my blood test and announced that I was pregnant. The room caved in around me, sweat began dripping from my forehead. I felt a rush of panic wash into every part of my body, and I held my head down all the way home.

“I’m pregnant,” I spoke softly to Trevor.

“Well, what are you going to do?”

It was a simple question, I guess, but one that I had not thought about. I was so busy coming down from the shock of the news and worrying about his reaction, that I had not even realized that deep down inside, I was excited. There was no possible way that I could want or keep this baby …. or was there?

“What do you think?” I asked, not sure how to compose my thoughts into word form.

“Well we obviously can’t have a baby right now. In the future, sure, but not now. We are both in school, and live off of a small income. It would be impossible,” he replied, with little emotion.

I began weeping, which quickly turned into sobs. My body fell to the floor and I pulled at a piece of ripped up carpet. I was not prepared for my world to come crumbling down like this. I wanted him to kneel down next to me, hold me tight, and tell me that whatever I decided was okay. That if I wanted to keep the baby, we could somehow make it work. I guess I just wanted, no needed, some support. Love. Kindness. But instead, he stood coldly next to me, rolling his eyes at the “scene” I was playing out.

“You have to get an abortion, it’s the only way,” he finally blurted out, “But I mean, it’s up to you.”

The next day, I walked down to Planned Parenthood to get the abortion information. I hadn’t slept the night before. Everything was hazy and blurry, and it seemed like there was no moment to just catch my breath and think about what I wanted. I found out that there was an abortion clinic just a few blocks from where I lived, and for $500, I could pretend this never happened.

I walked home slowly, robotically pulling out a cigarette … but as I lit it, I threw it into a trash can along with the rest of the pack. Why the hell did I care about smoking if I was just going to have an abortion in a couple weeks? What did it matter?

I cant really answer that. I guess it just felt wrong.

And maybe, now that I am looking back, I thought that I could somehow find a way to make the pregnancy work.

School went on and I had a hard time keeping up. I was out of breath just walking from one class to another, I was nauseous and sick and had no energy. But for some reason, I didn’t care much. I felt myself growing a sense of pride. I let myself play with the idea of being a mom and carrying a life inside of me. I would walk home with a tiny glimmer in my eyes … but that would soon fade as I approached my front door.

Trevor became distant, and provided little support. He seemed completely un-phased, as if the “problem” had already been solved in his mind. I felt like I was carrying the entire burden alone, and ended up convincing myself that the abortion was necessary.

As I entered the clinic two weeks later with what was supposed to be my rent money in hand, Trevor trailed behind me. He had transformed into a different person that morning, holding my hand and offering me words of encouragement. His words of “You are doing the right thing,” passed through my mind as I handed the office clerk the money and signed the consent forms. “You are doing the right thing,” I heard, as we were separated and I was taken back into an office.

“Lie down on the table and lift up your blouse,” spoke the doctor. He was going to do an ultrasound to confirm my pregnancy. I tried to keep my eyes from the screen, but I was drawn to it. I was doing okay until I heard it. The heartbeat. A heartbeat, inside of me. A separate being inside of my belly. I turned my head toward the wall and felt two tears fall from my eyes. I didn’t want to do what I was about to do. I could make it work. I could …. but alas, the doctor told me wait in the next room, and I followed his orders.

I undressed and put on the gown, and laid down on the cold table. My legs were spread and I was given medicine for anxiety and for pain. In just a few minutes, the deed was done and the pain washed over me like a wave.

The physical recovery lasted a couple of weeks, but the mental anguish I felt still sits with me to this day. Only a week after my abortion, Trevor told me that he regretted the decision and that I was a monster. I kicked his ass out days later.

I have hidden from this experience, that only a handful of people know about, because I feel that I sit in a very forbidden place. I am pro-choice, but regret my decision.  I have tried to convince myself that I was in no place to have a child, that life was not optimal, that everything pointed to the abortion being the best thing for everyone involved. I have tried to be okay. I have tried.

But just a few days ago, driving with my husband, I heard a song on the radio. And for some reason, it reminded me of that day long ago. I felt disgusted and overwhelmed with rage. I felt sad. I felt that I could have made it work, that if I had just had some kind of support, I would have made a very different decision. I felt weak because maybe I shouldn’t have¬†needed support. And I felt guilt for feeling this way, because sometimes I feel that parts of society say I shouldn’t.

Now that I am on a path with my husband of thinking about starting a family, I can’t help but feel a tug on my heart. What will make this baby worth keeping, and the other worth disposing of? Will I feel guilt the rest of my life? Will I look at my future child and always wonder what might have been?

This post is neither an anti-abortion nor a pro-abortion post. This post is not a debate. I am not interested in forcing my opinions on anyone else, or having them try to do the same to me. I accept that everyone else has their own views and experiences and beliefs, and I hope that I can get that same acceptance.

This is simply my story and my experience. And I hope someday, I can find peace.

___

As an end to this post, I would like to thank my husband. He has always given me the freedom of choice; a voice that is equal (and even sometimes more powerful) than his. And we cannot wait to start a family together.

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24 thoughts on “Searching For Peace

  1. Looney,
    Just another example of one of the strongest people I “know,” in the world. Your courage to be honest and open inspires me.
    I support and have a lot of deep respect for you.
    You exemplify the human spirit so well.
    Thanks
    Jim

  2. Your courage, honesty, and bravery are an inspiration. I’m sorry you’re still wrestling with these demons. I never had an abortion, but I did have a miscarriage so I can relate to what it’s like to lose a baby. I can tell you, though, that when I did have my son, I knew that I had the baby I was supposed to have. I don’t know why that first baby had to grow wings, and I may never understand. But I do know the child who was meant to be my own came to me, and I now have peace about it even though at the time, my heart and soul were ripped into shreds. I hope you, too, can find healing, peace, and forgiveness for yourself. You deserve it.

    • I have to tell you that as I read your comment, tears streamed down my eyes. That is such a beautiful way to look at it. Beautiful. Thank you, you touched me deeply. You are very strong.

  3. I think you said it: “if I’d had support…” The situation probably would have played out differently if it had meant to be. I realize that sounds cold or unfeeling but it’s not intended to be. I’ve never even been pregnant so honestly I can’t relate specifically to that situation but I have had friends miscarry. My mom had an abortion, so I’ve been around women who’ve had similar experiences. The timing, the situation and the “guy” are all better for you now. When you two are ready, you’ll have a man who will stand by you and will really help raise that little person. Perhaps you could have made it work but perhaps not – it sure sounds like you would have been alone in that process and maybe you really weren’t as ready for all of that on your own. I’m a big believer in everything happens for a reason. Every life, even if short-lived, has a purpose. That particular life just had a different purpose than the future lives – he or she wasn’t less valuable than your future children. I can’t quite explain what that purpose is but frustratingly enough it’s not always going to be so clear. I realize all of that may not be as comforting as it’s intended but I hope, like Crystal said, that you’ll find your peace with it; that you’ll forgive yourself because you do deserve it. You seem like a strong lady and now you do have wonderful support so you’ll get through this.

  4. People can’t raise kids without support trust me, my mom did it and it was absolutely horrible. There is a difference between that baby and the one in the future, the future one has support and help. Imagine how your family (the entire family) would react to you living with a guy and getting pregnant versus being a few years older and married. Before there would be weird looks and a strange silence but now there would be talks of baby showers, names and who has some old baby items that they can give you. Life is stressful to begin with but taking care of a baby makes it stressful X10, people need all the hope they can get. I wish I lived closer, I’d babysit for you :)

  5. It’s very brave of you to talk about your experience with abortion. I can only imagine how you felt back then. Please don’t be too hard on yourself. We have all done things we wish we had handled differently. But know that you are here now, with a husband to love AND support you and your future child/children.

  6. I am so sorry this happened to you. You write so movingly about your experience. If it helps, then I am sure your post will help other people in the same situation. By writing, you are offering what you never had – support. In this way you are making it easier for others who have gone through traumatic experiences. I know this is small comfort, but there are so many women out there who have gone through / are facing a similar experience. I know your post will help them. Let’s all reach out and support each other.

    By the way, I am so glad you kicked that guy’s ass out. He did not support you at all. Good for you for knowing that you deserve ether than that. We all do. Hope things are going better for you.

  7. I admire your post. I have more to say, but the reality is the words are sending my brain back to my car ride to the clinic. The feeling of the same “are you done stare” all the way to seeing my positive test sitting in the trash can each time I needed to use the restroom. The never ending night where I felt like I literally threw my baby out. The ugliness I felt by covering the test with tissue thinking it would change something. Not to mention the money thrown at my face as Im told to make an appointment to the clinic, to only be blamed every year, up to this day for the choice, as if it was what my heart desired.

    You see, I was there. I stood where you stood. My eyes glistened the same way, my mind was happy. I was there. I know the waves of emotions. I know the okay Im better now stage and I know, more than I care to, the way it stings just a little when I hear the song Red Rag Top by Tim McGraw. It too takes me back to that day, that moment, those papers I signed, the gown I wore. The hand I held that wouldn’t lift a finger to help my aching heart.

    I admire your post. You are not alone. You are not the first, you are not the last. Enjoy everything.

    • I was hoping and wishing on stars that someone would find me, someone that had gone through it to. Thank you for speaking, though I know the pain. You have helped me. Admire yourself as well.

  8. Pro-Choice here, and that decision is never an easy one. My wife and I had to do that several years ago and even though for us it was the right thing to do at the time it still wasn’t easy. I am not afraid to admit that I cried over it myself. I sometimes wonder what could have been when I look at my 3 kids. People should never be labelled, bullied, or treated like shit for something like this and no one else has any business or right to be in that persons private affairs like these. Looney, your situation at the time.. It sounds like it was so hard. I hope that you find the peace you seek.

  9. Wowee. Just got linked through to your site from the wordpress tutorial on blogrolls, and wasn’t expecting this. So honest and beautiful, I am sure it will touch and help many people. Thanks for your courage.

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