The Choice.

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The Choice.

Warning…many will take offense. Some will hate me. Or pretend they do not know me anymore. Some will even pity me…

That is THEIR choice.

It was about ninety degrees on June 1, 1991. It felt like 110 in the shade as I lay on the steaming hot pavement in my own vomit…retching. Sobbing.

I will never forget this day…ever.

It was a few weeks before I was barely about to graduate high school. I had just fooled them all at my senior prom. I could have kept up the facade for a little longer…but I didn’t have a choice, I was told this was the only way out…

As an adult now, I realize I did have a choice.

But when you run away from home, or get kicked out and are reliant on others…you feel like you have no choice.

I woke up on the table after being sedated, in the midst of it all…the loud noise, the lights, the people hovering over me.

I believe that is the moment that haunts me the most…waking, even groggy still from sedation, knowing what was happening. More so than the cowardly way I slumped in my chair in the waiting room before it began…wondering if the others were feeling the same way as me.

I cried myself to sleep in the back of the car, begging for fresh air to cool my face, covered in dried vomit and tears.

Somehow I managed to make it to my bed, and awakened hours later…pain so bad I could tear my own heart out…not physical pain so much, but because it was my heart that was aching…

And the empty feeling in my belly. I clawed at my stomach screaming to make this madness stop. To undo what had happened.

Next thing, I am given a Valium…out cold again.

I was in a dark place mentally back then…before this all happened.

It was literally my first time…and then I was pregnant. A senior in high school. An aspiring fashion designer. A child who just wanted her divorced parents’ love and for them to stop fighting.

Well, this got their attention alright. They found out a while later…they shed no tears for me…just more anger and pain. I was ashamed. I kept my story to myself… I was absolved of my sin by a priest after my family found out. Time to forget it forever…put it behind me.

SHAME.

I live with this every second of every day.

I couldn’t put it behind me. Even as life moved on.

But in no way shape or form, did life fill the void in my belly...in my heart.

Did I want a child at eighteen? No…I had no clue what I would have done. But there is not one day since June 1, 1991 that I do not think of him…I know in my heart it was a boy.

I swore God would never allow me to be happy again…my Catholic guilt growing larger everyday.

God was good enough to let me heal enough to graduate and temporarily mend things with my family…but I knew that he would punish me. The little girl in me said I would never be a mommy because of what I did that day.

Almost five years later, I was granted a gift. After almost losing my baby and  my life during my pregnancy, God gave us a beautiful baby girl…I lost an ovary through it all, but I felt like I had truly been absolved…that there was a God and that I had to suffer a little to finally appreciate what I had.

And I did. Life was challenging then, but I had this beautiful baby and thought I would never have any more after losing an ovary and all that my body went through to deliver her safely. And yet I was given a second chance… 

I had to embrace it.

Three more amazingly beautiful children later and almost nineteen years of a happy marriage with a husband who has heard this all and held me as I cried over and over, and I feel like God forgave me…but why am I still not forgiving myself? Is it that Catholic guilt or shame? Or simply because it truly wasn’t my choice?

I cringe everytime I read an article on this topic. I cry. I mourn. I had a choice. Maybe I made the wrong one, but my life would be very different today if I had fought back and said to them that  I had a choice in the matter.

He didn’t love me…and I didn’t love him.

Yes I was a fool…but I was just looking for love after years of being lost and made a terrible mistake.

I will never tell anyone to rid the world of abortion… There. I said it.

Abortion.

It is an ugly word. Our world has made it ugly.

But what about that girl who is raped or molested?

What about the girl like me?

What would I have done?

I would have been sent packing to live on the streets pregnant and alone…fearful of what my very catholic family would say…or maybe worse…maybe I would have killed myself or attempted to from the deep depression and shame that was setting in.

Or maybe turn to adoption…but that was never an option for some reason and I was too naive to think these things through as an eighteen year old fighting the world and everyone in it.

Do I believe that maybe I could have beaten the odds?

Found the strength to fight back and keep my child?

Found a way to finish school and pursue my dreams as an artist?

Make it work?

Hell yeah…I thought that an hour ago, and last week, or last summer when I almost had a nervous breakdown about the lie I have lived with for so long.

I know girls that did beat the odds and persevered alone with their child…yes, they have struggled to make ends meet and finish school and find love again while raising a child alone…

Some will say I gave up too easily.

Shame on me.

But even more shame for hiding it…it is part of who I am…he was part of me and will forever be my fifth child…my first. I ache for him, as any mother would over a child lost…even more so when I see how cruel life can be and take our loved ones away in an instant.

So why voluntarily do it?

My eighteen year old self said she did it because it was the only way out and because they told her to.

My Forty-something year old self says it was the shame and guilt that the scared girl couldn’t bare to face.

She did though. Faced all of it…

Took countless blows to the chin, and then when the dust settled, tucked her dirty little secret away…until now.

We all have choices in this life…and we have to live with the consquences each and everyday.

I feel that hot pavement from that day on my face twenty-four years ago like I  am living that moment now…it was a choice…one that will follow me like a dark cloud till the day I die.

Judge me, hate me, pray for me.

Do whatever you like. But I will not lie or hide this part of me anymore. My older girls know my story now. As a lesson to make better choices…but no one should make those choices for you…no one.

Today I honor the love that I lost, and all that I have gained…most importantly…

Truth.

tatts2

I smile today…I am owning this. My first ever tattoo…proudly wearing a badge forever of all my babies…four born, one lost, and one gained.

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24 responses »

  1. I bow to your bravery in sharing. I would also like to add a little that may or may not offer you an alternative insight. When do you believe an unborn baby gains a spirit? In the Yoga philosophy I study, they say that the spirit enters the unborn child at 120 days. Before this, it is a physiological development only, a division and multiplication of cells, a biological process. The spirit is yet to attach although it may already be in your psyche and aura. This could explain why you felt it was a boy, but may give you a different perspective on abortion itself.
    Also, do you believe that we all choose the challenges we face? I ask this because I was the 13 year old in the same situation only I chose adoption and lived with the shame and guilt and heart break that this brought with it. I believe though that my adopted child chose me to deliver her into the arms of her parents who couldnt have children. I fought with the pain and guilt for many many years and allowed it to affect my life until almost suicidal at the age of 28. Then I started the work on myself to reconnect to my self worth and self love. I believe many of the experiences Ive had were all pointing me to love myself, for if I had, I would not have needed to hurt myself so much. Now, my commitment is first and foremost to myself, to nurture myself so I can nurture others from a bottomless well of love…..its work in progress. Thank you for allowing me to read your experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing YOUR story…this has been very helpful for me, and letting me see what the other side may have been like. I am in absolute need of learning self love and focusing on myself. I have devoted the last twenty years to trying to be a good wife and mother, ignoring all the hurt inside me…I am hoping this is the first step for me to letting go of all the pain. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share!

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      • Kundalini Yoga was the tool for me to let go of the pain and to start rebuilding myself from a new foundation but each path is an individual one. Many blessings for a positive venture towards your soul, your strength and your self love….its all within you, and I found that the real pain, when faced head on, is never quite as bad as we believe, and certainly not as hard as carrying it around everywhere every day of our lives. Your wisdom and beauty as a mother, wife and woman is clear to see from your post. Sat Nam

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      • You’re right, it’s your body and your story. Let them freak out it doesn’t matter. When you own your story, you get to write your own ending. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

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  2. I think you have been very brave to be so honest. Abortion is a very difficult thing (I have not been in your position, and would never pretend to know just how you felt/feel). But we don’t talk enough about the options, and in helping the women who have made this intensely hard decision to heal afterwards. You’re right, guilt and shame seem to take over, instead of focusing on the long-term well-being of those directly involved.

    Forgiving yourself is incredibly important. I personally believe that God plays a vital role in this issue, and have my own views on the whole matter. But I also believe that He commands me not to judge lest I be judged, and that He freely grants grace and forgiveness to any who want it, and therefore it’s not for me or other people to condemn you or decide you’re forgiven. Blessings on your continued healing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading my story, and keeping an open mind. I know this is a tough topic for many to discuss openly, and I feared it myself…sat all day waiting for the haters to come after me…but in the end, it is my body and mind that have to heal from this and deal with the consequences, regardless of what others think. Thank you!

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  3. I have a very similar story. It’s not that I didn’t have choices, it’s that the choices seemed impossible. And my mother (NOT Catholic) was more than happy to visit an abortionist with me, but would have never let me survive keeping the baby, even if only to give it up for adoption. I’m glad you shared – you are not alone. We did the best we could at the time. I am fortunate to have six children, and three grandchildren today, but I don’t forget what happened.

    Liked by 1 person

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