14 Months Later and I Still Think of You

by Caiti

February 2, 2021

I have several self help books, a journal,  a notepad from work full of endless doodles, notes in my phone full of fleeting thoughts.  Yet, when I think of all the space I’ve had access to fill with words and thoughts and feelings – I realize that I’ve never even written a single sentence about my abortion in any of them.  I wonder if this is because the situation was minimized by my partner so bad that my mind blocked out how I truly felt until so far after the fact? Or maybe it’s because of such stigma surrounding abortion I feel strange applying the concept to my otherwise “normal” life.  In any case, it’s been 14 months since my abortion and I finally feel comfortable enough to write it out.

I knew before I even purchased an at home test from CVS. My periods were like clockwork, so much so that I could nearly predict the hour that they would start. When that didn’t happen, I knew. To confirm to my partner, who at the time was my boyfriend whom I’d been living with for only a short period of time, I bought two tests.  Monday morning rolled in and I had read to take them early, so I followed the directions.  One line appeared. Not pregnant.  I was confused and doubtful of the test’s accuracy. I went to work. I didn’t work. I left for an early lunch at 11:30 to go home and take another test. One line… and a very, very, very faint second line. Based on what I had been taught since I was a pre-teen I should freak out and think my life is over, right? I am unmarried, in a relatively new relationship, and barely 23 years old. But for whatever reason, I was excited. I felt warm and fuzzy and chosen and lucky that the little bean chose me as it’s mom.

I told my partner and he was angry. I had anticipated that he would be at first.  I didn’t, however, anticipate that anger would be the only emotion he would have the rest of the pregnancy. The baby caused nothing but extreme fights and an uncomfortable house to come home to after an uncomfortable day at work. I felt the most alone I have ever felt, I was sick and exhausted and emotionally sensitive. He was absent and mad that I hadn’t already decided to get an abortion. He thought it was just an unspoken given that we would mutually agree on abortion if this happened. Early in the relationship I had suggested that I would get one, but that was before I was in the situation with overwhelming emotions pulling me in different directions. I was pressured into making my appointment with Planned Parenthood – the alternative being to become a single mother.

On the day of my abortion, we drove 4 hours to Saint Paul, Minnesota rather than doing it in my home state of South Dakota due to a difference in state laws. He mocked me for crying when we passed pro – life billboards and protesters as we pulled into the parking lot. I couldn’t get myself to go inside. He turned the car off and got out, I followed. The appointment was less intense than I thought and we made the near silent trip back to Sioux Falls.  The next day I put the 4 pills in my cheeks, laid down on some towels, and turned on Netflix. I couldn’t tell you what he was doing during this time but I can tell you that he wasn’t supporting me like I needed. I still felt alone.

The following months were met with nothing but fighting and every reason leading back to the abortion. I resented him and he couldn’t comprehend why. After 5 months of this, we broke up.  It took me another few months after this to recognize that I had been going through grief during those dark months. I didn’t feel valid in my feelings following the abortion until recently when I began reading other stories online. I wish abortion wasn’t so frowned upon by society so that women could freely discuss it without judgement or fear of not being validated.

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