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A Second Chance

by Anonymous

May 3, 2019

Content Warning: abuse

Four months ago I found the courage to leave my ex-boyfriend. He abused alcohol, and in turn, abused me. I proudly began picking up the pieces to get my life back on track, renting a cute little apartment, finding extra work, and looking to my friends for support. I was on a set mission to get my head and heart in a healthy place, but something felt “off”. I noticed this when I missed my period. I took a pregnancy test. I sat on the toilet in my small bathroom, knees trembling, hunched over the small stick as I watched the blue ink crawl over the second strip: positive.

An unrelenting fear washed over me. I had FINALLY stripped myself of the person who caused so much stress, anxiety, sadness and fear in my life. A man who had once promised and convinced me he would make a great teammate in this life; only to radically turn, his demons getting the best of him. I had FINALLY gotten away from the monster he had become. Throwing fits late at night in his drunken stupors. Locking me out of the house in -10 below weather. Launching my great grandmother’s porcelain figurine across the room in a drunken rage because when he piggishly coaxed me for sex, I said “no”.

And there I was, weeks later.

Two blue strips.

Feeling like that shattered porcelain figurine on the floor.

I thought about keeping the child at first. I thought of his or her soft head of hair, blinking blue eyes, wrapped in a warm blanket in my arms. I thought about their first steps, their first Christmas, their first small splashes in Lake Superior as I held them with the love and caution only a mother like me could provide. I then thought of the fear we would feel. I thought of the toxic energy of their father. I thought of how alone it would be. I thought of the amount of life and experience I have yet to endure before I have the privilege and responsibility to bring life into this world. All the growth that I needed before I could provide a happy and healthy life to my child.

Especially as I feel very much like a child myself at times.

I went to my mother for advice, who had become too within herself over the news to be of any substantial emotional support to her own daughter. It reverted her back to the overwhelming sadness our family had felt after my cousin had experienced a still birth years ago. She took that experience and applied it to my own, causing her to withdraw in any amount of empathy when I explained to her that I may not want to keep it. I could feel her energy: “How could you do this to MY grand baby?!” it would say. I don’t blame her.

I sheepishly and desperately went to my ex for support, who, when I told him, asked, “How much do you need to get rid of it?” He would then call me in his belligerent stupors, making comments, “So that’s why you have gotten fat” and “only keep it if it’s a boy”.

I went to two of my closest friends, breaking down in a way they have never seen me before. They were both supportive, but ultimately up-in-arms as neither one of them could relate or had ever gone through the motions of what I was about to go through. One was a mother herself to two beautiful healthy children. The other friend had been with his partner for over a decade. And for as long as I’d known him, the two men have struggled with the fact that they could never have children of their own.

So I finally went to Planned Parenthood. And it was the first time in this long and overwhelmingly emotional experience where I felt safe from judgement, pressure or harm. In the waiting room of the clinic I was surrounded by woman of every ethnicity and age. Some women were with with their husbands, young women with the support of their mothers, but most women stood alone.

 

The staff and the atmosphere were warm and reassuring. Often times doctors appointments have felt cold and detached, but there was never once a moment in the hours I was in their clinic did I feel like I could not express myself openly in my questions or concerns. Although the nurses and doctors were technically strangers, they gave me the tender care a close sister or friend would have. Because of them, I was reassured in my decision. Because of them, my decision was possible. Because of them, I have a second chance to love someone who needed it the most in this entire process: myself.

 

The long awaited procedure was completed as of yesterday evening. I feel relief, sadness, sense of self, excitement in opportunity, and deep reflection. This experience has taught me so much in a few short weeks. It has taught me to listen to my body when it’s silently screaming a truth you ignore. It has taught me to only allow myself to open my body and heart up to those who genuinely deserve it. It has taught me that I have so much more to learn before I have the privilege, if I so choose, to bring another life into this world.

 

If anyone ever asks of decision, my answer will always be the same.

Why did I do it? Because I loved my child. I loved my child too much to bring it into a world and life that it didn’t deserve.

 

And no protester, no billboard, no judgement from people who have not been in my shoes, can sway or change the way I feel about that.

 

My body. My choice. A choice that was made and rooted in nothing but LOVE.

 

Thank you, Planned Parenthood.

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