Choosing the “unfathomable”

by Anonymous

July 26, 2021

Content Warning: rape

One night, 5 years ago my whole world changed. I was sexually assaulted after a night out at the bar. I was so uneducated about sex that I truly thought it was my fault and didn’t understand consent or why I felt the way I did. I spent the following two months in a blur.

I realized it had been awhile since I’d gotten a period. I assumed everything was fine, I was probably just stressed but when I started having morning sickness, I decided to take a pregnancy test. It was positive. I was so confused and in so much shock. I had been on birth control and had missed a few pills but had also taken the morning after pill. I really could not believe it. I went to the doctor and she confirmed I was pregnant. I was devastated.

I was raised very Christian and in my mind abortion wasn’t an option, I was very against it, and I couldn’t fathom it.

But I also could not fathom giving my baby up for adoption. And I also couldn’t fathom keeping it, and raising it alone while trying to heal from the assault. And I couldn’t fathom risking resenting the baby and not giving it the life it deserved. So I made the what seemed “unfathomable” choice, to terminate.

Afterwards, I felt complete relief. I also felt so empowered that I had taken back my body after such a huge violation. I didn’t regret my choice at all. Yet, I still struggled for a long time with it. I felt shame. I felt so much anger towards the world. I felt sad about having been in that situation. I ended up suffering from panic attacks, ptsd and depression.

If I ever shared about my abortion, I always added in the part about the rape because I felt like people were more accepting of abortion in that case. Even though, there were many reasons I chose to not keep it. Ultimately, I was not ready to be a mom.

Fast forward 5 years, It’s been an extreme healing journey. I have become an entirely different person. I’ve accepted what’s happened and even feel blessed by it because it has made me who I am. I recently turned 30 and was feeling like the endless painful chapter has subsided in my life. I decided to remove my IUD for different health reasons, and was planning to give my body a break from birth control and track my cycle.

I wound up spending time with a man who ended up being very wrong and unhealthy for me.  I thought I was being careful, and eventually broke it off, but apparently not soon enough. I soon realized I was late for my period. Lo and behold, I was pregnant.

I had always told myself after the first abortion I would never ever “let myself” end up in that position again….even though I hadn’t ever let myself. Somehow, there I was. I had previously judged others who had more than one abortion, and even sometimes their reasoning for choosing an abortion, even though I myself had had one. Finally I understood, there are a million situations people find themselves in that leads to an unwanted pregnancy, and just because you’ve chosen abortion once doesn’t mean you can’t choose it again.

I really did consider keeping it.  I even got a bit excited and bought prenatal vitamins and started pinning nursery decor. But, I realized, even though I *could* do it, I didn’t *want* to.

I was finally on such a good path in my life, finally so happy, making career, health and financial goals. I didn’t want to give that up. I didn’t want to suddenly have to suffer through a pregnancy, and then through motherhood. I didn’t want to do it alone. I also didn’t want to be stuck with having this toxic man in my life.  I didn’t want to resent a child or not be able to provide for it the way I wanted to. I wanted to have a child with someone who wanted to do it with me and who loved me. I want children and to start a family so badly, but not under these circumstances.

So after much deliberation, I chose to get an abortion *again*. I was worried I would be a mess, that I would regret it or judge myself and that the mental health issues would all resurface and I’d struggle again. But actually, It’s been two months now and I have zero regret or guilt. I am more calm, assured and at peace than I’ve ever been.

I feel so blessed that I was able to have the opportunity to choose what is best for my body, life and for my future family.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!