Compassion & Bravery

by Angela

April 8, 2019

Content Warning: physical & sexual abuse

My parents were very young, and very anti-abortion. They felt smug and righteous in their enactment of anti-abortion rhetoric–bringing me and my three siblings into the world with foolish idealism–they would “make it work” somehow in terms of caring for us financially, spiritually, emotionally. What this idealism gave way to was a reality that was rife with poverty, danger, and abandonment. My parents, though they worked hard to support us, were too distracted, too tired, too desperate, and too naïve to properly vet the caregivers that we were left with while they worked. I was physically abused by one caregiver at age 4, and then sexually abused by another caregiver’s son at age 5. Another caregiver starved me and my sister, and yet another emotionally abused us on a near-daily basis. By the time I was in 6th grade, I was silent, sad, and deeply hurt. I had trouble envisioning what I wanted to be “when I grew up” because I felt like I was detached and stunted– I thought I would/should be dead by then. I couldn’t trust anyone but wanted desperately to be loved and to make the pain stop. I wished for my own death many times throughout adolescence–a presence that still plagues me as an adult. I know my parents tried–but they didn’t have the bravery. The bravery that it takes to make a compassionate decision to choose not to bring a life into the world that you cannot support, that you cannot keep safe, that you cannot raise to be a confident, self-loving adult who is capable of making plans, seeing a future, loving others in addition to themselves. Because I am still working to reclaim my narrative, because the wounds of abuse are still fresh on my consciousness, because all of this could have been prevented if only my parents were more brave–that is why I stand with those who are brave enough to make a difficult choice that is not borne of rhetoric, not of hatred, but of compassion—to choose the proper time to bring a life into the world for oneself. That is why, to my last breath, I will continue to support abortion–those who need abortion–and those who are saved by abortion.

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