by Anonymous

January 11, 2022

It was around 2005. I don’t remember when precisely it was, because although I couldn’t recognize it for what it was, I was deep into a suicidal depression that began after my husband raped me (he became my EX-husband very shortly after) and would last until 2009, when I got my fresh start by moving across country. Before I moved, though, and before I met the man that was going to be my now-husband, I was in a severely unhealthy, terribly co-dependent relationship. I would have done anything this man said, except for probably harming myself.

One night, I realized I was late and I took a pregnancy test. It was positive. I called him, scared and sobbing, begging for him to come over. I can still hear his response: “It’s not like you’re keeping it, right?” Callous. Uncaring. And I agreed, despite how my stomach dropped.

We made the appointment and he drove me there, to a tiny, dingy clinic, far enough away that we wouldn’t run into anyone we knew. I told them I didn’t want to hear the heartbeat; I couldn’t bear it. I wanted to keep this baby but this man didn’t, and he spun my head around so hard that I couldn’t think straight. At least, that’s what I tell myself to feel better.

They put me to sleep, but they didn’t give me enough sedative, because I woke up in the middle of it. I remember the agony of it, I remember them telling me to stop screaming, and then… nothing. It’s one of the most traumatic memories of my life and one that haunts me every time I have had to have a procedure done under sedation. But I woke up in a recovery bed. It was over and the baby was gone.

The father broke up with me shortly after that, which upon years of reflection, was the best thing he ever did for me, even if neither of us realized it at the time. Giving up that baby, though… that is a profound regret that I carry with me, as deep as the ocean, to this day. I mourn that baby, grieve for her. I don’t know what gender the baby would have been, but I like to think she would have been a girl. I named her Grace and I like to believe she’s looking down on me from Heaven, waiting for me. That I’ll get to meet her one day and tell her how truly sorry I am for taking her life away from her.

It’s taken a lot of therapy, deep reflection and three pastors to convince me that I am not an evil murderer. That I made the decision under horrible circumstances that influenced me in ways that I would not have chosen, had I been in my right mind. That God knows that I regret and forgives me, even if I can’t forgive myself yet. I don’t know when that time will come. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive myself, truly. I still rage in my heart at the father, at myself. I still grieve for Grace.

It’s important to me to note that this is only how I feel about myself. I’m 100% pro-choice. I believe that access to abortion is healthcare and that any person, regardless of background, socio-economic status, race or creed, should be able to have a safe, legal abortion for ANY reason. I don’t want to turn this into a political post, though, so that’s all I’ll say on the matter.

Grace has been on my mind lately. She’s usually on my mind during the holiday season, when I look back on my life, the lessons I’ve learned and the things I’m thankful for. I just wanted to tell my story, I guess. Every time I do, it hurts a little less, for some reason that I can’t fathom. Maybe it’s just a catharsis, because I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my cheeks and my nose running right off my face.

For everyone that read this whole post, I commend you. I’m thankful for this group and everyone in it. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and God bless you all.

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