I didn’t feel regret or shame. I simply felt relief.

by Anonymous

November 19, 2021

Content Warning: rape

I was a senior in college on my last spring break when I found out I was pregnant.

At the end of that January, right before I had gone back to school for my final semester, I was raped by a partner. I ignored it, brushed it off, pretended it didn’t happen until I couldn’t any longer.

I knew I was pregnant that March. I was sitting on the couch with a friend. I had fallen asleep due to a killer migraine. My friend ordered dinner, and when it came, the smell instantly made me vomit.

I knew then. I was pregnant.

But I ignored it. It couldn’t happen to me. I refused to allow it to happen to me.

So the next day, I went to house sit my parent’s house while they were away, and I bought some sushi and an energy drink as sort of a “last supper” before I took a pregnancy test which would tell me what I already knew.

I enjoyed my sushi. Savored every bite. I knew, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to have sushi again for a while due to the pregnancy. I sipped my drink slowly, knowing it was my last for a long time.

When I finally got up the courage, I took the test. Instantly, the second little pink line showed up.

I got in the car, crying my eyes out, and drove to the urgent care near my parents’ place. A blood test confirmed, yep, I was pregnant. The nice lady at the urgent care told me, “I can’t tell you about your options. All I’ll say is if you call this number, someone can help you sort out what your options are.”

I googled the number she had written down. Planned Parenthood.

I knew in that moment that that was the option I was going to choose. No deliberation. No second guessing. I was getting an abortion.

I was scared to tell anyone. I thought I would be vilified, ostracized, left for dead. But I had to tell someone. I needed someone to drive me to the appointment because they were going to have to put me under for the abortion.

I told a close friend and swore him to secrecy. To this day, I don’t think he’s told anyone.

As the day drew nearer, I got a call from the clinic. They told me how much it was going to cost. I couldn’t afford it. I couldn’t crowdfund it – I had to keep it a secret. I was at a loss. The clinic referred me to abortion funds that could help.

I applied for aid and was denied. I got that call while I was with my mother. I broke down. She asked what was going on, and I screamed that she would hate me if she knew. And she knew. She told me she would always love me, no matter what. She would support whatever decision I made, but she had limits and boundaries about how she could support me in making the choice I did make. She helped me apply for state-sponsored health insurance, which thankfully covered the procedure.

The day came, and I bawled in the waiting room. I knew this was the choice for me, but I was so scared that actually going through with it would make my mother hate me. (Spoiler alert: it didn’t).

The people at the clinic respected me, my pronouns, my gender identity, my story. They didn’t question the fifty-something year old man I had brought as my support person. They simply cared for me in the most gentle way possible.

I had the procedure, and to be honest, I don’t remember it at all.

I do remember waking up in recovery. I remember asking the nurse when the procedure was going to happen. She told me it was done. I literally broke out laughing. I laughed so hard I cried. I didn’t feel shame. I didn’t feel scared. I didn’t feel anything but relief.

To this day, I still feel relief.

I am not tied to the person who impregnated me.

I am not going to have to face a child that looks or acts like the man who raped me.

I am not going to have to explain to a child that they were not lovingly conceived.

I am free.

And I have written letters to that little clump of cells I had removed from my body. I have told it how sorry I was that I could not let it grow. I have told it how much I wished I could love it. I told it all my secrets. But I do not regret the choice I made.

I am loved deeply, even by those who know about my abortion.

I am not a bad person for the choice I made.

I chose myself, for the first time in my whole life. I chose myself.

And it wasn’t selfish. And it wasn’t bad. And it wasn’t wrong.

It was the choice I needed to make, and if I had to do it all over again, I would make the same decision.

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