I had an abortion.

by Leesa

April 8, 2019

Content Warning: verbal abuse

I had an abortion. When I was 19. I had sex with a condom on (always did) with my long-term boyfriend and it broke. I went to get the morning after pill, back then you had to go to the ER to get one… and it made me so sick. I threw it up… But assumed since I had taken it I was fine. The pregnancy was not going to happen I was covered. The next month I did not get my period, I was terrified… I knew right away I was not going to have the baby. (I still don’t want kids. Not everyone needs to have kids.) So, I went to get a blood test. The thought of being pregnant just felt gross to me. I was so young, I didn’t even have the nerve to call back for the results, I made my friend call for me. It was confirmed I was pregnant.


I did have a nice boyfriend who was older than me. I was living with him cause my parents kicked me out of the house, they were angry I would stay over his house at night in the city sometimes, they told me if I did not come home every night then I was not allowed to live with them anymore. I came home one day after staying at his place and my mom had packed up my room and told me to leave so I did.Figured being 18 and finally out of high school the choice to leave was the one that made most sense. I was a legal adult, it was time to move out anyways. Staying would basically mean they get to control me for the rest of my life. And our relationship was already terrible all throughout high school. I would run away a lot. It just felt awful to be accused of all these things I was not doing just because I liked going to see music in the city, had older friends/ boyfriends and didn’t really fit into the mainstream. My parents just wanted the nice catholic daughter who didn’t make waves kept her mouth shut and did all the normal things… I was never that girl. I still am not.


One night a boyfriend dropped me off late. My dad literally picked me up and threw me in the house. Then he chased his car down the block screaming. This was typical, anytime I did something they did not like or were morally opposed to…

I would get accused of being on drugs and having sex when I wasn’t. Not allowed to have a key to my own house when I had to rush from sports to work since they thought I was having sex… still wasn’t.

I had trouble in school. I had outsider friends who understood, many of us were from a rough situation. And my crowd was not the late bloomer crowd, so I grew up fast. But that was just me I never really did anything bad. I was just different, and I was an early bloomer. I liked boys they liked me. I always had a boyfriend. Nowadays I think it’s just because I relate to men better. In fact, I didn’t have sex till I was with a long-term boyfriend and over 18. Like I said, I did always have boyfriends growing up, so they wanted to make damn sure I was not having any sex. It was for marriage only. I know if I was under 18 they would make me have the kid, force me against my will to carry that thing around feeling gross waiting for it to get out of me… So, I was terrified of sex. I still think my V card should have gone to my high school boyfriend. We really liked each other a lot and dated for years it would have been nice to think about sharing that with him without the thought of my mom calling me a slut in the back of my mind all the time. Instead of losing it to the older guy I was with later on.


At one point I would make stuff up in my diary because my mom would steal it from me and read without my permission, the worst was one time she disclosed to the whole family (grandmothers, aunts and all) at the beach one afternoon my boyfriend had felt me up. From there I felt like I wanted to give her the best 50 shades of grey trash novel she could get… It was not right for her invade my personal space. It would be one thing if it was out of concern, but she just used it to shame me.


So soon after graduation I moved into the city to try to get some distance from my home life and live with my boyfriend. This was not ideal I would have loved a more supportive understanding environment, but it just was not the reality I was dealt with and he was nice and respectful so that was way better than being at home. There was no constant yelling or berating or controlling.


It made me sad cause me and my mom at times had a nice relationship. She was the young mom who would pile all your friends in the car and take everyone to McDonald’s. We would TP my administrator’s lawn and laugh or drive around in the mini-van listening to music. I felt like she never got to be a teenager, had kids and married young. She said many times when she was sad she felt trapped, so I took it to heart to make sure I was never trapped. So, we almost got to be teenagers together only she was my mom as well… She hated school, so she understood why I hated school. All my friends could talk to her about their problems… But with me it was different. They came from broken homes and bad parenting. I should be better. I was raised catholic. She did not have sex before marriage. She was only with my dad. I should do the same, that is the way things should be. My friends they could do what they wanted because they were a product of lack of religion, a bad home and bad parenting.


I would have loved to be on the pill or talked to my mom about how I was likely to have sex soon… but I was young and it was awkward and to be honest even if I was able to get the pill without them (I was now 18) I was afraid my parents would find the pills yell at me, slut shame me.  Even though I was no longer living with them or on their insurance. I just pictured going away to a family thing and them finding them and all hell breaking loose. I thought about it a lot. But condoms were effective, and I always used them… But then one broke.


I remember me and my boyfriend going to the planned parenthood and the protesters out front. I wanted to scream at them. I am 19, I have no education. The condom broke. I am not a slut. I tried the morning after pill. I waited. This is a terrible fucking accident. I don’t want to be a mother or a baby carrier. I don’t want to be with this person. I don’t want to have a baby or carry a baby. I can’t even get a blood test without having a full-blown nervous breakdown (I had a phobia of doctors). I am not having a kid. Please leave us alone.

We went in. They referred us elsewhere since you have to be awake at planned parenthood to get an Abortion and again I couldn’t do even minor medical things without being sedated. So, I was referred to another provider where I could go under.


The downside was I had to wait 2 weeks. You had to be at least 6 weeks to have an abortion. I was only like 4 and a half.  This was before the abortion pill. I wanted that thing out of me ASAP. I made an appointment literally on the 6-week mark. I felt so gross. I felt like everyone knew they could smell it on me. I felt awful. (I have always even before this felt grossed out by pregnancy. Maybe I was just meant to be a man… cause it’s just not something I even remotely take to.  Never wanted kids, Ever.) I remember going to a wedding and waiting to hide. There is no way I would be showing at 5 weeks but people they will just know… they will hate me if they find out I am not keeping it. They would disown me. My mom would call me a murderer and a slut, say told you so… this is what you get for having sex, slut… and tell me how much I disgust her and how she hates me… then she would try to force me to keep it… they would even say they would help raise it… They would call me selfish for killing their grandchild… then if I did keep it they would hold how I was a slut and fucked up over me for the rest of my life… and that was just my parents. But the rest of the family would be no better. They would either outwardly hate me or other stoic side of the family with just quietly gossip at how disgusted they are at my behavior and things would be awful. I already had enough on my plate so I just hid it. Like a dirty secret.


Finally, the day came. My friend that was supposed to be there with me bailed. My boyfriend was also coming. He was always solid. I think I liked him cause I just needed someone solid but even then, I just wanted a friend more, I think that was just where my head was at being 19. Or maybe I was mad that he used the cheap condoms… he got for free at the nightclub he worked at… But I was an adult we choose to have sex… things can happen. You signed up for this.


All Along, he said it was completely my choice. Didn’t put any pressure on me one way or the other. I am sure he would have been supportive either way I decided. The whole thing was messed up and just felt like a bad dream. I was young he was too old for me. I did like him at first and for a long term? He was not the one if there is such a thing and I was not ready to settle down at all… I was a kid you are supposed to be able to make a mistake. No one is perfect.


We got there: I remember the building being nice. In a nice part of town. I remember not waiting him in the room. I remember them saying they had to take more blood to confirm. But I didn’t do needles. I remember them saying if we can’t get blood or an IV in you we can’t do this. I remember mustering up all my courage and crying and screaming I don’t want to have this baby!! As the IV went in… and that feeling of passing out that you only understand if you have even been sedated while having a panic attack (I have many times, you can feel yourself passing out).


Then I woke up and it was peaceful. I was free. The recovery room was nice. The staff was nice.

My boyfriend took me home. I rested. I thought about how this was the best decision I could have made. How happy I wasthat it was over. How relived I was.


I said to myself if you are not going to be a teen mother what are you going to do with your life? I had kinda been in a lost place. Just out of high school working a retail job and not in college. And I thought about it real hard, and then I enrolled in college. Iworked very hard. Got good grades. Worked hard at my job. Worked hard on my myself. Tried to be understanding with my family, they are not perfect everyone makes mistakes. You can only reach folks where they are at. I also tried to be understanding of other folks and an open supportive sibling to my younger brothers and sister. I wanted them to have all the support I didn’t. I wanted them to know I would not judge them. They are loved.


To this day I whole heartedly believe I made the right choice. I am so happy I had access to care and support from both my partner and friends. As well as access to a medical facility locally.


I remember mentioning it to a co-worker who told me it would be fine. She said if you had to have 8 of these it is still fine. I would still support your choice. It was so comforting to know I was not being judged. That there are people out there who don’t hate me because I didn’t want to have a baby at 19 or ever. That it’s ok to be who I am.


I felt like the rest of my life beforehand everyone around me just shamed me. I finally broke free of it and could pave my own way.


Now I am almost 40. I still have not told my parents about it. I really want to. I want to say if you don’t love me for who I am then you don’t deserve to take up the space in my life. I have always let them treat me like shit at times and come back around. It gets exhausting to be the bigger person. I get exhausting to have someone’s hate speech directed at you but you have to stay silent. I am very vocal pro-choice advocate and recently I spoke up about it. But I never speak about it in the first person. I then got a letter from a family member saying I was being disrespectful and hurting folks with my pro-choice rhetoric. I want to say you folks have been hurting me and other women for years with your words and actions. I am just tired of taking it. I am sick of being a target of your hate. If you don’t love me for who I am then don’t have me in your life. My life will be better without you hate clouding it. But it is never that easy is it? Things are always complicated and nuanced. Life is never black and white. Yet another reason why a women’s right to choice is so so important.

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