It’s okay to not be okay.

by Anonymous

November 5, 2020

Content Warning: self-harm

I was 13. After telling my mentally abusive boyfriend that I had missed my period, I didn’t hear from him for weeks. I remember going out to dinner one night with my family at Ruby Tuesday’s. When I stood up to leave the restaurant, I got dizzy. I knew at this point that I couldn’t keep denying the pregnancy, that I needed help, and that I had to tell my mom. I sat down with her a few nights later. With tears in my eyes, I gained the courage to mutter the words “I’m pregnant.” I assured her that I did not want to keep the child and I would have to get an abortion. She stood up, walked away, and didn’t kiss me goodnight when I went to bed.

I remember praying to God that if he took this pregnancy away, I’d never have sex again. I remember hating myself. I remember feeling shame, guilt, and being disgusted. I remember being scared.

My mom drove me to the clinic for a surgical abortion a couple of days later, and I still think I was too young to process the whole experience. I remember them giving me pills, I remember throwing up, I remember crying in pain, and I remember being the youngest person in the waiting room, being told “you must be so strong.” I didn’t feel strong. I felt weak. I felt stupid. I felt empty.

I woke up in the middle of the procedure to two doctors taking my underwear off. I was lying on my back, legs wide open, only conscious enough to mutter “they told me to leave them on.”

I repressed the experience. I hated myself for it. A year after the abortion, I fell into a spiraling depression. I didn’t know what to feel, I just knew that I didn’t feel good. I started to cut myself religiously. I never spoke of what happened. I internalized everything. Up until a year ago, I still cried during sex. Before, during, after. It didn’t matter. I was still scared. I felt shameful. I felt guilty. I thought I was doing something wrong.

Thankfully, I made it out of the depression. I talked to a counselor, I talked to friends, I talked to my current boyfriend who is outrageously supportive. I was finally doing okay… until I got pregnant again.

I am now 22. I just had an abortion via medication less than a week ago. I knew it would be tough, and I struggled with the fear that I’d go down the path to self harming again. I also knew that I could not keep this child.

I remember taking the pills. I remember being crouched over, praying to god to take the pain away. I remember being drained. I remember going to work the next day and pretending that none of it happened.

I am now dealing with the mixed feelings of anger, grief, shame, and pure emptiness. I feel dirty. I feel like I disrespected my body – a body that I am still working on loving 100%.  Still, I remind myself that I made the best decision for me and the child, and I will heal from this. I struggle with feeling like I should be okay, but that’s the farthest from the truth. I am allowed to grieve. I am allowed to be upset. I am allowed to feel. I will be okay. Maybe not today, but eventually.

My advice to you, if you’re considering, if you’re healing, or if you’re simply reflecting on your experience in comparison to others: Don’t bottle up the emotions. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Don’t be afraid to grieve the loss. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen. It’s okay to not know how to feel. It’s okay to not feel anything at all. No matter what happened, your experience is valid. Let other people know what they can do to help you heal. Be real with yourself about what YOU can do to help you heal.

Most importantly, trust the process and love yourself. No matter what.

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