Before I was 18 I had 2 abortions. The first I decided to take the pill. My parents found out because they caught me throwing up in the bathroom one morning. I told them and they made me take another pregnancy test in the house. They were clearly upset, ashamed of me and asked how I could be so stupid as to get myself into a mess like this. I was almost too far along to get an abortion, so that must have been close to 24 weeks. My mum refused to come with me to the hospital to take the pill and so my dad did instead, with my boyfriend. I was in so much pain, but it felt good to feel anything at all as I had been really sick during the pregnancy and was very depressed. After I left the nurse told me we couldn’t have sex, but when I went home my boyfriend pressured me into it.

Less than a year later it happened again. I was on the pill but kept forgetting to take it. My boyfriend refused to wear a condom. This time my parents were worse than before and I decided to get a surgical abortion. I wasn’t allowed anyone in the room with me and my boyfriend was angry I was getting an abortion again, so wasn’t talking to me. I felt so alone and embarrassed. After the operation had taken place a nurse came to talk to me about contraception and said that since I couldn’t be trusted and wasn’t responsible enough to take the pill then I would have to get something more permanent, like the implant.

After this happened I tried really hard to make things work with my boyfriend, in the end he broke up with me. After a year of therapy I have come to the understanding that during our whole relationship I was being abused by him. This is still something that I struggle to accept and open up to people about.

My abortions really impacted my relationship with my parents. We pretended it didn’t happen and ‘forgot’ about it once it was over. Now we barely even acknowledge this period of time, let alone the trauma that I went through and am still going through because of it.

It never really felt like I had the option to keep either pregnancy. Maybe deep down I knew I was not in a position to be a mother, but every time I think about it I feel angry that no one helped me to see that was my choice. That having an abortion, or not, was a decision I could make, about my body. I still feel relieved everytime I get my period and the thought of having children one day feels like something I don’t deserve.

No matter how accepting I am of myself, or how much work I do to feel better, whenever I feel lonely it takes me straight back to how I felt when even my family were ashamed of me and couldn’t love me. I’m not sure that anything will ever make this lonely feeling go away, but I have found a lot of comfort in learning to speak my truth and stand up for myself in small ways.

Maybe one day I will be confident enough to shout my abortion in real life. But for now, getting the chance to share my story for those close to me and for your community to read and understand, means the world to me. <3