There was a moment in time when I put someone before myself. I was in an abusive relationship with my ex-boyfriend. It was off and on. There were moments of happiness and laughter sprinkled in-between chaotic dysfunction. I loved him more than I loved myself and gave him every part of me.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was excited because I thought the pregnancy would be a stamp of our love or rather my love. A one-sided love that was never reciprocated. After I revealed the news to him, he didn’t believe me. He was upset and expressed how he thought the pregnancy would ruin his life. He began to show his ass. Some days he was in support of me continuing my pregnancy, and other days he told me to abort it.

I had to beg and plead for him to help me. My body was not handling the pregnancy well. I remember one moment perfectly, when I asked him for help and he angrily said, “ Women go through this alone all the time. Stop acting like a princess and be strong.” At that moment, I started to realize my reality, and the veil of romanticization of the situation fell.

I live in a state that restricts access to abortion to six weeks. So, I was extremely scared. A part of me wanted this pregnancy so bad and another part of me wanted more for myself. I wanted to have a baby with someone who loved me and treated me with respect. Someone who wouldn’t lie, cheat, manipulate or verbally berate me. Someone I could feel safe and supported by. Someone that my future child and I could rely on.

My ex-boyfriend struggled with substance abuse which he always put before everything else. Over the course of our relationship, he had broken me down mentally to where I lost faith in myself and my ability to make decisions. Mentally, I was not doing well and we were fighting regularly. Each fight became more turbulent than the other. I started reacting to his abuse and reacting to his toxicity with toxicity. I didn’t recognize myself and was terrified. My belly would hurt so bad because of the anxiety I experienced during our fights. I wasn’t ready to leave my ex and raise a baby on my own. I freelance in the film industry and haven’t had a gig in months. I wasn’t ready for the possibility of changing my whole life to raise a baby alone. I was broken. I didn’t even love myself in that moment. How could I raise a baby to be healthy and secure if I did not have that for myself? How could I let a baby grow up seeing their mom be disrespected and abused? Would they grow up to be like their father, or to be like me and allow themselves to be tormented, because they did not love themselves? I wasn’t ready.

I keep going back and forth since having my abortion about what ifs and what could have been. I was fortunate to be able to receive a safe legal abortion because my pregnancy was only four weeks and six days. I missed the cut-off for my state by ONE WEEK and ONE DAY. This was one of the most complicated choices I’ve ever made. I wanted that pregnancy very much, but at the moment, I was not able to provide for that future child, financially or emotionally. I could not trust that I would have stayed away from my ex or that I would have done the healing needed to raise a healthy and secure child. At that time, I thought I would feel purpose, wholeness, and love from what could have been my child. However, I need to find that within myself. So I could be the best and healthiest version of myself for my future children. If I would have continued my pregnancy, I would have forced my future baby into the chaotic dysfunction I struggled to escape.

I am grateful for being able to access a safe abortion before it wasn’t an option for me because of the new laws passed in my state. Maybe I would feel more at peace with my decision if it were not for the ticking clock our government has implemented on abortions. I feel an immense amount of grief surrounding this pregnancy loss. Grief is love with nowhere to go, and through this abortion, I was able to see all the parts of myself that needed to heal.