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Pregnant and Afraid

by Anonymous

July 15, 2019

Content Warning: rape

It was the early morning when I woke up from an alcohol and cocaine induced blackout with his hand over my mouth. He had already started having sex with me as I lay there in my bed unconscious. I had met him once before. The last thing I remember from the previous night was drinking with him and talking to him casually at a party near my dad’s downtown LA home. He told me I wasn’t his type. Said he had a girlfriend he loved very much. Reiterated there was nothing there for us to explore. I remember doing some lines of cocaine. I remember getting another glass of wine. Then it goes black and I am in my bed, my mouth covered, with him behind me forcibly having sex with me.

“What are you doing?” I ask, groggy and unaware of what is exactly taking place. “Shut the fuck up, ” he says, “I am almost finished.” I try to ask another question and he tightens the grip on my mouth. “I said shut the fuck up. It’ll be over soon.” I lay there crying- assuming it’s my fault anyways (wasn’t I the one drinking? I probably started talking to him to begin with… I am 22 and relatively attractive-  I should have stayed at home or looked uglier if I went out.) What feels like an hour goes by- he ejaculates in me and begins having sex with me again. He ejaculates inside me once more. Then he’s finished- in a relaxed demeanor he puts on his clothes, notices me crying, and kindly says as he exits, “Oh for fuck sake, it’s just sex. Stop crying over something you wanted.”

 

It’s 2 years before I get sober off drugs and alcohol. I am living with my father, unemployed and drinking as much alcohol (of whatever variety) and ingesting as much amphetamine I can get my hands on a daily basis. I purge food whenever I eat. I have to use substances, otherwise I shake and become sick from withdrawals. I look emaciated and scared. Truth is, I am emaciated and scared. I rarely leave my house except to pick up alcohol or drugs, and once they are in my system, I am no longer in the drivers seat: sometimes I stay home and drink myself to sleep, sometimes I go out, and meet a guy like Mr. Prince Charming from the earlier paragraph.

 

Anyways, that night with Mr. Charming led to a tremendous amount of shame, guilt and subsequent drug usage. It also led to my first unplanned pregnancy. I knew something was off soon after the assault. My breasts were huge and sore. I was getting sick more frequently and was unable to fit into my clothes. I was gaining weight specifically around my abdomen. I figured I should see a doctor and get a second opinion- and there it was solidified that I was in fact pregnant with my rapist’s baby. I left the office feeling scared and alone. I told nobody. I drank myself to sleep that night, not before arranging for an abortion to be done later that week. I stole money from my father in the middle of the night a few days later to cover the cost of the procedure. When it was over, the first thing I did was buy a bottle of booze and drink until I passed out. It wasn’t until I was about 6 months later, in the summer of 2014, that I opened up to someone and told my mom what had happened.

The event haunted and followed me for years. I felt ashamed to have had an abortion, despite being so unable to physically, mentally or financially care for a child (let alone myself). But I had always wanted children and the procedure felt isolating and confusing- I felt like I had nobody to talk to and that the pain was all my own (I have since found that that could not be further from the truth- even close friends of mine have had abortions- which I was unaware of until an open dialogue had been sparked). When I finally got clean a few months before my 24th birthday, I was living in New York with a former boyfriend, attending meetings while I weaned off of substances. I still thought about the pregnancy and abortion often and felt ashamed and worthless as a woman for getting it. Then I met Sarah. Sarah and I were the same age: 23. She also had gotten pregnant from a rape around the same time as me. Instead of having the abortion, she had told her rapist about the pregnancy, and he had insisted they get married. She drank throughout her wedding, pregnancy and the eventual birth of her child. When I met her, her son was 1.5 and she was living with her rapist near my apartment- we both had around the same amount of time clean: under 30 days. She didn’t work, had no education (like me), and had nothing to fall back on. She hated her son, she told me, because of how much he looked like her husband, the assailant. She was struggling to get sober and felt immense guilt for bringing a baby into such a dysfunctional environment. It was like looking into mirror of what would have happened had I kept my child. Sarah relapsed shortly after I met her and last I heard she had attempted suicide and was hospitalized for psychiatric care. That was 4 years ago. I haven’t seen or heard from her since.

The point is this: abortion isn’t always a fun or enjoyable solution but it’s a necessary one. One that I am grateful I had the opportunity to chose to have. How is it better to bring a child into dysfunction than to calmly and selflessly let one go while there is still time? I had access to a safe, nurturing doctor in a liberal state- I didn’t have to travel far or be accosted as I walked in to have the procedure (a procedure that was NOT FUN TO BEGIN WITH). I celebrated 4 years clean last month and am now studying for an exam to go back to school. I still want kids, but I know they will come when I am ready, and should an unplanned pregnancy happens again, I have places to go in my state that will help me. Parenting to me is about responsibility. We aren’t bringing a houseplant into our lives- its a living, breathing, innocent human being. If I want to be an adult, and therefore accept responsibility for my own life, I have to be willing to make the hard decisions that in the long run are the best options for me. At the every least, I should be allowed to have that choice, and not be directed to do anything that doesn’t feel right for my own future- because a baby is just too precious to bring into the world if I’m not ready.

 

I hope this story helps someone else and I am grateful and honored to be apart of this community. Thank you to all who have helped contribute and allow a platform for women to be heard.

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