I grew up in a very emotionally unhealthy family, I didn’t know about personal boundaries or that I could say no, stop.

At 19 I dated a guy who was much older, 31, who wanted a baby, but I was not ready yet. I didn’t think that was going to be a big deal. This was at the end of the 80’s, when The Pill was still really strong, and my body was too sensitive to take it. This guy kept goading me to go on “the rhythym method”, but fortunately I wasn’t that gullible, we used condoms instead. I didn’t know better at the time, but he was putting them on really tight without pinching the “reservoir” at the tip of the condom so they would break frequently. Also if we were sleeping, sometimes he would just go ahead and start having sex with me without my consent (I didn’t know then that was a form of rape, and I was too insecure and didn’t think I had the right to tell him to him stop.) So from one of those things, I got pregnant.

Something went wrong though, with the fetus. Instead of normal development, it started to leech all the nutrients out of my body, I couldn’t keep anything down and it got so bad that I had to go in for intervenous just to keep my hydration up. If I didn’t terminate, I was going to die. The true colours of this guy showed, he wouldn’t come and see how sick I was and he only cared that I “was killing his baby”. I kept telling him that it was going to be one dead body or two, that there was no way I could survive bringing the pregnancy to term (never mind that I had been clear that I didn’t want a baby so early in my life, and had been clear with him that if there was “an accident” I would terminate it- I just didn’t see ahead of time that it would be a life-saving procedure.)

He wouldn’t talk to me the whole time I was sick, just silence on the other end of the phone. It was horrible. I think he had this fairy tale image in his head of me sacrificing my life for the baby to be born (even though that was an impossibility) and that I was to do everything it took to retain the pregnancy, even if I died or both the fetus and I died in the pregnancy. How romantic.

Things were made more complicated by the fact there was a nursing strike going on, so I had to go to another province for the procedure. It was amazing, an hour after the procedure I could eat, and hold food down – I had some roterisserie chicken and grapes and chocolate milk and they were the most delicious things I had ever eaten.

Following up, the guy had a massive pity party, shaved all his hair off in grief that I had “murdered his baby” and just told anyone and everyone how evil I was. I dated someone new 4 months later, and then his story had changed, that my new boyfriend has “stolen” me from him as though I was his property all along.