When I was in my early 20s, I was in a relationship which had gone sour and was becoming emotionally abusive. It started out wonderfully, but mean people can’t hide their true selves for long.

I didn’t know what to do because I was in a new town and this person was my only friend. I knew I needed to get out of the relationship, but I wasn’t ready yet because I knew it would get ugly. In fact, months later, when I did end it, I had to call the police because this guy threatened me and got very scary. When I found out I was pregnant despite using condoms, I knew immediately I could not parent a child in these circumstances. I was also very broke and a college student barely making ends meet as it was. I decided to have an abortion, and was lucky to live in an area where all I had to do was make a call and show up with $250. My boyfriend was decent enough to take me to the clinic and share the cost of the procedure. I had an ultrasound and the image of that little 8 week gestational age embryo is bored into my mind. I don’t regret my choice at all, and now that I am happily married, a mother, and a productive person in society, I shudder to think of how things could have turned out if I had that baby. I did take sex more seriously after that. You kind of have to. I vowed to never again sleep with someone who scared me or I didn’t think I could trust.