I was 20 years old when I found out I was pregnant. It was just two weeks after I had finally gotten out of an unhealthy relationship that fed my low self-esteem and low self-worth.

I felt like I was ready to start taking care of myself and taking the steps towards bettering my mental health. After struggling with depression and anxiety during my first year at college, I decided to take time away from school and work on confronting the sexual assault that I believed was at the root of my depression. During my time off, I had a series of unhealthy relationships culminating in the relationship I had left just two weeks before finding out I was pregnant. I had never really thought about abortion growing up. I had never known anyone who had had one or at least talked about it openly and I never foresaw myself ever getting one. When I found out, I didn’t quite believe it was true, but soon I started feeling the constant nausea and was repulsed by the smell of almost everything. I continued to work as a waitress and thought about whether I would tell anyone or not. When my increased discomfort became difficult to hide, I finally disclosed my secret to my sister, and slowly but surely I told other people in my family in hope of some insight. Everyone had there own opinions. My mother and sister urged me to keep it due to either personal beliefs or some desire to expand the family. My father shunned me and told me that if I didn’t get an abortion he would never talk to me again. At one point I considered adoption, but my father met that with fierce disapproval as well. I left my house and stayed with my sister after telling my dad that I would not be forced into a decision out of fear of him. I decided I would give myself two weeks to think about it and come to a decision on my own. I continued to work and for the most part let the pregnancy slip to the back of my mind except when the nausea was unbearable. I went back in forth in my head thinking about different scenarios for the rest of my life. I told myself I could still go to the small liberal arts college that I intended to transfer to after my time off, and that I could work and support a baby with the help of my family. But even when I ignored how delusional my thoughts had become, I could not bring myself to think of a future that forever tied me to the would-be father of the baby. I could not imagine sharing a life in any shape or form with this person I had come to hate for all the lies he told and for all of the times he manipulated me. He had betrayed me and I had nothing but hate for him. At the end of my two weeks, I knew that I was not going to have the baby. Many people met me with disapproval and a lack of understanding. If I saw it as a baby, how could I be okay with aborting it? My only answer was that I knew I wanted something else for my life. I wanted to go back to school. I did not want to be a mother and further I did not feel that I could be even if I tried. I had the procedure done and admit that I felt relieved somehow afterwards. I was able to close the door of bad decisions and unhealthy behaviors and look towards a different path, a brighter path that I chose. I am now a junior in college and am majoring in Biology. Not everyone knows about my history with abortion, but I am comforted by the stories of the women all over the US, the stories of the 1 of 3, who know the truth about what it means to have a choice.