I was 21 years old and facing the darkest period of my young life. I knew in my subconscious the moment I became pregnant but couldn’t begin to face.

At the time I was involve with a man that was 10 years my senior, still married and hiding a severe drug problem. I know what you’re thinking… but I thought he could change, clean up and truly love me. A young, naïve dream of love when the reality was this was all going down in flames.

As things began to unravel, I started having cramps and pains. With each pain, I knew what was happen. I finally broke down and took a pregnancy test at my friend’s house. There in her bathroom as I watched those pink lines appear, I knew I could not continue this pregnancy. I learned a valuable lesson that moment; you never know what you will do in a tough situation until you are faced with it head on.

When I told the guy, I remember his voice cracked and tried to be supportive…telling me that if I want to keep it that we could make it work. Deep down I knew, he was relieved to be off the hook. The next week while waiting for my appointment was quite difficult. My Mother threw me out of the house when she found out even though she had an abortion in 1974. Friends showed their true colors and disappeared with their judgments. You really find out who your friends are in these times.

The morning of the procedure, my friend and the guy came with me. We drove past the hand held signs of bloody fetuses and into the clinic. As I sat in the waiting room, I watch as the chairs filled up and to my surprise, I was one of the oldest women there. Most were 18 to 20 if not younger and with their parents. No one talk…we all gave each other the same cold, sad stare.

My friend was amazing; bring up small conversation to keep my mind off of the end result. The guy on the other hand, wanted to be there less than I did and kept squirming in his seat. Then that moment rings in my memory is when the nurse called my name for the first time. I knew there was no going back. To my surprise, the staff was a breath of fresh air during the whole thing. They talked with me for while about everything and counseled me through my choices.

I will never forget the women that held my hand during the whole procedure. She was sweet and caring, supporting me through the pain, guilt and told me just to look at her. It was over as soon as it had started. I am thankful I was able to make this choice however, it was not easy by no means. The relationship unraveled shortly after and I pulled myself out of that dark period. There isn’t a month that goes by that I don’t think about these memories in wonder, sadness and gratitude.