When I was fifteen years old, I found out I was pregnant with a partner that was deeply abusive and manipulative, but with whom I was very much in love. I lost my virginity to him and continued to have unprotected sex together for about a year, without ever really considering the possibility of pregnancy. I knew I was pregnant when I started vomiting in the morning before school… on the school bus, in the bathroom stalls in the science hallway, very quickly at home, in a bag of chips in a car. After it being confirmed, I waited two months before telling my parents. During that time, I built a fantasy world in which myself, my partner, our families and my friends would be the child’s support system… My best friend and I would discuss the maternity clothing we could make and I would listen to my baby’s heart beat as I would fall asleep most nights. However, my partner would use his support for me and our baby as a tool of manipulation. Cycling between full support and sudden rejection of me and our baby (which he framed as my, and only my, baby in those moments), I knew I had to tell my parents sooner than later. When I finally mustered the courage to tell my mom, her fear turned to anger and blame. After speaking with my dad, they decided that terminating the pregnancy was the best decision for me. I had never considered having an abortion, and definitely wasn’t in agreement with having one. However, I was much too exhausted (and young) to fight their decision.
The morning of my abortion, I remember crying all the way to the hospital. This was it… the end of my baby’s life. Waiting room after waiting room, crying remained my only coping mechanism. I think the most difficult part was singing my consent for a procedure I didn’t fully agree with. Once my legs were in the stir-ups and the IV was in my arm, I remember wanting to die. I remember being dumbfounded by the nurse’s inability to understand why I was still crying when I woke up from the procedure. I later found out that the nurses told my parents they had never witnessed a woman cry during the whole process. That night, I kept getting flashes of abdominal pain and voices… I’ve always wondered if I may have been somewhat present for part of the procedure.
My partner was really upset about the termination and wasn’t very supportive of what I had gone through. We didn’t communicate very much that day… nor did we in the weeks coming up to my abortion. The following evening, he faked his death via telephone. He staged an audio bear attack, to which I was a spectator, and even had his cousin pose as a police officer, who called me to announce his time of death. My parents found my hysterically crying on my bedroom floor at three in the morning. Being so wound in his web of manipulation, it was only till a few months later, after parental and police interventions, that I really understood that he had lied about it all.
My family and I tried our best to go on with our lives by suppressing those memories days after it all happened. Although this felt like the easiest way to cope with both traumas, we’ve learned that it most certainly was not. It was only until I acquired an eating disorder, four years later, that a psychologist suggested that we should look at those traumas. Having experienced two traumatic events involving death of loved ones within forty eight hours, the testing I went through confirmed that I was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Today, I am a stronger, wiser and a very empathetic woman. I have undergone treatment for my PTSD, through which the stories of the women on this website have been crucial to my recovery. My relationship with my parents has grown and evolved, and we’ve had honest and vulnerable conversations about their decisions. I’ve come to make peace with them and with myself. I recognize that going through with my pregnancy would have been creating a permanent link between me and my abuser – and I am infinitely grateful that my parents took control of the situation to which I was blind. Today, I can hug that fifteen year old self inside of me, and hold the hand of the baby that never came to be in this physical form. I know that termination was the best decision for my baby and for my future. My baby is safer now. I am safer now. I honor and remember my journey, but am no longer allowing it to control my life. It’s almost been six years since my abortion, and I couldn’t be happier with where I am in my life.
I cannot thank the courageous women on this website enough.