Lessons Learned

November 6, 2013

I’ve wanted for some time to come clean about my abortion. It’s not some dirty little secret or anything, and most people who know me know I had an abortion, and most of them accept the fact that I was 15 years old as a valid reason for having it. The fact that I was so young was a huge motivating factor, but it was by no means my only reason. I’d like to tell the story, so that people can understand that having an abortion is no walk in the park, and that in my opinion, making that choice was the bravest thing I have ever done, and to tell of the lessons I learned in the process)…

Lesson One: Take control of your own sexual health and protection

As I said I was 15, and obviously sexually active. I used condoms, but the boy I was dating was inexperienced, as was I, and it’s likely he put the condom on incorrectly. Our school did not teach safe sex. I went to Pride Project, a group for Queer youth, which did teach safe sex. The condom broke. I probably should have put it on him myself or watched him put it on to make sure he put it on correctly.

Lesson Two: You’d be surprised at the support you’d get

When I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified to tell my mom. I was sure she would freak out and probably never let me see the light of day until I turned 18. It was she who came to me and told me she knew. I was shaking and my heart was pounding, waiting for the yelling and the lecturing and the disappointment. Instead, she said to me, “I wish you would have told me you were having sex, I would have gotten you on birth control.” I didn’t know how to react. We then sat down and had a conversation. No yelling, no fighting, just talking. She asked me how many partners I’d had, and what I wanted to do. I told her I thought I wanted to have an abortion but I wasn’t sure yet, I was so scared and confused. She then told me that she would support me no matter what, but that she really thought terminating the pregnancy would be the best thing, but that it was ultimately my choice. My choice. I was still a child and I was faced with this huge grown-up decision. And my mom was trusting me to make it. She supported me the whole way and made sure I knew I was loved. We talked about birth control options, and being more careful with sex. I never felt closer to my mom and after that we became like best friends.

Lesson Three: Haters gonna hate

In the days leading up to my abortion, I went through hell. I had the support of my mom and a few friends, but I had already been the product of many rumors, and this little problem was practically headline news at my school. I was called a slut, a baby killer, a whore. People told me they wished I would die, that they hoped the doctor would mess up the procedure and I would die or be terribly injured during the abortion. I was told I was going to hell, that I should have been more responsible, that I should have kept my legs closed, should have used a condom, would regret “killing” my “baby” and most of all, I was a dirty, ugly, terrible, murdering slut. They really liked to emphasize the slut part. I was terrible. I was already emotional and I just wanted it all to be over with. For three years running, there was a bathroom stall door dedicated to calling me a slut and a whore and spreading all kinds of vicious rumors about me. I was ostracized by most of my peers, and I wasn’t even the first girl at that school to get pregnant or to have an abortion. I was just to first girl who was so bullied about it, and the first girl to have the whole situation be made so public. I was a cutter, and this whole thing made my self harm a lot worse. People also suggested that I have the baby and put it up for adoption. Like that is so easy. You see, the thought of that terrified me. Not only going through the pregnancy, but having something growing inside me when I am so young and fall in love so easily, only to have to give it to a stranger. I was not ready for that. Some girls can do it. I didn’t think I could.

Lesson Four: Making a choice you feel is right, even if unpopular, feels good

I learned quickly that post-abortion regret/depression is a myth. At least, it is if you truly made the choice your own and it is what you wanted. Despite all the bullying, I never wavered in my decision. I knew it was the right thing for me to do. I have never for a second regretted that decision. I also learned that you should never regret any bad decision (in my case, having sex I wasn’t ready for and not checking the condom) as long as you learned from it. After the abortion I got on birth control, and actually did not have intercourse again until I was 18 (I had other kinds of sex).

Lesson Five: Life goes on

It’s been 11 years and I feel like I am so much wiser and stronger because of that whole experience. It taught me not to judge others and that it really sucks to be judged. I have come a long way. I was sexually abused when I was 18, but I came out of it and now I am a college graduate, I have a decent job, and though it didn’t work out in the end, I did have a good 6 year long relationship. And now I am in another relationship. Life is good. And my life would be completely different had a chose differently.

So that is my story. I had an abortion because I was young and inexperienced, could not care for a child, and adoption was not something I was ready for. And for the record, I have no had a pregnancy scare since.