I Had to Forgive Myself

He was my first boyfriend.  I was only seventeen and thought I was in love. My self-image was low. Therefore, someone accepting me and loving me meant the world to me.

My mom was a single parent and did not have the time to give to me emotionally the way I needed it.  Girls can be so harsh and cruel.  Fortunately, I was a teenager long before social media.  I do not think I could have survived any more negativity in my life at the time.

We had been dating for about six months before we had sex the first time.  I thought I was ready to move into a more intimate relationship.  Boy was I wrong.  It was nothing like I had imagined it.  Instead of feeling a deeper love, I felt used, uncomfortable, and awkward.  The encounter had such a profound impact on our relationship that shortly thereafter we broke up.

But, “it only happened one time” I told my mom when I missed my cycle the second month in a row. She was furious when the realization hit her that I might be pregnant.  “How could you do this to me,” she said.  “I can hardly afford to keep you.  There is no way I can take care of anymore in this house.”

Mom went to the local pharmacy to get a pregnancy kit to verify what she thought to be true.  Painfully, the test registered her fears – positive.  She just stared at me – wordless – for a long time.  Finally, she said, “You have a choice. You can move out or you can have an abortion.”

With no close friends or family, I felt so alone and shamed. Where could I go?  What should I do?  Who could I talk to?

We drove in silence to the abortion clinic.  She gladly gave her consent for the procedure.  Again, it was not what I expected.  It was so much more painful physically and emotionally than I had anticipated.

When all was done, I slowly walked into the waiting room to see my mom casually reading a magazine.  “Well?” she said.

With tears running down my face, “It was twins.”  Apparently, I was farther along than we thought.

“It is better this way.  One day you will understand.” she said looking down at the floor.

I wondered at the moment if she saw me as a burden and had wished to have done the same.

Over the years, I had to relinquish all the pain and hatred I felt toward my mom for having to make such a difficult decision.  I later realized that although I had chosen to have sex, I had not chosen to have an abortion.  I was not given a choice, really.

The hardest thing I have had to do is to learn how to forgive myself.  -D.K., Florida

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