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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