Essays

Proceed with caution

Trigger warning: discussion about abortion, trauma, depression, and all the nasty things that go with those. Proceed with caution. 

————————————————————————-

“Give it up for adoption,” he said, waving his hands as he spoke. “I’m sure there’s options other than a traumatic surgery if you don’t want a child.” He grinned and sipped his coffee. “But really,” he continued, carelessly setting down the cup and nearly knocking it over, “I have zero say in the matter, and so do the pro-lifers lurking outside of Planned Parenthood.”

I stopped fidgeting with the rubber band that was tightly wound around my fingers and looked him square in the eye. “I had my abortion because I knew I wouldn’t survive the pregnancy.”

It’s the only time I’ve seen him go speechless.

Nearly two years ago, I fled the Southeast, escaping a spouse I still have nightmares about, leaving with nothing but my car, my clothes, and my cat. It had taken four years of isolation and psychological abuse and two suicide attempts to convince me it was time to go.

Most of you know that story. But I rarely discuss what happened after.

About five months later, I felt like I was getting my life back, little by little. I had a full time (minimum wage) job, was planning on moving in with a couple of people who seemed pretty great, I was finally making friends, and I had been casually dating a guy who, while not right for me, meant well. Day by day, I was learning who I was and rejoicing in having my own life returned to me.

I didn’t have health insurance, and so, could not get medication for the depression and anxiety I still battled with on a weekly basis. Minimum wage meant I could barely afford rent and groceries for myself and my cat.

A funny thing happens when you’ve tried to take your own life in the past: you know exactly how many lemons life can hand you before you stare longingly into the abyss.

I knew something was wrong when I was having severe depression episodes – the days where I couldn’t get out of bed, where I felt like grabbing the nearest bottle of pills and downing the whole thing. The days that I found myself crying at work, with concerned managers hovering over me.
I was probably six weeks along when I called my then-boyfriend, my hand shaking as I looked at the little stick with two pink lines. “I’m pregnant,” I blurted out as soon as he answered the phone. “I can’t keep it.”

A couple of weeks later, I sat in the waiting room of a hospital in Vancouver, BC, having elected to go to Canada mostly because it was cheaper than going to Planned Parenthood without insurance.

The surgery itself hurt, sure. Trying to get back to my then-boyfriend’s house was kind of a trip: I stumbled down the street to his car, and got something akin to the drunken “spins” as he clenched my hand and drove me to his house.
But once I fully came around…

I felt relieved.

Yes, I had sacrificed a few cells. Yes, I had terminated a potential child, had my imbalanced body even allowed me to carry the pregnancy to term.

But I had saved my life for the second time in less than a year.

And for that, I will not be made to feel shame.

Abortion is still a controversial subject, and not many resources are out there for women who have gone through it or are considering it. If you need someone to talk to, by all means get in touch.
For those who disagree: you are welcome to your opinion, but you are not welcome to be cruel. Comments are moderated.

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “Proceed with caution

  1. I wholeheartedly support you. It should always be up to us whether or not we bring a child into the world. I am a huge fan of the morning after pill because it doesn’t even let the pregnancy happen. Most especially in cases of rape or molestation. I cannot believe how difficult it was to get that here in our pharmacies. The UK had it long before we did. My heart goes out to you because I’m sure it was a difficult decision. I applaud you for taking good care of yourself. 🙂

    Like

    1. Oh, thank you. ❤ It was a difficult decision, and I definitely changed my mind more than once before landing on my decision. I don't think I can even find Plan B pills without having to go through the wringer at the pharmacy here…
      ❤ Thank you for your support.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know it would have been difficult and scary to write this, but thank you so much for sharing.

    You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone, but I fully support you all the same. It was absolutely your choice to make.

    You seem to be in a happier place now, but if you do have those can’t-get-out-of-bed days, I’m here for you x

    Like

    1. I think it was less about explaining myself, and more about telling a story that needed to be told. I’m very good at not saying anything, but for the sake of others – even if it makes one other woman feel better about her decision, or one other human to see a different point of view – it had to be said.

      Like

Squeak or shout, I'm listening.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s