I had recently moved to L.A. I packed up my things, drove across the country. I was 19. Somehow, the boyfriend I had left behind ended up at my door. I didn't turn him away. I had supportive family around, family I had never met, but supportive none the less. They were a breath of liberal fresh air, and none of them blinked an eye that at 19, I was shacked up with my 22 year old boyfriend. They saw a good head on my shoulders, a college student, an independent girl.
Two months later I began to feel nausea from smells and sights, and felt my inside tighter and wider than it should be.
I knew what was happening.
I opened the phonebook, dialed a number, and made an appointment with a counselor. What were my options? At home, there would be no options. I would be a 19 year old mother. Here, I felt some freedom of choice. I walked down the streets of L.A. alone, sat waiting for my "counselor" and held my head high.
My counselor ended up being more of a paid "persuader" of sorts. I walked out feeling confused, immoral, depressed, and alone.
I remember going home to my small apartment, waiting for my boyfriend, trying to think of what I would say. He walked in the door...I told him quickly and waited in silence.
"It can't be mine," he said. "I haven't even been here that long."
I never trusted him again.
The next day, I asked him to move out. He left willingly. I made an appointment at a women's health clinic for an abortion, and waited.
I couldn't be a 19 year old mother, with no college degree, not having lived any sort of life of my own yet.
The night before, I had a "discussion" with the growing piece of me inside my belly. I asked her to forgive me, explained my story to her, and asked if her little spirit would meet me again someday in another little body, when I could give her the life she deserved. Some would call me crazy, but I felt her agreement. She was part of me, and I part of her, so my agreement was hers, and hers mine. I feel asleep peacefully.
The day of the abortion, my friend went with me. I walked into a nonjudgemental atmosphere with kind eyes staring back at me. It was the first time I hadn't felt alone since it had all begun.
I remember, count backwards from 10. 10, 9, 8...
When I awoke, another kind face was staring down at me. "Hello dear. How are we feeling?"
After the after counseling, a cookie and orange juice, and a wink from my friend, we drove home in silence as I wept.
I have never told anyone, not even my liberal supportive family, who I know would have been there for me. It seemed that abortion was something that one did as alone as possible, the silence, self inflicted punishment for an immoral act.
I am now 35 years old, and have no children. This has been by choice, as somewhere down the line I figured out my sexual orientation did not include a real attraction to men.
I plan on becoming pregnant later this year through a donor. I am single, not the optimal life for a child I know, but I have a good career and home that my Master's degree affords me. I have traveled the world and made my way back home on my own terms. It is impossible to forget that time in my life, but I know that for me, and for the child that grew inside me, I made the best choice, the right choice.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story.