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First Steps

How I felt at the time…

Not really present, ashamed, scared someone would find out.

How I feel now…

Relieved. Grateful.

My story…

First off, I should say that I was raised in a very religious family. Strangely enough, eventually my parents got divorced and I lived with my mom for most of my childhood. I was seventeen when I got pregnant. My mother had no idea I had been having sex with my boyfriend of three years, and I didn’t really want to get into it with her. Almost immediately, I knew I wanted an abortion. It was strange, considering how I spent most of my life hearing that abortion was the quickest one way ticket to hell. It’s strange to say, but I think that was my first real step to being my own person- I knew I didn’t want to be the person I was told I should be. I knew I wanted to get out of the town I lived in and sadly, away from my family. I just always thought my boyfriend would be a part of the great escape plan.

There weren’t many people for me to tell. Well, there were a lot of people, but none that I could actually tell about it. That part was hard. I hate lying, and there were suddenly a lot of lies to tell- covering up for feeling sick, for not having money (I was saving it), for why I wasn’t drinking at parties. It was almost disassociating- like I had already taken steps away from the life I was a part of. Finally there was the biggest lie- where was I spending a whole weekend- one day with my boyfriend at Planned Parenthood, another to recover. I told my mother I was going with friends to visit a friends sister at college. She had a fit and I held my ground. None of this made anything any easier.

Finally was the day my boyfriend and I went to Planned Parenthood. We had to drive a hour and a half. I remember trying to hold conversation the whole time. He seemed more nervous than me, and I really didn’t want it to be a big deal, I didn’t want it to be something that ruined our relationship or scarred us or something. Maybe, in retrospect, I was doing it more for myself- creating a barrier so it would affect me less.

We were late for the appointment, and the Planned Parenthood people were kind of hostile. They said I’d have to wait. So we sat in the waiting room and waited. It was abortion day, obviously, because half of the girls had red rimmed eyes and tracksuits on, clutching their boyfriend or friend or whoever. I remember thinking I wish my mom was with me. Our relationship wasn’t perfect, but she had been there for me in my rough times. My boyfriend tried to keep the mood light while we watched the girls go in and out. Finally, it was my turn.

I recieved aneshetic, but it still hurt more than anything I could imagine. Afterwards, I felt really nauseous, but I was accustomed to feeling that way. My boyfriend came in to get me after a little and although I don’t remember everything, I’ll always remember the look on his face- dread, pure dread.He didn’t want to come get me, I was already a reminder of something he wanted to forget.

We, as expected, grew apart and then broke up. I thought about that day a lot, but for some reason, I almost think not as much as him. It’s been six years and I’ve moved away, I’m in college, I’m a different person. I heard that he became devoutly religious and got married and that they’re going to have a baby. Maybe that’s what inspired me to write this. In a lot of ways, I wanted to reach out to him, to wonder what he thought, if he still thought, about any of it. But I didn’t, Everyone deals with things in their own ways and my way was right for me- after that day, I knew that I was forever different, not that I was scarred or dirty, but just that I made a decision that would make me into someone else. I’m not sure I can even describe it. I feel that if I felt sadder, or guilty, or if I had mourned more, maybe I could still be the person I was. And I did mourn, but honestly, I felt more relief than anything else.

5 Responses to “First Steps”

  1. jess cramptom Says:

    Usually I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this article really forced me to do so! Thanks, really nice article.

  2. lyewgirl Says:

    Such a well written post.. Thnkx for sharing this!

  3. Regina Calcaterra Says:

    Abortion isn’t birth control.

  4. Jen Says:

    Thank you so much for telling your story. It speaks to so many women and I hope they follow your lead and share their stories.

  5. admin Says:

    Thank you for your support and for all the amazing work at Allentown Women’s Center. Check back soon!

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