Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My History X

*Warning: Today's post is me telling my history pertinent to the abortion, including the event. I won't be offended if you choose not to read, though it's not at all graphic.

I've never shared the whole abortion story with anyone, and probably not even with myself. This will probably be long, but there is power in speaking the truth, freeing power.

My mother had me when she was 17. She married my father a couple of weeks before my birth, and I knew, for as long as I can remember, that I was unwanted. My parents divorced, and my mom met my stepfather, who waited until I was 15 or so to start calling me a slut, but started in on my weight, laziness, and imperfection by age 6 or so. I was very proud that I'd waited for sex until I'd graduated high school, I'd secretly always judged my mom for being a teen mother.

My own father was out of the picture totally by age 12 or so, and I'd hear from him only every few months before that. I needed to be loved so, so desperately. Because I grew up in an irregligious household, I had no idea where to find that God-sized love. I'm the classic example of being sent to church with family (in this case, my grandparents), but seeing nothing in the home and therefore not internalizing it at all.

By His grace, I met the Music Man again when I was 19. When I was 17, he was a camp counselor and I was a camper, but now we were both counselors. We knew right away that we would marry, and became sexually active almost immediately. I knew I was pregnant before I tested, as all women do I think. I gave no other option even a moment's consideration, literally. I wouldn't be my mother (insert rage) and couldn't bear the shame. I made an appointment at Planned Parenthood almost immediately.

The counselor told me about the procedure a few days later as I stared at the floor, trying not to puke on her shoes. The Music Man drove up from school in South Caroline to take me the next day. There were protesters with picket signs, so volunteers came out to get us from the cars.

There were 15 of us that morning, and the wait was long. I rose, shakily, several times to be sick in the bathroom. I was dead last that day, and remember wondering why. I was so unsteady because of the Valium that the Music Man had to walk me up the steps when it was finally my turn. I requested that he be allowed to be with me during the "procedure", and he held my hand. The pain wasn't terrible, but highly uncomfortable. It was over quickly and they gave me a snack and a comfortable chair fro the post-op wait. They do that in case you hemorrhage, apparently they only want the intended one to die in their facility.

I felt immediately better, 100% normal, really, so much so that we went out to lunch on the way home. The Music Man told his parents that the money he spent on the abortion was a deposit for an engagement ring. Instead, it was a different kind of ring, one that twisted and bound and constricted, a ring of secrecy and lies.

I remember one of the protesters shouting, "My friend had an abortion ten years ago and still cries about it every day". I almost shouted back, "Your friend needs therapy", but there was no way to know going in just how wrong I was. She just needed Jesus, and hopefully has Him now (along with a godly counselor).

I realized for the first time as I write this that my baby boy was relying on me, being nourished already by my body. He was about half an inch long, and weighed about 1 gram. Can you imagine how impossibly small that is? His little form was already complete within itself, just required time. When I think of him, I like to think that he would've played soccer, that he'd be good at geography like his dad and would love words like his mom. I don't know that I'll ever get to hold him, even on the other side of the grave. I wonder if he'd have dimples like the others. If he'd be bold or shy, funny or serious. How I wonder.

How I wonder.


Casey said...

I have never been in your shoes, and I don't know how you felt or how you're feeling now. I just wanted to let you know that I think you're very brave to share this.

Anonymous said...

Brave indeed. :)

Michelle@Life with Three said...

This was a brave post, Heather. It couldn't have been easy to relive it all through writing it out. You shared your story in a way that was both touching and profound.