I was 23 when my test said Pregnant. I waited, and prayed, for the word Not to show up. It never did. I grew up going to church camp and studying the Bible. I couldn’t have an abortion. It was out of the question.
So each time my stomach cramped, I wanted to put a bullet through my head. But I didn’t own a gun. I considered slitting my wrists, jumping off a bridge, and other more extreme measures. One thing was certain, I was going to kill myself rather than kill my child.
On my way to my Alanon meeting, I began calling friends to see if they’d take care of my dog after I’d ended my life. No one was home. I arrived at the church where the meeting was held. Trying to stop crying, I sat in a circle during my meeting. People shared their stories of how alcohol had affected their lives, but I couldn’t listen to what they had to say.
Finally, I couldn’t keep my secret. “I’m pregnant, and I can’t handle it,” I said as tears poured out of my eyes. “I want to kill myself.” I didn’t say that I was terrified to end up like my parents and hurt my child the way my sisters and I had been hurt. Or that I was emotionally unstable and had cutting scars down the length of my wrist. Or that I had scars all over my hands from punching walls. Or that the idea of getting fat made me want to jump in front of traffic. Or that the potential father had abandoned me for a girl who was like my sister.
I erupted in tears before I could thank the group for listening to my two sentences. The woman beside me stroked my leg in a small attempt to comfort me.
When the meeting ended, several people hugged me. I was disgusted with myself, and ashamed that I’d gotten pregnant. One woman in particular came up and hugged me as I sobbed in her arms. “Please don’t kill yourself,” she asked. “I burned my bra so that you’d have a decision. I know it’s hard, but please do whatever it takes to keep yourself alive. My nephew killed himself because he got his girlfriend pregnant. I miss him, every, single, day. Please choose life. Please choose your life.”
I had my abortion in October of 2011.
I am happy to say that I am still alive, and my dog sleeps on my bed every night. Each day that passes, I can remember the darkness I felt during my pregnancy, the entrapment, and how close I was to giving everything up.
This is why I invite you to chat, because you never know if your story will change someone’s life. This is why we share our stories. This is why we allow you to make your decisions.
Stories, support, and love save(s) lives.
It saved my life.