Yesterday when I wrote this story I was feeling all kinds of brave. Today maybe not so much. This was such an important moment in my life and the words and feelings expressed here are still just a small piece of my heart. I knew that I wasn’t capable of taking care of a baby, and I know now that this was the best option at the time. I cant take back what happened or what I did. And for the longest time, I carried with me the shame of having sex before marriage as well as the guilt of having a life terminated.My first instinct was that God no longer loved me, but I realize that simply isn’t true. God’s love for me is unconditional and the energy of God (love) has never been taken from me I just choose to cut myself off from it. This story is very personal and heartfelt, but again its necessary in order for me to move on with the rest of my life. I cannot still burn myself at the stake thinking that I will somehow “right” this “wrong.”
I knew there was still some shame lingering beneath the surface. Especially after the declaration, I made yesterday in the first blog post I did about shame. I just knew that somehow I would be coming back to revisit that part of me that still held on to some of the remnants of shame. And as I laid in bed this morning I could feel shame whisper softly to me that its time to let go.
I am not sure what prompted me to begin to reminisce about my teenage years, or why I sometimes find myself digging up the past some days. But regardless of why here I am trying to find the words that will express the depth of my pain as well as my shame. I remember growing up and feeling like an outsider. I truly never felt like I belonged. I even at one point remember believing the stories that my brother used to tell me about me being adopted, but I was never adopted. (Some days I found myself wishing I had been adopted by the Brady Bunch, but that’s a whole other story in and of itself.)
Growing up I felt unworthy of love, and I wanted nothing more than to be loved. So, there was this constant push and pull for me to make somebody love me no matter what it took. I so was desperate for attention. I was constantly trying to get the attention of the boys in my neighborhood as well as the boys at school. I guess you could have called me “boy crazy”. But even though I had a few “boyfriends” in grade school most guys in junior high wouldn’t give me the time of day. At this point I was overweight and I was still rocking that Flock of Seagulls hairstyle since my Mom never entrusted me to take care of long hair. I was miserable and alone. I barely had any real friends, and even the girls at my school didn’t really like me. But one day I noticed one of the football players looking at me, and I felt seen for the first time in my life! I was like a deer in headlights and I was so excited to finally be noticed! But I had no clue as to why he was suddenly so interested in me, but looking back now I can see why. I had BOOBS! Even though I looked like a boy I still had pretty big boobs.
He liked me or at least I thought he did. But pretty soon the truth would be revealed anyways. I remember inviting him to my house since my parents wouldn’t be home for a few hours that night. He came over and drank some of my parents’ moonshine and proceeded to make his moves upon me. I had no idea what had even happened. Everything felt so rushed and awkward. I remember taking a bath afterward to wash away “my sins”. But it was too late. The damage had already been done. And a few weeks later I noticed that I was so sleepy and hungry all of the time. I would wake up for school and be ready to go right back to sleep. I was pregnant, and I was only 13 at the time. I wasn’t sure what to do once I realized what was going on. I felt so much shame and embarrassment. I remember trying to take a kitchen knife to my wrist to end my life, but that didn’t work. I was done. I remember thinking to myself what am I gonna do? But before I could answer that question my Mom had a few questions of her own. She asked me one morning before school to pee on a stick to find out if the rumors were true. And the drive that morning to school was the most uncomfortable drive of my life. I wanted to sink into the earth and never show my face again. I could feel shame envelop me like a blanket as soon as I realized that she knew.
There was really no other option. I wasn’t ready to raise a baby. I was still just a baby myself. So one Saturday morning we all loaded up in the car and drove to the “big city” to have a part of me destroyed. I remember we stopped an ate some McDonald’s on the way there and I had told the baby that would be her last meal. I wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen next. I remember the waiting room. There were other girls just as young as I was in there too. They all kind of looked down as to not be noticed, but we all knew what was going to happen. My Mom told them not to give me any pain medication, she was kind like that. Plus I am sure she wanted to make a lasting impression so that I would remember for future reference. The pain was excruciating. I screamed and cried the whole entire time. My voice filled that entire office space. The ghost of my former self-lie there dead. I died along with my baby that day. I left a piece of my soul on that table. I know my Mom did what was best for me, but it still hurt. I already had felt a connection to something that would’ve been mine. Finally, someone to love and someone finally to love me.
The disgrace, dirtiness, and shame that I felt carried with me throughout my whole entire life. I never made amends with myself or with him for what happened. Today as I sit here and write this I feel as if a burden has been lifted off my shoulders. I still feel an internal struggle as I try to make sense of everything that happened that day, but I know that airing out my secret takes away its power inside of me. And that’s all I am trying to do here. I am choosing to make peace with my past so that I can be more present today. I am writing this as an act of forgiveness to myself and to all of those who have found themselves in a similar situation. Life does get better, and you don’t have to carry around that story of shame unless you choose to.