ChoicesPosted: October 13, 2012
I have been stewing in my own little world the last few days.
I have things to get out of my brain, but didn’t quite know if I wanted to say it, or if it was safe to do so.
Every election season, my thoughts go to this deep part of myself that is usually buried away, make me dwell on my past, my choices, my life.
When I was 23, I was in a toxic relationship. I understand it now, I can see it for what it was, and although I am surprised that I allowed myself to get involved in a relationship that was so mentally abusive, the fact is that I did.
We had a more off than on relationship for many years. Dated for a while when I was in high school, dated again very briefly when Mack was about two years old. Got back together when Mack was four and a half, and after he had been to treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. I thought that the biggest issues stemmed from his addiction. Things were good for about six months.
We got engaged. Started to plan the rest of our lives, and then things started to come crumbling down. I could start to see things falling apart around the time that we were engaged, but tried to tell myself it would all be okay. I was monitored closely. I wasn’t allowed to hang out with my friends. Although, I wasn’t the addict, I was treated as if I had a problem. If I did manage to escape from the house, if I happened to have a drink, I would be questioned relentlessly about what I had done, what I had to drink, who I saw while out. At some point, I just quit hanging out with my friends. I couldn’t take getting the third degree every time that I left the house.
I was about to call the entire thing off, ask him to leave, and just be done with everything. Get a new place with just Mack and I again. Move on from this toxic relationship for good.
Then I found out I was pregnant.
I knew the relationship was doomed.
I couldn’t be a single mother to two children. I had finally gotten to the point where I was self-sufficient for Mack and I. We had our own place, I had a new-ish car, I wasn’t relying on my parents for help, I had a decent job.
He didn’t have any of these things. There was no future. He didn’t have a car. He had a really shitty job. I gave him an ultimatum. He had to get a new job. He had to get his own vehicle. Or it was over for good.
Two things that I felt that if he wanted to make this work, he could do pretty easily. At least to prove to me that I wouldn’t be doing everything alone. As it was I was taking care of Mack, myself and him. I was scraping by. I could pay the bills, but that was all. He was giving me $300 a month for the rent and that was all. I paid all the utilities, gas, daycare, groceries and everything else.
I knew that I couldn’t do this again.
I gave him about eight weeks. At least to try. At least to see what he could do.
He didn’t apply for a single job.
I started sleeping on the couch, or with Mack.
He didn’t try to find a car.
I made him start riding the bus.
He quit going to AA/NA meetings altogether.
I was done.
I had to do what was best for Mack and I. This was not it.
Not at all.
It was toxic.
I had an abortion. I felt that I had no other choice. I couldn’t do this again.
No one wants to do this. No one expects to be in this position. As a teen mom, I knew better than to put myself in this position, but birth control can fail, and it did.
I kicked him out. I scheduled the procedure, and started looking for somewhere new to live that I could afford on my own. I had the locks changed. I changed my home phone number.
I was harassed at work by him, by his sister, by his mom. I was called every name in the book. I was accused of being a murderer.
I was full of fear. I was afraid of what he would do. He was so angry. We moved, I unlisted our phone number. I took various different routes to and from work. To and from taking Mack to school or daycare. I watched my rear view mirror relentlessly.
This was no way to live.
It was a snapshot of what my life would have been like if I stayed.
It took a lot of time to even begin to heal. I told myself I would never have another child, because of what I had done. I wouldn’t put myself in such a position ever again. I was celibate until I met my husband two years later. When we were dating and talking about taking things to the next level, and he told me about having the vasectomy after YSD was born, I was so relieved. I wouldn’t have to worry about being in that position again.
Every pregnancy announcement would make me cry. When my sister and my best friend were both six months pregnant at our wedding, I was both thrilled for them, and sad for me, at 26 years old, I was positive that I would never be a mother again.
The only person that knew about this before today is my Mom.
Although I am still sad that I had to make the decision that I did, and I mourn that baby probably more than anyone can ever possibly know or relate to, I know that I made the best decision that I could at that time. I know that other’s would argue that I could have done something different, but I still agree with myself on the decision that I made.
I believed before this happened, and to this day that no one should ever be able to tell someone else what to do with their body. No one.
Particularly a man, or men, telling a woman what she can or can’t do with their bodies. We all make different choices for different reasons, but the bottom line is that we have a choice. We can parent, we can relinquish, we can terminate. Until you are in those shoes there is no telling what you would do.
I support whatever decision anyone makes. Decisions like this do not come easy, and it should never be assumed that it did.