I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. ~Robert Frost
I am a woman who had an abortion. I can look at that sentence-- I can read it aloud, forwards, backwards, upside down-- yet to this very moment, I cannot believe I am that woman.
February 6th, 2004: I was a college junior and on top of the world. I was invincible. I came from a very broken family, and I was the first person on either side of my family to graduate from high school. I had goals and dreams and nothing could ever get in my way. I had just finished playing a gig (I’m a musician), and I got a text message from him. He asked me to come over. I said OK. He held my hand. He kissed me. We made love. He made me feel like the only person alive. Sounds like a perfect situation, right? It would have been except for one thing: he was married to a woman that wasn’t me.
That night I changed. I was no longer the innocent girl that everyone knew; I had a secret. I began to love a married man. In August, our relationship changed forever. He had gone to another city and he was staying with his wife and her mother that Friday night. On that dreadful day, I sent him a text message midday that simply said, "I love you. It wasn’t anything out of the norm... we communicated mostly by text messaging. About an hour later I get a call from his phone. It was her.
The next few weeks were exhausting. His wife made a point to tell everyone at school what a whore I was. I go to school at a small university and I’m in a department which is very close-knit. I had never felt so alone. A few weeks passed and we had a long talk one afternoon. He told me that he wanted to leave her. He wanted me to leave with him. I was going to. I packed a single bag to take with me.
Three days later, I found out his wife was pregnant. This made altered our plan. He couldn’t leave her now. He told me he had to stay-- I understood that. I stopped taking my birth control then because it was over. Two months later in April he called and said he wanted to see me before my birthday. I went over, it was the first time we had been together since that day in February. We made love that day. Two weeks later, I realized my period was late.
I am pregnant with a married man’s baby and his wife is seven months pregnant. Oh my god. I went to his house. I walked in and he immediately sensed that something was wrong. I’m going to have a baby, I told him. He held me while I cried. For a long time we were both silent. Then he said, you know you can’t have this baby. What?! The thought of not having this baby had never crossed my mind. Of course we are having this baby! Why wouldn’t we? In my eyes we have already had it. He began to explain how I would be alone, it would destroy my life as well as his and his family. There are so many more people we have to think about here, he said. I firmly, with much conviction, said no-- I am having this baby with or without you. We fought about this for weeks. Finally, after weeks of agonizing, I told him I would make an appointment at an abortion clinic just to shut him up. I never had any intention of actually having an abortion.
Wednesday June 08, 2005: He called to tell me he would be at my house to pick me up at 5am. Sure, I said. I’ll be ready. I planned to leave him a note explaining that I couldn’t do this. I was going to drive across state so he couldn’t find me that day. The appointment would be missed and that would be the end of it. I was at home that night just watching TV. I fell asleep. I heard the doorbell. I awoke alarmed. It was 5am. He was here. He asked, are you ready? At that point I don’t know what happened to me. I felt nothing. I just looked at him and said yes. Let’s go. We got into the car and started to make our journey. I didn’t talk because I didn’t feel anything. I was empty. We drove for three hours. He tried to make small talk, I didn’t say a word. We got to the clinic right on time.
We got out of the car and went in. I could feel everything. The physical pain was almost unbearable. I didn’t move, I didn’t speak, I didn’t cry. I just stared into his eyes and then it was over. When we got into the parking lot he put his arms around me. I didn’t hug him back, I couldn’t... I didn’t feel anything. I just got into the car and we left. That evening when we got home, I went to bed, still feeling nothing.
That fall, I returned to school full time. I remember bits and pieces of it. I failed most of my classes. I secluded myself even more from my friends. I wanted to be alone. My relationship with him became almost non-existent. I started a path of self destruction. I began having sexual relationships with men I barely knew. I wanted to be close to someone. Anyone.
Today I feel a little better. I am taking anti-depressants to help me make it through the day. I am in counseling which has helped a lot. I’m trying desperately to pick up the pieces of this life I have. I lost my baby, my soul mate, myself, my friends, my innocence. I would give anything to go back in time, but as we all know, I can’t. I am searching for me-- my passion, my soul.