It's been two years now. The exact date of the abortion escapes my mind, as do the details of the procedure itself. Until recently the memories, like the day of the abortion, remained sedated. Only certain vital images remained as if they had been eternally put on slow motion in the box of my memory. Projected in the blurry screen is the image of the Planned Parenthood clinic tucked in a run down commercial quarter in Van Nuys, Los Angeles. The door to the clinic fenced by iron bars and the ferociously pious prayers of a white male send my mind into hiding.
In essence the story of my abortion is the story of a woman covered in the robust weeds of innocence. Innocence grows well in the midst of a field of delusions, personal and otherwise. The seed of my personal delusion got planted long before I met the man that would eventually fertilize one of my eggs. Yet he arrived when all in me was ripe. We met on match.com, me just fresh out of graduate school, him just fresh out of divorce. Since having being abandoned by a father I met at 15 once I came to the United States from Mexico, I mostly remained hungry for having a man stand as a point of reference for my existence. I would have gone for almost any body, but instead I had found a PhD 37 year old from East Asia, with the looks of a Bollywood star. I felt a lucky woman.
Hidden and soothing the bitterness of some vile in the pit of my stomach I completely disregarded the red flags in his confessions and professions. During our first time in bed I knew more about his depressive ex wife than I knew of him. Or so I thought. I knew then too that he was bisexual and a polygamist. Three months into the stupor or chemical viral romance I also learned that wanting to leave him was like wanting to step out of moving sand, the more you move the deeper you fall. "I'll kill you if you leave me", he said once when I told him I wanted out because we simply were too different. By then I took his reply as a most endearing profession of care. Happily dazed I grabbed on while the relationship swung back and forth. I was bitter inside for sure.
Under the spell of our magical love making one last big idea germinated in my diluted mind. I wanted to have his baby. A creature of our love I though could work a spell on him.
I knew I was pregnant without knowing. Albeit out of stupor and delusion, mine was a desired pregnancy. I did not do anything to prevent getting pregnant. As I did not ever ask about what he would do in the face of a pregnancy. All notion of what is real and truthful disappeared behind my wish and dream of him kissing my swelling belly. Prior to taking a home pregnancy test in the restroom of my office, I had been googling on all issues related to pregnancy. Finding out that indeed I was pregnant that morning in the bathroom therefore felt extraordinarily surreal. I was shaken out of my panties when the second strip took to pink. My mind took off after fear. Presented with the false option, which then stood as real as day and night, of choosing either him or the baby, I took the bite.
He joined me the day of the abortion. We drove to Los Angeles because that was the closest location that could provide the surgical abortion in the next two-three days. I only took a millisecond glimpse of the picture of the 4-week embryo, before the nurse moved the monitor. Likewise, I also took a quick glimpse of the faces of the other women in the clinic that day. I was afraid of seeing my own pain in their eyes. And there was no room for seeing pain there. There was only space for obeying the indications of the nurse that suggested me to relax and breathe in deep. I have low tolerance for anesthetics so I quickly feel into deep sleep.
I woke up later, not knowing where I was or what I was doing there. My sore abdomen and bleeding vagina woke me up to the cold grey atmosphere of the recovering common room, where other women slowly arose out of their beds. A nurse must have helped me to get dressed, I don't remember.
From the clinic he took us to the cheap hotel he had rented near the clinic. My crying only stopped during my trips to the bathroom, when the pain held me present for a few seconds. The rest of the day and night I howled demanding my baby then and there. To which he promised a quick and sweet solution, we would quickly get pregnant again. Only this time we would plan the entire pregnancy. He promised we would do that as son as I felt well. From the hotel we went to his friend's house. The gatherings there always occasions for tea and food, the house soon sounded busy. I needed to hide that I had just had an abortion because none of his friends, including close confidants knew of the pregnancy.
Before the weekend was over, now I remember it was a Friday, the man I loved so blindly was inside me yet again. To me the abortion makes sense in the context of such delusion that permeated our year and a half relationship. Something had to give in a situation that stands on such shaky sands. Those realizations have fallen into perspective in my path towards peace and in the search for joy and basic goodness in my life. I'm immensely thankful that in my path I came across a compassionate and loving counselor. She is a light in my path. With her support and loving kindness, and sharpened skills of course, I've started on a journey of transformation. It is in this journey that I've been able to touch the remains of the pain, shame, guilt.
I've realized for instance that the fact that this man took my body to satiate his sexual appetite just one night after having the abortion still holds real confusing sadness and pain. This pain equals to the pain of the abortion itself. Through the compassion and safety provided by my counselor I can even sit with the moments when I still touch small particles of my delusion floating in my mind. Love can behave like a viral infection. And mine was a strong case of that kind of love.
For now the abortion and this man remain as part of my path in the form that they come up in my awareness. But I'm on a journey. And maybe some day I can include him in my meditations of loving kindness for all beings. For now I am here, having already realized that the only point of reference is the here and now. So more to the story but it suffices there. Thank you for the genius behind this idea and for the spirits that shine in every single story. We will survive, stronger, wiser than ever. All the loving kindness to all...... peace