Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.
Well, because I’m pretty much an “open book,” this one was a little tough for me.
However, there is one thing about me, that most people really don’t know about. It was only recently that I started to share this part of my life with others, and only due to somewhat of an epiphany that I had after watching the film: October Baby.
Immediately following the viewing of this movie, I updated my fb status to read:
I am convinced … our secrets … you know, the ones we keep to protect ourselves from outside scrutiny? Well, they’re not REALLY “secrets” at all, but traps. Traps meant to ensnare us; hold us captive … and the ONLY thing we are actually “hiding” is the “key”…. the key meant to set someone else free!! If I’m holding your key… come get it, please.
And I left it pretty vague like that for a few days. Not really letting anyone know which “keys” I was holding.
So, what is this thing, this trap that held me captive for sooo long?
Attempted Murder… AKA… Abortion.
You see, I was a young, naive girl of 15. I was embarrassed. Ashamed, more like. I was scared. But most of all, I was selfish. I had the “perfect” plan for my life all worked out. I was going to get an athletic scholarship for running track, go to college, and subsequently go to med school in New York, where I had dreamt of living.
All of these plans were coming to a screeching hault the day I found out I was pregnant. I had dreams, aspirations, and BIG PLANS! None of which included a child in tow, or so I thought.
Being pregnant was not the only “problem” I had at the time. My mom was battling with bipolar disorder at the time. So, almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I was placed in foster care (with a loving family I had known since grade school), and hid the fact that I was pregnant from them until I was about 5 months pregnant.
Another problem was that my then boyfriend (now husband of 10 years), was a few years my senior and for all intensive purposes I was considered, “jail bait” and he would be jail bound if the true nature of our relationship became known.
Not to mention the fact that my, “good, little, church girl” image would be shattered. And everyone I had “preached” to the past few years about saving themselves for marriage would know what I had become: A Big Fat Hypocrite.
No! This CANNOT be happening to me!
There were so many reasons why being pregnant did NOT work out for me at the time. I was an aspiring track star, for Heaven’s Sake…not some “16 and Pregnant” star (which I must say, was not a show, and thus not popular AT ALL when I was in High School).
So, my only option, I thought, was clear: Abortion.
It was the only way I could maintain my self-centered, cozy, and deceitful lifestyle. It was a Solution to my “Problem.” So, I set out on one of my very first interest- inspired research projects: “How and Where minors can go for an abortion.”
Looking back, I just know in my knower, that God shielded me from ever finding ANY conclusive knowledge about how to proceed…that and epically slow and underdeveloped internet searching. I even looked in the phone book and found nothing.
The whole time, I should note, Justin, had maintained a stance of:
It’s your body and your life, so I will support you in whatever decision you make
and he even helped a little in the “research” phase.
When the searching was inconclusive, I tried to take matters into my own hands. I went with some friends to the infamous Bourbon Street in New Orleans and consumed a whole lot of alcohol, hoping to chemically induce a miscarriage.
When that didn’t work, I threw myself into my track training at school, and literally thought:
If I run fast enough, hard enough, long enough… it will just go away…
This process of self-destruction went on for some time. Until one day at track practice, I was practicing jumping over my hurdles *ironic, right??* and I tripped on one and fell (some poetic justice, for ya)… and it was the first time I allowed myself to think of what affect the fall could have had on *my* baby.
After that, I knew I couldn’t go through with the procedure and tearfully told Justin. As soon as I told him, he joined me in tears of joy.
He was so grateful I had chosen not to end the life of our pre-born child! He even went so far as to say what I was already thinking, that our relationship would surely die with the death of our child.
So, the long and short of it is, that I went through with the pregnancy. I endured the loneliness, the stares, the gossip and felt as if I was wearing the proverbial Scarlett Letter to school everyday as my belly grew.
But, I bore it all knowing I had made the right choice…knowing that the ridicule and ugly thoughts of others would not ultimately be important in the grand scheme of things… and they weren’t.
The beautiful truth, of my first self-less act, gets to be enjoyed everyday through my eldest daughter. She turns 11 in August, boy how the time flies!
It’s funny, but I never think of what my life would have been like if I had continued down that road, without thinking also of what could have been my demise.
So, there it is…My deepest, darkest “secret“ out in the open for all to see… I hope it is not in vain that I shared this with you.
In fact, if you or someone you know is considering this life-altering “choice” or if you just need someone to talk to, some clarity, or whatever… My door is open… Your key is waiting… No condemnation here…there is healing in the name Jesus.
If you have already gone through with an abortion (it is estimated that 40% of women in the US have had one) and need closure or just someone to listen, please feel free to contact me!
Ps: This song ministers so much to me, and thought I would share it with you too…enjoy!