I wish I had been stronger as a teen when I was pressured to have an abortion, but the truth is, I wasn’t. What did I know? I was afraid and easily swayed by threats to withdraw love, or of abandonment by my boyfriend and parents. I was too afraid. I had no clue at that age how to even begin to think of raising a child alone. That inability and my surrender to the pressures around me cost me dearly. It cost me the death of my child. Yes, my beautiful unborn child.
A child I have always loved in spite of what some people on either side of the issue may think. After the abortion, I became stuck at 16. My world stopped in many ways. I turned into a person emotionally immature, running from myself and doing anything I could to flee from the fact that I had killed my baby. I could not bear to be around anyone, especially me, and, I could not get away from me.
My immaturity manifested itself all over my life. I made poor decisions, picked bad friends, and doomed myself to failure. It took decades for me to grow up and sort through all the feelings I had. There was no help out there then, and it took forever to finally find a place where I could safely address what I had done. Countless times my feelings were denied, as I was told they were non existent and to “get on with your life.” Even to this day, I have to stop to sort and think things through, because I do not trust myself, and sometimes much of what I feel triggers feelings I had when I aborted.
Through healing I have claimed my child as my own and have come to know only God has all the answers. I have brought my child into my life. She is my daughter and I am her mom. I sometimes feel like the sides of the debate wrestle her from me. Some continue to condemn and judge, others get mad at me for saying abortion is wrong. For me it is not about an issue, but about a living child. My child. I am not a teenager anymore, but I do know the impact my abortion had on me as a teen. I also recognize the confusion teens face today when it comes to the abortion issue.
Not much has changed. Yes, abortion is certainly more out there, and more easily accessible. You are more likely to know someone else who has experienced abortion, and less likely to be judged by peers, but the thing that stays common is the teens today suffer much the same as I did. They find out the hard way abortion is not the answer. My heart goes out to them. I know they have a long road ahead of them, but I also know there is hope. TAM