When I was a little kid I used to love Halloween. My family was never very well off or anything..sometimes we had a roof over our heads and sometimes we didn’t. Christmas was really rather sad, Thanksgiving wasn’t possible most of the time. Oh, but Halloween..didn’t matter where you came from or where you were. It was the one holiday where anyone could celebrate and forget about everything for a night. Maybe its uninspired or cliche..but nothing made me happier than being someone else, laughing with my friends and enjoying the cool night air. Oh and candy, duh!
It was early October 2015 when I found out I was 7 weeks pregnant. I was 19 years old. Me and B had been together only 5 months but I swore on any God that I loved him dearly. He was brilliant. Refreshing..like an oasis in my seemingly never ending desert hell I called life. I had never thought about having children in my life. At the time I worked at a daycare for 4’s and 5’s group. Wonderful bunch of tykes. But me? Never gave it a second thought. I remember joking with my mother about missing a period. I had always had pretty irregular periods. This wasn’t my first “scare” before. “What if I was pregnant! LOL” I remember literally laughing as I peed on the stick, thinking “Yeah, ok, sure” We talked for a minute about it in jest. She said you know you’ll never get to “lay around” like you always do anymore. Only this time I wished it was all a joke. Something in my head just kind of snapped. I pictured a tiny little bug worm creature crawling inside of me. I was at the toilet in seconds loosing my lunch. She asked me if I was okay. I told her I had no clue in the world.. I didn’t know even if blue was blue right now. She tries to give me a hug “Oh honey, this is going to be wonderful! Just wonderful..” I felt numb and the only thing I felt was right in that moment was to tell B. It wasn’t wonderful. It was scary and terrifying and awful.. but the only feeling I could feel was blank. I had told her I was going to call him and have him come over immediately. She strongly advised me not to. Said it would complicate things and he would try to sway my choice. Although in that moment the only person I felt that was swaying the situation was her. It all made sense..all her kids grown up and moving out and her feeling old and alone. Of course she wanted a child around and after she finally realized my brother wasn’t going to be the dad he needed to be and J wasn’t going to be around like she wanted him to be, well what was left? Z is gay, I is too young. I didn’t give her ‘advice’ a second thought. I called B told him to come over immediately that I needed to talk to him NOW.
B and I are sitting in his car, the memory of this almost feels dreamlike, kind of like it never happened at all. Maybe nightmarish is a better word to describe it. I had planned how I was going to tell him and what exactly I was going to say..but these things never happen like you need them too. Instead the only words that fell out of my mouth were “Im sorry, im pregnant.” He asked me if I was kidding, he wasn’t smiling. I knew already this was something he did not want in his life. He had made that VERY clear. I told him I wished I was kidding. After a few tense silent moments he burst into tears like a little kid who’d just been told his dog ran away to a farm. I sat there in the night just listening to him wail and sob. His cries eventually tuned out in the back of my mind. I was hurt..for him and what he was feeling, and hurt for me. Hurt that somewhere in the weirdest deepest maternal parts of me.. I had wished he would be happy. To say its great and “wow” and “this is exciting” and “we can do this.” You cant make people feel the way you need/want them to. I learned this more quickly than I would have liked. His crying stops. He wont even look at me. He says “What am I going to do?” Not ‘what are we going to do?’ not ‘are you okay?’ not ‘dont worry, im here for you’. How can I blame him though? He just got the news no 21 year old ever wants to hear.. he’s a young man. He’s had 20 minutes to process this information. That was how I rationalized this all in that moment..
Deciding whether you want to have a child, put it up for adoption, or have an abortion is never black and white. To say I never got the decision wouldn’t be exactly true. To say it was fully my decision isn’t true either. I was a young impressionable 19 year old girl who lived with her parents. I had my mom pulling one arm, and B “the love of my life” pulling the other. I was confused to say the least. My mom would say things like “I can take the baby if you dont want it, I will raise the child” “It isn’t right to throw away life like that” “We will help you raise the child, you dont have to kill it!” “Don’t be selfish, you always think of yourself” “What if its ALB reincarnated, would you really risk throwing that kind of thing away like that. She did just pass away. It could be her.” I had B saying things like “You’re not thinking about me” “You dont care about my choices” “What about me?” “I will never get to do anything I wanted to do in life if you have this child” “My life is practically over and its all dependent on the choice you make here” “Don’t ruin my life if you love me at all” …..To say it was all up to me isn’t the best word to describe everything that was happening here. I dont know how or why or what…but “I” decided on an abortion. A decision that will forever impact the rest of my life. But I didn’t know that…
Before I describe the events that follow here, id like it to be known that if you ever find yourself in a position like this, if you ever cant decide whats right, if you have people pulling you around..Get away. This is not a choice that you make lightly. No matter what route you go, it will effect you forever. Its a decision you need to make on your own. There is no right or wrong answers.. but its up to you and no one else.
I walked into planned parenthood and sat in the waiting room. Its never the people you expect to be sitting in there. You picture some sort of trailer trash hoodlum wearing gym shorts and spaghetti straps and her boyfriend sporting a goatee and a monster energy t-shirt. No, none of them. Just a middle aged mom with a bob cut and boring shoes. A nerdy, acne ridden, chubby preteen who looked like she had been crying. A well dressed Indian man with a binder that said “Pfizer.” I was sure he was waiting for someone. His wife maybe. I had wished I had someone with me there. I twiddled my thumbs until the nurse called me back. They asked me standard questions “Are you being forced to do this?” “Are you being abused?” yadda yadda. If anyone was going through those things..would they really tell the nurse at a planned parenthood clinic? They did an ultrasound. I hate when strangers touch me. They asked me if I wanted to see, the curious part of me wanted to say yes, but I declined. I filled out some paperwork. The scheduling nurse came in to set my appointment. October 31st. I asked her if it was at all possible that it could be any other day at all. She said that if it were any later that they could get me in to see that particular doctor that it would have to be a DNC abortion and not the pill method. Halloween it is.
As the days crawled by I tried to ignore everything. I tried not to think of it but it seemed to be the center of everything and everyone around me. The guilt from my mom was unbearable. The silence from B was devastating. The chary toned voices of everyone around me was sickening. I felt like I was loosing my mind. I had called B on several occasions. I told him I was scared and I didn’t know if this was right and I needed him. He met up with me in the park. It was awkward and not the same B I had known and loved. He couldn’t look at me and it killed me. He made an insensitive joke about slipping the pill into my food if I didn’t go through with it. I cried. I told him this was hard for me, harder than he could imagine…he said “but you do know its the right thing to do? and once this is through we will be okay again” I told him I hoped. It didnt seem as easy as he was making it seem.
The morning of the 31st went by so slowly. I remember not being able to sleep the night previously. I was up and dressed at 4:00 am. My mom came into the room and said its not too late to back out now, I told her I cant and to try and accept that this was going to happen. We argued back and forth for awhile before she told me she didn’t want me here anymore and to go stay with B and that if I try to come back while that pill is in my system it would be a mistake..I didn’t think she meant any of these things. I knew she was hurt. I decided for the abortion to take place at B’s place any way. I didn’t want to hurt her more. I didn’t want her to hurt me anymore. It was nearly 6:30 am and B wasn’t here. I called him. He said he had arranged for his friend T to take me and that he couldn’t miss work. I was livid. I was screaming into the phone. The anger and sadness over the moment that I sat and told him in his car up until this very moment.. just unleashed. How could he make me do this alone? Why couldn’t he be there for me?
T arrives moments later. I had known T when I was younger. He was friends of my friends. I always liked him. He was quiet but whenever he did speak he always made me laugh. He had a good taste in music and a bad taste in women. He never shied away from a good fight. I get into his messy truck and off we go. I remember feeling cold and forgetting my jacket. We had barely said a word to each other. Tom petty played quietly in the background. We pulled up to the main clinic and there was protesters outside. What a welcoming.. He told me he was going to wait in his truck, he was tired. I said thank you, im sure I wont be long. He nodded and threw a jacket over his face. He didn’t know it, but I was so grateful for him..to just know I had someone waiting for me when I got out, even in the most abstract sense meant the world to me. I sat in the waiting room for what seemed like an eternity. I get called back. The nurse screeching my name so early in the morning was like the sound of a car crash up close. Last night’s lack of sleep was definitely affecting me now. I fill out more paper work. My heart is beating fast. They do another ultrasound. I can barely breath. They take me into the “pill room”. This might sound funny to you, but how else to describe this room? It is what it is. The doctor is a short, stocky man with an expressionless face. I sensed a sort of uncomfort from him. I wanted to ask him if he hated his job, what did he think of abortion, did HE think I was wrong? I take the pills quickly. I am in a nebulous state. They instruct me to take the next set of pills at home. I walk out of the pill room and my head felt like a million lbs of bricks with the weight of what I was doing. I go out to the truck and T wakes up. He asks me, “How are you?” Its such a simple question, just a thing you throw out to people, not really caring what they say back to it.. but to me it felt personal. I wanted so badly just to tell him I don’t feel okay. I feel sick and weird and wrong and like I may have made a big mistake. I wanted to cry and wail and ask “What am I going to do now?” Where was my feel-sorry-for-me moment? “Im okay.”
T tells me stories of when he was a little kid, stories about B, stories about bad dates. I find myself actually laughing and enjoying this exchange despite my current circumstances. It felt so nice to just feel normal for awhile. We had lunch and he told me he was sorry this happened and was sorry B wasn’t strong enough to be here and deal with it himself. He said to me that he always wished people could just be there when you needed them right? I wanted to hug him and tell him how much his presence meant to me in that moment. That even know he didn’t think it was a big deal, that it was nice not to face it alone and he felt like my hero. T drove me to the local grocery store, I needed pads which seemed funny to me because I had never worn pads before. Only tampons. As I was passing through I saw a giant row of Halloween candy. I don’t know why or what possessed me to do this but I bought the biggest bag of candy they had. I thought it would make me feel better I suppose. Halloween was always my favorite holiday. T drops me off at B’s place. The leaves are fantastic and the breeze is cool and he’s got Hall and Oates on the radio and I just sat there silently not wanting to leave the comfort of his friendship and kindness. I thank him once more and wave goodbye.
B isn’t home. A few hours pass and I stick the next pills in my cheek and wait while they dissolve. They’re gone and there’s no going back. That was that. I sat there with my big bag of candy and watched all the Halloween episodes of my favorite cartoons. Its almost as if the reality of the situation had made me feel infantile or childlike. The pain kicked in. It felt like some unseen devil with the sharpest claws twisting up my insides. It didn’t feel like “bad cramps” at all. I take 2 percocet I was prescribed. Im crying and im nauseous and im high and I wish I was dead dead dead in the ground..anywhere but in this incredible, excruciating pain. I take another percocet. Im laying on the bathroom floor bleeding so badly you’d think id been stabbed. Im a mess. The pain was so severe it was dream-like and almost ethereal at times. I take a shower. I take another shower. I take another shower. Im nearly screaming. I have no one to call. My family hates me. B isnt answering. I couldn’t bring myself to ever bother T over this. Im alone and truly alone. I take another shower. I lay down in the shower I feel a pressure between my legs, almost like a pushing sensation. Without my glasses it appears to be a blood clot about the size of a small lime. How else to describe this? I finally understood why they describe the size of a fetus with fruits. I bring it closer and I see the littlest tiniest creature you could ever imagine. I sat and stared at this little bug-like human covered in blood and tissue for a long time. I flushed it. I threw up. I stared at my reflection in the mirror. I was angry. I wanted to destroy everything, everyone, B, my mom, myself. I wanted to tear the skin off of my fucking face. I wanted to claw my eyes out. I wanted to scream until my lungs burst and I couldn’t breath anymore. I never felt as much anger in my life as I had felt in that one single moment. Nothing could save me from myself. If I had thought I hated myself before that moment I would have been wrong.
B gets home, hes drunk. I held him tightly. He couldn’t have known the agony and emotional torment I had been through today..but I needed a hug. Even if it was meaningless..I didn’t bother asking him where he had been.. It wouldn’t have changed a thing. I wish he had been there. I wished he wasn’t a coward. I wish he loved me as much as I loved him. I wish that even though he was scared..that he could do this with me. I sat up all night wondering what my child would have been like. Popular? Smart? Funny? I said a silent ‘im sorry’ to what could have been and the loss of life on my blood splattered hands and conscience. I felt like a murderer.
Fast forward a month and a half. The days fly by, im out of pain medication. I move back in with my mom. Just when I thought the nightmare is over finally.. The pain isn’t stopping. Emotional or physical. I find im unable to work, Im on a heating pad most of the day. The bleeding isn’t stopping. I go to the doctor and they do an ultrasound. The abortion pills didn’t flush everything out. I need to get a DNC surgery done.
Two days before the surgery B tells me hes going to Las Vegas with his sisters. I beg him please don’t go, I tell him I need him and I cant do this alone and hes supposed to love me and be there for me right? He says its unavoidable. Tickets have been purchased. I layed alone in bed every night wishing I was more important than a 200$ ticket to some scummy city. I layed in bed at night and hated him.
The day of the surgery B was there. He was quiet. He held my hand. I knew he was leaving the moment it was over.. They took me back to a waiting area. I sat in a dimly lit half room and I thought of being in elementary school and this girl who had the prettiest clothes and I always had to wear my brothers clothes. I hated her for it. A nurse come in and injects a sedative into the I.V. and I am very sleepy. They wheel me back to the operation room and tell me to count to 10, I was thinking even before I started counting that everyone knows you cant get to 10 and what a strange kind of joke that is and im out. I woke up. They made me stay awhile until I felt okay to walk again. They gave me more pain meds. I got dressed and we left. B dropped me off at my moms and said he hoped I felt better soon. I wished he would say it was all a joke and he would be staying and he would be there for me and take care of me. His words felt hollow and empty. I said a silent ‘fuck you’ to him in my head and watched him drive off to the airport. I had lost so many pieces of myself watching him drive off like that. Knowing that he would be doing god knows what and I would be suffering once again alone by myself. He was gone but I stayed outside just waiting. Im not sure what I was waiting for. Maybe something insane like god saying “Ah, see now you’ll learn your lesson!” and take me back to before this all happened.. or maybe a meteor to come and just strike me down right there, right then.. or maybe some stranger to speak words of consolation like “You’re going to get through this, its going to be okay, I promise.” God, I needed some kind of promise, some kind of hope that I wouldn’t feel this way forever. I was alone though..and I just stood there in the cold thinking how strange and complex things could really get. They say these things are never cut and dry after all…
To this day, the only people that know this story are B, my family and T. I share this story to you. Maybe you’ll find it interesting, maybe you’ll think im a drama queen, maybe you’re going through something like this yourself. Maybe you’re just some bored peruser who likes to take a peek into the lives of others. Maybe you think I am a monster even.. Either way, Thank you for reading my story. Maybe it will inspire you to share a secret of your own with the world. It helps sometimes.