Before I had even done the test, I knew that I was pregnant.
Before I had even done the test, I knew that I was pregnant. I just had this feeling. I was 16 and absolutely petrified. I knew that I had a decision to make but my heart and my head were just tearing me in complete opposite directions. On the one hand I was a successful student with dreams of going to university, but on the other I just wanted to be a mummy to my baby.
I told the father (who was 10yrs older than me) and, although shocked, he said that he would stand by us and provide a house and money, so that I could carry on going to 6th form. I was so happy. He had answered the most difficult question I had ever faced and gave me the chance to keep the baby and live happily ever after. I knew that this was an idealistic view of life, as it was only supposed to be a casual relationship, but I didn’t care. I could have the baby! I saw him once more after this before he vanished.
I hate him for lying to me and pretending everything was ok, when really he just wanted to shut me up so he could leave. My world was once again turned upside down and I had to face the reality of the situation. When my mum eventually found out, I could see the disappointment in her eyes. I knew exactly what she was thinking and my friends all shared a similar opinion - I should have an abortion. Although no one told me that I had to do it, I was scared of disappointing everyone that believed I had a future, and so reluctantly decided that it was for the best.
That day was the worst of my life. I have vivid memories of it, what it looked like, what the nurses were like and how it smelt. I was terrified and just wanted to leave. In my heart I knew that I wanted this baby no matter how hard it would be - but I just didn’t have the courage to turn and run, as I knew how much I would disappoint everybody else, so I did it for all the wrong reasons, and will live with that guilt for the rest of my life.
To anyone that is thinking of having an abortion, just make sure that you think it through. Do it for yourself, not anyone else as it will be you, not them, who has to live with that decision forever. There was only one person who gave me this advice and I just wished that I had listened. It would have been hard, but I could have done it. It’s too late to change the past so now I’m going to concentrate on changing my future. I’m now at uni and working towards a successful career and life. However, I still have the sadness, grief and guilt, and have to sit and wonder why I didn’t have the strength to stand up and leave that place.
Editor’s note: Thank you for sharing your story with us. You were clearly ambivalent about having an abortion, weren’t you? In other words, you had very mixed feelings – wanting the baby whilst you were aware of disappointing so many people around you and feeling the pressure of that. Abortion seems logical when we look at circumstances alone, but not always when we listen to our heart’s message. That gets tucked away and even denied. You didn’t deny your heart’s message but it’s very hard to follow your heart when everyone else is looking at it so rationally and telling you what is best for you to do from their point of view.
Now it seems you are feeling some of the emotions women often feel after an abortion – grief, guilt, sadness – even though you are on the path of academic success. The success doesn’t make up for the pain, does it? It may help you to revisit your abortion experience and find support to process some of these emotions you feel, and move into a better place, rather than just lock that part of yourself away like a shadowy room that you go to occasionally when your thoughts turn to your loss. You can contact a centre, the helpline or use Online Advisor to find that support. Have courage.