Dear Becky — College was going to be wonderful.
My writing portfolio got me into that private school. It wasn’t my SAT scores. I wasn’t a ‘problem’ child, per se, but I had difficulties in my high school years. From hanging around gang members in my freshman year, to running away from home at 16, to coming back home only to move far away to finish up that last senior year – life was difficult.
Not only did I have my own seperate emotions from my childhood to deal with, but I also lived with a single mother who was depressed. When she adopted me, she owned two companies. She never had to ‘struggle’. That changed in fifth grade.
I remember moving away. I remember leaving my friends and the spacious house to my grandmother’s place. From there, my mother was able to find a cheap, small house to rent. She worked two jobs to keep bills paid – while at the same time, our relationship started to fall apart.
This worsened over the years.
College was going to be a wonderful experience. I would have my ultimate dream come true to attend a private university and graduate with a degree in Philosphy with an emphasis on Metaphysics and a minor of English with an emphasis on Creative Writing. I would go on to get my doctorate and would be a college professor and every seven years, take time off to begin writing a novel. It was all planned out so perfectly in my head.
With college – freedom would come. A newfound glory I had never known. No longer under the shelter of my mother’s ‘strict’ ways, I would be able to go out when I wanted and wherever I wanted.
Of course – ‘the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry’.
First semester was perfect. I landed myself in above average courses. I was accepted into the class of my dreams as only a Freshman. The Pyschology and Philosophy of Religion. There were seven professors. Only six of us were admitted. My writing skills soared and as a work-study, I was a writing tutor – something that is not normally allowed as a Freshman. In fact, I remember the meeting with my advisor and the Dean to be allowed permission to do so.
Life was grand.
That was school. Then there was my ‘freedom’.
For the most part in the beginning of my first semester, I kept myself busy with academic studying and clubs. But then the ‘initial’ friendships are formed. People start to invite other people to places, movies, parties and the like. I thought I could juggle all of it. For a while I did.
In the beginning of December, I made a trip to Mrytle Beach, SC to visit old friends. As a now more ‘mature and free’ Danielle, I was able to go out and ‘party’ with these older friends. After quite a few drinks, I found myself having sex with one of them.
Now, ‘finding’ myself having sex with one of them doesn’t mean I wasn’t in control. I was. I knew what I was doing. Young, Naive Danielle thought she was ready.
On my Christmas break, I came home to SC. I worked with my mother at a local bank. Just simple filing and the like. Nothing big.
I couldn’t understand what was going on. Every free second I had to sit still, I found myself dozing off. I remember her coming into my office space and becoming angry. She had every right to be.
I missed my period in January.
I took a trip to Myrtle Beach to tell this person. We bought a pregnancy test. My heart stopped beating. I couldn’t believe that I was pregnant. He told me that he could never tell his father and that he just wouldn’t. He was a man at that time. At least, in years, he was. He was in his mid-twenties.
I drove back to the college that weekend more scared than I had ever been in my life. I had known this man for two years. At the time, I believed that to be a long time. How could he be like this? I just couldn’t understand.
It was decided that I should have an abortion. I can’t remember the defining moment, but it was decided. I was too scared to tell my mother. I couldn’t bare the thought of dissappointing her to that degree.
I kept after him for the following weeks for the money to have it performed. He’d say he was sending it – and it would never arrive. Actually, it never did. My roommate’s mother loaned the money.
He said he would go with me. He never did. I never even recieved a phonecall to see if I was okay afterwards.
I can’t remember the exact day in February that it was performed. One might wonder why another could not remember such a day as that, but the fact remains that I can’t. I remember the building. I remember the drive. I remember the tears.
My best friend’s boyfriend made the drive to NC with me. I think it was performed in Chapel Hill. Or maybe Charlotte. I think Chapel Hill.
When you walk in, no one offers a comforting smile. There’s the first waiting room where you wait with everyone. And then the second. The second waiting room is where you sit after your general information is taken. Friends/Family are allowed in that room. Joey stayed with me and held a teddy bear that my mother had given to me when she first met me when I was six years old. Oh, how I longed for those happy days at that moment in time.
While in the second waiting room, you are called back for a sonogram. You are shown your child on the moniter. It was believed that I was in or around 2 1/2 months pregnant. Approximately 12 weeks. But that didn’t even hit ‘home’ for me. Afterwards, you are taken into the doctor’s office with his big desk and dim light. You are told to sign a form in which you cannot come back and sue him for any physical/emotional damage caused from the act of abortion.
Only the girls having abortions are permitted in the third waiting room.
One by one, a nurse comes out and gives you three pills and a blanket. The room in dark. Somber. Within minutes, you see the girls asleep. Two nurses come back in and take them away. You never see them again.
It was my turn.
I remember taking the pills. I remember thinking that there was no turning back. That technically, it wasn’t a child at that point in time. It was just a fetus. It would be okay. No heartbeat. No fingers. No precious toes.
They helped me walk to the ‘room’. They helped me undress. I laid down and put my feet in the stirrups. It hurt. Worse than any pap smear. And the sound. That sound. Like a loud vaccum. But I was so dizzy…
No one helped me walk to the fourth waiting room. It was filled with recliners. When I stepped in, I was told to relax until I felt I could walk and given some sort of juice.
The ride back was horrible. I do believe that I felt every bump on the road. Everything hurt. I cried myself to sleep several times only to awake in pain to cry myself to sleep again.
Somewhere on the trip back, Joey stopped and bought a rose for me at a gas station. I threw it on a ground. I knew I didn’t deserve it. bled. Alot. Three friends tried to get me to go to the hospital, but I couldn’t. My mother would find out. I couldn’t have that.
I returned to classes a week later. I was pale. White. Ghostly. It was a small school. People quickly found out what had happened. The looks. The stares. It was unbearable.
My first class was standard Health. As Fate would have it, we were studying the developing fetus. It was then that I found out that, at the time of my abortion, my child had a heartbeat. Fingers. Precious toes. It was all developed.
I left the class in the middle of discussion and threw up.
A couple of months later, I was in the hospital. I was deathly sick. The doctor actually told my mother that had I waited another day to come in, I would not have lived. Period. No inbetweens. I would have been dead by the next day from the continuous loss of blood.
After my hospitilization, I became ‘wild’. Premiscuous. I didn’t care. I drank, had sex and smoked weed daily. I dropped all clubs and stopped going to school.
The truth is that I was kicked out of college. That’s something that I’ve never admitted to anyone but my mother – and that was years later. The day that I finally told her that I’d had an abortion, she admitted that she knew something had happened, but didn’t know what. I had become more distant that ever with everything/everyone. I’ll never forget that conversation.
After being kicked out of college – my dream – I went to Myrtle Beach. I continued that same lifestyle. Drugs, drinking and sex. I had truly lost all caring.
A year passed.
Sometime in February, Lillian was concieved. A year later. Same month. All over again, I was scared. But who did I have to blame? Myself. I wasn’t forced to lay down with those men. I did it all on my own.
I don’t feel the need to go into detail about Lillian’s biological father, but as most of you already know, he’s never been around.
So here I was pregnant. Again. Alone. Scared.
Oh, how I weighed that decision in my head. You see, that picture up there? That’s how developed my child was when I had my abortion. And again, I was a month along when I found out. On one hand, I thought abortion would be best. I hated myself already. I didn’t deserve a child. With the condition I was in, I could never care for a child.
I remember the defining moment. I was at work in the dressing room, changing clothes with my roomate. I told her I was pregnant. The most powerful happiness swept through my body. She asked me what I was going to do. I told her I was going to become a mother.
And I did.
On November 11, 2001 at 9:32PM, Lillian Fae was born.
It was and has been the hardest job to accomplish. And yet, it has been the most fulfilling.
I’ve gone through Hell and back with her. I lost everything I owned physically, only to gain twice that much emotionally and mentally.
No, I don’t have that college degree, but I’m working on it. No, I don’t own a fancy, new car, but one day I will. No, I don’t have the biggest house on the block or the nicest clothes, but I’m okay with that.
I have my child. My child is my Life.
But most of us – it doesn’t. It leaves wounds that Time itself cannot heal. There are no ‘right’ words to say. There are not ‘enough hugs’ to help console. There’s nothing. There’s nothing because a part of you that wanted to be consoled is gone.
I’ve often wondered if I had what it takes to be a counselor of some sort. An outreached hand to lift the spirits and soul of that single, scared girl who only needs to be shown that there IS a way to accomplish being a mother. If one has the determination and the extra ‘push’ of hearing that it IS worth it – *sighs*. Just imagine what that could do. The information needs to be put out there. More. More and more and more.
Let it be known what really goes on in a clinic. Let it be known that there ARE other options to becoming a mother. It IS possible. If I did it – and keep in mind, I was sleeping in a car with only three shirts and two pairs of pants for the first few months – anyone can. If only there were more people out there to help. To build that confidence. To build that self-esteem and worthiness. If only.
To this day, my heart aches for that child. To hold that child in my arms and say I’m sorry. Because I am.
I’m so very sorry, my little one. If only I had known.
Danielle / firstname.lastname@example.org
Dearest Danielle – I am so very sorry that your heart hasn’t healed. You know what? I was the same exact age … and I also aborted my precious little baby.
I will share a link my story with you. I am a previously featured Stand Up Girl:
So you see Danielle – I am very familiar with your pain and I am so very sorry your heart still hurts. As you may also see, I found healing and forgiveness too. It’s kind of like this:
You and I have the exact same kind of wound. I was able to cover the hurt too. Cover it with anything I could and most people didn’t know the wound was there. Then came a time when a girl came to me who had the same kind of wound I did, but she had no pain and so easily and freely showed her ‘scar’ to me, yet without pain. I wanted what she had and she shared Him with me. When I went through the healing process, I am now able to share with you that … the wound will not go away, but it can heal. I would love to share that with you if you are willing to hear more about it, let me know. I would love to share it with you.
In the meantime, I will share a link with you. It is a link that will pull up a list of CPCs (Crisis Pregnancy Centers) in your area. But they also may have a ‘post abortion’ support group. If they do, and if you are able to contact them … ask if the offer these support groups with the materials “Forgiven and Set Free”. It is a book that should take about 10 weeks to go through and though that road may be difficult, there is healing in the end. I can almost 100% guarantee it!
Let me know if you are interested in more information … and remember, I’m here for you if you would like to talk or share.
Luv Lisa | Contact Becky