When I sat there that day with that First Response pregnancy test in my hands, I had no idea how drastically my life would change. I sat there for almost 2 hours, waiting for him to come home—he chose not to leave the meeting early, despite my near pleading. Once he finally made it to our apartment I told him our new reality.
Despite our being engaged to be married (with an expensive rock on my hand), I knew right away that it would not be how I hoped. Before the idea even had time to sink in, I made that decision—refusing to allow him to hurt me further than his coldness, his facial expression, his matter-of-fact assholery had already done. I decided to get an abortion. And he immediately agreed.
I never dreamed that something so impersonal would affect me, but it did. The procedure itself has no lasting physical effects on me. What did remain with me was the surreal nature of that Planned Parenthood. In a really quiet nondescript spot, it sat smooth and manicured, not quite on the corner and inconspicuous among the other buildings and houses. You would never assume that such hard decisions were calcified there—making you separate from the millions of other woman who chose the road of early motherhood or those who lost their unborn babies to “natural causes”. Your choice included the choice to not be able to grieve–just questions, responses, and decisions solidified with a quick and cold procedure.
I wish I could tell you I felt empowered. I did not. I did not find any pride or pleasure or relief in choosing to get an abortion. I only felt an empty sadness that my life would not be what I had envisioned. I never dreamed my decision would end up with me being rejected anyway, but it did.There would be none of the happily ever after that he had painted in the sky before my disbelieving eyes. By the end of the year, there would not even be an us. There would only be what I felt that day–me sitting with empty hands, empty belly and empty heart, bleeding. There would only be the lingering swell of rejection that has played over and over in my life, the realization that even though I had done the absolute most extreme thing I could think of to avoid rejection I still ended up turned away in the end.
Today, I make peace with that decision. I recognize the lesson in the suffering of that moment: that I have lived a life of rejection, then self rejection in vain effort to hold onto people and potential not meant for me. That the best choice I could ever make is choosing me and recognizing when I have not been chosen by another person-or if I have, understanding why. All the promise in the world means nothing if I do not choose to love who I am at any given moment in my life. And I thank him and the universe for that well learned revelation.