I have some enormous truths to share, dispel and make peace with. It takes all the courage, faith and comfort I have to write what needs to be spoken out loud into the world.
In order, for me to move forward, toward the next elevation of my spiritual journey, I must testify my forgiveness for myself and my past transgressions against my body and God.
I was 18, one week into summer vacation, after finishing my first year of college. I had left school carrying far more than the burden of being a severely depressed spirit, going back home to revisit the poor, disadvantaged and worthless reminder of her existence. I was carrying a child, a life, a disguised and unbeknownst miracle from God.
With the demanding and often, overwhelming lifestyle of being a college student, part time tutor, full time family support system, and off base insecure title- less girlfriend of my ex, I left no room to even consider noticing to the changes in my body. I mean, yea, my hair had been growing longer and faster than ever; my nails too. And my boobs were getting bigger, and I suppose if I thought about it, it had been more than four weeks since my last period.
In fact, it had been…. Oh shit! It had been almost six weeks since my last period. And I knew, more than I knew anything else, that I had never missed a period in my eight year relationship with my infamous “friend”.
As I peed in the cup, considering the facts flowing in my head, it dawned on me that I had done the one thing I promised myself, above all other things, that I would never ever do. I promised! I promised! And I was a liar! I had lied to myself. Because, here I was, a teenage college student, pregnant by a man I’d known less than one full calendar year and had been screwing for less than two months.
Speaking of which, now to think about it, we had just started having sex, so how in the world could I be pregnant? Unless… No! You gotta be kidding me! I actually got pregnant the first time?! Are you kidding me?! As a long time sex educator, I obviously knew… but damn, I didn’t know.
But, I used a condom. Or, so I thought. He’d actually decided to try out a test run without a condom for the first few minutes. And chose not to clue me in until he finally decided to revert back to being “safe”. And, I’d just remembered. While peeing in the cup. On the toilet, in the bathroom at the doctor’s office. Damn. I felt so angry, defenseless and yet, fully responsible. And, it was just too much. So, I made the only decision I convinced myself that I had.
I was 18 when I made the second hardest decision I ever made in my life; I aborted my child. I won’t go too deep into the actual procedure and its affect on me, right now, as that’s another discussion for a later date. It was incredibly hard for me and yet, simply decided and quickly over, physically at least. I carried that pain, quiet regret and secret for years. I counted the years my unborn child didn’t make it to, for as long as ever.
Then, 2012 arrived. The year that indefinitely brought me to my knees. Though, I am not quite emotionally prepared to write explicitly about the painful and traumatic experiences that led up to the circumstances of my second pregnancy, I am in dire need of acknowledging the lasting pain and regret that came from the subsequent, abortion.
I wanted my second child. I promised myself that I would never do that horrid thing to myself or God’s beautiful creation, again! I promised! And yet again, I’d lied to myself. I’d lied again. Who the hell was I? I had no idea? I looked in the mirror for weeks, waiting to recognize the wreck of a woman standing in the mirror? Waiting to understand her, support her and give her the love she so desperately needed. But, it was too much. Just way too much for me to take. I couldn’t even breathe. I couldn’t inhale.
I could not save myself. Because, he’d left me. He disappeared. Literally. One day he was there. The next day, he wasn’t. I called. I texted. I cried. I left voicemails and sent mail. I sold my soul, dignity and what was left of my integrity, praying, pleading, begging for him to come back. To acknowledge me. To acknowledge our child. To take responsibility for this huge mess I was in. All, to no avail.
He never called. Never texted. Never came back. And I was still there. Pregnant and very, very alone. I was going to keep him. My baby. I was going to say screw his father, and screw the fact that I was alone, still not done with school and stuck in my mom’s house with lack of funds to graduate from my nest, and just do it. Because I loved him. I loved my child. And, that’s all I needed. God would do the rest.
But I killed him. I aborted his beautiful life, at nine weeks. And I promised myself, somewhere deep in my soul, that I would never forgive myself for the most disrespectful thing I’d ever done to my body and to my God.
For a long time, I convinced myself that I would never share these skeletons with the world. I feared, deeply and privately, that one day, in midst of much success, I’d find myself burdened and brought down by the damning truth revealed, of my most hidden regrets. I wondered if I would have the courage to speak these experiences out loud, to the world. And if I did, would I be judged? Would the stones be casted? Would I be revolting, repulsive or disgusting? Would the world despise me as much as I despise myself for what I have done to myself? I questioned over and over, “Dear Lord, what I have done to my body?!”
But then March 2013 happened. I loss my beautiful baby. I lost her! I was pregnant again… Ain’t it a wonder how God works. I mean, that baby was a miracle if I’d ever seen one. I’d literally gotten pregnant the first days I had intercourse with my ex boyfriend. She was an angel. She promised so much to him and I. She’d given us a new start, a second chance, a reason to fight, to live, to do more than survive, to triumph. She was the new and most abundant hope we’d ever known from God. And we put all of ourselves into the faith and glory of her coming into existence.
Until March 3, 2013. First, there was blood. Then, much later, came the pain. And then the doctors. And then, the news. She was gone. Most likely at seven weeks. She was gone! And with her, was a piece of the woman I used to be. I lost myself with her.
That’s when I knew. I had skipped too many signs, too many turns and bends in the road and this is where I ended up. I began to blame myself exclusively, absolutely convinced that this was God’s way of paying me back for killing my babies. I was fully aware of God’s enormous love, compassion and forgiveness for me. But such wouldn’t help me rationalize my loss. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed and boggled down by my toxic commitment to never forgive myself. And for over a year, this weight, guilt, regret and immense pain, has followed me, hanging over every door I enter and exit.
And so, I confess. I am a childless mother in mourning of her babies, lost and discarded. I am in need of healing and forgiveness for myself and my transgressions. It is clearer to me now, more than ever, the significance of parenthood, motherhood and fatherhood. The true miracle of the blessings embedded in the gift of life. It hurts me so bad to know that I had to destroy such beautiful blessings and lose such a glorious gift, in order to see the light that is God, formulated into what we call children.
And yet, I am ready to let go of that pain and sadness. I am ready to stop questioning God, myself and my future potential for motherhood, everytime I see another woman announce her pregnancy, birth or child’s birthday. I am ready to forgive myself and forgive the men I shared life with during these times. I am ready to forgive God for showing me his wisdom is the most harsh of ways. I am ready to be a mother.
I am no longer questioning whether God will bless me with another opportunity at motherhood, as I am confident that He will. Not because I am owed it, as I know no person is owed anything from God. I am confident, because I trust what God has spoken into existence. Yet, I am also consciously aware of the other women in this world, like me, fighting this beautiful struggle called motherhood, for better or worse.
I know that so many women struggle with the very unrecognized, undiscussed, overwhelmingly dismissed reality of infertility, abortion, miscarriage, still born births and nontraditional pregnancies. Thus, I am also now aware of the significance of me building my voice to share my experiences, in preparation to influence a voicebox for all women and men that experience the trauma and miracle of giving and losing life.
Building that voice begins with the here and now. I must give voice to my own truths, to provide a platform for my sisters, worldwide, to voice their truths. And I must lead the parade to reclaiming myself. 100%. I will be the most loving, graceful, compassionate, empathetic, caring and attentive mother there is. I will take all the wonderful gifts my own mother blessed me with, her trials and tribulations, the reality of my own wins and loses and I will give those blessings to my future child, in every kiss, hug and exclamation of love I share with her.
It’s also important for me to address my politics, values, beliefs and how they relate to my testimony. I must state openly, that giving voice to this truth doesn’t put me in conflict with the parts of me that believe wholeheartedly, in the protection of a woman’s right to choose. I acknowledge that in aborting my children, I killed them, ripping them of their opportunity to life.
While, I simultaneously acknowledge that abortion itself, in my opinion, is not murder and should continue to be a choice every woman is allowed to make. I don’t regret my choice of abortion and never did. I regretted getting pregnant in the first place. It may seem like a deep or confusing line I’ve drawn for myself, or maybe it makes perfect sense. In any regard, it is what I believe and I affirm my recognition of such.
I thank you, every reader that reads this line, for bearing witness to my testimony, accepting my confession and acknowledging my heart. Please, use my courage in presenting this confession to you, my faith in believing God will redeem me and my dedication to trying again, in the name of God, love and goodness, to reclaim your own truth.
Take all I give and may you, through Spirit’s will, find peace through your own closet of regrets, grudges, shame and denial. May the truth be with you. And may freedom find you.
**Originally Published: April 29, 2014