Today I have a guest blog by my friend, Crystal. She has decided to open up after 15 years of silence to tell her abortion story. With so much media attention and the new social media campaign on Twitter to #shoutyourabortion Crystal wants those considering abortion to know what she has gone through. Please read and share.
It has taken me a very long time to get the courage to write what I am about to write…15 years to be exact. The subject is controversial. Opinions have been spewed, laws have been made, stories have made the news…but my story and opinion have remained under lock and key, until today. If anyone has the right to speak on this topic, it’s me. Not because I am better than anyone else, not because I am some right winged conservative. I am a mother, a woman, a lover of life, a believer in God…and a murderer. Sounds harsh. But I have been on BOTH sides of this fence. The fence that is dividing this nation. The “abortion” fence.
Fifteen years ago, I made the decision to end a life for my own selfish reasons. At the time, I really didn’t comprehend the magnitude of my choice. I didn’t understand how devastating abortion is. Not only on a child, but on a mother and yes, even a father. Did I know it was wrong in my heart? Absolutely. Did I care? Of course I did…to an extent. I was 17 years old. A senior in high school. Unable to really understand how my decision would affect my emotional, spiritual and mental state of mind. How would I know that this one choice would cause me to spiral into a state of depression and deal with years of PTSD? How would I know what grieving over the loss of my child would feel like? All I honestly cared about was my reputation (which I felt was ruined at the time) and my parents never finding out about what I had done. (Eventually, the truth came out. That’s how God works).
Do you understand what it really means to create a human being and then to end that life? In all of the world, there is not a single human being with the exact DNA and fingerprint. Do you understand how incredibly special that is? This child I had created was an individual, a life, a person, a gift and I made the choice to dispose of that gift.
My story isn’t much different than many other women. I was young and full of life. I was planning my future, enjoying the luxuries of being a senior…going to parties, homecoming events and football games. During my senior year, I made a choice to take my relationship to an adult level…which in-turn resulted in me getting pregnant. It was a devastating blow to the plans we both made. He had just been accepted to college and was planning his own future. Having a child didn’t fit into any of that. So, being that we thought we were adults and capable of making big decisions, we decided to abort our child. I was one week shy of my second trimester. I was beginning to show. And quite honestly, I couldn’t hide it much longer. People around school began to talk, rumors were flying and I just wanted it to go away.
The day we went to have the procedure done, I skipped school. We had borrowed money from friends because we couldn’t tell our parents. No parental consent needed to end the life inside of me anyway. Maybe Planned Parenthood assumed that I was old enough to make such a huge decision on my own. The moments that followed were horrifying and would set the stage for the emotional trauma I would face years later. The anesthesia was administered and I watched as the lights above me began to fade. When I woke up, it was over and I was in hysterics, crying my eyes out in the arms of a nurse. “God hates me. God hates me”. I went home puking and bleeding heavily, exhausted from the medication.
The next day, I woke up and went to school as if nothing had ever happened. As if I hadn’t just murdered a human being. And that was how my life went on for the next few months. It’s really easy to ignore the mistakes you make when you bury them deep within the pits of your spirit and cover them with lies, drugs and alcohol. It’s really easy to forget those harsh and ugly truths. God will always bring light to those dark places. I was completely unaware of the anguish I would face over the coming years of my life.
The years that followed were filled with grief stricken moments of heartache. Moments I hid from the world. I cried every, single February. The date is burned into my heart. Ironically, my daughter was due to be born on the anniversary of the day I ended the life I created years prior. Isn’t that crazy? Isn’t it crazy how no matter how deep you bury something, God always sheds light onto it? I had a very hard time even driving past the Planned Parenthood building without breaking down. To this day, I cry when I have to visit the OBGYN because it brings me right back to that place. The flicker of the lights, the way the paper feels and sounds when I sit down on the table. I believed for years that I was unable to have a baby…not because anyone told me this but because I felt if I killed a child, God would never give me another one. One of the many lies I believed. Even when I did get pregnant with both of my kids, I was left me feeling guilty at times.
For many years I also believed that it wasn’t my place to speak up on the subject. As hard as it was for me to hear about babies being aborted, children being murdered and abused, who was I to speak up about the subject? Heres the truth…these women who are proudly hash tagging their shout outs about abortion are in complete denial. They believe it is their body. And rightfully so. If you want to cut off your toe, who am I to judge you? There will be consequences to being toeless. That much I can say. Those wedges wont look quite as nice this summer. But to really believe the life INSIDE of your body is your body and is yours to dispose of is a little far fetched. I have two children. Yes, I birthed them FROM my body. I created them…can I end their life because they are being spiteful little jerks? No. These women are using this form of prideful boasting as their own way of ignoring the facts. Shouting it out and masking heartache with pride is only a momentary thing. They use the freedom to abort their “mistakes” as a form of birth control. They KNOW in their heart what they have done. At least I did.
No one likes to admit when they are wrong…it takes a toll on one’s ego. It takes COURAGE to admit to yourself that you made a mistake. It is much easier to ignore it and boast when you feel completely destroyed at the choice you’ve made. I can assure you that the grief they are about to experience isn’t what they are prepared for.
I was nearly 4 months pregnant when I terminated that pregnancy. FOUR MONTHS! That child was alive. That child had a heart beat, fingers and nails and toes. In fact, that baby (yes, it’s a baby…the same way that YOU were a baby inside your mother’s womb) had a heartbeat after 18 days. Most women don’t even know they are pregnant at 18 days.
The point I am trying to make is this… There is grief that occurs with EVERY abortion. It may not happen the day of or even 6 months after. It took a year before I even recognized what I had done. I too, went on my prideful way and continued on with my life. The dark place where you hide that secret eventually gets exposed and it hurts. It’s painful and it can never be changed or taken back. I lived a long time feeling condemned for the choice that I made. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about it in some way, shape or form. The day I stopped running from it and hiding was the day I felt the weight of the burden lifted from me. The day I allowed God to forgive me and heal me was the day I stopped mourning so painfully over my loss and my mistake.
The world will tell you it doesn’t affect you. The world will tell you this choice is yours. The world will tell you that isn’t a human being…but at some point the truth will catch up to you.
I am not speaking about this topic because I have a strong opinion on it. I lived it. I have been on both sides of this fence. I speak about it because I feel like it is the only way I can redeem myself, it is in honor of the child that I didn’t allow to speak.
If I can touch one person’s life with exposing my heartache, if I can reach one woman who feels the same pain every day and hasn’t been able to shake it or stop one child from being disposed of, then the fear of writing this is worth it to me. As scary as the reality of having a child is (and I know, because I have 2…as a single mom, there is nothing worse than remorse and regret over ending a LIFE. I will forever be able to feel the pain that a person feels when they lose a child. But by God’s grace, I have been given the opportunity to also feel the love of a child.
If I can leave you with a final thought, it would be to do whatever you can to avoid an abortion, the lifetime of pain and heartache from it is not worth it, and everyone deserves a chance to live.