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I feel kind of stupid putting in a warning, and maybe nobody will be as upset as I am but here it is.
And long.

About two weeks ago I had an abortion. I was seven weeks pregnant. It's a hard word to even write, much less imagine I went through it. There is so much screwed up in this that it's hard to separate out all that went into my thinking.

I did not want a child. I did not mean to get pregnant. While going through this, I was exhausted emotionally and physically. I asked myself all these questions and more, looked for the answers, and didn't like them. I didn't like the life I saw being formed.

In my current circumstances, I could not imagine how I would be able to care for a child. My normal schedule was already full, however would I take care of a child alone? I do not have a support structure where I live. No one I felt comfortable talking to. Discussing what had happened, or my options. My family and friends are all far away. If I had no one to share even the fact of my pregnancy with, how would I go through an entire pregnancy alone? Much less raise a child? This seemed even bleaker when I considered the idea that there's always a possibility of an unhealthy child. How would I be able to handle that alone?

As for my (ex)partner, no help. He is still in college, and he also had no desire for a child. He also lives over 1,000 miles away. He provided absolutely no help or support in this situation. He wasn't mean, or cruel, he was just uninvolved. And perhaps that was cruelest of all. I desperately needed someone to listen and simply care, and he didn't.

Then there would be financial considerations. After all, with a child in tow, it'd be incredibly difficult to do my job, as I have to travel. I would perhaps have to give up all that I've worked so hard for. Fear of poverty and dependence played a part in my decision. It's really pathetic to think that financial considerations played a role, but there it is.

I also looked at single mothers that I knew, and didn't want my life to be like that. I wanted more than that. I want a husband who'll be there with me, help me, and support me during a time like this. With a child, I couldn't see this ever happening with me. Having a child should be a joyous occasion and all I felt was sick and desperate. I had to wonder if I would resent the child, in the end.

To add to this, as I was trying to make my decision, I had the person who I thought was my best friend betray me by not being there, just couldn't find the time and/or wasn't interested/able to talk with me about this. I had another friend judge me for even considering an abortion, then the friend hung up. I haven't talked to either of them since, and probably never will.

I couldn't bear the thought of other friends or family doing the same thing, so made the best decision I could, under the circumstances. My life was cracking wide open. The only way I could see how I could begin to repair this crack was to have an abortion.

However, the final thing that made me decide for an abortion were my self-destructive thoughts. I started wishing for some kind of accident that would ideally put me in a coma, but they could keep me on life support long enough for the baby to come, then I could die, or at the very least, an accident that would cause a miscarriage. Either way, problem solved. When I realized just how often I was thinking about this, I made my decision. I drove to Planned Parenthood, crossed through the protesters, got an abortion, and drove home - alone.

It's not a pretty picture, all that went into my decision...and you're seeing just a small fraction. All the hidden selfish, petty, and not-pretty parts of me have come under light. I don't like a lot of what I've seen in myself. I am an adult. I am a good person. I am responsible, and I thought I was in control of my life. I thought I was strong enough to handle anything that came my way. How wrong I was about so much of this.

I think I have made the right decision for me. It was not an easy decision. It is not easy to come to terms with. I suspect it will take me a long time to fully come to terms with this whole set of circumstances. My whole self-image has been shattered. This was not supposed to happen to me. It was never a part of my self-image to be single and pregnant. Of course, neither was getting an abortion. I know that talking about how unfair life is or how things aren't 'supposed' to happen to you has more than a bit of self-pity involved; yet that too was part of my decision.

So, now I go to work every day. I pretend everything is all right. I talk to friends and family and pretend everything is all right. Meanwhile, I am working on picking up the pieces of myself.

I do know I made a good decision, as I don't feel self-destructive. In fact, I can't believe I had been thinking all I was thinking. I can see some things clearer now about myself. I don't like a lot of it, but it is a part of me. I'm working on making changes in my life so that I'm never in a situation like this again. I even have had a couple of good days, where I only cried for a few hours at night. This has been the hardest decision of my life, and the second hardest situation I've ever had to deal with.

I know a lot of people who read this may think (at the very least)that I made the wrong decision. Many may judge me quite harshly. Perhaps you would have made a different decision. Yet, for me, at this time, I could do nothing else. I've played the 'if only' game to death. If only one or two things had been different, I would have chosen differently. Yet, they weren't. Unless you are or have been in this situation, you can not conceive the reality of living it. Unless you are ME, you can not conceive my circumstances and the turmoil I've been in.

For those of you who've made it this far, the reason I'm writing this out is that I find it helpful. A form of therapy if you will. Sorry for the rambling, but the chaotic nature of all my thoughts are not easy to sort out, even now. Maybe even especially now.

I do want to thank everyone who emailed me privately with supportive comments. I really needed that, even though coming from strangers.

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When Life Gives You Lemons
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