I was 19 and a sophomore in college in 2005 in Texas and I had a boyfriend who was 25 in grad school out of state who I was totally in love with. We had dated for two years, yes since I was a senior in high school and only 17. I never in the world thought that 2 years later he would convince me into getting an abortion that I didn’t really want and then immediately dump me for a younger girl. I felt so betrayed and abandoned. I was so hurt. It took so long for me to process the grief - I still am not okay with it. I know it has ruined me for 15 years now and likely will ruin my entire life.
To be up front- The long-term impact of the abortion on my life is:
1) A life of guilt, it’s been 15 years now and the guilt only gets worse and worse. It’s crippling, I tried running from it for years and it never leaves me. It haunts me.
2) All my relationships have been ruined for 15 years. I was emotionally wrecked after the abortion, after he left me. I tried dating other guys, made several bad decisions, questionable hook up with guys, I didn’t really want to sleep with, and eventually ended up in another dead-end relationship. I later got married to another guy but ended up divorced a year later. I’m divorced now and alone and I have no hopes of things ever getting better.
3) I chain smoke cigarettes constantly since the abortion - and I only really started smoking because of the abortion. Two packs a day for 15 years now. My addiction is debilitating. Sometimes it’s more like three packs a day, I’m ashamed to admit, especially with these last few lonely months of lockdown. I’m hopelessly addicted and can’t quit. It’s destroying my health, I cough constantly, I’m always short of breath and wheezing, but I’m stuck. I 100% blame the abortion for my crippling cigarette addiction.
I wish so badly that I had kept my baby. I truly believe that if I had not had the abortion I would have a wonderful family with the father, and that I would be happily married and have a wonderful life with beautiful children and a wonderful home and I would be happy.
I was absolutely in love with him. I got the abortion because I was desperate to do whatever he wanted - literally whatever he wanted to keep him. He had been an assistant coach for another high school and I had met him at several matches over the course of my senior year, and we hooked up and started date at the state championship my senior year. I had tried to follow him away to college when I was a freshman, but he transferred. So I transferred to follow him, but then he transferred again. I would have transferred again to follow and raise our baby with him, and I could have got to school with him. I dated him for 2 years and I was completely in love with him.
I would have done anything for him. I really did. I changed for him. I did my hair the way he wanted me to, I made it straight for him. I wore the clothes that he wanted me to wear, I wore the shoes he wanted me to wear. He liked me to wear high heels, so I wore them every day for him even when they gave me blisters. He hated pantyhose so I never wore any. My poor bare feet were constantly covered in band-aids. He liked me to not wear underwear so most of the time I went without any, even when it made me uncomfortable with the short skirts he wanted me to wear. Sorry to ramble, but my point was I would have done anything for him.
I did the abortion when I was only 19 in April 2005 because I was desperate to please him. I didn’t want to lose him. He wanted me to get the abortion because he said he wasn’t ready to be a father and he wasn’t ready to start a family and he made me think for just like a few days that maybe it would be better for me in college if I didn’t have the baby. I hated it, I hated to convince. He convinced me that April of 2005 that the abortion would be better for our relationship.
Then 3 weeks later he secretly cheated on me and went out and hooked up with some younger teenage girl. I think she was barely 18. He dumped me a week later. I was beside myself. He had convinced me to have an abortion that I didn’t want - only to dump me. To leave me high and dry. I begged him all summer to please take me back. All summer and fall of 2005. He toyed with my emotions, he would say he was thinking about dating me again, then say he couldn’t date me again. I went to go see him in that July and then again August and stayed with him and gave myself to him. I begged him to let me be the one for him. I begged him all fall, through September and October and November. I begged for him to take me back, but he wouldn’t.
The abortion destroyed my relationship with him. It ruined me for him, after I had given him my virginity. I have no healing process. I went to a counselor recommended by my older sister who had had an abortion when she was a freshman in college and it didn’t help me. I guess that is when I somehow ended up smoking cigarettes. My sister’s boyfriend gave me a cigarette when I went to her apartment after the abortion. She had to run to work, but she had asked him to stay with me. I wasn’t even a smoker then. I might have only ever had 2 cigarettes in my life. But I smoked one. Then as a cried and cried my eyes out, I smoked another. The next day I went and bought my first pack because I decided that if I was going to be sad and depressed then maybe cigarettes would help.
At first I hid my smoking, those first few weeks, but by the time he dumped me that was it. I was buying a pack every day that summer. By fall 2005 when he dumped me again in September, I was starting to buy two packs every day. I smoked constantly.
My addiction was quick and before I knew it I couldn’t go twenty minutes without needing another cigarette. If I’m being perfectly honest, I was smoking three packs a day by Christmas 2005 - I would always lie and say it was "just a pack a day" but it was way more. It was three packs a day. I smoked three packs a day like that until New Year’s Day 2019 when I tried to quit cold turkey and failed miserably and couldn’t even last three hours without a cigarette. I tried as hard as I could all of 2019 to cut back my smoking - and the best I could do - the absolute best I could do was maybe make it by on smoking just two packs a day, 40 cigarettes. every single day.
The smoking felt like it was just punishment for my abortion. Like I have taken my child’s life and now I must pay for it by punishing myself with addiction to cigarettes. That is literally how I think of it. That I deserve to get lung cancer. I deserve emphysema. I first started losing teeth from smoking in 2011, then again in 2013. I got to be so out of shape. I can barely walk up a flight of stairs now without gasping and wheezing for air and I’m only 34.
As a dance instructor for a living, this chain smoking has ruined my lungs and made it hard to do my job. When I was in my early 20’s I could smoke and still dance and only be a little winded. By the time I was 25 I was already noticing how badly my smoking was hurting my stamina. Just a year later and my stamina started to fall off a cliff. By the time I was 27, I couldn’t do most of the hard dance routines for more than a few minutes – I’d have to take breaks and go outside to smoke again. Every fifteen minutes I needed another cigarette. Every time I smoke a cigarette I think about my abortion, every single time, still to this day.
By the time I was 28, I was still teaching classes, but I couldn’t dance anymore. Years of dancing had torn my feet and knees up. My feet were weathered and blistered. I still wore the dance shoes every day, without socks or hose usually, because it reminded me of him. The father of my unborn child. But a decade of smoking had all but ended my serious dancing career by the time I was 28. The sadder I got, the more I smoked.
I am always sad. I smoke constantly and every cigarette, every single day, 60 times a day, for each of the 60 cigarettes I smoke every single one of them reminds me of the child I never got to meet. I barely made it one year on "cutting back" to two packs a day when my divorce hit and became final last December. I was trying to be brave, but then Covid-19 hit and the dance studio shut down by mid-March. I was locked alone in my apartment without anyone. I had nothing to do but smoke and grieve. It took no time at all for me to be back to smoking at least three packs a day during quarantine.
The smoking and the addiction became linked to my pain from the abortion. Mentally they are tied together. I ranted on and on about the smoking because it is the cross I have to bear as a result of my abortion. My cigarette addiction is linked directly in my mind with the abortion - because I only started smoking as a result of my grief over the abortion. I cannot stop smoking because I cannot stop grieving for my loss, for my baby I never got to have. I can never be okay so I smoke every day.
I have never found help or forgiveness. I have tried and tried and tried again, but I cannot. Sometimes there are people like me, who are so broken by an abortion as a young girl, that we are broken for life. I am broken for life because of my abortion. I will never be okay. I know I can never forgive myself and I have to tell everyone about my shame and my sorrow. Abortion has ruined my life.
I quit Facebook and social media years ago because I saw pictures of my ex- boyfriend having a daughter with his new young wife, and having a happy perfect life. He has a huge beautiful house, new cars, his daughter looks beautiful just like him, and she goes to a wonderful private school. He has given his family the life that was supposed to be mine - but I threw it all away in the abortion. I lost everything. I lost an entire family when I had the abortion. I lost my future.
Just this past July 4th weekend I looked on a friend's Facebook account when she had left herself logged in and had fallen asleep after getting drunk on my couch - she and I had a mutual friend who knew my ex and so the privacy settings would let me see him - he looked so handsome. He’s 40 now and I think he’s better looking than when we dated. His career is going better than ever - even during this pandemic when so many people have lost their jobs like me - and his little girl is precious, she looks beautiful and just like him and he is a loving and involved father from all the pictures he posts on Facebook - him taking her to soccer practice, or swim practice, taking her and her friends out on the lake in a boat, just all the adorable things a good father does with his children.
He was supposed to be the father of my children. He was the father of my child. That is my life that his wife is living. She stole my future when I had the abortion. I am supposed to be the pretty wife with the handsome, wealthy, successful, loving husband and the beautiful children and beautiful home and picture-perfect white picket fence life in the suburbs.
That is why I’m writing here, to tell your readers - or maybe just to tell somebody - that sometimes that one decision you make when you are a teenager really will ruin the rest of your life. It’s like I was driving drunk at age 19 - being irresponsible - and I knew I shouldn’t have driven while drunk - but I had done it before and gotten away with it so I thought it would be okay if I did it again. Then I got into a car crash that killed my baby and it also left me paralyzed, and horribly burned and disfigured. I live in terrible pain every day of my life. My future hopes and dreams have been smashed.
The abortion I had when I was just 19 really has ruined the rest of my life. Once upon a time I thought it might get better over time and maybe I might heal. I have not healed at all. It has been 15 years and I am as a sad and depress and despondent about the entire situation as I have ever been.
Somebody out there needs to know that sometimes, there are sweet girls out there like me who fall head over heels for a guy - and throw themselves at him - and then they let themselves get talked into an abortion and that an abortion will haunt you for the rest of your life and you will never be okay.
I hope that most of the girls here find healing and hope and a light forward, I have no hope, I have not healed. I will die alone. Probably of lung cancer. I hate what I have lost. I hate myself for what I did 15 years ago. My abortion ruined my life.