Mya Angelou once said “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” I choose to forgive you. I’m writing you this letter hoping that I can release some of my resentment and bitterness not only towards you but towards what I did. My therapist says it would be therapeutic if I wrote a letter and pretended to send it. You probably will never read this letter, but I hope I will be able to heal and move once I have said what’s on my heart so here it goes………
I honestly can say you came into my life when I was young and unsure about boys. I was unsure about sex, and the overall expected interactions that take place between a girl and a boy. I was 19 years old and I believed that there was a mutual feeling of comfort, innocence, and respect between us. Our careless actions brought me an enormous amount of pain, guilt, and regret. I was mad at myself for not being sexually responsible. Finding out I was pregnant rocked me to the core. I felt alone, I felt that you may have been afraid, were you afraid? did you allow yourself to feel at all? Our decision to end an innocent life still haunts me 11 years later. Did you ever acknowledge the child that lived in me? I know you have moved on and have 2 girls of your own. I envy you at times, the way you moved on unhinged and nonchalant after I had a life sucked from my womb and the repercussions were horrendous. I was stuck in mental hell and I always asked myself “what did I do wrong” ? “Why would he hurt me like this”?.
I took responsibility. Before therapy and self-discovery I loathed you, I hated you, I hated myself. I would get goosebumps if I heard your name, I would get flushed and fever when I watched a movie that reminded me of good times we shared. I still get emotional when I see newborns, children, or pregnant women. If I didn’t have that connection to you, I would have moved on happily like you did, but I was connected to you through life. My body was yours, and yours only. There was never someone else I was yours completely. You had access to my womb, my mind, my heart. After time passed we met up to talk about it so i could convey my pain, but honestly, I didn’t think you had the mental capacity to understand my pain and my experience. I remember you asked, “How could you want to be with someone who made you feel like that”? Why would you still want to be with me let alone talk to me”? My answer is, I believed you were the love if my life. Even though I was alone in my pain and trusted you to hold me up in my recovery, I still loved you. I was Surprised and disappointed that had to face recovery and redemption alone. In many ways, i have moved on.
I have rediscovered my own interest and needs. I have broadened my horizons, learned things I never knew, met new people, went back to college, but no matter how much progress I make, I often think of you. We were both young and didn’t know how to handle things as heavy as this. Neither one of us grew up with great role models that were male, it was doomed to fail from the beginning. Am I your “One that got away”? Either way, writing this was necessary for me, it was necessary for my sanity and my healing process. I hope you will be able to love someone with your whole heart, and I hope it is reciprocated. Now that you have daughters you can be the best father, hero, and the only man they will ever need. You can give them what we both never had, a present father. You can teach them how to protect their mind, body, and heart so that when those beautiful girls are faced with life’s difficulties they can approach it head on because their father gave them the tools to do so.
Please don’t be upset with me, i did it for me and daddy. I know it sounds so selfish but i was scared, alone, and had no support. I think about you all the time, i always wonder what you would have looked like? would you have looked like me? would you have looked like your father? would you have those big beautiful brown eyes? or chocolate dark skin like me and daddy. Most nights i dream of you, you come in my dreams in all white, you touch my face with your tiny hand as i am down on my knees, you look at me in my eyes and say “mommy, i’m okay, god is watching me until you get here”, i cry when you walk away and take tiny steps into the white light, i want to hold you, i want to feel you. I’m sorry you had to feel the pain of being ripped apart, it was painful for mommy too, i thought about your tiny brain crushed, you little legs broken, your heart disconnected. I’m sorry i couldn’t protect you, i’m sorry that i didn’t listen to my first mind telling me to keep you.
I loved you from the moment i heard of your presence, but mommy wasn’t ready and daddy was just as lost as i was. I know you heard me crying at night, did you hear me? did you feel me rubbing you? telling you i love you? I can imagine your laugh if i tickled you all over. i can hear your cries from a fall, i can hear a coo and see your bare smile when i make funny faces. I can hear your cries, i can smell you. Can you forgive me? can you forgive me for ending a precious life before it begun? You would have been 10 years old by now, now that i think about it i could have made it work, you coming into this world wasn’t a curse or a burden, but a beautiful intricate gift from god. Mommy got help from your loss, i tried so hard to forget you but you remained in my mind, in my heart. No amount of medication or therapy would keep me from you, it didn’t matter what i did, you were always on my mind, In the morning when i would wake, until the evening when i would close my eyes. At night i pray that when i leave this world i can go straight to heaven to see you, if you see me in heaven will you recognize me? Mommy has healed and it took a lot of work on my end to come to terms with aborting you. Now all i can do is hope and pray that i will be blessed with another intricate gift from god, your brother or sister. Even though i never had the chance to meet you i love you like i would if you were here.
At this point in my life i focused on getting mentally better and becoming spiritually stronger. I was anxious about rachel’s vineyard but i knew that it was what i needed to heal. Being in a relationship was the furthest thing from my mind, i really just wanted to be alone, i wanted to figure out what kind of woman i was going to become after the storm dissipated. My aunt invited me to take a trip to New York city. My anxiety screamed hell no, but my gut told me to go for it. I had never been out of northern california, i had never been on a plane, Shocking right? but i thought what else can i lose? So in 2009 at the end of summer i took my first trip to New York. I enjoyed the trip, it was fun aside from the rude new york people. I was ok, i had no panic attacks, no depression, i was actually able to enjoy my surroundings. Before my new york trip i met a guy on myspace, Did you hear me? myspace, yes, myspace. He seemed really nice so i thought what would be the harm in just talking platonically. We exchanged numbers and we started to talk daily. We even talked while i was discovering new york. This guy was different, he sure in the hell wasn’t andre. He listened and he was consistent. I really liked him. I knew that i had to have “the talk” with him when i returned from new york but that that moment i enjoyed manhattan and harlem. I saw so many people and seen so many beautiful things my senses were occupied with something other than nervousness and fear. I had so many thoughts running through my head about this guy, Would he think that i’m weak? would he think that i’m crazy? is he going to accept my skeletons if we get serious?
When i returned to california i came back a new person. I looked at life differently. Even though i was only in new york for four days i felt free, i felt liberated. I was confident and the anxiety and depression not once visited. The day that i returned home i agreed to meet this guy in person. We met at a bart station and he rode the train home with me. He was handsome, sweet caring, and very patient. We talked the whole train ride, it was something about him that put me at ease, i was able to be my new self around him. We continued to talk after our first encounter. We went on dates but i knew that i had to tell him the truth before we went any further.
I was nervous and thought the worst before i told him, but if we were going to get serious he needed to know my truth. One night while we had one of our intellectual conversations i told him. His reaction surprised me. He didn’t judge, he did not criticize, he just listened. From there we went on romantic dates, he would bring me flowers, we would talk and laugh and enjoy eachothers company. I knew he was the one because he watched one of my favorite romantic movies “The notebook”, i don’t think any other guy would have taken a chance. As months went by we grew close, we were connected at the hip, wherever he was, i was. He had turned into my best friend and my man.
As i continued to heal and overcome my depression, i started to feel normal again, i figured the prozac was starting and already had taken its course, working through my bloodstream and making its way to my unbalanced brain. As i started to feel normal i received a call from christine, she let me know that there would be a post abortion retreat and that it would be beneficial if i attended. She gave me details about the retreat and what things were going to take place for my healing, i agreed, but i feared that the new man that was courting me wasn’t going to take to it…………….
The meds that I took daily started to take effect. I started to feel less anxious and more normal, even happier. My mood changed from hopeless to hopeful. I started to live again. My mind was so much more clearer. I read self help books, books on mindfulness and meditation. I felt healthy and fit practicing yoga and Thai chi. I lost weight, I started watching what I was consuming as far as food and liquids. I went to the gym everyday to help me free my mind of anxieties. Meditation was part of my daily routine. I still went in once a week for my counseling sessions but I still felt like there was something that I was missing.
When I took up the offer to stay at my aunt’s house for the weekend I was able to breathe. I felt at ease with my surroundings. There were no racing thoughts, no worries, no hopelessness. My aunt lived in a beautiful home in the hottest city of the North bay. I would go into her backyard in the am, look at the yard filled with grass, a canopy and a swing and I just breathed. I paid attention to the sky, the way the air smelled, the way the sun hit my face. It was like I was with god himself. I was at peace, i took advantage of the smells, the wind, the sun. I paid attention to how the cement felt under my feet. My aunt and I talked I opened up in more detail about Andre and the abortion. One day I had her house to myself and I was surfing the web I decided to look up support after an abortion. The clinic had resources for after abortion but at that time I didn’t think I needed counseling. I got a few numbers and was interested in a retreat strictly built for women who had abortions. Was I ready to open that womb again? It was so nicely stitched shut, it didn’t make sense to remove the stiches, but I had to dig in there to find healing. Was this the cause of my mental downfall? I left that weekend feeling a sense of relief and calm, I finally felt that there was hope.
Once I settled back in at home I decided to call the hotline, I was so nervous and scared I didn’t know what expect. I called and i was connected with the sweetest the sweetest woman. Her voice was calm and she was very attentive. She asked me questions about my abortion and if it had any effects on my life. I told her I’m not sure but I had been recently diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. She explained that lots of women experience depression and anxiety after an abortion. I felt relieved that I wasn’t the only woman who has experienced depression and anxiety after a traumatic experience such as an abortion. She gave me a number and a website to visit so I could do more research on what this was that I was experiencing. I looked up the website for “Rachel’s vineyard”. I was immediately intrigued. “Rachel’s vineyard a place to go to heal after an abortion”. I thought to myself “wow, this type of place exists”? The other detail that caught my attention was the description of what Rachel’s vineyard was. It was a place of healing, a place where there would be no judgement, a place for all of God’s children to come and ask for forgiveness. “Wow, I need to call this number”.
Was this a legit place? Was it some kind of secret cult? Was it a pro life organization that were going to tell me that I was going to go to hell? I prayed before I called and hoped that I would get the answers I looked for. A woman m an and I started to talk, the woman who was sent from God to help me heal. She explained to me that what I did at the time didn’t define God’s love for me. She didn’t judge, and she didn’t quote scriptures, she listened to my testimony. Christine answered all my questions and she even went out of her way to mail me a packet with more info on the retreat. Before we ended the call she asked “Cecilie do you mind praying with me”? I don’t know what came over me but I started to weep. I knew what I had done was wrong considering my strict Christian background. Not only did i sin by having sex that didn’t take place within marriage, but I had killed a human life that God put there himself. I just knew God was punishing me for killing my baby. Christine prayed with me and at that moment I realized God loved me, he loved me so much, he knew what would take place, he knew the obstacles that would have to face, anything to get me closer to him, he planned already. God wasn’t punishing me, he was preparing me for abundant blessings that were coming my way. Rachel’s vineyard would be the place where I found healing and the everlasting and unconditional love from my almighty God.………………….
The inspiration for me starting a blog was this reason and this one reason only…. I had an abortion. Like many women i suffered from depression and anxiety due to a situation in which i felt i had no say. I’m putting all the bullshit aside, and i’m being completely honest about my abortion story. I have already payed for my sins, i have already gone through the storm, but for myself, i have to expel all the emotions and memories that still reside in me from a decision i made almost 9 years ago. I suffered from anxiety and depression after my experience with abortion. After you read this just keep in mind that many women who have terminated a pregnancy were backed into a corner, they felt like they had no support from family, friends, or their significant other. I can honestly say i had neither and that is what contributed to me making the decision i made. Do i regret it? yes, was it wrong? yes, do i still blame myself for not following my heart and mind ,YES! but i want to share my results after having an abortion.
It was 2007 i met Andre through a friend and immediately we hit it off. He was tall, dark, handsome,had a beautiful smile, and masculine. I loved our conversations and when we spent time together it was as if we knew each other for years. He would tell me I’m beautiful, and look into my eyes. We got physical rather quick and i loved being close to him in that way, i loved the intimacy. Protection was used the first time we were intimate but after that we stopped using protection. I figured i was only with him, i trust him with my body, i know he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me. I did have some anxiety about sexual transmitted diseases. The images of diseased filled vagina’s and penis’s popped into my head from sexual health class that i took my senior year of high school, but i ignored it and trusted him anyway. I didn’t fear pregnancy because i never had consistent cycles so pregnancy was the farthest thing in my mind. My interpretation of the relationship when i look back now, was strictly physical. We had great sex, but i let our physical encounters make my mind think that it was something more, i assumed that because i had let him inside me that we were automatically in the serious monogamous relationship. We never went on dates, we never left the comfort of my apartment complex. I had only been to his house once and that was drama filled. The “exchanges” that we had were incredible but i wanted more. He was 21 i was 20, me being young of course i would connect good sex as a relationship right? i was so naive. Dre knew all the right words and the right things to do to me to give him what he came for each time, and that was sex. Even though we didn’t go on dates i just enjoyed being in his space. I believed he loved me but he didn’t now how to love me correctly, not the way i wanted to be. He had his background story and i realized why he couldn’t give himself to me fully let alone another woman. I tried to show him support, and listened when he confided in me about his rough childhood. I promised that whatever he told me i would secure it with my being. I tried to be the supportive “girlfriend” asking him about his hopes and fears, but he would circle around the answer and we would just end up having great sex and those things were forgotten. It had to be official if he had met my mom and sister. i thought to myself”oh yea Cecilie we got this in the bag he wouldn’t hurt you he has met your mother, your safe girl”. That was far from the truth.
I noticed a change in Dre later on, but then again i thought i could fix him, i thought that i would be the girl he’d stick with because he had shared so many personal details about his life with me. In November of 2007 I remember catching the Bart to Fremont at night, on my 21st birthday to go see him. For my birthday he had given me a Christmas egg, you know the ones you can buy from rite aid or CVS by the candy isle? i thought “ok, a Christmas egg, he has giving me an egg for my birthday.” (Red Flag) that meant he really didn’t know me at all but i know he meant well. After the egg exchange we had sex and that night changed my future.
Months later nothing changed between Dre and i. He would come over, we would make small talk and to the bedroom we went. At the end of January in 2008 i was in for a surprise. One day at work there was a potluck and i had ate something that didn’t agree with me, i figured what i ate was probably spoiled. The day after the potluck i called in sick because i felt really nauseous. I decided to drink a ginger ale to take some of the nausea away but i was still nauseous. I called up my best friend and mentioned to her that i felt sick and that it must have been what i ate the day before. she said to me “um you might be pregnant”, i laughed and said “I don’t think so, i can’t get pregnant i don’t have consistent cycles”, then she laughed hysterically and said “girl i think you should take a test”. It didn’t hurt to try. I was certain that it was just the bad tacos that had me feeling sick. That weekend i caught the Bart to Richmond where my best friend lived. We caught the A.C. Transit to Walmart inside of hilltop mall, i bought a test and she insisted that i go to the bathroom quickly to take the test. I thought “this is crazy, i’m not pregnant, we are both going to feel so stupid once the results say i’m not”. We went to the bathroom and she followed behind. I chose a stall, pee’d on the stick and waited for the negative results. “What does it say”? she asked from the other side of the door “can i wipe my ass first”? I replied. After i took care of cleaning myself i pulled up my pants I knew by this time i would see a result. I glanced over to the tissue holder and saw a positive result “oh shit” i thought “this can’t be”. “What does it say!?” my best friend yelled loud enough for the whole mall to hear. I stepped out of the stall “positive”. “Girl you lying!”. I handed her the test “look!.” she looked down “oh shit it says positive, maybe you should take the second test”. At this time i was in shock, i just knew this wasn’t right. I didn’t have any more urine to give at that time to test with so i waited until we got back to her house to take another one, and long and behold the results were positive. i couldn’t believe it “what you gone do”? she asked as we sat on her bed “i’m not sure, i have to call Dre”. I called him and let him know that i was pregnant. His reaction didn’t surprise me but, it wasn’t what i thought he would say either,”i want you to be happy, do what your heart tells you”, He says,that wasn’t much help.We talked briefly and promised to met up to discuss what we were going to do. I called my other best friend and she expressed that i should have the baby. In the end it was up to me to come up with solution and fast, was i really going to have a baby?, the next challenge was me breaking the news to my mother.
I felt nervous, just as any young girl would before telling her mother that she is knocked up, and not only that but having sex and not being married. I told her and the look on her face crushed me “where will the baby sleep? This place is small, how will you take care of it”? “did you tell Dre”? i busted out in tears, she said “having a baby right now is not good for you, or Dre”. She then suggested that Andre come over so we could all talk about our options. Of course the first option was abortion. Dre and my mother really leaned against that option, but for me i was hoping he would tell me to keep it, my gut told me to keep it. That night we all came to a decision to abort the life that was growing inside me. I knew that i didn’t want that but what other choice did i have? If that would keep Dre and i together then i would do it, i wanted to take that risk. Before i could go any further i wanted confirmation with blood work, inside i was still hoping that the tests had a glitch and that i really wasn’t pregnant. My co worker at the time knew something was up. She approached me on my lunch and asked what was wrong with me, i remember she walked into the break room with taco bell and the smell of meat at that time made me very sick. She asked “What’s wrong? you look different”. I looked up at her and somehow she knew right away “you’re pregnant”? i nodded. “does the father know”? she asks, i nodded “what are you going to do”? she asked “i’m not sure”. Then she says something i will never forget she said “you have so much to offer the world, you’re so young, do you really want to become another statistic? a young black single mother pushing a baby in a stroller”? i looked at her with sadness in my eyes, i shook my head “no”. “One day it will be the right time you’ll get married and do it the right way but right now do you think you could take care of another human being? is he ready”?. After i cried she lent a helping hand, and ear, she even drove me to the doctor so i could do blood work . The blood work came back positive and all my fears had been confirmed. Immediately I had to get rid of this “problem”. I received a referral from my primary OBGYN physician, once i told the nurse over the phone that i wanted to terminate the pregnancy, she gave me a number and i called that day to make an appointment. The day of the appointment was nerve racking, Dre didn’t seem to enthusiastic about joining me at the clinic for my consultation, in fact he didn’t answer his phone and he showed up late. The lady took me to a room told me to stay in the room until the video was over, it was watch a video telling me what to expect. I admit i was terrified, but i thought once this is over me and Dre will become more closer. After the informative video i did blood work and an ultrasound. The nurse told me to remove my pants and underwear, i went to lay on the exam table with my feet in stirrups, she put a condom on a wand looking instrument and did a vaginal ultrasound i noticed she faced the screen away from me. “It looks like your nine weeks”. I tried to look at the screen but it was turned to far. she then removed the instrument “You can put on your pants now, i’ll be back”. She printed a photo of the ultrasound and placed it into my file, i peeked inside my file, There it was my “little burrito” that’s because it looked like a burrito, my eyes started to fill with tears ”oh my baby, i’m so scared, look at you, you’re so small”. The nurse knocked on the door, i hurried and closed my file, wiped my eyes and she led me to the counselor’s office. The whole time this lady talked all i could think about was the “little burrito” that was growing inside me. I thought ” do i really want this”? a lot of girls my age have babies it’s not the end of the world”. I was interrupted by the counselor “Ms. Anderson do you hear me”? i looked up at the counselor “yes”. she asked me if i was sure about my decision i told her yes she then set up the time and date to come in for my procedure. I walked out and saw Andre sitting waiting for me in the waiting room. The walk to the Bart station was quiet. He kissed me before we went out separate ways. He promised that he would be there for me on that day. I kissed him back said i love you and caught my train home.
The day after my consultation i let my supervisor know that i would be out that following Friday due to minor surgery, i let my co- worker know that took me to the Lab and she said that she would cover for me, i was grateful that she showed me so much support and she made me think of the future. I was scared, nervous, doubtful, and felt alone. I didn’t know what to expect. My best friend Jamie promised that she would be there when i got home from the clinic and she was. I called Andre the night before the procedure but he never answered. I couldn’t wait on him though, i had to go through with this alone. That day was so grey, the skies were filled with dark clouds and rain. My mother drove me to the clinic, she dropped me off and told me to call her once i was done. When i walked back into the clinic there were other girls there, black. white, Latino, with the same look on their faces. They looked terrified, one girl even sat in tears. Once i checked in the nurse called me to the back, i changed into my hospital gown and put a spandex belt around my waist to hold the pad that i would have to wear after the procedure. I wanted to run, i wanted to keep my baby but Dre was i all i could think about. How the fuck did it come to this? how could i have gotten here? what the fuck am i doing? how could i have been so irresponsible? The nurse led me to the operating room, i climbed on the table, my feet rested in stirrups, they put anesthesia in my IV not to put me sleep, but to “relax” me and to make the “procedure” more comfortable. One nurse numbed my cervix, then the male doctor came over explained what he was going to do and promised that it would be over in five minutes. I started to feel the local anesthesia. There were to nurses in the room with me. One nurse in particular sat next to the operating table, she was nice, she asked me what i did for a living and what were my favorite things to do, i knew it was a distraction but in a way i felt comfort. I started to feel extreme pain, extreme cramps, the nurse held my hand and told me to breathe, the cramping became more intense i yelled in agony. Once the cramping subsided it was done i had aborted my baby, my baby was gone………..
I woke up this morning, and I was feeling sadness. still recovering from the Friday work day, I knew I had to start my day eventually. Jenny Craig awaits me. I get up, use the bathroom. brush my teeth, wash my face, I feel like I’m going through the motions. This is my everyday routine. I get dressed and walk out of the door. I’m hoping for weight loss this week, I think I have done pretty good this week considering the internal battle that I have with my body and mind. There is no weight loss (sigh) what a surprise. I go over my plan for theweek with my consultant, nods, yeses, okay’s, menu then I’m out the door. My brain says “ces you got this, don’t let this thing take ahold of you, you now what you need to do for next week. I go to the grocery store to get my fruits and veggies still going through the motions but I’m feeling uneasy, she is visiting again. Her and I haven’t talked for about 2 years. She had been on my mind for the past two weeks.
While I think of her I look over the fruit, this store never has the type of fruit I like. I pick up some oranges, bananas, and granny smith apples keeping in my mind that I need this weight loss next week. I get other items I need and head to the check out line. The cashier looks tired and restless like me. I pay for my things and walk out of the store sliding doors, damn I can’t stop thinking about her. The drive home was nothing short of a sunken place. Too much silence and things that are going through my mind that I want to say out loud but I think to myself again “girl it don’t matter if you say it out loud it won’t change anything”. I arrived home, put my “diet food” in the freezer picking out my breakfast for the day, still going through the motions, focusing on my breath and my surroundings. I put pumpkin loaf in the microwave for 30 seconds. I put my fruits and veggies away. I think about my day and if I’m going to see her again later. I change back into my dress I put on the night before and check on my loaf. It’s ready, finally, I’m famished. I grab my chocolate shake, banana, and pumpkin loaf and return to my room. Eating in silence is so awkward, I think about her while I finish my nutritious breakfast. I finish, put my cover over m head and close my eyes. I got up at 6:30 am on a Saturday, hell, I’m going back to sleep, maybe if I sleep I can make the thoughts of her go away. Sleep was pleasurable but once my eyes opened I heard her. I got chills, I was anxious, I was afraid. I sat up took a deep breath nd closed my eyes. “go away, go away, I don’t want to be bothered with your madness today”.
I put the blanket back over my head and close my eyes, it was already too late, she had found me. Water fell from my eyes and I couldn’t contain it. I ran to the bathroom and locked the door. I stood there, hair disheveled, body limp and I couldn’t hold back the tears. Flashes of memories started to haunt me. The operating table, the doctor, the nurse, the room, the pain, I wish I had one so bad, I could smell the scent of my unborn child. “what the fuck cecilie? i thought we were pass this, here we go again with the should’ve and could’ve”, what’s done is done, no sense in crying now .” I look at myself in the mirror. My eyes red and puffy. Relieved my eyebrows are perfect and not affected by the water works. ” Okay ces, convince yourself your happy, your married to a great man, you have a job, your not struggling, you want for nothing, you can easily have now and not have a child, go in there and jump on him now”. It’s funny how your thought can be just that, a thought, I could not do it in reality, I couldn’t forget it just like that. I wiped my tears looked at myself again, she left, that wasn’t pleasant, shit, when is it ever pleasant when she comes? ugh. I rinsed my face.
I walked out of the restroom got back into my bed, next to my husband, I smiled, I reached for my phone, it’s 2:00 pm. I Guess I will perform my wifely duties folding clothes, vacuum, maybe enjoy some Netflix. This was my life, This is what most of my weekends looked like. Sad isn’t it? How could I be the most unhappiest happiest person? what I did still haunts me, i’m drained emotionally. I go through life with just the routine. It’s starting to consume me. Today was the day, I was reminded of what I did I’m 2008 that changed my life forever………..