Before because I was scared and after because I was relieved…

I was a very messed up teenager.  I didn’t abuse drugs or alcohol and I did well enough in school, but I had a much older boyfriend (4 years), who physically and mentally abused me.  He attempted to control everything that I did and tried to isolate me from my friends and family.

We dated seriously for 5 years (14-19).  As soon as I had turned 18, he started talking about marriage and that’s when that voice inside of me started screaming at me to ‘YOU DO NOT WANT THIS!’  And I didn’t.  I wanted a career. I wanted to travel.  I wanted a social life.  He could never hold a job.  Never had any money or drive.  He drank too much.  This was not what I wanted out of a life partner.

I found out that he had been cheating on me for years.  I ended it.  He made promises and blamed me for his cheating.  I went back to him.  It didn’t last long until he was beating on me again.

All that he put me through and the final straw had been something simple.  I was working and a work friend invited me to her apartment, along with a few other friends.  It was his night to play basketball.  I said yes and didn’t bother calling him because I knew that he’d be out.  When I got home (I was still living with my parents at the time), there were four messages from him, gradually escalating to abusive and demanding to know where I had been.  That was the final straw.  I called him and simply said it was over.

It didn’t end there, of course.  He came to my house, yelling and shouting outside, and kicked in my parents’ front door.  He called constantly for a few days.  I gave in and talked to him once and he played the same old brainwashing tricks to make me feel like I worthless and he was the only person who would “put up with me.”  I stood on shaky ground, but didn’t give in.

4 weeks later, I found out that I was pregnant.  I was on the pill, but had had a stomach virus for two days and never even thought that it would affect my dosage.

I considered all of the options, but the only one that guaranteed he would not be back in my life was an abortion.  I had the abortion as soon as I could at my local Planned Parenthood.  They were wonderful people, who helped me through it and held my hand before and after when I cried.  Before because I was scared and after because I was relieved.  I knew that I would never go back to him and that I was a stronger person for having lived through all of it.

Since then, I had the life that I always wanted – great job, lots of friends, and complete independence.

I’m 40-years-old now. I don’t have any children because I decided not to.  My husband and I (married 7 years) are happy being childfree.  We both have strong careers and we travel all over the world, both together and separate.

I’ve never – not once – regretted the decision to terminate the pregnancy.  I know that if I had planned to give birth, even if I had planned to give the baby up for adoption, I would’ve went back to him and the best thing that would’ve happened from that is that I would be miserable every moment of every day, and the worst is that he would’ve beat me to death.

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