Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blog for Choice Day: It Happens

A~ cried in front of me yesterday, telling me he feels bad, very bad, that he can't believe how badly he's treated me, that he's ashamed and embarrassed and he loves me and he's sorry. He's called my mother and apologized, and plans to call my father too, my brothers next. But the bottom line remains the same: he doesn't want me anymore. It's over. And it still hurts like a knife through the gut.

Today is "Blog for Choice Day" and I'm supposed to be writing something about abortion rights, so I'll start by saying this, though I've said it before in previous posts: Thank God for those miscarriages! What if I had been pregnant when A~ came to his conclusion that he didn't truly want to be with me, probably never had in all the twelve years we've been together?

Like many of the most militant pro-lifers, I am someone who had an abortion and regretted it. But my militancy was only with myself: I was determined that I would never do it again. Luckily, I didn't have the power or inclination to pass a law against it; luckily I didn't jump to the conclusion that what was wrong for me was wrong for everyone. Because if I could've passed a law against my own right to choice, I would've. I never expected this was something I'd have to rethink. Just like I never expected I'd have to rethink my marriage. Just like I never expected I'd drop more than ten pounds in a week because I was so busy digesting the biggest, most jagged, foul-tasting one-word truth I never thought I'd have to swallow: divorce.

It used to be that a divorce was difficult to come by. Consensus had it that it was wrong, but gradually we've found so many exceptions to the rule that the debate is moot. Half of the marriages in this country end in divorce. It happens. And still intelligent women like me enter into them thinking we're immune. (I thought a great friendship and an almost eleven-year courtship did the trick, but what did I know?)

All I'm saying is, the same is true for unintentional, unsupportable pregnancy. It happens to the most conscientious birth control user, to run-ragged new mothers, to busy professionals, to the clinically depressed and the flat-out insane, to the resignedly premenepausal, even to the supposedly infertile. ("I was told I couldn't get pregnant!" Believe me, I hear that one all the time) Make no mistake about it, it happens to everyone with a working womb, and that includes the staunchest pro-lifers. Clinics all over the country fill up on Saturday mornings and weekday evenings with women fighting to swallow their own biggest, most jagged, foul-tasting one-word truth. Abortion happens, is my point, and everyone who has one is bravely taking care of herself in the best way she knows how.

For more of my thinking on choice, see the following back-posts: Jimmy and Jesus Don't Get "It", The Orcharder, Regret and the Right to Choose, and From the Trenches: Why Women Have Abortions. To access the archives and read my blog from beginning to end (or end to beginning) start at the home page.

10 comments:

Bardiac said...

I just discovered your blog through the blog for choice site. Interesting, smart blog.

I hope the coming year gets better for you quickly.

The Happy Feminist said...

It's a mutual admiration society! Thank you for this great post - and very educational blog!

Anonymous said...

i wandered through from the blog for choice site too... and on a three-minute reading of your blog, i just want to say that i wish i could give you a giant hug, and that you're clearly much too strong and smart for "A"-- great blog!

PipersMama said...

I came to your site through an online support group you posted to.

"What if I had been pregnant when A~ came to his conclusion that he didn't truly want to be with me, probably never had in all the twelve years we've been together?"

That's the nightmare I'm living now. 10 weeks and 3 days pregnant with our second child (a planned pregnancy) and my husband has walked away from us. This is our third pregnancy. We chose to terminate the first for all of the usual reasons ("We're just too young," "There's no way we could do this now.") I've lived with a twinge of regret everyday of the 8 years since. But I still feel like it was the right decision at the time, despite the pain I still feel over it.

And now, I'm faced with the same decision again. "How am I going to do this alone, and with two babies no less?" The decision this time is not nearly as cut-and-dry. There are more logical reasons now than there were before, but the decision is much, much more grueling. I'm pretty sure the answer this time is "No way." But still, I think about it...

Thank you for this blog. Thank you for helping others of us out there going through the same thing verbalize what's swirling in our minds. This is a tremendous resource for those of us faced with tough choices about love and life. Thanks for sharing your story and your strength.

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amy said...

(that last comment had typos, and perfectionist that I am, I deleted to fix and repost. Here's what I wrote:)

wow. you just made my day. There's nothing better than feeling like what you do, just because you need to do it, is a resource to others. I hope you come back and see this message, pipersmama, because I'd love to hear more, and be there for you more, as you face this very difficult choice.

I'm with you.
amy

pipersmama said...

Well, after agonizing over it, talking to my OB/GYN and my therapist, I've decided that there's room in my heart and life for more unconditional love. My daughter deserves a brother or sister, and I deserve this last gift from my husband.

BUT, I'm thankful everyday that I have the CHOICE, that most American women faced with these kinds of dramatic life events have the CHOICE, that there are people in world who will help us make an INFORMED decision, whether we choose to exersice our option or not. Thanks for being one of those people.

I will be fine; you will be fine. I'm rediscovering how to be patient with myself, and it seems as though you are, too.

My favorite new quote: "When you're going through hell, keep going."

Amy said...

Like I say to all my clients who struggle with The Choice, no matter what they ultimately decide: congratulations. You really have to go deep into yourself when facing such a difficult decision. Not everyone knows how to do that, but there's no better way to learn than on the fly.

It sounds like you're doing well, that you're very solid, but not resisting the emotional and energetic flor of this whole situation. It is bound to overwhelm you at times. Keep reaching out. Keep sharing your process.

I'm honored that you're sharing your story here, for my benefit and the benefit of all who read this blog. I'd love it if you kept in touch.

Amy said...

typo above: flor=flow.

Anonymous said...

Wandering angrily on the naral site after reading abortion headlines on cnn brought me here...

Good to read your post. Sorry to hear the problems you're facing. Wish stories like yours were more visible, more talked about in main stream. Pregnancy is not the immediate, no-fail prescription for joy that some people believe it is... choice is an essential part of our lives...