In all honesty, I really don’t know how to proceed with the rest of the story. There are so many factors that effected where my life was at when I was 18. A lot of very personal and painful factors that I’m still working through and very few people know about. While I want you to understand and receive the full impact of my life at this time, I don’t know if I can share all of it. I hope you can understand and extend grace.  ~Thank you, Traci

**********************************

It’s practically impossible to catalog the millions of thoughts that race through your head when you find out your pregnant. So many emotions, too. It truly is a life-altering event. I had no idea what I was going to do.

By the time I was 18 I had moved out of my parent’s house with the adamant determination to never return, under ANY circumstances. Over a series of events I ended up living at the home of the parents of my boyfriend. They lived on a farm, far away from everything, I thought it would be the perfect escape.

After a very co-dependent, emotionally crazy dating period I was ready to break up, again, but I had no where to go. So I stayed and tried to make the most of it and thought things may change. Well, they didn’t change but I was so scared to be alone, I stayed anyway. What if no one else ever came around?

The only thing I feared? Dying alone.

One of the hardest things to do is tell your estranged family, who know you’re not married, is that you’re pregnant. It’s such a loaded statement. It’s an admission, to your parents and siblings, that you had sex. You are no longer a virgin. It’s a statement of a lot of things, really, that paints a picture of your character, highlighting your morals, values and emotional stability. It tells others about your life what you had hoped to keep secret. It’s hard to tell others because it leaves you exposed, heaping onto the already towering pile of guilt and shame.

When you tell someone you’re pregnant, at that age, in that situation, the very first question everybody asks is, “What are you going to do?” Then after a short pause, many people proceed to give you their opinion, whether you asked for it or not, and they always come across in these ways.

1. They know exactly what you should do, and tell you exactly what that is, fully expecting you to comply.

2. They are so shocked they don’t know what to say so they fumble out varying expressions ranging from “whoa…” to “I wondered…” and “no way!”, incredulously.

3. They give their advice or thoughts thinking they know how to respond, but you can tell they really don’t, feeling their way through the awkwardness.

Mostly awkwardness on their part, fear of judgment on yours. The ones who know for certain don’t always explain from a first hand experience yet their voices seem the loudest. Then again, perhaps that is why they’re so loud?

Women have so many secrets.

All around me opinions and advice swirled, jumbling inside me, knotting together with my own thoughts and emotions. I thought about how much I’d lose if I didn’t have an abortion. I thought about all I’d lost if I did. It’s an awful lot of weight for a kid to carry. I kept trying until I just couldn’t take it anymore, it all came to a fever pitch. I had to make that life or death decision.

For once in my life, I stood up for myself.

I looked all my fears, straight in the eyes, without blinking I decided…and stuck to my guns. With, or without anyone, boyfriend or no boyfriend, family or no family, I was keeping my baby. Yes, adoption was an option that I truly contemplated as well but when it came down to it, I just knew I could never part with my baby. I had always wanted to be a mother and if this was my chance I was going to take it. So if I had to, I was going to do it alone.

And for a lot of those years, I did.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jen @ Martymom's Musings January 24, 2013 at 10:39 am

You are so brave! Facing such decisions, making a choice even if it meant doing it alone, but you weren’t alone and He was with you each step of the way, and then to be brave enough to share.

ps-You have raised a beautiful young woman.

Love ya
Jen

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