Shortly after my 16th birthday, living somewhere between innocence and ignorance, with absolutely no memory of ever having sex, I found myself pregnant. I’ve tried finding words that could sum up a moment like that, but they just don’t exist. Yet the situation was real.
When I was 15, I had a boyfriend who was older and had graduated from high school. He tried to convince me to have sex, but I wasn’t interested. It took me 25 years to put together the pieces and realize he drugged me and raped me, taking my virginity. But at the time, I had absolutely no memory of having sex. Suddenly something felt horribly wrong with our relationship and we broke up.
A couple months later, my mom told me she had been watching the bathroom garbage for signs of my period. Finding nothing, she suspected I was pregnant. Since, due to the drugs, all memory connection to having sex was erased and only a foggy confusion remained, it didn’t even strike me that I should have remembered something so I said nothing.
My parents took control and I went into auto-pilot. They brought my urine sample to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy and got a referral to a clinic far away “in the city”. They took me to the clinic on the day of the appointment and I was prescribed the pill. No one ever asked about circumstances of my pregnancy or asked me about my wishes in the matter.
Within a year, I had my second boyfriend. I was 16 and he again was older and out of high school. I assumed I was expected to have sex as long as I didn’t get pregnant; however, I was young and worried about the side-effects of the birth control pill. With no one to talk to, I stopped taking it without thinking of the consequences. I ended up pregnant again. This time, my boyfriend took control. Again, I allowed it, feeling stupid for getting pregnant, feeling abortion was wrong, and letting it all happen again. I believed I really didn’t have any choices. I told no one else and it was never mentioned again.
Life went on, but a sense of shame, deep worthlessness, and depression festered. I was married in my early twenties, had children, but my depression worsened. In my thirties, I gave my life to Christ. Guilt surfaced and prompted me to acknowledge what I had done and ask God for His forgiveness and I accepted it. I no longer felt guilty. I trusted God’s promise that He had forgiven me. However, I still harbored the shame and worthlessness; I never connected that to the abortions.
Thirty years later I finally told a friend about my abortions. The grace and encouragement she showed me gave me the freedom and courage to share my story more often. It was after telling my story at a women’s retreat that someone told me about Conquerors. I went through the program, motivated by the desire to help others recover, but it brought instead a much deeper healing than I expected.