Elizabeth | West Tennessee
When I do I have never felt sad for having it done. I feel sad for keeping so many secrets from my mom during that time of my life. I wish I’d confided in her sooner to save us both a lot of suffering.
When I was 15 I was having sexual relationships with men in their mid to late 20’s. I was a stereotypical byproduct of PTSD from an unreported rape that happened to me when I was 13. I acted out sexually for years without ever sharing with anyone the story of how I lost my virginity to a man twice my age who drugged me. Anyways back to being 15. I got pregnant. I was in high school and knew I couldn’t handle having a child. I was at the mall with my older sister stoned as fuck when I suddenly lost my vision. I collapsed to the floor inside of Express at the Oak Court Mall and cried out “Dede I can’t see! I’m blind!” My whole body started to shake. Then I threw up and my sight returned. I thought it was weird but I wasn’t alarmed. I knew I was pregnant and weird stuff happens. I still hadn’t told anyone I was pregnant. My plan was to travel to a state that provided abortions without parental permission. My 26 year old fuckboy was willing to take me but we were figuring out the logistics of taking a 15 year old on a road trip to have an abortion. My other option in my mind was to sit on the railroad tracks and wait for a train to hit me. I already felt like human trash the last thing I needed was a pregnancy. Back to the incident at the mall: my mom was worried I had some kind of mild seizure and had me taken to have a scan on my brain. My doctor knew I was pregnant from a urine test but confided he wouldn’t tell my mom because of client confidentiality. He urged me to tell her. Then came the neurologist…He had my records and said directly in front of my mother, “How pregnant are you?” So that’s how my mom found out. Our relationship suffered a lot from the start but she eventually agreed to let me have the abortion. To this day she’s the only family member who knows and supported me through it despite feeling upset over what would have been her first grandchild. It’s something that happened that goes on unspoken. I rarely think of it. When I do I have never felt sad for having it done. I feel sad for keeping so many secrets from my mom during that time of my life. I wish I’d confided in her sooner to save us both a lot of suffering. I love my mom.
When I went to have my abortion I went to Planned Parenthood. No one was judgmental towards me about it or anything at the clinic. They urged me to get on a contraceptive pill but I didn’t. My mom told me I was grounded until I was 18 so I knew it’d be hard for me to have sex for a while. The actual procedure was very painful. My procedure took longer than usual. Once the doctor was already inside of me he had to stop and get a nurse to take an ultrasound mid-surgery. I had two uteruses and he didn’t know which one the fetus was in. So I found out I have a double uterus thanks to my abortion.
I wish I could’ve been more open and talk to people about it at the time, especially my family. The whole event and all the things that led up to it felt very shameful. The very thing that triggered this domino effect of me feeling more and more like trash was already taboo and shameful. If things like discussions of rape, and sexual education, and abortions were less taboo women could feel less like trash for being women.
The Tennessee Stories Project is sponsored by Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee and Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region. If you have a story to tell, see our Contact Us page.