content warning: mention of rape
"I found out I was pregnant right before my 17th birthday, my junior year of high school. It shouldn’t have come by surprise but it did. My boyfriend was a man, almost 20 years old. I think I was looking for someone to love me, to pay attention to me, to be seen. When I told my Mom she said 'you are having an abortion.' I didn’t fight her. We had just found out that my grandfather was sick around the same time so my Mom was there with him. I don’t remember who took me to my appointment, maybe my boyfriend. I remember seeing bullet proof glass in front of the receptionist. If I didn’t already feel like I was doing something wrong, I did then. I was terrified, but I didn’t show it, I pretended to be strong. They gave me a valium. I remember the doctors hands being very large and staring at the ceiling, where they had stickers of rainbow and clouds. After the procedure they walked me to a room and next to me the girl was crying. I did not, I pretended to be strong. I don’t remember anyone hugging me or holding me, and I just wanted to be seen.
I went home to lay down and my Mom called, my Grandfather had died. The next day, I left to go to his funeral. I pretended not to be bleeding, or in pain, I pretended to be strong. I wasn’t raped. I made a mistake. I wonder what my life would be like now, if a man that didn’t even know made that decision for me, instead of my Mom. Would I be stuck in the town I grew up in, tied to a man that it wouldn’t have worked out with? Would I have my children that I have now? My daughter, who waited until she was 19 to lose her virginity to a man she loves, only after we worked together to make sure she was on birth control? Would I be married to the man that I am married to now, who sees me, pays attention to me and loves me despite my mistakes? I wasn’t raped, I was a young girl, who made a mistake." - Melissa