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It was worse than that - I was catholic...

January 26, 2017

“I was 14. I wasn't raped, that's what people want to hear when I tell them how old. It was worse than that - I was catholic.

 

My mom had been in the hospital on and off going through cancer treatments. When she was home, she double dosed chemo and vodka. Her boyfriend smelled funny and made disgusting comments about my school uniform. My siblings had all moved out. I was the last of them living in that house with her. My friends stayed with me on weekends because I had spare room and no supervision.

 

And in eighth grade, at St. Jeromes, where sex-ed was called "rsvp" (respond to God wth your decision to stay a virgin...no, literally, that's what it meant), my sex Ed class wanted us to sign a virginity contract that said I was "with them" But I wasn't with them.

 

Earlier that year, they kicked my little brother out of school. He was in fifth grade and the two of us were alone living with my cancer-stricken alcoholic mother. They knew that. And earlier that year I went to confession and confessed to father Haren that I was one of the girls who would sneak on the boys side of the playground during recess and he responded by giving me a 10 Hail Mary penance, not for sneaking in the playground, because I was "shapely and putting myself in a dangerous situation by showing that off to young men."

 

So when they asked me to sign that contract and agree to be "with them" I promptly decided that I didn't want to be with them at all. I went home and had sex in my unsupervised house with my best male friend, because if I wasn't going to be "with them" I REALLY wasn't going to be with them. And as these things happen when sex education is abstinence only, I didn't even think about the ramifications of my actions. And I got pregnant, the first time I ever had sex, in what I can only describe as a misguided act of revenge against my catholic school.

 

But this story isn't about poor education, or rage against organized religion, I can simply admit that I was being stupid, and naive, and a kid....and precisely all the things that would make one not ready to have a kid.

 

When I found out, I didn't even consider any other option except abortion. Luckily for me, I knew they were attainable, I had learned that from all of the protests against pre-term organized by the "real" catholic mothers at my church.

 

And when my mother found out, it was the most human she had ever seemed to me. She was so incredibly supportive. She was so proud that I was making the decision to have an abortion because she felt like I was smart, and independent, and a feminist. My mother died when I was 16 and most of my life she was in an extreme state of drunkenness, but when we talked about my abortion she was more lucid and caring than she had ever been.

 

I did it. I got pregnant and subsequently had an abortion at 14. That was in May. In June, I graduated from 8th grade. It's been 20 years. It is not my life's biggest regret, nor is it a thing I wish to forget about. It is just a thing that happened and that's all.” —Anonymous

 

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