what I want you to know: recovering after an abortion

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. This guest post is by an anonymous reader.
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Though I believe that I have been forgiven for my past sins, one still haunts me almost daily.  His name is Elijah Christian.  He is my baby who never got to see my face or be held in my arms.  Not because of miscarriage or illness...but by my own hands. 

I have known that I wanted to be a mother since the day I was born.  This has been a calling way stronger than any career path or talent.  If I could have majored in motherhood, I would have.  Instead I picked the next best thing, Marriage and Family Therapy.

At 19 years old, I was a mess.  Though I was picked to join one of the most desirable sorority at my school, had a large group of friends, was known as a social butterfly, modeled etc., I never felt good enough.  This was partly because my mother's nickname for me was "bloody bitch" and I was constantly compared to all the other children my mother knew and asked why I could not be like them since as early as I can remember.  That, however, is another story all together.  I hid my crippling insecurities by living a life on the edge. I partied hard, I loved hard, and I woke up every morning with the deepest depression. I had plans for suicide, had an eating disorder,  and was a cutter. When the most popular guy at my school liked me, it made me who I was.  I felt high and confident.  We had an emotionally abusive relationship that consumed me.  It became my identity to the point that I could not breathe with out him.  I know now how pathetic this sounds, but at that time, it was my reality. 

I was home on Thanksgiving break from college, my best friend and I were eating lunch and she commented on how big my boobs were. She asked me when the last time I had gotten my period was.  I laughed and said that I have never been regular, so I had no idea.  She urged me to get a  pregnancy test.

I did...

it was positive...

My world starting reeling.  I called my boyfriend.  He said we had to have an abortion because we were not old enough to be parents.  I said ok, however I started taking prenatals, stopped drinking all together (which was a BIG deal for me), started eating healthy (also a BIG deal because I was anorexic), and really took pride in being a mom.  I returned to school from Thanksgiving break.  I continued to live a healthy life for the baby. I told him my plans to keep it.  After hours and hours of being screamed at and threatened, his reasons began to make sense.  I just submitted, halfheartedly, to the abortion he had scheduled for December 18.  He drove me there,it was an out of body experience for me. I closed my mind to the procedure and let it happen. I was traumatized. I saw the blood in a trash can...my baby in a trashcan...The baby I already loved, that I was too big of a screw up to stand up for... I left my body and was a shell. 

I went home for Christmas break in a deep depression.  I wanted to die and attempted suicide.  I could not live with myself.  I called my boyfriend for support, (his home was 5 hours away), he never answered.  I did not shower, eat, sleep, all I did was cry.  It took me a long time to get over that.  This was actually the first time my mom and I got along.  It was a turning point in our relationship.  She saw how depressed and sick I was and even though I refused to tell her what was wrong, she supported me.  I went to therapy and realized that I needed to leave my boyfriend.  My therapist was so great, she helped me heal and forgive myself.  She is why I am a therapist today. Recovery was a long and hard road.

I am a Christian. It took me years of therapy to forgive myself and straighten my life out. I am now 32 and happily married to a loving, supportive, man.  I believe that I have been forgiven.  I don't even step on the wild side anymore, I am the nursery leader at my church, I am a therapist for children, I don't drink, I am not depressed in the least bit.  I love my life.  I am surprised sometimes that it is MY life.  I never thought I would end up happy. 

This one aspect of my life though continues to haunt me.  I would have NEVER made that decision and if I had been strong enough to stand up for Elijah Christian, and... I would be a mother.
As I start my first round of IVF after 2 years of trying to conceive, I can't help but wonder, am I being punished? I know that is not how God works, I just can't get that thought out completely...
I know I may be judged over this submission and that will hurt me. However, I know these words may hit home for others, so I write this for those people. 

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