I was around 20 years old when I found myself pregnant. I was scared. The family of the baby’s father convinced me to have an abortion. At the abortion clinic, they performed an ultrasound but they didn’t show me the screen. They made it seem like it was just a little part of my body that was going away. No one followed up with me to make sure I was okay. I lied to my mom and told her that I miscarried. Shortly after that, I went into a life of drugs and alcohol to stay numb.
15 years later, I was in therapy because I was experiencing ongoing depression and anxiety. I finally told my therapist about the abortion and she suggested I go to Alternatives. I worked one-on-one with a counselor and then participated in the 13-week curriculum where I heard the stories of other women who had been through the same thing. I hadn’t realized how much my abortion experience had been weighing on me and impacting my decisions. As a group of women, we pushed through and worked toward a place of emotional healing.
After my experience at Alternatives, I began the process of getting back to God. Instead of punishing myself and believing that everyone would think I was a horrible person, I sought out a church and found a place of grace and acceptance. I recently began to share my story and when I do, other women with a similar abortion experience tell me that they have never told anyone. They express gratitude and say that my ability to give myself a voice, gives them a voice as well.
I am married now and I have other children. My relationship with God, my husband, my kids and my mom are strong. I really want our community to know that they have Alternatives—a place where there is compassion and support; a place where you can get the help you need.