Abortion Story: Boonville, IN
Submitted to Abort73 by a 49-year-old woman on April 5, 2015.
People will question why I would tell such a deep secret—why I would open my personal sin and shame like an open book. This is a subject we just don't talk about, a lie we hide behind. The choice I made that might make others feel differently about me. The truth is, I'm not what others say I am. I'm not even the guilt and sin I put upon myself. I have found as many times as I lay down my shame, I turn and pick it up again. God has forgiven me. I have not forgiven myself. There is freedom that comes from throwing away the mask. There is healing that comes from honesty.
On April 5, 1986, I committed Murder. I made the choice to have an abortion. I chose all on my own to end the life of my unborn child. I call her Summer. Not unlike a lot of young girls, I fell in love at a young age. I remember the day the new boy came into our 7th grade class. He sat directly across from me, and I went home and told my mother I met the man I was gonna marry. Although we were young sweethearts, we did not begin to truly date until March of our freshmen year. I loved that boy with all that a young girl is capable of. I believe he loved me too. We dated throughout all of our high school years. Not without drama—hurt feelings and immature actions. We loved each other the best way two teenage kids are capable of loving.
Looking back, I realize we were just kids, and a lot of our relationship was based on our own childhood disappointments. At least for me it was. I had an unhealthy need to make it work, to make him love me, and to stay with him no matter the cost.
I had daddy issues and a fierce need to be loved. In my young life I had dealt with rejection, disappointment, and hurt. I wanted this boy to love me, to fill that emptiness, and to heal what was broken in me. I put everything I had into this relationship, and I expected the same from him. It wasn't healthy or realistic, but I was too young to see that.
We continued our relationship after high school although it was often rocky at best. In February of 1986 I found myself stronger and learning to stand on my own. We were once again "taking a break" although we continued to profess our undying love for each other. We celebrated my birthday that year on February 17th at Burdette Park in Cabin #5. A night I will never forget. The night that would change my life forever. We had unprotected sex. We had been unprotected many times before with no consequences. Besides, he was the only boy I had ever been with; this was the boy I had always loved. I didn't realize the consequences would be far more reaching than I could have ever known.
It wasn't long after that night, I realized I was pregnant. I went through a roller coaster of emotion: happy, sad, scared, confused, trapped, love, shock and guilt. We were on a break and hadn't even seen each other since that night in Cabin #5. We had only celebrated my birthday because it was what were suppose to do, what we had done since I was 15. I loved that boy, and I loved that baby growing inside me. I told him immediately because despite everything he had always been my rock. He had loved me the best way he was capable of, and he was now the father of my unborn child. We went to the doctor to confirm what I already knew. He of course said he would do whatever I wanted. He would marry me. He would stand beside me, and he would be a daddy to our child. We even began to tell people that we were having a baby. I talked to Summer as our baby grew inside of me, making promises that things would be different for her than they had been for me. I would love her unconditionally, never leave or disappoint her. I told Summer I could make it work with her daddy. This time things would be different.
My thoughts began to focus on all the times this boy had let me down, hurt me, and the times I had done the same to him. I begin to cling to my past disappointments, the rejection and feelings of being inadequate. I let myself begin to think Summer would be caught up in the never-ending-cycle we called love—that things would truly never be better. I believed having his baby would tie me to him forever. I would never be free. Little did I realize my choices would forever bind me to him. I'm not sure of the moment the switch was flipped and I made the decision to have an abortion. I know it was made quickly and was completely on me. He wanted the baby; he asked me not to end the pregnancy. All on my own, by my own choice, I ended our pregnancy on April 5, 1986 in a cold yellow room in Louisville, Kentucky. I can still see myself in that room 28 years ago. I can still see the doctor and the nurse standing in that room when I woke up. I can still see the signs that people carried in protest outside. I can still read the word MURDERER on those signs. And 28 years later, I can still feel the empty hole that one decision left deep in my heart that day. That MURDERER was me. I don't share this story because I'm the victim or because I need your sympathy to make me okay. I'm sharing the secret that I have kept locked away so long because Summer deserves a voice. My unborn child was the victim. The truth is I don't really know if our baby was a girl or a boy. I called her Summer from the beginning. Summer Lauren Trent was to be her name. I never gave Summer the chance to bring laughter and joy to our lives. I took away her right to come into this big ole world and make her mark. She did however leave a deep stamp on my heart—filled with what if and what could have been. Not one day has passed since making that cold, lonely decision that I haven't carried my Summer in my heart. It hasn't been with joy and laughter but with hurt and deep painful regret. Ending my pregnancy didn't set me free or give me the chance to start over fresh. It didn't break the ties to my first love. No good thing came from that day on April 5, 1986. In fact it was the beginning of a downward spiral of more bad choices, hiding my shame and trying to fill the incredible empty hole in my life. Many times after that day, Summer's daddy and I tried to put our lives back together. We tried to move forward and make a life together; it never worked. I even started my life over with a different man, desperate to leave my past behind and even more desperate to have another baby to fill that empty space. There was to be no baby. I left that relationship in shambles and hurt someone who just got caught up in my insane attempt to leave my past behind. I made so many bad choices trying to ease my own guilt and loss. April 5th each year and on many days in between, I would lose myself in alcohol to numb the pain. I needed to be free from the pain. Every April 5 from that day in 1986, I reached further down in that pit trying to fix my brokenness. For years and years no matter where we were in our lives, I made an effort to see Summer's Daddy. I was lucky that he never seemed to hate or blame me. He was never harsh or said unkind things concerning my decision. The two of us were holding on to an unhealthy broken relationship, and it was never meant to be again. We believed the fairy tale that First Love never can be broken. Our broken, insane relationship spanned nearly 18 years. The ties that bind us will last a lifetime.
It wasn't until several years ago that I shared my secret, my Summer out loud. There were few people that I ever told my truth to. There are many who have always been a part of my life that I have never shared this with. I have rarely met a woman who hasn’t been touched by abortion in some way. It is amazing how many of us share such a deep, hidden secret. I had often listened to other stories of abortion over the years, swallowed deep and pretended I didn't know such hurt and shame. I hid behind my wall of guilt. But it didn't make Summer less real. Hiding her didn't allow me to be real. I do not believe everyone has to speak her shame out loud or make her sins public. For me, tearing off the mask is healing. It won't take away my loss, and I will mourn what should have been until my last day on this earth. I will see Summer one day, I will hold her and I will forever love her. My Summer is in Heaven.
Nothing can prepare a young woman for the lifetime of pain and loss that comes from abortion. Although I will never let go of Summer, I had to give my pain and regret to God. He forgave me, even when I didn't or couldn't forgive myself. He picked me up every time I fell, and He said, "Here I am.” No matter how far or how dark I went, God never ran from me—never once turning his back on me. He accepted me with open arms and loves me despite my filth, my sin, and my regret. I find comfort and peace when I allow myself to be washed in his love and forgiveness. There is nothing I could do that Jesus hasn't already paid the price for with His Blood. I don't have to carry the weight of my sin because He forgives me. I am who He says I am. I am worthy despite my mistakes.
April 5 2014
My Dearest Summer,
Today I celebrate YOU my unborn child. My prayer is that your story makes a difference, even if only in one life. I pray that your story may prevent just one young girl from making the choice to have an abortion. I ask Jesus to let your story help just one man to forgive the woman who took his opportunity to be a father away. I'm praying that your story makes just one woman allow herself the freedom to find comfort and peace in the arms of Jesus. That she will learn to forgive and love herself. My Sweet Summer, if only just one then I have given you a Voice.
Until we are together again, I carry you in my heart and I love you.
Location: Boonville, IN
Date: April 5, 2015