I don’t have children.
By now my child would have been 18 years old. I always felt it was a boy.
Just before I left home to go study, I got pregnant. Up to that point, I always thought of abortion as simply a right. And when it came to it, I had no doubts.
I had no affection for the guy. I didn’t even tell him.
The truth is I was very confused about how it happened. I mean I wanted to be there and when everything started it was okay. But then when I said that’s enough he ignored me. I asked him to stop and he didn’t. Did he rape me? I’ve never used that word before.
I had my papers ready to leave. I knew I needed to get rid of the baby. My mother and sister were the only people who knew about the pregnancy and no one thought there was any other option.
Why do I still cry?
You see, the excuse I made was that I was too young to be a mother at that age; that I wouldn’t be able to provide for a child, that I needed to continue my studies; that it would destroy all of my goals and dreams. I needed to keep being a better person, keep evolving.
But that’s not the full truth. I was really afraid that I wouldn’t be able to love this child. He would look just like his father and that would remind me of what happened. I was afraid of the father’s reaction. This baby would be living evidence of how I was forced, against my will. Of how I was raped…that word.
Some years later I had a good friend in University. In a moment of intimate conversation, he told me about the girl that he had really loved and had left. He said that he found out that when she was 16 she had had an abortion.
That’s when I started thinking about what that meant about me. He made me wonder if I did the right thing by having the abortion; I started thinking that I could have created the structures to do it all, but could I have loved the child?
I wasn’t brave enough to tell him. I was afraid that he wouldn’t want to talk to me again, I was afraid to lose a friend. Ironically, I lost his friendship anyway.
I never shared the circumstanced of what happened; not even with my mother or sister, or with the doctor. I still ask myself, how was that rape? It’s even hard to say it.
I wasn’t surprised in a dark street, dragged somewhere against my will. It wasn’t someone totally unknown to me. I wasn’t beaten or threatened at knife-point. I was there by choice. I didn’t fight, and what was worse, I stayed.
I feel guilt and shame. They are mine.
I realize that ever since this incident, I have become involved with men who could only confirm my fear that men would hurt me. That I have only ever proven my underlying belief that there is no such thing as a good man for me.
Maybe by telling my story, by finally called it by it’s name, I can start to heal.