If ever there were a straight-A student with a future ahead of her, it was me. I was known as “the good and quiet girl” in the family. When I was 23, I had a steady boyfriend of three years and I was hoping to begin my career in my third year of college.
My doctor confirmed that I was pregnant. A sense of panic took over as I thought about all the people I would disappoint, all those high expectations for a good career, and my boyfriend’s conservative family. It was never a question for him. From day one, we ‘had to do something’ about this. Other options that were available were ‘shut down’ before they were even considered.
Abortion was the obvious road, a cultural norm. None of us really considered the impact. I honestly thought you had an abortion and nobody has to know, nobody thinks about it… I thought it was something that just would subside. It’s so common.
I hardly remember the day it happened. I remember going there, cold and emotionless. Someone came in to speak to me, but I don’t remember what was said. I had to shut down in order to go through with it.
After that, I went on with my life. Come January, you’re back to school. But in your mind, you’re thinking, ‘you don’t know what I was doing on my Christmas break.’ But you have to pick up and move on.
On the outside, little had changed. But inside? I still cry sometimes when I think about it. Regret and guilt. You’re not happy, but you pretend you’re happy. When you’re alone with your thoughts, it’s a prison inside your head. I put on a mask, hiding my secret deep within. I’m not my authentic self in front of you. I can be smiley and bubbly, but if you knew the real me, would you accept me, would you love me? If you really knew what I did, would you think of me differently?”
Years passed, and the regret deepened. People say it’s the woman’s choice…now I know that I chose a lie.
A total of 6 years later, I stumbled upon help I never realized I needed…
Part 2 of Candace’s Story here.