I am self-righteous. I am unforgiving. I am a conservative asshole. But I have had a life-changing experience that showed me how arrogant and ignorant I really am.
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I didn't spell-check
I'm not a literary genius
I just want to share with you the fact that I was WRONG.
Here's my story.
I used to be one of those people who stuck up her nose at the thought of welfare, abortion, affirmative action, whatever. I saw myself as "conservative" and that the poor were poor because they were lazy, the pregnant got pregnant because they slept around with no protection and used abortion as birth control, and that the government shouldn't help out others because they just abuse it. I felt this way not becuase I have deep moral or religious views, I was just an ignornat slob who had no clue about real problems.
Well. The unthinkable happened. I GOT PREGNANT. I was on the pill, took it correctly and religiously, but still got knocked up. I WAS FREAKED. Never been pregnant before, and in the past when a woman said she was pregnant I thought "Aren't you used to this by now? You're just going to abort it and start all over again." NEVER did I consider what an emotional blow this is. Everything in my life stopped. I mean - me...pregnant?!?!?! But I was so careful! But I am a good person! But I can't have a BABY!!! This kind of thing happens to crackwhores and junkies, right???? WRONG.
So I had options: have it. don't have it. Was that really an option? FOR ME?? I can't have an abortion! I am against that, right?!?!? Well, I wasn't. I am not above it. I am not above or better than anyone who has had one, or two, or five. ANYONE WHO HAS HAD TO MAKE THIS KIND OF CHOICE KNOWS WHAT I MEAN! It's the most impossible decision a person can make. It hurt down to the core of me.
How could I judge ANY woman (or man) that has had to make this choice? It is horrific. Miserable. Painful. Life-changing. So I made the choice. I decided to terminate my pregnancy. My first, my only. I made an appoinment. I was scared as hell.
The cattle call began at 7am with PROTESTERS! Protesters outside the clinic screaming "That's a BAD BAD place! Get away! You are sick for what you are doing!!" I wanted to turn around and scream "You don't know SHIT about my life and my problems! BACK OFF!!" They were relentless, shaming, and cruel. I felt so degraded and dirty. How dare they judge me? They don't know the pain I am in...the misery of making this choice....how dare they!
So in I went, after being searched by a police officer who was making sure no one wsa going to bomb the place. UNREAL! People HURT other people over this issue!! Like it isn't hard enough?!
In the waiting room were 8-10 MISERABLE people, including boyfriends, sisters, friends, husbands. And they were all petrified. I had no idea. No clue what these people had to go through. Now here I was amongst them. Waiting my turn.
And BOY what a wait. 1 hour in the waiting room. Then you go pee into a cup and fill out your paperwork, and wait another hour in a little room with 7 other girls who are scared as hell, and no one wants to look at one another due to their own shame or embarrassment. I felt for these women as I had never felt for anyone before. So when you are finally called, they take you into another little room where you wait to have lab work done. Then you have a sonogram done by a MEAN woman. She says "yup you're pregnant." Thanks lady. But the worst part is waiting pre-op in your little gown and hat and booties again with 7 other girls. Then the moment of truth. They strap you in. Legs in the air, tush in the wind. Before you know it they put you put and you wake up feeling like hell. You collect your things and go home. Done.
I'm sorry for the judging, for the intolerance, for my ignorance. Who am I to decide what you should and should not to do with your body. Thank God abortion is legal and safe. I have many amends to make.