Weak week

Today is the “anniversary” of one of the worst days of my life. Three weeks after I graduated high school, on a soft flannel blanket atop a cold steel table, I was told that I was about three weeks “more along” than I thought, because although I got the monthly biological evidence over three cycles that everything was functioning normally and was fine…nothing was fine. I got myself unraveled from the paper gown and got dressed and the kind lady with the kind eyes at the front desk handed me back my $400 and I waited out front on the curb for three hours because my girlfriend was told at 9 o’clock, when she dropped me off, to come back for me at two…she was at the mall, cell phones had not yet been invented, and so for three hours on a hot curb on a hot July afternoon on Route 9 in New Jersey I vacillated between whether or not I should just walk into the busy four lanes of traffic or something else. I did not really have a “something else” but I also had never been one of those suicidal tendencies types of teens. I had not had anything to eat or drink since 6 pm the night before, and to write that I was feeling about as low as a teenage girl, with her whole life ahead of her, and with dreams bigger than her brain could hold, could feel, is quite the understatement.

This July day is 37 years away from that July day, but the feelings that I have about the day are exactly the same. It was one of the worst weeks of my entire life because when you are imagining the life you are going to create for yourself when you finally are “an adult,” and in one afternoon all of your dreams you had for yourself are quashed by a biological mishap, there is very little to happily remember. If you have never wanted an abortion, or never had one, you might have a very specific opinion about them, but that is all they are, your opinion, and your opinion should not have ANYTHING to do with some other female body. I have never had lung cancer, I have never had lupus, I have never had a broken leg, and my opinion on how to treat lung cancer, lupus, and leg bones should have NOTHING to do with your lung cancer, your lupus, or your leg, and in fact, the CORRECT THING FOR ME TO THINK ABOUT THINGS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ME, is that I want your lung cancer, your lupus, and your leg bones to be treated with the kind of medical care that you desire and that will be BEST FOR YOU. See, my feelings about things which have nothing to do with my own body, are that I want what is best for you and your body. I have no business thinking that my opinions about what is going on inside of your vessel has anything whatsoever to do with me, you see, I hope you or your loved ones get the care that they wish for…see how that works?? My opinions about chemotherapy and radiation, immunosuppressants, and bone resetting should have no weight, whatsoever, about your care…and yet millions of people think that their opinion about clusters of cells, dividing inside the uteruses of females across the country, is their business. My anger, my fear, and my rage, FRAGE as it is now called, over these last days is valid.

When I say and when I write that I love my daughter with all of my heart, that is not a lie. When I write and when I say that I did not want a baby, or to be pregnant, or to be a mother, that is the truth. I did not ever imagine “my baby” with the kinds of “feel good” feelings most expectant mothers have, until literally the first seconds that she arrived on this earth in human form and I heard my sister say, “it’s a girl.” THAT moment is when I decided that I could find a way to be happy with the situation I was in and wanted to be a mother to that baby. THAT moment was my own. If I had said at that moment, no, I don’t want to be a mother to this baby, and asked that it be put up for adoption, THAT moment would have been my own. AND if I had had the biological clues that I ought to take a pregnancy test three weeks sooner than I did, and gotten a girlfriend to take me to the abortion clinic three weeks earlier than I did, THAT would have been my choice too. MINE. Your opinion about it lacks merit, BUT LOOK AT WHAT HAS HAPPENED…because of the opinions of others, tens of thousands of women and girls are scrambling to find care, far from where they live, in many cases hundreds of miles away, because in one day the opinions of some wiped out the options of many. There is nothing kind or caring about it in any way, the cruelty of it is unforgivable.

July 9, 1985 was a summer day that, as far as I know, most of my friends were having fun in the sun at the shore, with their whole lives ahead of them. That week of July was the weakest I had ever felt before and perhaps since…I felt completely defeated by biology and by my body. I hold anger still, nearly 40 years later, that that doctor wouldn’t help me that day. Yes I love my daughter and yes I did the best I could and yes I made the best of a bad situation, but that does not erase my anger and the constant gnawing in my mind of what my life might had been had I not been married, a mother, and divorced all before my 20th birthday. EVERY single thing I had wished about my future, EVERY single thing I had imagined and dreamed about my adult life, was erased, POOF! GONE! Bye-Bye DREAMS!…in one afternoon. I will hug my grown up 36 year-old daughter today, because I do love her, and it is true, had that doctor helped me that July day 37 years ago, she would not be here on this earth, but I would have been a different person too, and the anger has eaten away little bites at a time at me for all of these years, what might I have expected of myself and expected life to be like, if I was not expecting a baby at 17…I imagine a totally different life for myself every day, but also every day I try to make the best of the life I have. This is the truth of who I am, however, it is my own. AND it is partly why a RIGHT TO CHOOSE is so important to me…there is nothing just or fair or compassionate about taking away a choice. Unless you are in fact pregnant and do not want to be it should be no business of any other person but you and the doctor who will help you. The cruelty of this court, which disgusts me, to limit bodily autonomy has literally made me sick…I don’t even have a uterus anymore, but I am sick for all of the little girls and women who live in states where their choices in the matter are gone…I am horrified and I am angry and I wish I could find a way to channel my anger in a way that is not making me sick, but I am working on that…

WHY do some people think that their opinion about a woman’s choice to have an abortion, or to maintain a pregnancy, or a girl’s option to clean out her tiny uterus from the poison of a rapist, or worse, a trusted family member, is any of their business?? I think to myself, unless you have ever had a weak week of your own, get off of your high horse and shut your mouth. Your opinions have caused an event that, as of now, has, or could completely, ruined the lives of thousands of girls and women in your own country, the country that you so boldly claim your patriotism and love and wave your flags for, and so dearly want your guns to protect, well step off, back up, and mind your own business. We have work to do…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s