“There are instances in life which alter its course in an unbelievable way. Mine was when I got ‘gently’ persuaded to marry an angry young man. A love / sexless marriage mostly from my side meant that sooner or later the inevitable would happen. In the middle of a volatile argument, the angry young husband expressed his anger in the same violent way used by some men and maybe some women too. I wasn’t familiar with the term marital rape then.
A couple of months later I started feeling what I’d already known. I was quite fertile, so I was going to have a baby. And my truth was that I couldn’t stand to have the angry young husband’s baby. All I remember now, is an all encompassing feeling of numbness. You see, I’ve been a kid and animal magnet ever since I can remember. And here I was contemplating ‘ending my pregnancy’. Well I did.
Soon enough I divorced the angry, young husband. My parents were appalled at what I did and very correctly guessed that it was solely my decision. Their anger at my aborting my child was so intense that I was given a room in the basement where meals were provided and I had no interaction with anyone but my sister who was visiting. So I moved cities.
What I had done hit me slowly. I’d look at kids and tears would well up. My stomach would cramp all of a sudden and I’d feel the deepest sense of loss. I spent years grieving, especially around the time I had the abortion. I adopted families of my friends and would protect the kids whenever there were fights in their family. I’d grieve for the same kids when those relationships disintegrated.
The abortion changed my relationship with myself. If I had loved myself even a little earlier… post it, I disliked myself. And punished myself. So I worked non-stop, scorned at externalising any emotion and just decided that I didn’t deserve pleasure or happiness in any way. I made sure that I ended up with a nervous breakdown which went on to become a debilitating anxiety disorder.
Its taken me years, actually decades to come to terms with my abortion and the moments which led up to it. I’m grateful for finally being on a path towards forgiving myself. Its taken a lot of solitary moments, conversations with non-judgmental friends and long bouts of therapy to reach a stage where I can put this out there even anonymously.
I get a sense that seeing this post on Instagram and responding to it might be one of those instances in life which alter its course in an unbelievable way…this time for the better.”
My Abortion Story is a crowdsourced project in partnership with Mybodymychoiceindia campaign. It hopes to provide a platform for people to share their experiences with abortion in their own words. There is so much discourse around right and wrong but little about people’s experiences. Through My Abortion Story, we are hoping we can address this gap by bringing all kinds of personal narratives to life.