“I was in Chandigarh on a work trip when something felt like it was bothering me. I felt dizzy, nauseous and somewhat sick. My periods were delayed, yes, but I thought it was the jet lag from an intense period of travelling to multiple countries.
Somewhat instinctively, I stopped at a medical store and picked up two pregnancy test kits. Back in my bathroom in the hotel, I watched with consternation as the two double lines showed up. Second test- same. I slumped to the bed, and ordered some kadhi chawal.
I had just turned 26, my partner was without a job, I was struggling to figure out life. Nothing made sense.
I decided to come back to Bombay right away.
What began after that was an excruciating process of figuring out how, when, where to seek abortion. What I wasn’t prepared for was how my partner reacted to it. It was heartbreaking to see him register shock, and then indifference.
After one particularly frustrating visit to two hospitals when we’d bickered over something small, I remember being struck with this gut-wrenching feeling of not just having to go through this trauma but not having someone next to me who would hold me gently, and assure me that everything will be fine. At one point, during one of our fights which ended up in me crying and wanting to talk, anxious, worried, hurt and overwhelmed, he simply took a cab and left.
Of course, in the classic template of abusive behavior, he apologized after and came over the next day and promised he’d “perform his responsibility”. I didn’t need his soul-crushing responsibility, laced with boorish indifference and snide barbs, all I needed was some compassion, some love.
At one point, he even told me to stop “acting” so emotional, it happens to people and I should stop fussing about it.
What do we ever get by hurting another, especially when they are so weak and vulnerable? Why do we ever achieve by dehumanizing another, particularly when they abjectly cry out for support?
Some adversities bring out the best in people. Some bring out their monstrous facets.
Anyway, we found a doctor we were comfortable with and “got done with the problem”.
I mourn my abortion to date, and someday, perhaps this ordeal will all be over, but I know I can never replace that gut-wrenching sorrow of feeling alone in my weakest moment.”
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.