The choice of epic proportions

I read a post yesterday that profoundly affected me partly because of its content but I would guess even more so due to its eloquence and piercing honesty.

I had a bodily reaction as I read it and began weeping almost without being conscious of it. I had been wallowing in an unhealthy dose of self-pity due to my health (which hasn’t been great recently) and did not expect to be transported out of this darkish place. And while I was caused to weep, I wouldn’t say I traded one dark place for another. No, her words furnished a rawness in me about something I had not thought for some time.

I had an abortion a year before I met C. At the time, it was tough. Less about my decision but rather the deteriorating and scratchy relationship that was tied inextricably to it. We were in the process of exiting something that had just clawed at us for too many years. I’d gone back to it in a moment of extreme insecurity and confusion. Having left what was going to be my marriage for life, I was struggling to put back together the pieces of me. After 4 years of us having been apart, I went back to Matt trying to find the person I used to be before my failed potential marriage. Matt just made me feel so damn safe. We had stayed in contact during those years apart and he’d had a serious relationship too. But even during our time with other people, we still clutched the tendrils of our own failed relationship and I suspect we put it on a pedestal we both used to explain why we weren’t totally at peace with where we were and who we were with.

It felt very natural to go back. Too natural. I’d catapaulted myself out of one situation and instead of sitting in a dark place with myself and feeling all the hard edged steely cuts that go with that, I jumped into the arms of someone that could remind me that I still existed and that I had been actually someone in my previous life.

The inevitability of this re-pairing failing was painfully obvious. We were doomed but it still felt so goddamn good to be held again. And held by him. Then he left to go overseas for 3 months. And the day after he left, I did a pregnancy test. And it was positive. Deep down I know that I fell pregnant in order that our relationship could finally end. I know that sounds strange because had I made a different decision, we’d have been in each other’s lives in some form forever more. I got that. And that’s exactly why I made the decision that I did because I knew that the scratchiness of which we had grown so tired, would never truely go away if I didn’t. I also knew I’d never actually discover who I was if we didn’t extricate ourselves. He didn’t have the guts to do it and I guess in hindsight neither did I.

I did ponder my decision for a few days. I was ready to have a baby. I was worried that this was my time and another wouldn’t come along. But I knew.

Why this post struck me like a hurtling rock was because I haven’t given thought once to the fact I might have held another as I hold my boys now. I can’t imagine my life, or indeed myself, without these two magical souls in my life. I wouldn’t ‘exist’ in the same way. I clutch their corporeal form in order to feed myself. In my decision to terminate, I have realised that the person those cells were going to form, somehow didn’t have the right to exist because of what I wanted to avoid in my life. The callousness of that rings endlessly for me.

I know it’s not that simple. I know all about choice. I believe in it completely. But none of this helps me much right now as I think about who those cells would have been. I do know that I would have given myself in the same way that I give myself to my boys. I would have been deeply unhappy. I would have been lost. I would have been angry with the situation. All of which would not have helped that poor child. But, I would have held that person as I hold my treasures and that’s what hurts right now.

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March 2009

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