Guest Author - Suzanne Gregory
For those of you who are familiar with my story, I am pro-choice, because I didn’t have a choice. My decision was forced on me, by the one person I trusted more than anything. Many argue that the decision was based on, what was “best for me.” In actuality, coercion is abuse. It is punishable by law regardless of the age of the victim. 24 years ago, during April & May, I was pregnant with a child I believed, I would give birth to. Abortion was not an option for me. All that time ago, I didn’t even agree with abortion. I was young, & naive, & didn’t and probably couldn’t, understand all of the variables that go into making such a life altering decision. With time, wisdom, and experience, that has changed. I also couldn’t, and still can’t fathom, forcing my choice or belief on someone else, on some other path.
I feel that I need to clarify something for my readers, and supporters, of both choice, and no choice. I do not struggle with my abortion, for the abortion itself. The procedure was not what traumatized me. I am a survivor of PTSD, but it was not the abortion procedure that caused it. The trauma came from being forced to do something against my will. Something, I didn’t “believe” in. Something I did not consider. Something I did not foresee.
Everything I knew to be real would not be. I had not prepared myself for anything but continuing my pregnancy. Coercion was traumatizing to say the least. I would cope, as a child would. I was myself, a child.
24 years later, I consider myself healed. I have forgiven. But I will never forget. And my consequences have been life altering. Both positively, and negatively. But I truly “like”, the core of who I am. I am comfortable with the amount of caring, and compassion, understanding, and love I have for other people. And I am firm in what I do and do not believe. And while I still struggle at times for love for myself, even that is further advanced than I ever felt like I’d be. By a zillion.
My story should never be misinterpreted to be a trauma about abortion. It should be about the trauma of not having a choice. About having your choice ignored. Regardless of which decision you choose. Or how old you are.
This time of year, can be an especially difficult time for me. It serves as a reminder of a time, where I believed one thing, only to live another. Out of one of those difficult moments, I wrote a poem, that I am sharing in this article.
Things did not turn out the way I expected. But they did turn out.
It doesn’t matter what side of choice you’re on. It matters that you only apply that belief to yourself. We are all on different paths, with different values, beliefs, & dreams. Don’t alter anyone else’s future based on your path. Coercion is NOT a choice. Not having a choice is NOT an option.
“This love I have, because of you.”
I'm entering a time, I'll never forget.
One I live with, & hold regret.
A wound that's healed, a scar remains.
The things I've learned, from the phantom pains.
Dark shadow within me that seeks the light.
Must have each other, or is only night.
What you've taught me has made me whole.
Replacing the empty, within my soul.
Not on Earth together, yet never apart.
Constant reminders, you live in my heart.
Who would I be, if it weren't for you?
I ponder often, a reflecting view.
This love I have, because of you.