When I was 17 I was raped by the older brother of a friend.
Because of the Quaaludes he gave me I don't really remember the rape, but I do
remember the aftermath. Several weeks later, when I didn't have my period, I
knew I was pregnant. I was terrified that my parents would find out and that my
mom would be so disappointed in me. I had plans to go to college and then law
school and having a baby would have changed all that. Plus, I felt somehow like
it was my entire fault. I talked to my older sister about it and she agreed
that an abortion was my best option. She gave me some of the money I needed. I
stayed with a friend who had gotten pregnant at 15 and had chosen to have the
baby and get married. She was very unhappy in an abusive relationship and that
made me feel even more like I didn't have any choice.
I made an appointment and arrived on time at the clinic. The
environment was emotionally sterile. I felt no compassion from the clinic staff
or doctor. I explained my situation and how I got pregnant, but I'm not sure
they believed me that I'd been raped. They didn't suggest that I pursue rape
charges. Their only solution was to have an abortion. I left that day and
headed to a conference. Afterwards, I
was so scared because I kept bleeding more heavily than I had ever experienced
with my period. I spent most of my conference in my dorm room, afraid the
sanitary pad was going to leak. I didn't have anyone to tell.
For years, I struggled with depression and anxiety, and I
sought relief by drinking and smoking pot. I did go to college and law school
and even got married, but the pain and regret of the abortion haunted me, and I
never felt happy for long.
About a year and a half after my son was born, I became
suicidal. I didn't feel like I was a good mom or wife, and I thought my son and
husband would be better off without me. Thankfully, God stepped in and set me
on a path to healing. A friend invited me to a Bible study where a wonderful
group of women prayed for me. I learned that God knew everything about me, but
He loved me anyway, enough to die for me on the cross. While I was attending
that Bible study, I had a dream about forgiving my rapist. In forgiving, my
depression was lifted.
Four years later I experienced a miscarriage. I saw the
heartbeat of my little baby on the ultrasound, something I'd never experienced
with my son. When I lost that baby, I prayed and found comfort in knowing I
would see my baby again in heaven. That is when God reminded me that I would
see two babies in heaven.
After years of growing in my relationship with God and
finding peace in His forgiveness, I feel it is important to share His grace
with others who struggle as I did for so long in depression, shame, and regret,
and that's why I am silent no more!