Hey guys, welcome to The Motherhood Happened Podcast. By the end of the show we are going to get very comfortable with each other because as you know from the title, we are talking about sex. I will be talking about a politically controversial topic, it puts me in a very, very, very exposed place I suppose, but I do think it’s worth talking about. These are just my experiences and I hope everyone can just respect differences in opinions so let’s begin.
I had my first relationship at 16. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing in regards to everything, didn’t know what love was, wasn’t taught anything about it. I just had a dude who was a good friend, had fun with, and we ended up being intimate. Looking back at it now, it’s almost like there was no thinking involved. I don’t remember myself really thinking things through. I understood what sex was on paper, I was aware of STDs but that’s pretty much it.
I never really stood up for myself back then. I didn’t really have a backbone; I’ve been like that since I was little so I went along with things just because I thought I had to. I am sure there were moments of excitement where I was exploring things sexually, and it’s not like he ever violently forced things on me but there are also times where I didn’t feel good about myself afterward, and I felt like I didn’t stand up for myself.
It’s not his fault at all, I want to make that clear. There were times I wished things slowed down but I stayed quiet.
What was kind of amazing is that years later we were chatting and out of nowhere he actually apologized to me. He felt looking back, he may have pressured me into doing things I wasn’t okay with.
It was nice that he recognized it but it also reminded me of the part I played too. I have to take accountability for that, we were just two kids learning about ourselves, we were the same age, we lost our virginities to each other and I didn’t communicate my thoughts about sex to him. I wasn’t comfortable enough to do so.
There’s so much shame attached to sex, especially when having sex at a young age. It’s unfortunate that sex is something you have to be hush-hush about when it’s one of the most natural things humans do. It is normal to be attracted to another person and want to explore our own bodies and the bodies of others. I don’t have shame talking about sex now clearly, I have a child everyone knows I at least had sex once in my life, but there are still things associated with sex that I am shameful about.
Alright, I’m going to be completely real, but I feel shameful when I get an STD test done. Yeah … I said it and I feel so dumb about it. It’s one of, if not the most, responsible thing you can do when you are sexually active, and I find myself looking at the floor when I’m asking my doctor to get blood work done.
Please let me know if you feel this way and I’m not the only one. It’s like I feel judgment attached to that request. I feel like my doctor probably thinks I have a lot of unprotected sex with so many people. And let’s break down that ridiculous insecurity right now. 1) Who cares if your doctor feels this way, the most important thing is for you to know if you are free of STDs right? 2) You can have protected sex and still get an STD so it’s not like you should only get tested if it’s unprotected and 3) so what if you sleep with multiple people? You shouldn’t feel ashamed of that. Don’t be ashamed of your choices, especially if it’s done safely, and plus it’s your damn journey, it’s no one else’s right to judge it.
Even though I say all of that, I can’t seem to shake off the guilt and shame. It’s so ingrained in my brain that even getting tested for something makes me feel bad. Thank God I look past it and get my exams done but Jesus, I just wish I could stop giving a crap about the stigma. If you have ways to get over this, please let a girl know because I hate having this feeling when talking to my doctor or even when thinking about talking about this to my family.
I also want to say you aren’t a horrible, disgusting person if you do end up catching an STD. I’m speaking on just getting the test, but I imagine if something actually comes up positive, that’s a whole other set of negative stigmas attached to you. It’s sad that such a stigma exist, everyone’s situation is different, and we need to stop being so shameful and uncomfortable with things that literally affects our lives and the lives of others.
I think having more of an open dialogue will help. I encourage you to have the dialogue with your kids, your girlfriend’s, whomever, it needs to stop being a topic we keep in the closet all of the time as if sex doesn’t exist. Things may have been very different had I been comfortable talking about sex or had a conversation about sex with my parents, who knows.
I don’t regret anything in my life at all, but maybe certain things could have been prevented had I been more comfortable with myself and been more aware of myself.
I got pregnant at the age of 19, and I had an abortion at the age of 19. Again, I know this is a controversial topic, but I’m going to be honest about my experience.
The pregnancy wasn’t planned or wanted, but I knew the time it happened I had sex unprotected and I knew it was a possible outcome. I just didn’t think it was going to happen frankly, I took the chance I suppose.
There wasn’t much thought given, really. I was young, dumb, and thought nothing would happen. When I found out I was pregnant surprisingly I didn’t freak out. I accepted it for what it was, told my partner at the time, we were together for a couple of years at that point, and we were shocked, but abortion was never a topic of conversation.
I’ve always been a type A person. I immediately started planning, researching things like health insurance, what I was going to do to finish college, etc. I figured out my major could be done online, I can move back to Orlando where he was, I was in Tallahassee at the time, and everything would work out. I just figured I got myself in this, now let’s solve it, everything will be fine. I will figure it out as I always do.
Now it came to the time to tell my parents. That was a hard conversation.
I knew they weren’t going to be happy, but I didn’t expect the response I got. Thank God I was away so I had to tell him over the phone, but when the words came out of my mouth, I literally felt the energy over the phone. It was as if someone died.
My mom cried like she heard someone died. She wasn’t yelling at me in an angry manner, she was just weeping. She was crying because I ended up being in the same position she never wanted me to be in, the position she put herself in when she had Karla, my older sister. She got pregnant with Karla at the same time I did with my first, so I think it overwhelmed her with a lot of emotions.
I think she was very scared for me and also disappointed in me. I’ll never forget how her voice sounded like.
My sisters and my dad then started to find out because they heard her reaction of her hysterical crying.
I was crying too at this point.
But then the conversation went to … you have to get an abortion.
I said, “what?” She said, “you have to get an abortion.”
I then started crying like someone was dying.
I didn’t want to get an abortion. I told her about all the research I did, I told her my plan, and she wasn’t having it. There was no other option but abortion, she said I had to come home and get an abortion. I was crushed. I fought it, I kept telling her no, I don’t want to do that. She kept insisting that that was my only option.
Again, same pattern like I explained earlier, I didn’t stick up for myself. Never had that characteristic until more recently, and sometimes I still struggle with it, frankly.
So, I packed my bags, spoke with my school, found a way to go home, continue my studies for the rest of the semester in Orlando.
My partner at the time didn’t want the abortion either but he understood it was my choice and he would support whatever I decided, which looking back, I give him a lot of props for. I think of how difficult that must have been for him to feel like he has no control whatsoever over the situation.
So, I’m home. My sisters were absolutely amazing and tried to make it seem like everything was normal, my dad didn’t make me feel bad either, but I remember vividly my mom … my mom almost being bothered that everything seemed normal. She said something like, “don’t act like everything is okay, you did something really wrong so don’t be acting like things are fine.” That definitely got to me. Let’s just say it was a miserable few days waiting for that appointment to arrive.
Morning of my appointment, my father actually takes me. I check in, sit among other women who were there waiting for the same reason, and some for other reasons. I sat and I waited. It felt like forever. I was nervous. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was questioning myself; I still didn’t want to do it but felt like I had to because of my parents and what would the family think of us if I continued the pregnancy? What would people say?
I was called up, I gave them my credit card to pay for the abortion, went to the back which I think at first, I had to talk to someone. I had to sign papers and the woman asked me something like, “were you forced to come here and have an abortion?” In my head, I said yes, but what came out of my mouth was no.
At the end of the day, I was legally an adult, no one could force me to do anything, but I was definitely influenced. So, I just want to make sure that I say that I take accountability for the choice I made but that’s the headspace I was in at the time.
Then I signed some more papers. I was taken to another room, that’s when I got an ultrasound so they can see how far along I was. They asked me if I wanted to see the screen and I said no. I was then walked to another room where the doctor sat in front of me and gave me a pill.
There was one pill and one glass of water.
It took me a while to drink the pill because I am not a good pill taker, but I finally did and that was it. He gave me information of what was going to happen, what to expect, what other pills to take and when to take them. I think I also got my iron levels tested and I was good to go.
I felt weird walking out of that clinic. I cried on the way home. My dad tried to calm me down, he tried the best he could, but I was just sad.
Ever since being a little girl I imagined being a mom. I had the chance and now it was gone.
Fast forward to the evening when the pain began … it was not a fun process. The cramps were horrible. I cried all night. I cried all night alone because of the pain and because I knew my child was essentially dying inside of me.
I don’t know the science of the pill or how it works but that’s what I felt at the time. I will never forget that night. I felt horrible. I felt like I let that child down and I let myself down. I didn’t stand up for myself. It was no one else’s fault but my own and it’s something I don’t think I will ever forgive myself for, nor forget.
When the anniversary comes around when the abortion was done, I always think of that child and how old they could have been right now, or how my life would be like. It’s not something I just forgot about and moved forward in my life like nothing.
That single event affected my life in every way after that day.
I know people are going to ask if you could go back would you do everything the same? And honestly as painful as it was, I would do everything exactly the same. Knowing everything I do now, I know I wouldn’t be living the life I do now without that event occurring, so I would have to do everything the same.
I believe everything occurs perfectly as it should, and I learned so much from that experience. My perspective changed a lot, my relationships with people changed. I saw people’s true colors because of that experience. Now, if I found out I was pregnant right now would I still go through an abortion? Absolutely not. I can’t see myself going through that.
I don’t know how I feel about it in a political sense, I would need more knowledge about the ramifications of one way or another so I’m not talking about in a legal sense, but on a personal level I personally have no idea when life begins so I rather side with there is life at conception. I rather assume there is life than not assuming life. I think it’s a safer way to go for me personally if I’m not sure I’ll just go with it for now because of the lack of information that there is life and that’s just my choice. Now, what to do with that information? I have no idea but personally, I would never do it again.
There are times I still feel bad and sad, but I’m aware of why I made the choice I did, and I am aware that my life would be entirely different had I continued the pregnancy. I do believe there was a soul attached and I sincerely believe that one day, I will meet that soul. Whether it’s true or not, I find comfort in that.
I wanted to share that because I feel like some think that when people go through abortions is just like another day at a doctor’s office and there’s nothing that happens afterward. And maybe it’s like that for some people, but I have a feeling that it’s a very, very, very difficult decision to make and there is some type of trauma that happens afterward for some. It may not be for all, but I have a feeling there are a lot of stories out there similar to mines where they haven’t necessarily worked through certain things that may have occurred throughout the process of an abortion and their feelings about it afterward.
So, I just hope that this story spoke to someone out there, whether you went through it, are going to go through it, or may have never experienced it at all.
But man, that was a lot. I wanted to talk about something else, but I will leave that for another episode because I feel like this was a lot to digest.
I want to thank you, sincerely, for allowing me to share the story with you. I’m sure I will get negative judgments for it, but I just can’t care. I thought it was important to share this perspective. It’s something many women are going through every single day and it should be spoken about, not just the legality of things, but the actual experience of it all.
Whatever your opinion may be on this, what I want people to take from my experience is to stand up for yourself, whatever route you end up choosing. Don’t let others influence your decision one way or another, and don’t be ashamed for the decisions you make.
Allow yourself to grow with every experience you encounter, and also remember to let others grow too.
Man okay, that was really heavy. So, now we’re moving on to Project Learn You which is where I take a question from a bowl I have here, it will be the first time me reading it, and I will answer it on the spot and then I challenge you guys to answer it as well. Let’s see what we get.
Okay, in what ways are you allowing fear of change to hold you back from growing?
Okay, I’m hoping you guys can follow along with what I’m trying to say, but I feel like I’m fearful of allowing other people to see my change. Let me explain further. I feel like people expect me to be a certain type of way, or post certain type of content, or dress a certain way, and I find myself wanting to change things up. But I’m afraid of showing other people those changes, and that is holding me back because then I don’t end up doing it because I’m so afraid of what people might think since it’s outside of the normal box or realm of what Mary is.
The simplest example I can give you is just even what I post on Instagram let’s say. There’s different type of content that I want to make, whether it’s just more so geared towards looks, or like fashion related things, I don’t think people would expect that of me, but it’s something that I’m interested in doing and playing with just because 1) it will force me to get back into clothes and get that creative side of me going again because I feel like I’ve lost that for a while.
I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and do things like that, actually post myself more as in my face or full-body picture, or whatever, nothing crazy or super exposing but just more me, something more personal. And I can definitely be shy and not want to post certain things, and I think people have just become accustomed to Mary being this conservative person that doesn’t really, for example, take selfies or you know mirror pictures, or things like that, that’s not really what Mary usually does. So, I think that’s holding me back from growing in certain ways that I do.
I want to become comfortable and doing those things, and posting it, and not feeling fear of what people are going to say or think because of it.
We’ll see with time if I actually end up doing it or not. I just got to be okay with the idea of being uncomfortable for a bit and accepting that you know what maybe people will think it’s weird that I’m switching things up or changing in this way. I think I just have to be okay with that and do it regardless because it’s something that I want to do.
Alright, guys well that is it. If you have any questions connect with me at motherhoodhappened.com Please reach out to me if you have any questions or stories you want to share on this podcast. Don’t forget to sign up for my free 7-Day mindfulness challenge where I challenge you to reprogram your mind to see how a shift in your mindset can really make a difference. You also can get exclusive access to other free materials while you’re there. I would love your support, if you can subscribe, share, rate, and review, tell me what you like and even what you don’t like wherever you hear your podcast, I would so appreciate it. Thank you so much for listening, until next time.