Six years ago I felt completely suffocated and restless. I had quit my job just a few short months earlier to stay at home with my two boys just until my oldest started Kindergarten then I’d go back to work to help pay for the degree I was finishing. My self-worth had been attached to my job. My self-worth had been attached to my title. My self-worth was not my own. In just a few months after quitting my job I found out that I was expecting another baby. I did not want another child. He did not want another child. We had not planned for another child and had taken the necessary precautions to not have anymore children by using condoms and birth control. We had other plans yet there we were expecting another baby and this time we knew that even if we weren’t ready we could not go through another abortion.
Abortions aren’t things married women have?
We had already been down that road just six months earlier when we had buckled at the pressures that surrounded us. We had just moved cross country from Minnesota to Florida so that I could finish my degree because there we would have support from my parents. Support isn’t something my parents have ever given me unless I find myself at the end of my rope. We should have known better but there we were two adults living in a five bedroom house with our two children and my parents. I was working at the shittiest hospital in Palm Beach County when I found out that I was expecting and my mother FLIPPED her lid! There was no way in hell that she would help us if we decided to have a third child she threatened. Not under her roof. So, like I said WE buckled under the pressure.
We decided that being able to save some money by living with my parents would help us get me through school without acquiring a lot of debt from student loans. We decided that having my parents help us take care of our boys while we worked or I was in school was the only option. It was the only way that we could get to that place where I had a career instead of a job allowing me to finally live up to my full potential. The help my parents provided would help us get to the point where we could provide the children we already had the life we wanted them to enjoy. So we scheduled an appointment at the abortion clinic I had worked at just five years earlier and we terminated our pregnancy.
I shut off my feelings. I moved on. I denied that I had made the wrong choice for my unborn child. I denied that looking at my sons made me wonder endlessly about that third child. I went on trying to be happy. I went on trying to build a future for my family. Somewhere between the help from my parents falling through again and total denial I said fuck it and quit my job. Why the fuck not? Why the fuck not I had quickly and effortlessly quit my child via that abortion.
So what if it hurts me?
When couples make poor decisions that they don’t both fully agree with it tends to ruin relationships or at the very least cause damage to them. My marriage was very damaged. My self-worth gone. I was ready to die but I had two kids that needed me. It was around my birthday that in the middle of a fight I stormed out the house and screamed at him that I was going to drive off an overpass on I-95. I ended up at the Catholic church in the neighborhood that I had grown up in. I sat in that church and let tears flow. I got on my knees and I asked God to show me what I was meant to do. To show me what good my potential was for if I couldn’t do a damn thing with it! The more I asked the more I thought of my two sons. The more I spoke to a God that I wasn’t even sure that I believed in the more that the love for my sons rose in my heart and mind.
I drove home and I hugged my sons when I walked in yet I had absolutely no answers about how I would get through that day much less be the mother they deserved. My marriage was in a very dark place then we found out that I was pregnant again! We were pregnant again and still living with my parents but this time we wouldn’t tell my mother. Not yet. This time things seemed worse because I had no job and was still in school. This time things seemed impossible to fix. This time we knew that although it wasn’t going to be the easiest choice we were going to bring into the world a child at our worst moment in our marriage because the choice of abortion was not for us.
Six years ago I felt completely suffocated and restless. I was expecting my third son and every decision that I tried to make always seemed to be the wrong one. I wanted to scream. I wanted to run to the end of the world to hide. I wanted the Celestial Planning Committee to reveal to me the pieces of me that weren’t fitting so that I could morph my disdain into anything that resembled happiness. Frankly, I wanted to mutilate myself because my bad choices put me in that place that I was standing in. I was a lost woman that only knew that she couldn’t be good enough to deserve the two children that had been given to her and here came a third one?
So. I picked myself up. I did the only thing that I knew always made me feel good. I told my husband that I wanted to cut off all of my hair. I told him that I wanted to release the pain of the past. I told him that if I let the hair go maybe the pain would go too. He got his hair clipper together and shaved my head for me. I was bald. I was pregnant. I was lost. But I was not my hair or the pain of the past. I was convinced that life would get better. And it did after it got worse first.
Six years ago I cut off all my hair and today I am going to do it again. In getting to the place where my life is right now I have been through so much pain that I need to let go of. I stand here restless and suffocated but a much better mother than I was six years ago. I stand here next to a man that doesn’t seem to go anywhere no matter how much I push. I stand here looking at that potential and wondering if I will ever live up to it and sometimes wondering if it ever even existed. But as I cry in this moment and tremble I know that soon I’ll be able to look in the mirror and clearly see my face again.
I’ve made many mistakes but I am not those mistakes or my hair…
© Anaín Bjorkquist July 7, 2011 ~ All Rights Reserved.