Statement by a Christian minister.

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If Doug Jones does this, he will win Alabama.

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I’ve been very worried about the far-right religious demagogue and pedophile Roy Moore winning Alabama.   He and his Democratic opposition, Doug Jones, have been running neck and neck, and even after 9 women spoke up about Moore molesting them (in one case the woman was 14 years old when she was assaulted) and other complaints that Moore stalked teenagers at the mall, Roy Moore still has a better than good chance of winning in his state.  The reason he may still win, even though he is a horrible human being who preys on children, is because of where Roy Moore stands on abortion.

Even though I don’t live in Alabama (thank God), I’m worried about Moore winning because that will mean he’ll be in the Senate, and have greater influence and power.  We do not need religious extremists and unrepentant sexual predators (please don’t bring up Al Franken, because at least he apologized and took responsibility for his actions) like Moore in the US Senate or anywhere close to the federal government.

So I had a kind of brainstorm this morning.    Because so many Alabamans care so much about abortion, and vote on that one issue (even over homosexuality), Doug Jones needs to run on the abortion issue, and it doesn’t matter that he happens to be pro-choice.     He can make an excellent case why he’d be the better pro-life candidate (and why the Democratic Party is also the more pro-life party at the end of the day).

As it stands now, religious Alabamans will vote for Roy Moore because they believe Doug Jones is soft on abortion and therefore against God.  It doesn’t matter to them that Moore is himself an immoral man who preys on children and blasphemes Jesus when he justifies his molestation of a 14 year old by saying that Mary was only 14 when she was impregnated by Joseph (whatever happened to their belief in the Virgin Birth?).  No, they will still vote for Moore because of his anti-choice stance.

But here’s something to ponder.  It is a statistical fact that 50% — HALF! — of all births in America are paid for by Medicaid, which also covers children’s healthcare after they are born.  That’s a lot of babies that might have been aborted without Medicaid (and other support programs for mothers and their children).   Republicans like Roy Moore want to cut Medicaid or eliminate it altogether, as well as cut or eliminate other services that make it possible for poor women to have and raise their children.

If a poor woman loses or cannot access Medicaid, food stamps, and other services that help her and her unborn baby, both during pregnancy and after, do you think she is going to have the baby anyway without medical and other support?  No!  She is most likely going to choose abortion.  Most abortions in the US are done for financial reasons. Most women having abortions aren’t married middle or upper class women — they’re usually poor or very young women who have no health coverage and no support system in which they can raise their child.   If you refuse her Medicaid and support services, is she just going to say, “Hey, well, ok, I guess I’ll just give birth at home in my bathtub!”   Of course not.  This isn’t 1700.

Sure, there are a few women who can afford a child and have abortions because they just don’t want another child (or any at all), but they are in the minority. Even if abortion was outlawed, rich women would “take a trip to Europe” just like they did in the 1950s.

Facing an unplanned pregnancy is scary enough as it is.  If you have no money to afford prenatal care, labor and delivery, and medical care for the baby, and there is no support system that can help you, that’s even more terrifying.  Again, half of all births are funded by Medicaid. So if that is taken away or cut, most if not all of those poor women are NOT going to decide to have their babies in the bathtub.  It’s a lot easier to come up with $600 or $800 or so for an abortion than find the money for hospital care.  Even the poorest woman can usually get that kind of money in a pinch, even if she has to borrow it or use a payday lender.

Abortion rates have ALWAYS gone up during GOP administrations, when services like food stamps, Medicaid and family planning are cut.   Most women, when faced with other alternatives to abortion and given support, will choose to have their baby.  Cut off their support system and access to healthcare, more abortions.   It makes perfect sense.

Even though most Democrats are “pro-choice,” there are fewer abortions under Democratic administrations when access to family planning and healthcare and other services are more available.  This has been proven statistically.  Railing on about abortion being evil and then offering no alternatives to a desperate pregnant woman, especially if she’s poor, does absolutely nothing except shame and traumatize her.

Even if abortion were outlawed, desperate pregnant women who can’t afford a sudden “European vacation” would go to back alley butchers just like they did in the 1950s.  Illegal abortionists would pop up like mushrooms after a storm.   Women who are desperate are still going to get abortions even if they’re illegal, if no other support is given.

I really think if Doug Jones runs on this platform, and stresses the fact that abortions increase under GOP policies and decrease under Democratic policies, I think he could win over some if not most of the pro-life Christians.  Let’s face it.   Doug Jones seems like a good man and a nice person and unlike Roy Moore, I believe he actually cares about the people of Alabama, and he cares about women and children.    If pro-life Christians, many who vote on the abortion issue alone, could realize that Jones is actually the much more pro-life candidate at the end of the day, I definitely think they would vote for him  over an extremist, dishonest sexual predator like Roy Moore.

I’m actually going to send the link to this article to Doug Jones and urge him to address this issue in his campaign, because I think he’d win.  It’s important he wins so we don’t get someone like Roy Moore in the Senate.

Don’t call yourself pro-life…

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Don’t even think about calling yourself pro-life if…

  • You support taking health insurance away from low income, sick, and disabled people.
  • You support abolishing or cutting Medicaid (which covers HALF of all pregnant women and 45 million children).
  • You  support privatizing or cutting Medicare and Social Security.
  • You want to abolish Planned Parenthood, which is NOT an abortion clinic (only 2% of their services are abortion-related) but provides healthcare (including pregnancy care) and birth control information to low income women.
  • You’re OK with a president who allowed CHIP (a health insurance program for low income children who do not qualify for Medicaid) to expire, leaving millions of children uninsured.
  • You support dismantling public schools.
  • You support removing laws that protect college women from on-campus rapists and give more rights to the rapists.
  • You think programs like Meals on Wheels and school lunches are a waste of taxpayer money.
  • You think climate change is a hoax.
  • You support fracking, drilling, and mining on our public lands.
  • You believe in removing laws that protect our air and water against pollution.
  • You think laws that protect consumers from dangerous products and predatory  practices is interfering with free enterprise.
  • You support the death penalty.
  • You support the idea of using torture on suspected terrorists.
  • You believe in detaining documented immigrants, even when it means separating parents from their children.
  • You support deporting refugee mothers and their children, even when it means they could die horribly in their countries of origin.
  • You support deporting productive young people who came here as children with their parents, even when it means sending them back to countries they can’t remember and know nothing about.
  • You think Puerto Ricans who have been devastated by a Category 5 hurricane and have no food, electricity, or drinking water “aren’t doing enough for themselves.”
  • You demand “respect for the flag and the Anthem” but don’t respect people’s right to exercise their First Amendment rights.
  • You’re okay with a president who plays nuclear chicken on Twitter with an unstable rogue nation dictator because his ego is hurt.
  • You think we should “completely destroy” North Korea, even its innocent civilians, women, and children.
  • You’re okay with a president who in all likelihood sold our democracy out to a hostile foreign power.
  • You’re okay with police brutality, especially against people of color.
  • You admire dictators and bullies.
  • You think white supremacy, Naziism, and racism are okay.
  • You’re okay with a president who treats women with disrespect and brags about grabbing their private parts.
  • You don’t see anything wrong with a president who plays golf and complains about NFL players exercising their First Amendment rights when people are dying of thirst and starvation in Puerto Rico.

If you oppose abortion but support the things above, you aren’t pro-life.  All you are is a  hypocrite.

ETA: Since last night’s tragic Las Vegas shooting, I would like to add one more:   Don’t call yourself pro-life if you agree with Trump lifting gun checks on people with mental illness.

The Religious Right cares about control, not morality.

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Christian Right leaders (in both politics and the churches) — many who embrace the horrific theology of Dominionism/Reconstructionism — pretend to care an awful lot about morality.    They rant on endlessly about abortion and homosexuality.  They want to roll back laws that protect women’s health and reproductive rights.   Today, Trump passed a bill that bans transgender people from military service.

But do they really care about morality?

I don’t think so.  Their hero (who is supposedly going to make America a “Christian nation”) is a philanderer, adulterer, tax cheater, con-man, possible traitor, narcissist, bully, and only worships himself and money.   He holds himself above the law and doesn’t even think he needs God’s forgiveness.

Trump talks an awful lot about God — such as his tweet today that said (the caps are his own), “IN AMERICA WE DON’T WORSHIP GOVERNMENT. WE WORSHIP GOD.”   Yet I doubt the man has ever darkened a church door, said a heartfelt prayer, or ever really read the Bible.   Trump doesn’t give a hoot about God, only about power and control.   He’s a man without a conscience or a moral compass, but he  sure does seem awfully concerned with everyone else’s morals.

To the powerful leaders of the Christian Right (including many church leaders), morality means only one thing, or maybe two things (and they are closely related):  gender roles and sexual behavior.

They care nothing about being kind to others, helping those in need, welcoming strangers, turning the other cheek, loving their enemies, telling the truth, calling out wrongdoing, being ethical in business dealings, paying their fair share, and loving their neighbors as themselves.   In fact, when you hear them talk, they hardly ever mention the Gospels and Jesus’ message of love.

Instead, the cherry pick the most punitive passages from the Old Testament (and ignore those like the one illustrating this post) to justify their greed, hatred, bigotry, racism, sexism, denial of facts, and lust for power and control.   Certain passages have come in handy for instilling fear and terror which are used to dominate.   They talk about hell an awful lot, and seem pretty sure they’re not going there but YOU are if you disagree with them.     Dominionist church leaders even tell their followers that they will burn in hell if they didn’t vote for Trump or don’t support his policies.   It’s a toxic stew of religious abuse, fear, and hate — and unfortunately, it works.     It operates in the same manner as a cult — because it is a cult.

They use the talking points of abortion and homosexuality to instill fear (of going to hell), and control.   To a lesser extent they focus on other things that offend them — strangely, almost all are related to gender roles and the patriarchal belief that women are biblically mandated to be submissive to men (even when the man is an abuser):  women’s reproductive health (including birth control), adultery, divorce, private sexual behavior, and sex roles in the family.    Oh, and there’s a few other things they condemn:  Muslims, atheists, and liberals.

They justify their patriarchy and narrow minded views by quoting selectively from the Bible, but ignore the words of Jesus, who rarely if ever mentioned sex roles or homosexuality, never sent away a stranger, and never once said women were required to submit to men or tolerate abuse.  I don’t know for certain what Jesus’ actual views about sexual behavior were (since he never really went there), but I do know that there were things that were far more important to him, such as being kind to your neighbor, not being greedy and selfish, welcoming strangers, and caring for the needy and sick.

Jesus was gentle and kind.  He never turned his back on the “least among us.”  He was even loving toward sinners, as he was toward the adulteress who approached him.   But he only had harsh words for the powerful Pharisees, who were the equivalent of today’s legalistic right-wing Christian leaders and politicians.

America has a long history of the separation of church and state, and for good reason.   The Founding Fathers weren’t stupid.  They knew that when you try to mix the two, you wind up corrupting both.  That is what’s happening now.   There’s nothing un-Christian about keeping church and state separated.   In fact, it’s what’s kept Christianity from turning into a cult of power and hate.

Things that until very recently were considered sinful or at best, secular — greed, selfishness, seeking wealth and political power, corruption, hatred, bigotry, and taking from the poor — have now all been embraced by the Christian Right, using the heretical doctrine of dominionism to justify their actions.   Incredibly, they have Christianized the diabolical.  It makes you wonder who their real “god” really is.

They go on about the “sanctity of life” but seem to care only about fetuses and embryos.   But they are anything but pro-life.  Anyone who wants to take Medicaid away from pregnant women, make women’s health (including pregnancy) a pre-existing condition,  support the death penalty,  build more weapons, support torture, start wars, remove laws that keep the mentally ill from buying guns, gut education funding, destroy the environment,  remove laws that make our workplaces safe,  and kick millions of people off healthcare are definitely not pro-life.

I find it hard to believe far right Christian leaders even have much empathy for the unborn.  They seem incapable of empathy, so it makes absolutely  no sense that they would care so deeply about unborn babies but at the same time be so callous about the health and lives of born babies, children, women, refugees, and humanity in general.   Especially when you consider that Medicaid covers nearly half of all deliveries.  If you toss all those pregnant women off Medicaid, what will happen?  A hell of a lot more abortions, that’s what.   So how are they pro-life?  They aren’t.

The truth is, they don’t care about people, born or not.   The abortion issue (and other gender-related issues such as homosexuality) is a talking point they’ve latched onto in order to control people, especially women.    It’s also how they’ve managed to marry together religion with politics.  Far right politics has hijacked the churches and corrupted Christianity.    Their “morality” is all about control, and they will do the most immoral things imaginable to get it, as we see with this presidency.

I’m fed up with right wing politics’ bastardization and corruption of Christianity to suit their own agendas.  Over time, they have twisted Christianity into something dark and diabolical.    These heretics have held Jesus hostage for almost 40 years and it’s time to take him back.

I apologize about how harsh this may sound, but I’ve been feeling pretty strong about it lately, and sometimes the truth hurts.

What I really think about having children.

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When I was in my twenties, I used to dream about having a big family–four children to be specific. Raised as an only child, and having friends who came from big families that seemed a lot happier than mine, I foolishly thought that if only I had siblings, my childhood would have been happier (in actuality, it probably would have made things even worse!)  Entering my late teens, unlike most of my peers, I didn’t have any real career goals or ambitions. My only real desire was to marry and have a bumper crop of babies. This wasn’t exactly fashionable in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when my desire for domestic bliss was at its most intense. Back then, if you were a woman who preferred starting a family over having a career, you were seen as some kind of throwback to the 1950s.

In retrospect, I understand why my desire to have a family–preferably a large one–was so strong. I never felt like my family was a “real” family. Because of the toxic family dynamics that made me feel like an outsider in my own home, I had a strong desire to “make up” for what I perceived to be a non-family, and create the kind of ideal family I wanted to be a part of so badly. But it doesn’t work that way.  Having kids won’t cure a toxic, abusive, lonely childhood.   The number of children you have doesn’t matter; what matters is how able you are as a parent.

Adult children of narcissists seem to come in two flavors: those who never want to have children at all because they don’t want to foist their own issues onto any potential offspring; and those who, like me, want to “make up” for what they didn’t have, who want a childhood “re-do.”

I never had those four children. I didn’t even marry that young. I married at age 27, and didn’t have children until I was in my early 30’s, and then I only wound up having two. In 1999, I became pregnant for a third time, but had an abortion because my then-husband’s abuse was at its peak and we were struggling badly financially too. There was no way he would have accepted another child and I knew in my bones this third child would wind up being abused far worse than either of the previous two were, so abortion was the only choice I felt I had. Sometimes I wonder what that child would have been like and I sometimes have regrets, but I still think I made the right choice. There really wasn’t another choice under the circumstances.

I remember the day I went in to have the abortion, I asked the nurse to show me the ultrasound (I was right at the end of the first trimester–12 weeks–so it was almost too late to end the pregnancy). She said, “are you sure?” I said yes, that seeing it and knowing the sex would bring closure. She turned the screen around toward me. It was a boy. I stared at the image for a few minutes and cried a little. The nurse was very kind and empathetic. She said, “are you sure you still want to go through with it?” I wiped my eyes and said, “yes.”

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Although my religion opposes abortion I don’t regret my decision, even though I sometimes think about what that little boy might have been like. I know he would have been abused by his father. I also was pretty mentally ill myself at the time (I had just been hospitalized twice not too long before that pregnancy). I highly doubt I could have coped with a new baby, with no support from anyone, not even my husband. It was hard enough for me with the first two. I think that poor baby would have had a miserable childhood.

Over the years, I realized something surprising about myself. I really don’t care all that much for children. Of course I loved my own two kids dearly and would have done anything (and would still do anything) for them, but I wasn’t a very patient mother and I found I really didn’t enjoy too many of the tasks associated with motherhood. I was disappointed to discover how mind-numbingly dull and frustrating much of parenting can be. It can also be extremely triggering for someone who came from an abusive background, but I had no awareness of this.

I realized too late that I’d idealized parenthood, seeing it as if it was a Vaseline-lens commercial, not the sometimes ugly and painful reality it actually is. Maybe if I’d had younger siblings to tend to, I might have had a more realistic view of what motherhood actually entailed, but as I did not, I entered adulthood with a romantic, idealized picture of perfect motherhood and the perfect mother I would become–when in reality, I never had the right emotional tools to be that ideal mother. I do care about children in a general way; I hate hearing about children being abused or neglected and I want what’s best for them, but when it comes to dealing with babies and young children on a personal level, well, I’d rather not.

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If I had to do it over again, yes, I’d still choose to have my kids. They’re the best thing that ever happened to me, even though raising them was much more difficult than I’d anticipated. I’d try to be a better mother to them and a lot more patient with them. I’d also set better boundaries. I would have taken them away from their father when they were much younger, instead of remaining in a doomed, toxic, abusive relationship that only proved to be as detrimental to them as to me. I would have made different choices in other ways too. I wouldn’t have allowed my 11 year old daughter to live with her father just so she wouldn’t hate me. I would have been strong enough to say, “Hate me all you want, but you will not live with your father.” I’d also go into parenthood knowing that it would be a job and not a Pampers commercial all the time.

When I was in my twenties, I couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to have children. To me, it seemed like the most important and exciting thing anyone could do. I remember a friend told me she was thinking of having her tubes tied (she was 24 at the time). I was horrified and begged her not to do it. She didn’t (but not because of anything I said) and several years later had a daughter. Today I don’t think I would have told her not to do it though. I can certainly understand why some people choose to remain child-free. Parenthood is a hard job and it’s definitely not for everyone. Some people just aren’t cut out to be parents and there’s nothing selfish about making the choice not to be a parent. It’s a lot more selfish, in my opinion, to bring a child into the world for selfish, narcissistic reasons. I also get tired of all the baby-worshipping I see on Facebook and everywhere else. Frankly, I’d rather look at pictures of people’s pets than people’s babies. I really don’t know why that is, but I know a lot of people feel the same way. Babies just aren’t that appealing to me anymore. A lot of my peers are becoming grandparents but I have no particular desire for grandchildren. Of course if I have grandchildren, I know I’ll adore them, but the idea of having them isn’t something I care about one way or another.

When I was young, I think I liked the idea of having children more than the reality of it. I was trying to make up for something I lacked in my childhood. That’s never a good reason to have kids. Liking children and enjoying their company is really the only good reason to have them. Any other reasons–extending the family line, appeasing the relatives, duty, pressure from a spouse, wanting a mini-me, wanting a childhood do-over, wanting someone to care for you when you’re old–none of those are good reasons to have children. But I wonder how many of us actually had our children for the “right” reasons. Most of us probably didn’t, and still did the best job we could because we fell in love with our kids when we met them and wanted the best for them, in spite of everything.

The hypocrisy of the “pro-life” stance.

Catholic nun Sister Joan Chittister is making a lot of sense here, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s fine to be pro-life, but if you are, then for God’s sake, care about the children who don’t get to choose whether they are born or not, and all too often are abused because their parents lack the emotional and financial resources to be able to care for them properly.

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He still lives in my dreams: the story of my abortion.

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Although I’m becoming Catholic in less than two weeks, my views on abortion are still more or less pro-choice, depending on the situation (such as rape or incest), but this post isn’t about my political or moral stance on abortion. It’s about something much closer to my heart than my views on political/religious issues.

It’s about the abortion I had in July of 1998, right at the 12th week, which is the deadline for first trimester, uncomplicated abortions.

I made my first confession tonight in preparation for receiving the sacraments of Communion and Confirmation at the Easter mass. A few days ago, Father C. told me to think about what I wanted to talk about in confession. Even though my abortion and infidelity while I was still married to my narcissist are in the distant past now, those were the things I wanted most to confess, because lately both have been weighing on my mind heavily, especially the abortion.

I won’t get into the whole sordid and sad story of my marriage to Michael, as it’s already been written about under “My Story” (links to that are in the header), but the short version is he was a terrible malignant narcissist in every way imaginable–abusive mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically (when he was drinking). I was miserable during the last years of our marriage and wasn’t in the best of mental health, having been hospitalized twice during the late 1990s for major depression and PTSD.

Michael had his own sins to contend with (but he probably never will because of his narcissism), but I was no saint either. As a Borderline–and at that time not yet knowing how to monitor and control my borderline tendencies (I learned those tools during my first psychiatric hospitalization in 1996)–I tended to act out in impulsive, dramatic and inadvertently selfish ways.

As my husband’s primary source of narcissistic supply and his #1 victim, I was frantic, scared, frustrated, depressed and lonely, and longed for love, tenderness and physical affection. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, but simply didn’t think of the needs of others, even my own two children, when there was something I wanted to do, like get together with a new lover. In a person with BPD, this self-centeredness is due more to obliviousness to the feelings of others rather than not caring how they feel. Borderlines also have abandonment issues–that is their greatest fear. I was already emotionally abandoned by my narc husband and had always felt abandoned by my parents, and I longed for connection and affection.

I never made a conscious decision to have an affair, but it happened because I didn’t resist the temptation and once underway, I felt that this illicit relationship was something I needed.

At the hotel where I worked as a banquet server, I met a maintenance man there I’ll call Ryan. He was about 8 years younger than me. We got to be friends and talked a lot during our breaks. I felt very comfortable with him. I found out he was also a deejay at the hotel where we both worked. At many of the events and parties I served, Ryan spun discs when it was time for the guests to dance. At those times I’d go up and join him at the booth where he sat, and we’d talk while the guests danced and the music played.

Soon our friendship developed a sexual element. We realized we were both attracted to each other, though love was never part of the equation.

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Michael and I had not had sex (after the love-bombing honeymoon phase of our relationship was over, I would not say what we did together in bed was making love) for several months by the time I met Ryan. About a month after we first met, in April 1998, he invited me to his house and we spent the entire night with our bodies wrapped around each other in his bed. We made love several times that night.

I called my kids and Michael but I didn’t go home that night. I made up some lie about staying with a girlfriend whose mother was ill. I was getting almost as good as Michael with the lying.

Ryan and I continued to see each other when we could. I was already neglecting my children who needed their mother, not to mention leaving them alone with their narc father. I still feel bad about that to this day and try to make it up by being overprotective now when they’re in their 20s and over-protectiveness is the last thing they need or want.

In August or September of that year I realized I’d missed my period and took a home pregnancy test one afternoon when I was home alone. It was positive.

I panicked. It wasn’t my husband’s child because the last time we’d had sex was months before I became pregnant. There was no way I could tell him I was carrying another man’s child–I couldn’t even imagine the abuse that would be inflicted on him or her. He was already abusive to his flesh and blood son, and he had told me he didn’t want any more children. I knew that if I went through with the pregnancy and had the child, both the child and I would be punished and I couldn’t allow that to happen.

I thought about adoption, but again, I would be subject to Michael’s abuse during the pregnancy especially once I started to show, as it would be a constant reminder to him I was pregnant with another man’s child. Then there was the matter of giving up the baby when it was born. I had no idea how I would explain to people how I could give up mine and Michael’s third child (I wouldn’t have dared tell anyone the child was not his).

I couldn’t decide what to do. But I had to make a decision quick–because I was closing in on 11 weeks and after the 12th week, you enter the second trimester and abortion becomes far more dangerous and medically complicated, not to mention more emotionally harrowing.

I have always been iffy about abortion, but at the time, I really didn’t see any other option. So I picked up the phone and called the local abortion clinic. They didn’t have an appointment for a week, which meant I would be right at 12 weeks–almost three months pregnant. I thought my belly was already showing a hint of a bump.

When the day came, I sat down with a nurse who was very friendly and sympathetic. She told me they had to take an ultrasound so they would know the location of the fetus in my womb before going in to remove it.

After the ultrasound, I surprised myself by asking the nurse if I could see it. She looked at me oddly, then shrugged and turned the screen facing me. I saw my baby there, glowing blue-white and floating in what looked like the darkness of space. I could see the little spine through the thin fetal skin, and it was perfect–it looked like a string of tiny seed pearls. I felt hot tears burn behind my eyelids but I didn’t cry. I swallowed hard and asked if she could tell the sex.

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She looked at me sympathetically and then looked back at the screen to study it. She told me it was early, but she believed it was male. I just nodded and thought about that. My third child would have been a boy.

“Are you sure you still want to go through with this?” she asked, placing a soft motherly hand on my forearm.
“Yes,” I said.

The procedure itself wasn’t that awful. I was put in a twilight sleep and could barely tell what was going on. It wasn’t until afterwards, when Ryan was driving me home, that I suddenly began to feel sick. I ordered Ryan to pull over, stumbled out of the car, and threw up into the weeds by the side of the road. Even after my stomach emptied itself, I kept dry heaving. I was bleeding (which is normal) and crying from the pain. Ryan was concerned and came over to me (we were still friends after all this). I screamed at him to go away and leave me alone. Total borderline on my part.

At the time, even though I felt guilty about what I did, it didn’t bother me too much. I thought I had done the only thing I could have done. It wasn’t that I didn’t want this child, but that I couldn’t. The only future I could see for him was a childhood filled with abuse and pain meted out by his stepfather, my husband. He would punish me by punishing my child.

I didn’t think terminating that pregnancy bothered me that much, but on some level it must have, because every May, the month he would have been born, I find myself wishing him a happy birthday and telling him how sorry I am. I have done this every year since May of 2000.

In my dreams, I have watched him grow up into the almost 16 year old he would be right now. I always see him at the age he would have been at the time of the dream and he is always running away, fading into dream-space. I keep losing track of him. He always ignores my presence. I’m just some strange woman to him.

Even though this boy grew inside my body for three months, it weighs heavily on my heart that I don’t know him either. I don’t know one thing about him. I don’t know what he likes or dislikes, or what his interests or hobbies are. I don’t know what his personality is like. In my dreams he never talks to me, even if I try to talk to him. He always runs or turns away or dissolves into the dream space. One thing I can tell is that he is hurt and angry. He doesn’t know I’m his mother, but he does know he was inflicted with the ultimate betrayal–not having been allowed to have a life. I know instinctively his hurt and anger is because of this.

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There is a metaphysical wall I can never get past. I cannot know his spirit. I know what he looks like, or would have looked like because he always looks like the same person in my dreams. He changes because he’s growing up in dream-time but his face is always the same. He looks like a male version of me when I was young but his hair is much darker than mine.

I never gave him a name. Although I know God has forgiven me, I still regret never having been a mother to this boy, this third child who would have been my two older children’s little brother.

He lives on in my dreams. Maybe one day I will see him in heaven and he will have forgiven me.