I was raped by my coach when I was fourteen. He messaged me late one night and told me one of his buddies had died, he was considering suicide and needed to talk to a friend. He had always been kind to me, and I felt obligated to help him. I snuck out of my house and met him in a dark parking lot. We were near a state park, and so took walked along one of the trails to talk…it wasn’t until we were beyond the city lights and sounds of traffic that I began to get scared. I could tell he was excited. My heart began to pound as I realized the dangerous situation I put myself in: I was too small to fight back, too slow to outrun him. He grabbed my arm and pulled a knife out of his pocket, I was too scared to scream. He smiled as he raised the knife to my neck and whispered, “just in case…”. I don’t remember much else. I remember feeling exposed. Vulnerable. Broken. At first I was afraid I would die, then in the end I hoped I would. He was my first kiss. My first intimate experience, and in a moment he made me fear ever touching a human again.
Approximately two months later, I thought I may be pregnant. I was puking during morning practice and anytime I smelled pepperoni. I was terrified, a baby would mean my parents would find out what had happened, and I just couldn’t bring myself to retell the attack out loud. I didn’t know where to get an abortion – and though I didn’t want an abortion – wondered if God could present some natural cause to take my baby away. I needn’t wait long, only a week or so after my suspicions arose I began to bleed. Thick clots of blood stained my sanitary pads. It felt as though someone turned on a blender at the base of my abdomen, I curled up into the fetal position and wailed into my pillow. I bled for 14 days.
For a moment I was relieved, there would be no evidence of the attack, then guilt set in. I was responsible for wishing another human would not exist. I was so distraught by my own predicament, that I was okay with preventing my baby from ever breathing, walking, or being loved. Overcome with self-loathing, I began cutting myself, two years later I attempted suicide.
My little brother saved me, and I have been recovering ever since. I still struggle with PTSD from the attack. I cry on Mother’s Day and look with envy on all the mothers who receive flowers and cards from their children. I imagine life with macaroni art on the wall and the sound of “I love you” from my daughter’s lips. I am currently at an Ivy League university with everything a millennial could dream of and I would trade it all to hold her in my arms.
I hate when rape is used as justification for abortion. That monster did not make my daughter’s life less valuable. She was not less worthy of love because of her circumstance. I cringe when people call a fetus a tumor, as though I were as insane for missing my daughter as a cancer patient would be for missing her melanoma. The loss of a fetus is a loss. Compassionate people do not downplay that pain. In Loving Memory of Anabella Marie – I am sorry for ever wishing anything less than life and love for you. You deserved better.
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