for you lack the strength to help somebody else

I lay myself bare because it helps. There’s too much for even a therapist to handle at this point, just a tangled mess of self that I’m going to have to slice open and examine. I am on my own. And I’m not. Because really, blogging is another way to crowdsource therapy. Have you ever…? I ask, and someone, somewhere whispers:

Yes.

Someone else has pleaded for the hard choices to go away. Surely I am not the first woman crying at the thought of what must happen should I fall pregnant. I can’t raise a child. I can’t stop my medication long enough to bring it to term; if I go to term anyway, the baby will be born into withdrawal. Hell. Sheer hell. And since there is so much more coming for that child, the adoption has to be open and amicable. Its new parents have to know where I’ve been in order to help that baby grow up.

The simplest way is to stop a pregnancy as soon as I know there is one. How do I not get attached, though? How can I not love something so defenseless inside me? Even if I can’t be its mother, how can I kill it and not grieve?

Why, when there is technology to prevent it ever happening, do I have to fear? I have known all my life, on some level, that I would only ever adopt an older child if I did feel the urge to mother. Believe what you like about gut feelings; I listen to mine, and my gut roils right now in terror. You are not safe, it says. This minipill isn’t enough. You have to be very careful from now on.

I will not become Dorothy, who had no choice, who left my father behind. The grandmother I wanted to know, the grandmother who might explain the parts of me that don’t fit any of my known kin — why could she not have left a forwarding address? More importantly, I will not drop a baby in a random couple’s lap and leave without knowing that baby is all right. No child of mine will become a statistic if I can help it. Not like my father. Better to never have lived than to be born to that.

I am a slave to my ovaries and it shatters me, as much with rage as with sadness. How dare anyone else make these decisions for me? What kind of doctor tells me this is not my say, what happens in my body? Let me sign a waiver and be done. Legally binding is legally binding and I am twenty-six years old, plenty old enough to understand permanence.

Old enough to fear and despair.

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