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Post Abortion Guilt - 12 years later - exBF called out of the blue

I got a call this weekend out of the blue from an old ex Boyfriend who once got me pregnant by accident, then pressured me into an abortion almost twelve years ago when I was nineteen.  I hadn't heard from this guy in seven years, and it really upset me, bringing back all these emotions about my abortion that I feel so conflicted about.

He was twenty-nine at the time we started dating and was one year away from finishing his post-med school residency at the hospital and I was right out of high school, working part time as a receptionist before my freshman year of college. I was only seventeen, but he was so cute and I had such a crush on him I couldnt resist flirting with him heavily. I practically threw myself at him. I'd even go take smoke breaks over near the side entrance of the hospital where he worked to try and see him more. We dated off and on all my freshman year, whenever I was back in town and started to get more serious summer after my freshman year when we started to get more serious in our sexual relationship and I started actually having dreams about being with him. Pretty awful really.

But then late in that following summer, just before I turned nineteen, I found out I was pregnant. He didnt like using  condoms, but I was on the birth control patch right after it came out, because I was bad about remembering to take my pills on time. I was nineteen for christs sake. Little did I know that the birth control patch has an almost 8% failure rate and that I would end up pregnant. I wanted to keep the baby so badly I couldn't think straight. I wanted to keep the baby, because I wanted to be with him. He said the only way we could stay together is if we were both able to move forward with our lives without the baby. I wanted him to sweep me off my feet and tell me things were going to be alright and that we were going to live happily ever after, but instead he just insisted on abortion and that I not tell anyone else about it.

Thing is, he really pressured me hard into getting the abortion. I had fancied myself as his real girlfriend, but in reality, although at one time we might have been that, by that point he was already moving on to a proper potential trophy wife and I was just his fling with a teenage receptionist girl. I didnt understand that at the time, or I might have actually kept the baby, but I let him talk me into how I should have the abortion so I can finish college and go law school like I thought I wanted back then. I felt so bad about it, because I knew that deep down we really did have a margin of compatability and could have been great parents together. I understood his deep nerdy side better than most anyone else, and he admired my spunky wannabe-lawyer attitude and sassyness. But that didnt change what happened.

After the abortion, I had tremendous guilt. The fact that I had an abortion weighted on me so much that more than anything it probably contributed into making me into the chainsmoking nervous wreck I still am today. I maybe only smoked a pack a day or pack and a half a day on average back then, rarely ever more than two packs a day. After the abortion that went through the roof, and three to four packs a day became my new norm. It was awful, but it was just one outlet for my nervousness and anxiety. Drugs and Alcohol of course were the other. I had not one but two DWIs within a year and a half of that abortion, all while still trying to drag myself through college and rebounding off any guy who was willing to sleep with me. I even ended up getting married far too young, only to have to get out of that and try to put my lift back together.

Last I heard from my ex was about seven years ago, when he was finally getting married. He had found some trophy wife character, a nurse who Id actually met before when she worked at the hospital. Strange she actually just happened to be a former beauty queen type of girl too. In fact I think he may have started dating her on the side while I was supposed to be dating him, but I couldnt be sure. Either way I guess I blew him off without wishing him well, but restrained myself from telling him how much hed messed up everything I ever thought I wanted in life. Part of that was because I had actually recovered in some part, and was just starting law school, so I thought I was moving on.

I won't say that I havent thought much about my abortion since when it happened, because I have. I even gave the baby I never had a name. I wont share his name with you, because its just too private for me, but just hearing it sometimes makes me tear up. And Im talking about 12 years later and Im still emoitional about it.

So thing is, Doctor ex-BF calls me upto see how things are going. I try to be cool or even frosty on the phone, but then he tells me that he and his wife have been trying to have a baby and not having much success. Apparently she has been on all manner of fertility treatments for over two years and still can't manage to get pregnant. I would have almost thought to myself this is some kinda Karmic Justice, except for what he told me next.

He told me that he wishes we had kept the baby and raised it together afterall. He said he didnt mean any disrespect to either me or his wife my that, but that after really practicing medicine for several years, not just as a student or resident, that he has started to really appreciate how fragile and precious life really is. He said I was a beautiful woman and would have made an excellent mother and that he is so sorry that he didnt try to persuade me to keep the baby and raise it with him. He said he didnt mean to open old wounds, but that he wanted me to know how he felt.

I didn't know what to say. Part of me wanted to yell at him about how it was far too late for that, but I couldnt bring myself. Part of me wanted to be opportunistic and almost offer him to say that if he was having trouble concieving with his wife that he could always come see me on the side, but I didnt say that. I just told him I was sorry he and his wife were having fertility problems and glad to hear he was thinking about me. He said hed like to go to dinner with me sometime when he was back in town, if I felt up to it, and I told him I didn't know and would have to think about it, but that I very much appreciated the offer. I almost expected he might tell me how much he missed me and how often he thought of me when he was with his wife, and I swear I could almost hear him thinking that; but he didnt actually quite say that, so I only heard what I imagined he might have said.

We hung up and I lit another cigarette and immediately began to cry uncontrolably. Why now? Why did it take so long for him to decide that we should have kept that baby from all those years ago? Why do I still feel guilty about something that someone else pressured me into doing? I dont know how to explain what all Ive felt, but I thought id at least try to see if anyone else had every had anything else ever happen to them and how they dealt with it. ?
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