I’m going to put a trigger warning here but I will ask you not to look away.
When I was thirteen, I miscarried a pregnancy my father inflicted on me. I mostly stayed on a couch in the basement and it was soaked in my blood. I’m fricking LUCKY I didn’t die of sepsis.
I barely knew what was happening. In a just world, I would’ve been taken to a clinic to get proper care. I remember all that time with that pain. White hot is right. My cat would keep me company, I remember her kind purrs and concern. I ended up in foster care a year later.
And now? I’ve had a lot of therapy but still didn’t avoid major problems both physically and with relationships. I was a breech baby and probably was born with the hip dysplasia that plagues me now but I mean, being raped as a kid probably didn’t help. The sofa was put on the curb.
Probably scraps still in some landfill in Biddeford for all I know. But I lived. I continue to live. Am determined that this will not be the reality for too many other girls. Many I was in foster care with had similar experiences. I’m told not to talk about this because — abortion should be protected REGARDLESS, and that is true. But if we continue down this path, it condemns so many to suffering that needn’t be. To death, to near death. To feeling fortunate your father’s fetus didn’t kill you. And the graves of those it did.
I’ve told this story often. It sucks that it needs telling but I’m up for it. I’ll look any of you in the eye and repeat it again and again, as much as I have to, for it to sink in. Thirteen. I hadn’t even had my first period.
I suppose I should add that just because my story isn’t about abortion (although if, when it started I’d been brought to a clinic I wouldn’t have had to suffer and maybe would’ve gotten out sooner), it’s an illustration that this HAPPENS, more than most of you think. It’s not rare, it’s just hidden.
Every one of the girls in foster care (and many of the boys) I was close to experienced some form of sexual abuse. Mine started when I was four. I know this because that’s when I first got in trouble for telling someone about it. To me it was “normal” so why wouldn’t I?
This article first appeared as a Twitter thread. Read and follow AlbyZee.
Original art by Julie Frontera
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