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I fell in love for the first time ten years ago, well at least what I thought was love. He was the typical bad boy – the one everyone warns you about; involved in drugs, a player and egotistical. I never listened, and yes my heart got broken and I did things I never expected I would do. However, I do not regret it as it has lead me to be the person I am today and I am very content within myself.

The first few months of being with him are indescribable; exciting to say the least. A bit of playing hard to get, the excitement when you hear your phone beep and hoping it was from him, the first kiss the list goes on. I was falling and falling hard. Up until I had met him I had always believed I was strong, a girl who knew what she wanted and that wouldn’t settle for less – I had a mouth on me and I knew how to use it. I was the girl that never relied on anyone to pay for me, pick me up, make me happy – I was rather independent. That was until he came along, I was completely under his “control”. He made me question my beliefs, the way I dressed, the way I spoke, the way I carried myself. He was molding me into what he thought would be the perfect girlfriend. My moods became erratic, I would lash out at those closest to me when they would try talk to me; in other words I became a b*cth. Friends and family would caution me about him when I would tell them his latest antics – and I would always have an excuse to cover up his bad behavior.

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A couple of months down the line, I became an emotional mess. One key moment was whilst we were watching a movie I broke down in tears of jealousy over an actress that was beautiful – I was convinced he would rather be with her than me! I couldn’t understand it – this was not my behavior. I noticed other changes and somewhere in the back of my mind I thought to myself “maybe I am pregnant”. It definitely was probable because there were sometimes when we did not practice safe sex and I had to go get the morning after pill. I confided in my friend and she offered to take me to the pharmacy after school (I was in Matric at this time). Off we went on her scooter, laughing and joking about it. Surely I wasn’t pregnant? Alas three tests later and I was definitely pregnant! Sh*t, now what?

To say the boyfriend wasn’t thrilled is an understatement, he immediately got on the phone to his older brother and asked where I could get an abortion! He broke down and said that his father would kill him and I was far too young to be a mom. I don’t know if I should just blame it on the hormones, the love I felt for him or the lack of maturity on my side but I agreed to go the next morning and have the abortion.

We arrived at the clinic, a dodgey little shop in the middle of town. I was shivering, starving and petrified, the boyfriend tried to comfort me and tell me that we were doing the right thing. We walked in and sat down in a queue of people and I just knew right then there was no way I could do this without speaking to my parents first (I am the only child and have an extremely close relationship with my parents – just shows you how toxic this relationship was that I did not go to my mom straight away). I burst into tears and told him I could not do it without speaking to my mom, he told me that it was fine but that he would never step foot in my parents house again.

I roped in my best friend and we told my mother, which then lead to telling father, obviously they were not happy and rather disappointed but they were as always caring and supportive. Both my parents agreed that an abortion would be best for me; my best friend also seemed to think so as well. So now I had four people rooting for an abortion and now that I think of it no one asked me if that’s what I wanted. I suppose subconsciously I had made up my mind as well. We went the following Monday to book an appointment with a reputable family clinic, where I was well informed of the procedure and the effects it would have on me – the lady I spoke with was amazing and she really put my mind to ease. I was booked in for the Wednesday and the abortion would be done under anesthetic.

The morning arrived; my mom and best friend would be coming with me. The boyfriend had to work – never mind we bumped into him and his brother at the garage – they were on their way home from a party! Yet still, I covered up for him and said just maybe that was his way with dealing with it. It was not the traumatic experience I thought it would be but I would put that to the fact that I was under anesthetic and had some really amazing support from my mom and best friend as well as the staff at the clinic.

That night my parents had to go to a work function and my boyfriend came over but he would rather have been at his ex-girlfriends 18th birthday party. Right that was the perfect way to end an emotional day! He eventually left for the party and I was left alone to my own devices and all I remember is feeling numb. I knew I should be upset, crying – I had just aborted a tiny little baby! Maybe I should have felt relieved? It was over and I could move on but I felt nothing. I have this ‘thing’ that when I am confronted with matters that really get to my heart I either push them back as far as I can or I make light of it, I never fully deal with it. My coping mechanism I suppose.

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Or my coping mechanism could have been the copious amounts of alcohol consumed, the experimenting with drugs and a one night stand (stories for another day), or finally forgiveness. It has taken me a long time – I initially seemed to have “forgotten” but not forgiven, but I am happy to say that I have finally forgiven myself and found a sort of sense of peace – I will never forget but I hope that I have learnt from it. The abortion and unhealthy relationship led me to take some very wrong turns, but there was a lesson at every turn and boy did I learn them. I have changed my life around completely and am strong in my convictions, beliefs and myself.

So fast forward 10 years later – the boyfriend and I never worked out (surprise!), he is now a father to two gorgeous children, a boy and a girl but apparently not very happy with his babies mama, which is sad to hear especially because of the children. Me? I am happily in love – real pure, honest, respectful and true – with an amazing man (7 years almost) and I believe the wedding bells will ring shortly. I cannot wait to be the mother of his children – if God so blesses us- and I will give them extra love to make up for the ‘lost’ one.

I would just like to put a note out: the morning after pill does work, in most cases, however and what some pharmacists do not tell you is that if you take it too often, your body gets used to it and it will not work. I had taken it three times in three weeks and that is how I fell pregnant (well there was the birds and bees involved – of course)! By saying that it works, I do not recommend it – I recommend the ABC’s – abstinence, birth control and a condom.

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