For what its worth… I am a bastard.
That is to say, my parents were not married when I was born. I never knew my biological father. From what I gather he left my mum not long after I was born. I grew up with the most loving mother God could have gifted me. And memories of ‘a guy’, an adoptive step-father, who I never connected with before he left when I was 15. And then another guy.
For a long time I resented my mum for having ‘selfishly kept me without the resources required to provide me with a complete upbringing.’ I have always felt like there was a dad-shaped hole in me which has never been filled, and I blamed both my mum and my father for that. I vowed never to commit the same mistake as my father.
Then I inadvertently committed another, more heinous.
When my first serious girlfriend fell pregnant, I was still in high school. I had very mixed emotions.
Of the responsibility. Of the restraint. Of losing my own childhood too soon.
At myself for letting this happen. At my girlfriend for letting this happen.
For the pain I knew this would cause my girlfriend, and the stress it would cause on our relationship.
Of not being responsible for my actions. Of giving in to dangerous temptation.
Although the time surrounding the events is now clouded in darkness in my memory, I recall a strong sense of not being ready to raise a child in a manner that would conform to anybody’s minimum standards, much less my own. And I recall not wanting to walk down the road of bringing a child into this world who would be condemned to a life of hardship and uncertainty.
Doing what I thought was right, I offered ‘my support’ to my girlfriend, by indicating to her that I would stand by her no matter what decision she made. I felt that such decisions were not fit for men to have a say in as a man’s vested interest could only ever be inferior.
Ultimately, we agreed that termination of the pregnancy was the easiest course of action. A decision which haunts me to this day.
I was never able to express to my girlfriend the sorrow that I had inside me for putting her through that trauma. And I will never be able to fathom the potential of love that we removed from this world by depriving it of our child.
These days, the resentment that I once felt towards my own parents for their mistakes amplifies the resentment I feel towards myself. Given the level of guilt that I still feel, I can only imagine that, had I not already suffered from depression, this decision would likely have triggered it.
Abortion is not a viable long term solution, no matter how it may appear in the short term. Nor is bringing a child into this world without the love that it deserves. If I knew then what I do now, nothing could have prevented me from doing everything in my power to raise our child with all the love that I possess.
I still hope to one day have children. I will be making sure that this is one lesson which does not get lost in the teaching.
As a side-note, I would like to say that despite my comment about a man’s vested interest being inferior, I firmly believe that it is equally important for boys and men to hear this message, as the psychological impact that abortion can have on a man should not be underestimated.