- Posted February 7, 2013 by
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Have you had an abortion?
Today, I would like to share the reason why I was called to serve this specific population of women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. I, like these women, had to face many of the hardships that they are presently facing. However, I overcame and have seen that by sharing my story with our clients it gives them hope and encourages them to keep fighting and turn their lives into something beautiful. I also like to share my story because many people are quick to judge another person’s life without knowing the root of the problem or the wounds that the person has suffered. In fact, many times these problems are rooted in their childhood and are responsible for their unhealthy lifestyles.
I was born in Habana Cuba. My father was a Captain for the Navy and my mother was an English teacher for the Naval Academy. However, when I was only 3 years old my parents divorced. That was the first wound of many. My father was my hero and I remember sitting at the front door of my house and crying as I waited for him to come home from work and when he did I would cry for him to take his shirt off as a sign that he was going to stay. He did every time, but then the nightmare would start all over again whenever I woke up and he wasn’t there. My mother couldn’t deal with the divorce and ended up at a military psychiatric center where she spent some time. At this center she met my step-father who was a Captain for the western district of the Police Force in Habana. However, he had also been admitted into this center because as a result of his divorce he was dealing with chronic depression. Not long after, they were both discharged and were married so he moved in with us.
Soon after moving in he began to sexually molest me and since I was about 4 years old, I could not understand what was happening. I was too young to make much of it and since he was smart he knew how to confuse me by making me think that he loved me as my father. He was a father in every other area, so in my mind that was the way it was, although I felt uncomfortable and fearful. As if that was not enough, around the same time a neighbor and close friend of the family also sexually molested me.
Years passed by and the abuse continued, so I escaped into a world that I created where books were the only thing that mattered. I would read all kinds of books and study as much as I could and because year after year I would receive the highest report card score of my grade, everyone assumed that “I was fine”. I did not show much interest in playing with other kids however; everyone also assumed that I was sociable because I enjoyed talking and spending time with the adults.
At any rate, when I was 9 years old, one time while my stepfather was abusing me I got upset and told him that I was going to tell my dad about it and that I didn’t like what he was doing to me. In response he put his gun to my head and told me that if I ever told anyone; he would kill my family and then kill himself. From that time I felt responsible for the well-being of my family which placed a burden which was impossible to carry at my young age. My mother on the other hand asked me not to testify or rather to lie and tell the judge I didn’t remember the abuse that I had received from my neighbor. She thought it was better to “forgive”. Of course the message I got from that was: why bother telling anyone what my step-father was doing to me, no one cares; my own mother had just coerced me to forgive the same offense by lying to the judge.
My teen years arrived and with it “go ahead, guess: lots of rebelliousness. I was angry, disrespectful and began to smoke cigarettes. By now I fully understood what was being done to me and I didn’t know how to deal with it. Of course, I was now 13 years old so, my step-father decided to take it to the next level and the abuse went from molestation to rape. Of course, that continued and I got pregnant. Unfortunately, I had a boyfriend and of course, I was having sexual relations with him as well. My step-father was not sure who was the father of the baby so, he convinced my mother and they took me to a clinic to have an abortion.
By this time, I was learning my abuser’s tricks and I was becoming manipulative, crafty and abusive as well. Many times I had to make myself available to maintain peace in my house or my step-father would falsely accuse me of something I had not done. This would create a lot of hostility between my mother and me. Other times I would make myself available to him in order to get something I wanted or permission to go somewhere. By the time that I was 15 years old, I got pregnant again. This time the Doctors didn’t want to perform another abortion because I was too young and underweight. So on November 21, 1990 I had my baby boy. Years passed by and I always wondered who the real father was, always fearful that it could be my step-father. To this day I don’t know but it doesn’t matter, I know who his mother is and I love him with all of my heart.
The next years were hard; I was practically out of control, spending very little time in my house, partying, drinking, and everything else that comes with it. It was at the age of 18 when I got involved with a man that was 15 years older than me and at 19 I left the country in a raft with him. I left behind everything including my 4 year old son. This was just the beginning of another journey full of pain and abuse. He was a drug dealer and I was smoking lots of weed, but through it all always manage to work and help my family in Cuba. This relationship left many physical, emotional and psychological scars and it lasted 7 years. I didn’t have anyone in this country and was more fearful of the outside world than of the abuse I was facing. After all, as far back as I could remember abuse had always been a part of my life. I couldn’t resist anymore and suicidal thoughts were visiting me very often so I decided I was going to leave this guy but I was afraid because he was very dangerous and aggressive. However, I did and that story will take another 3 cups of coffee but I am writing a book with the details of my life and you can get the full version there.
Thank to God I met my husband Pete and he was the main instrument towards my healing proccess.
However, it took a while begore I was able to heal from the scars of my abortion and was able to mourn the death of that child. Yes maybe the father was a rapist but who cared, it was my child and he was inocent. I have been forgiven and today I am the founder and Executive Director of Wesley Chapel Crisis Pregnancy Center and my purpose in life is to give life affirming options to women who are experiencing unplanned pregnancies. One thing I know is that no woman like to have an abortion. The result of it is 1 Wounded and 1 dead.