This is not a tragic nor really sad story. It is part of my life. My boyfriend Zachary was on the road to self-destruction and was trying to take me down with him.
I was an adult. Zachary and I were living together. I worked; I supported us, but Zachary was the man of the house. He was emotionally abusive to me, once was physically abusive and I didn’t throw him out as it was just once and I was bitchy and maybe, I deserved it. It was just a punch.
I would have needed witnesses to report it. My next door neighbor had once screamed for somebody to call the police. I did. Her lover was a scion of two household name families. The police rang my bell and lectured me about the dangers of making a false report.
I lived in zip code 10021, the richest in America, and domestic abuse just didn’t happen.
I was adopted, and had always believed that I was blessed in my choice of family.
Deciding to have an abortion wasn’t an easy decision. But I knew from the beginning, it was the only decision.
I had my own problems, and can’t deny that they played a part. But my “verbal abuse” consisted of “Zachary, clean up,” “Get a job.” “How can you stay in bed all day smoking pot and drinking Dixie Beer?”
Happened to be fairly well known in the New York club scene, and was going to become fairly well known in the New York alkie bar scene, because people would call to ask me to pick Zachary up as he was so drunk. I had to get up at 5:30 to go to work so I would tell them to keep him.
Didn’t happen that often. I had been married and been with other men; this had never happened once with any of them. It felt wrong.
Just as it felt wrong that Zachary wanted to be with me every minute. When weren’t together he would call constantly. It felt wrong. Everybody thought that he was so in love with me. Every woman was jealous. There was nobody that I could talk about this to.
I saw a dark sick side that scared me. There’s much more. This is all that’s important.
There was no way in hell that I was going to have this man’s baby; and adoption wasn’t an answer. Love’s not rational, and I loved Zachary very much.
I had a legal abortion.
Yes I was adopted, but the anti-adoption movement was in full frontal mode then.
I thought about adoption for a hot second. I didn’t really know about obsession then but I knew that Zachary felt something for me that wasn’t pure love; something strange. Something not good.
When I got him a job at the company I was a supervisor in, he immediately became a union organizer. Zachary could have easily become involved in the birth father. movement.
He had no desire to become a father, but had I gone through with the pregnancy, he would have quickly become a member of that movement. Only to fuel an obsession.
I couldn’t verbalize this then, but I intuitively knew it. An abortion was only the sane answer. It was my choice; I did it, and have never regretted it.
Everybody who knows me well knows how guilty I can feel. Never, ever have I felt guilt over my abortion.
It’s a woman’s body and a woman’s choice. I chose abortion because it was the right choice for me. I was 29 years old with a responsible job, and a boyfriend who spent most of his time bemoaning his fate in life. He blamed his failure to make it as a singer/songwriter on me.
A part of me bought into that; a part of me truly believed that if I could only be a better partner, if I could only keep our apartment clean, if….
I worked ten hour days to support us, but to Zachary that wasn’t enough. He was the important one; he was the brilliant singer/songwriter who had two albums out by the time he was 25. I was supposed to work, keep house, cook, and nurture his genius. Damn it, I tried.
But I have a great survival instinct, and a bigger part of me knew that Zachary was living in a fantasy world that was becoming more warped every day. In order to save myself, I chose abortion.
I chose survival.
Everybody adored Zachary. He was a charmer.
I, and I alone knew that I lived with a truly deranged man who I loved.
I chose to make my future safer and more secure. It took awhile.
Sometime later when I finally threw Zachary out for good, he stalked me. Let him in one day while I was studying, and not thinking. He broke a window, with his bare hand, and a table filled with huge plants. I had to leave New York for awhile. When I came back, he continued to stalk me. Not sure why he stopped. I chopped off my hair and no longer was “Princess Perfect.” My father paid him to leave, we think.
When I met my birth mother, eight years later, it was to specifically thank her for having had me.
My family’s filled with eccentric people who love me. I’m a writer and the family I was adopted into gave me both the tools and the material to write with/on.
Adoption is a wonderful choice. So is survival. I chose to survive.
There’s going to be a new Supreme Court. Alito is known for his stances on abortion. He’s not going to soften them. It’s time for every person in this country who believes in the sanctity of the already alive to stand in solidarity against people who will allow women to die in illegal abortions, and in extreme cases kill abortion workers.
Zygotes aren’t fertilized; they have nothing to do with this subject. Fetuses aren’t people.
The already alive come first.
If a woman doesn’t want to have an abortion, she doesn’t have to have one.
If her partner tries to force her to have one, and she doesn’t want to she should seek help. Abortion being banned won’t stop men from making their partners have abortions; it will make the abortions less safe.
Please lets not go back to the days women tried to abort with coat hangers, by falling down stairs, or any of a hundred other things. I don’t believe that abortion is ethically wrong. What’s ethically wrong is denying women access to safe legal abortions with counseling.
Zachary killed himself on January 4, 1989, in Nashville.
I chose survival. My life went on to be a full and rich one. In this crazy world, I must say one more thing. My life is one hundred percent Freyable. I don’t tell stories like these that can’t be fact checked. Trust me I didn’t begin life asking “will Oprah believe me?” But I have always made sure that when I write these type of stories they could be verified. It’s part of the guilt gene thing.
Crossposted at BIO where you can get out your moral outrage if you want. This isn’t the place to.