Right after my nineteenth birthday, I left my family for a new kind, the military. I went to boot camp and then to Biloxi, Mississippi for nine months of technical training. I excelled academically and thoroughly enjoyed the new freedom I had.
I of course found myself drinking too much far too often, but this was the norm of the culture. I really just went with the flow. But knowing my parents are addicts would clearly indicate that drinking could be dangerous for me.
Nevertheless, I proceeded to make my own decisions badly for sure. I made a boyfriend who of course wanted to have sex. So, I asked around and found a way to sneak into the men’s barracks to make that happen more frequently.
Since I was sixteen I had been on the pill, but now in the military there hadn’t been time to get a prescription and you can see where this is going; I was pregnant.
I called home for advice and found that my sister two years younger than me was pregnant as well. She was being pressured to get rid of hers, but knew she wouldn’t.
I felt I had to get rid of mine as quickly as possible. I started talking to all the usual suspects in my chain of command. I made all the correct inquiries with the base chaplain and knew without a shadow of a doubt it had to be done.
No one tried to talk me out of it. My commander approved of the plan to have a female instructor escort me to a center for the procedure and then gave me some restrictive orders afterwards in order to recover properly. My barrack mates even pulled my mattress off the bunk to the floor so I could sleep it off comfortably for two days.
I don’t doubt that God was watching out for me; I was graciously allowed to make a terrible decision for my own protection. I could not go back home. I could not get married. I could not leave this road to a better life for myself.