*Trigger warning for mention of sexual abuse and discussion of abortion*
When I was 11, other girls liked my body because I was thin and I had started growing breasts.
Someone else liked my body and coerced me into sharing it with them when I didn’t want to.
All I wanted was to get my period and be a real woman.
When I was 12, I bled for the first time and every month from then on, I hated my body because it caused me pain. Once I started menstruating, I wasn’t thin anymore, either.
When I was 23, I had the worst period I had ever had. It was summer and it was hot. I was pacing and crying and moaning in agony.
That was the last period I had for a while.
When I took the pregnancy test and it was positive, I just laughed. I had taken the morning after pill. It had made my breasts hurt. I knew then that it wasn’t working and that I was pregnant, but I ignored it. Finally a friend forced me to take a test.
There was never any question of continuing the pregnancy. I was single, homeless, on the dole and mentally ill. It was the first and only time I had ever had unprotected sex. It had happened on the most fertile day of my cycle. And my body did something amazing and started to grow a baby.
I started the process of being referred for an abortion the day I found out. I secretly delighted in the life inside me. I relished in every symptom of pregnancy that I had. I worked out my due date. I followed the progress of the embryo.
I was pregnant and single, and maybe it was hormones, but as I waited the ridiculous delays and jumped through the ridiculous hoops that would allow me to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, I had the most and the best sex of my life. I had a lot of orgasms of my own, and I gave a lot to other people.
I’m not pregnant anymore.
Sometimes I’m sad about that. But it taught me a lot about my body. I learned that my body was capable of miracles.
I know I can create and carry life. I intend to again one day.
I know I can endure incredible pain. Never let an anti-abortionist tell you lies about women getting abortions on a whim, for a laugh, and using it as contraception. I have never experienced such pain and physical trauma. Pacing and crying and moaning in agony a thousandfold.
I know I am capable of experiencing and giving incredible pleasure.
I didn’t know these things before.
My body is hairy and wobbly and a lot of the time I feel ashamed of those things. But my body is warm and strong and life-giving and pleasure-giving and when I’m naked with a lover, all I do is laugh because I fucking love the human body and I guess that includes mine.