“You had asked us a while ago to share our experiences. Lately I have been watching as a lot of debate on abortion is going on. There are many extreme views – and it is so hard for me to understand why someone would deny women this right. I myself had an abortion several years ago.
I was always quite shy when it came to men so never had and still do not have much experience dating. But in my university years I met a foreign student (Swedish) in my same course who I immediately felt attracted to. He was tall and handsome, smart and funny and had a strong personality which I found appealing. We were at a party and were playing a drinking game and he asked me to partner up with him. I felt like the luckiest woman alive when that happened 🙂
After that party we met a few times before he went back home, and we continued chatting – at the time it was ICQ I believe. We decided to keep seeing each other – so we travelled often. I went to Sweden he came to Malta, and we would also often meet in other places – like Rome, Florence…and 2 years rolled on. It was a long-distance relationship, so it was not easy, but I was in love with him and I wanted to make it work. We agreed that I would move there once I graduated as I was due to graduate 1 year before him. And that is what we did. When I moved there, we of course started living together.
At first things were great, but then things started changing slowly the more I seemed to fit in to life there. I quickly made friends and got involved in activities, which in hind sight I realise he was not pleased about, and he started creating reasons why I should not go out, why I should not socialise, etc. I put on around 5kg and then the verbal abuse started – “You were already fat before, don’t put on any more weight.” I was banned from being in the kitchen, so I could not touch food.
Then on his birthday I booked a weekend break and he refused to come with me as he said he did not want to be seen outside with me and he always told me, “You will never leave me; You’re too ugly, no one else will ever want you; If you leave me, you’ll be alone for the rest of your life.” The sad thing about all of this is that my self-esteem was so low I believed he was right – I was too ugly, fat (I was a size 14 mind you), and I would be alone forever – so I stayed and accepted the abuse. A few weeks after that he started physically hitting me as well. I took it for some time, but eventually something inside me clicked and I decided to leave. I got myself an apartment in the city centre and decided if need be I’ll be alone for the rest of my life.
On the 14th of February 2009 I hear a knock at my door – I open, and he is there. He said he wanted to talk and forced himself in. We argued… I don’t remember much of that night. He hit me so hard I lost consciousness and my clothes were torn! I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I had a shower, put on my clothes, and never spoke of it again.
I decided to leave and gave in my notice at work, but still had a few weeks left to work. Before I was leaving I realised I was late – but no, it could not be I was pregnant! This is not going to be my story – I am not going to be tied to this monster for the rest of my life! Pregnancy test done, and it was positive – my worst nightmare. I knew if I had this baby there was no escaping him – he wanted kids – he always told me he wanted 2 and he would follow me to the end of the earth if it means having control over his child!
That is when I decided – no, my life is not going to be this – I decided to have an abortion! Do I regret it? No, I don’t! Would I do it again? Yes, I would, because probably had I had that child I would not be here to tell the story. I have helped many people throughout my career and I know the world would have been worse off if I was dead and he would be raising this child alone!
I had not seen him for years, but recently I found out he has gotten married and had a baby girl whom he named with my name! In September I was on holiday in France and I ran into him there – it was not easy seeing him again! A few weeks ago, it was Valentine’s. He messaged me through social media and asked if I was still alone on Valentine’s and wished me Happy Valentine’s. Of course, that wish is full of meaning – it was the day he raped me 10 years ago.
I am still single. It’s difficult to trust men after you have been through something like this, but I am now at least not seeing a monster in the mirror, which he made me believe I was! So, for those out there advocating against abortion please keep in mind no one is forcing you to have an abortion against your will. You don’t want one? You don’t need to have it! But for someone going through what I went through it could mean life or death! Luckily, most people in my circles should they have a situation like mine would probably afford to go abroad and get an abortion, but not introducing it here means that those who cannot afford to go abroad will resort to illegal methods that can harm them if they are desperate enough.”