Responsibility…or the lack thereof

**Caution, controversial topic within – please don’t cuss, just discuss*

So the other night at work I was chatting with one of our young waitresses (she’s 19), and she proceeded to tell me some really personal things that I wasn’t sure I even wanted to hear about. I’m honored that she trusts me and sort of thinks of me as a big sister, but still…

Long story short – her Mom was a teenage mother who never married the baby daddy, though her Dad has always been in her life. Mom never wanted her daughter to “be like her” and miss her chance at college, etc. b/c of a teenage pregnancy. Since her Mom (and new husband and new young half-siblings) moved to CO a couple of years ago for work, my coworker spent the last couple of years of high school living with her Dad and his new wife (who is now his ex-wife) in Texas and it sounds like she was quite the wild child. She’s telling me about it, and said, “well, you know how accidents happen” (wherein my brain starts screaming NONONONOTHEYFUCKINGDONT-NOTTOME)…you see where this is going, right?


*a caveat here – I’m a pro-choicer, especially in instances like sexual abuse, but I also think there’s a lot of grey area, and when pregnancy is caused by teenage horniness and stupidity and “forgetting” to use birth control, for GOD’S SAKE be a little responsible and carry the child to term and give it to a family that would LOVE to have a baby. if you’re adult enough to choose to have sex, you’re responsible enough to think about birth control*

PHEW, sorry about that.

At any rate, she realized she was pregnant, spent “a long time thinking about what to do”… and by the week of her high school graduation, she “had to go get it done that week b/c she’d been thinking so long about it” (which I assume means she was fairly far along…makes my skin crawl)…but she “knew her Mom would be so disappointed” … so she went in the day before she graduated high school and terminated the pregnancy.

Mind you – I’m at WORK listening to this story, and every part of me wants to scream are you fucking kidding me child?! but I know I can’t do that and UGH…

What would you say to someone in that situation?

15 comments

  1. Wow.I'd tell the girl that while I'm honored she trusts me with this information, I'm not the one she should be sharing something of this nature with. Also, that it is such a controversial topic, she might want to think about who she shares this information with. And lastly, please for the love of all things use birth control or don't have sex at all.

  2. PS, you don't need to make your opinion all teeny tiny within your blogy text. I agree with your pro-choice principals. But she definitely appears to be one of those over-sharers. I would have no idea what to say to her. Shannon's comments are smart, warn her that there are a lot of people that have trouble getting pregnant and want a baby more than anything in the world, so she might be more cautious in flippantly sharing that story. There isn't much she can do about it now. I think the fact that she was telling you about it signifies that there might be a certain amount of trauma associated with her terminating the pregnancy. So she might be looking for some emotional support from you. Or maybe she is just a talker. I have no idea?

  3. @Shannon – those are great responses. I think I'll use that next time I see her. @Natalie – I didn't make my opinion teeny tiny b/c I'm ashamed of it – just b/c it wasn't part of the story. 🙂 I'm about as liberal as it gets and I'm not afraid to say it!! Also – maybe you're right about her needing some emotional support. She moved here a few months ago and she doesn't know anyone. it a tiny town, it's hard to meet ppl when you're not (a) in high school being forced to meet them or (b) 21 so you can go out to the bar and meet them. She probably does just need a friend… tho she couldn't possibly have known that i'm not the best person to talk to about this b/c of my TTC issues!

  4. This situation SUCKED. I don't know what you did, but I'm guessing not much, and that was probably the right thing.I am sure this decision (the whole situation, really) is not something she is happy about, and probably just needs to work it out in her head. It's stinky because you need to NOT hear stories like this, but what is done is done for this girl and beating her up isn't going to help her or you or the lost baby.However, if she (or anyone, really) brings such things up again, just excuse yourself to the bathroom, or fake a cramp, or do whatever you have to do to get out of it. It's too painful.

  5. Ugh. Not a good story all around but definitely one that can be used as a lesson for her. And that lesson is that although abortion is legal, that doesn't make it the popular choice and she needs to be aware that sharing that story will affect people's opinion of her, right or wrong. As far as whether she made the right choice, I go with Gypsy, what's done is done. Unfortunately.

  6. Really? Wow! You handled that much better than I would have. I don't even know how to respond to that one. Sorry you had to go through that. It's kind of like DH's friends that "accidentally" got pregnant and she was having "morning sickness" because he smoked a bowl with her in the room.

  7. Oh my gosh, this is just the kind of situation where you think of just the right (typically sarcastic) thing to say like 10 minutes after the conversation. Ugh…so frustrating. Don't you just want to shake some people! Can you believe it's only one week until Christmas??

  8. One of my best friends (before we were best friends) separated from her husband (whom she had a little boy with). She got knocked up by a random and ultimately had an abortion. She reconciled with her husband and got pregnant within the next few months. Fast forward a few months later, when I started trying to get pregnant and cannot. We ultimately had one of the biggest fights I've ever had. I totally judged her (right or wrong) and told her I'd never understand why she had two beautiful little boys when she killed the other child she had been blessed with. Obviously, she was pissed and our relationship has never been the same, but….That's a hard thing to stomach. I'm proud of you for obviously not wigging out on her. You're a better person than I am.

  9. Wow! I don't know what I would have said or done! Kuddos to you for keeping it together. I agree with the comments before me. She probably just doesn't realize what she's saying. Good luck and let me know how it goes if you do say something to her!

  10. That is a very sad story, and I'm with you. The main reason I have problems with the accessibility of abortion in our country is that people can do this kind of thing! But, I wonder if she was telling you because there's a part of her that feels guilty about it, or is plagued by dreams about the baby, or whatever. I've heard many women who had abortions say that years later they were still filled with guilt and anxiety. I still don't know what I would say to her, since she's probably looking for absolution, and that's not something you can provide. But there's a very good chance she's torn up about what she did.

  11. I am 100% pro-life, and I am a volunteer counselor at a crisis pregnancy center.. I would have told her that it sounds like she has been through alot in her life, and would she be interested in a post-abortive support group to try to work through her feelings and/or struggles? But that's just me. It's really sad that she felt like abortion was her only option. Most of our clients who come in considering abortion have no idea about the process or what the risks are to the mom and how the baby has developed depending on the week she's in. It is amazing how once we show them the tools that are used and the procedures and the prenatal development how many moms change their mind and decide to place for adoption or parent.It is difficult not to judge women who choose abortion, but our charge as Christians is to be a reflection of God's mercy and love. We need to support them where they're at and help them make healthy life choices from here on out. Hoping that you will be a positive influence in her life!

  12. Ah, Josey. I'm so sorry you had to deal with THAT!! I'm sure you would rather have done anything besides had that conversation with a co-worker. Hang in there, dear!

  13. Wow. There are a whole lot of pieces to consider in this story.We don't know…we just never EVER know…what life has thrown at other people. We mainly know what they choose to tell us.At age 19, and having been accidentally pregnant, the world of people who are trying to conceive and having trouble doing so; and all the heartache associated with that, isn't anywhere on this young woman's radar screen. You would be doing her a favor if you could find a way to gently tell her, but you may or may not be willing to share that with her. It may just be too darn hard to speak of something so close to your heart with someone you barely know.The rules that run through my head in difficult situations are: 1. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. 2. If you are going to say something, speak the truth; but speak the truth with love and respect, not in anger or trying to hurt someone.It is not your job to judge the road this girl has taken because while she was being pretty open with you, really you don't know what she didn't tell you. Her decision is between her and God, and is not your business – nor ours – to second guess.You are such a strong and powerful woman, Josephine. I am so proud of you for the compassion you have shown this young woman, even the midst of your own sadness.xxlove youMom

  14. It's hard to know what to do in this situation. Unfortunately, I have experience in uncomfortable situations similar to this as I work in a high risk prenatal office where more than half of our clientele have had abortions and many are young and don't have a concept on reality. I know that it can be so hard to listen to…many times I'd have to shut my office door and cry. When I felt lost in infertility and having more bad days than good, I had a coworker I confided in. There were days that she would just send me for a walk instead of taking another adolescent on her 3rd pregnancy. This helped tremendously. If you are in the throws of this and aren't feeling particularly strong enough, than don't try and be her big sister..at least on this issue. Thank her for opening up to you, and if you're comfortable tell her about yourself. If not, refer her to a support group of some sort. But recognize that you can't be everything to everyone and kindly excuse yourself from that particular conversation. You'll know best what to do, but I hope this helps somewhat.

  15. thats a tuff one. it sounded like she needed someone to tell. its nice that she came to you but you don't need to hear this crap. if she doesn't bring it up again i wouldn't say anything but i would think about talking to her about birth control she should be on it.

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