Testimonies Category Image

Molly's Story

I love my parents because they are my parents. That does not change the fact that I needed more than they could give me growing up. I love them because they did the best they could with the baggage they carry. That does not change the fact that I struggle to acknowledge and heal the damage that was unintentionally done to me every day. My father worked nights, so my brother and I rarely saw him or got to spend time with him. My mother was a stay at home mom and the ultimate disciplinarian. I never thought of myself as beautiful or attractive because I was often reminded that I was fat. I never thought of myself as intelligent because I only heard about all the things I did wrong. Even everything that I felt was wrong. I never felt accepted, wanted or loved by the people who were supposed to love me the most. I felt very alone, unloved and rejected.

As I grew into a teenager, I began to receive a lot of attention, especially from the opposite sex… and I loved it. Looking back now I realize that I was looking for that love and acceptance I so desperately needed. Then, it just felt good to have someone tell me that I was pretty or smart or fun… or anything but wrong. My parents failed to discuss the birds and the bees with me and I lost my innocence 10 days before my 15th birthday. I used to have a diary… it was the one place I could talk and not get any negative feedback and I wrote in it every day, sometimes several times a day. Needless to say, this monumental event was recorded in the pages of my diary, which had a lock, of course. On that day’s entry, I included the horrid details of the event and I also made it clear that “I would never have a fatherless child” should my actions lead to pregnancy. Months later I came home to find my mother furious and my dad in tears. It was the first and only time I have ever seen my father cry. They justified themselves by saying it was because my behavior had changed and that they were worried because I did not talk to them about anything anymore. They had broken the clasp on my diary and had read it. My mother was angry because she raised us as Catholics and she could not believe that I would even think about having an abortion. She had no difficulty telling me just how wrong I was about everything I had done and thought and I think she mentioned all the things that would happen to me if I continued on the path I was on. I do not think my father spoke. I just remember he was in the room, shoulders hunched over, and a look of agony on his face, tears falling.

My anger and my hurt at this invasion of my privacy lasted for years, and if anything, only served to fuel my rebellion against my parents. It was obvious to me I had failed them once again and I convinced myself that I did not care one little bit. I continued on my path of self-destruction, experimenting with drugs and having sex with just about anyone who would have me. My first pregnancy and abortion were at age 17 in the fall of 1989. I was not sure who the father was. I did not tell either of the potential fathers I was pregnant. I was a senior in High School, determined to get away from my parents as soon as I graduated. There was no way I could provide for a baby by myself and I was not going to get married at 17. I was going to college. There were things I wanted to do and places I wanted to go. I had plans and a baby was just not part of any of them. I could not tell my parents I was pregnant because I knew in my mind how they would react and that the end result would be me, dead. My mother’s anger and my father’s pain were with me still. My best friend took me to the clinic. She supported my decision 100%. She even said she would do the same thing if she were in my shoes. No one else knew.

I do not remember much about the procedure itself. I remember the doctor telling me that he was going to give me a shot and that it would make me numb so that I would not feel any pain. Within a minute after the shot, God had mercy on me and I went unconscious. I woke up later, in recovery and the deed was done. The nurses seemed surprised that I had passed out so easily and stayed out of it for as long as I did. I do not remember seeing the doctor again. As soon as I could walk on my own, they sent me home. I was relieved that I did not have to face any of it… not my parents nor my baby. I was sure I had done the only thing I could do.

My behavior changed just a little. One of my relationships developed into something more serious and I began to see a future with this person. My mother did not approve of him, which only fueled my fire. Our relationship continued even when I went to college… at Florida State University in Tallahassee… the furthest I could get away from my parents without leaving the state. In the spring of my freshman year, I went home for Spring Break but I did not go home. I stayed with my best friend who was living with her boyfriend at the time, less than 20 minutes away from my parents’ house. My boyfriend spent the week there with me. We had a wonderful week together. I do not remember why the subject came up but I imagine it was probably because we were having unprotected sex. I asked him what we would do if I got pregnant. He went on about my future, college, marriage, my parents and all of the other reasons why the time was not right. He already had a daughter from a previous relationship. He said all the things that I had told myself the year before. Without knowing it, we gave our child a death sentence. I returned to college only to discover about a month later that I was pregnant. In May of 1991, at the age of 19, I had my second abortion.

My boyfriend took me to the clinic. I remember the doctor saying, “This is going to be just like it was last time” as he prepared me for my shot of Demerol. Only it wasn’t the same. I did not slip into unconsciousness. I was awake for the whole procedure. I remember the lights, the sounds, the voices, the pain and my tears. When it was over, my boyfriend took me to his house, where I stayed a few days while I recovered. This time I knew what I had done was wrong but I convinced myself that it was the right thing to do given our circumstances. I convinced myself that when he and I got married we would “replace” the life we had taken with many more… as if such a thing could be done. He and I stayed together for a few more years, but inevitably grew apart after 6 years together and one very bad decision.

Since I was on my own, I was not forced to go to church, so I didn’t. I did not spend much time with God either. It was easier that way until I could not live with myself anymore. I started going to church again, even if it wasn’t on a regular basis. I always sat way in the back and was one of the first to leave. Somehow I began to think that if God could forgive me, maybe, just maybe I might be able to forgive myself. It was during Easter preparations in 1994, the spring of my senior year in college that I decided to go to confession. When I confessed my abortions, the priest told me he could not grant me absolution. I walked away from that church knowing, not just believing but also knowing, that I could not be forgiven. I spent the next few years hating myself, hating what I had done and punishing myself mentally and emotionally. I graduated from FSU again, this time with my MBA in 1996 and I moved to Georgia the summer of the Olympics in Atlanta.

I eventually returned to the church but still not on a regular basis. I rarely had communion, even after reconciliation. Now I understand that although I had given up on myself, God had not given up on me. I met a wonderful man and married him in 1998… in a Catholic Church after all of the required preparations. I kept reading about PATH in the Georgia Bulletin. Each time I read the ad I wondered why I had to be reminded of my past. Each time I resisted the desire to call for help.

In 2002, I finally gave in and called for more information. I spoke to Mary Ann and she gently guided me to a Bible Study. About a month into the bible study, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. Right then, I knew in my heart that God had led me to PATH so that I may be able to be a good mother to my child. The bible study was a huge help for me, and when it was over, I felt more whole than I had felt in over 10 years. My baby daughter was born in October 2002. In January of 2003, I attended a Rachel Vineyard’s Retreat held by PATH. There I was able to grieve the loss of my children, to honor them and to continue the healing process. At the end of the retreat there was a Memorial Service honoring my aborted children. My husband and my 5-month-old baby girl were by my side.

After the retreat, my intention was to put everything behind me and get on with my life, hopefully in a healthier way. I understand now that God had other plans for me. It took me 4 years to realize it, but I believe God wants me to share my story with others like me in order to help them find their way back to Him, to forgiveness and to healing. And that is why I am here and a part of PATH.