I was supposed to love and depend on my mom for the rest of my life.
And now she probably couldn’t even tell you that I enjoy writing. Or that my favorite color is navy blue.
To be honest, I always thought that once I mustered up the courage to write about my mom, it would be a ‘Cleanin’ Out My Closet’ type of situation.
I daydreamed for years about all of the cruel and heinous things I’d say to her if I were only given the opportunity.
But now, I’m enraged with the people who convinced her that having an abortion was a greater sin than being a terrible mother.
“Pro-lifers” like using kids like me as poster children for their political agenda. It makes me sick.
I wonder if most “pro-lifers” were forced to give birth when they were teenagers, with little access to mental health services and child support. My mother’s parents told her that they’d disown her if she terminated the pregnancy. I hope no “pro-lifers” are ever faced with this life-or-death ultimatum.
I wonder how “pro-lifers” would handle being 16 with no options. To be petrified and confused, all before third period chemistry class.I wouldn’t wish that isolation or loneliness on anyone.
I wonder if “pro-lifers” think children make good parents, or if they think all pregnant teenagers should trade out prom and graduation for diaper bags and early alcoholism.
I wonder what “pro-lifers” would say if they only knew how hard it is to shave your legs as a hairy 13-year-old with no guidance. I hope they never know the horrible feeling of going to school, embarrassed and covered in razor cuts because your mom wasn’t around to introduce you to shaving cream.
I wonder if “pro-lifers” are familiar with the ever-burning jealousy that inhabits my chest every time I see a mom and daughter bonding in public. I’ll always have to do manicures, shopping and picnic lunches alone.
I can’t help but wonder what “pro-lifers” would say if they carried the burden of their own mom’s downward spiral on their backs.
I spent a lot of my life wanting to hate my mother. But in all honesty, I only hated her because she was incapable of loving me.
I watched her.
For 12 years I watched her drown her memories in liquor. I watched her lie to everyone who cared about her. I watched hidden wine coolers and untreated bipolar disorder slowly wash away her personality.
I watched her try her best and fail miserably until eventually, I watched her leave.
I hadn’t seen my mom in over seven years.
That’s seven birthdays, seven Christmases and seven grueling Mother’s Days I spent staring at the door, half-hoping to see her walk through it.
My other half hoped she was dead, so I wouldn’t have to truly accept that she was out in the world living her life with zero thought of me.
Her absence has consumed my life for the past seven years.
Until this summer, when I stepped foot on her front porch for the first time in nearly a decade. I looked into her eyes, hauntingly similar to mine, glossed over, with nothing behind them.
She didn’t recognize me.
And for a while, I wanted to disappear.
If I could go back in time and avoid ever feeling that way, I’d rip myself out of her womb with my own two hands.
I see a lot of awareness being spread about keeping abortion legal and accessible in the wake of the Dobbs decision. And that’s amazing.
But my mom had access to an abortion. She had the means and the funds to make the right decision for herself.
Instead, she was pressured by people who wouldn’t stick around to live with the consequences of her actions.
She was too young to have her life destroyed. So was I.
This column was extremely hard for me to write. Because no person should have to write it in the first place.
Keep abortion safe, legal and shameless.
We don’t want columns like this.
Kayla Estrada is a senior news/features editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Kayla Estrada is a senior news/features editor at The Spectrum. She is an English major who enjoys rainy weather, “Bob’s Burgers” and asking people who they voted for. When she’s not writing, she can be found hunting for odd-looking knick-knacks at the nearest thrift store.