I am at my last “thing” that I am supposed to tell you, that you most likely don’t already know about me, and I am struggling… Should I tell you about the strip club / lap dance? Should I talk about how my brother used to beat the crap out of me when we were kids? Should I discuss the parties that I had when my mom worked nights and I was in high school? Do I talk about how I am adopted, but don’t think about it much? Should I tell you about some of the really bad dates I had? See – the problem is that I have touched on some or all of these things here in the past, and many people who know me have heard it all before. We all have secrets, and although revealing those may be the point of this, I don’t really want to reveal anything too close to the heart. I am funny that way. I put it all out there, and then wonder what in the hell I was thinking.

Here goes "putting it all out there":

When I was 18, I thought I was pregnant.

My first grown-up relationship was interesting. It was intense, and serious, and full of drama. It didn’t last but a summer, however I cannot now imagine how we packed so much over-reacting into that period of time.

I had not experienced much in the way of relationships prior to that one…physical or emotional. And yet? I wanted to be treated as an adult, and felt completely capable of handling a serious relationship. I admit it. I was an idiot.

We had been dating a while, and the relationship had grown quite serious from my perspective. My period was late by a few weeks and I was horrified, scared, and felt all alone. I had been raised in a VERY VERY STRICT Christian home – full of the Fire and Brimstone speeches. I went to church almost as much as I went to school, and I pretty much believed everything they told me. I was not prepared for this serious kind of situation…at all. I would, after all, go straight to hell if I were in fact pregnant. The fact that I had engaged in pre-marital sex was also an issue…but pregnant? I may NEVER BE FORGIVEN!

I decided not to tell my boyfriend until I knew for sure, because I was an idiot that loved to torture myself. I had been thinking about what I would do – would I get an abortion (not likely), give the baby up for adoption (wow, wouldn’t that be hard?), or would I keep the baby, becoming a new mother at 18 (that would suck in so many ways for me). I tried to imagine telling my mother, which led to me realizing that I would be kicked out of the house in a heartbeat. Where would I live? What would I do? Did I love my boyfriend enough to get married and raise a baby together? I was only 18. I had not gone anywhere in the world. I had not been to college. I didn’t have a real job. My church would never support me. I was in turmoil.

I remember going to Planned Parenthood with one of my girlfriends and getting a pregnancy test. And although I was enormously relieved when they told me that it was negative, part of me was sad, or disappointed, or something I am still not sure I can describe. The idea of a life growing inside of me, even though it was the wrong time, wrong situation, and posed a horrible outcome, was still a life… and it was sad to find out it didn’t exist.

I obtained birth control immediately. And, as I recall, I decided to pass the torment I had endured on to my boyfriend. I asked him what he would do if I was pregnant…and let him fret for a bit until I told him that I was not. I wanted to see how he would handle it, or back him into a corner, or something – I am not even sure what. I do know that I was less than thrilled with his initial reaction, but then what would I expect really? I had been terrified at the prospect and had ample time to mull it over. He had no warning whatsoever. I could just slap that 18 year old idiot that I was. I wish I could go back and show my teenage self how that one thing caused a wedge in our relationship. And, although there were other factors, I would say that was the beginning of the end for us.