I am a survivor of sexual violence. I am a survivor of rape. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother. I am a friend of women and an advocate for them.
As a survivor I constantly have an ear tuned into the state of affairs regarding women’s rights and women’s freedom. And as a mother my concern grows daily.
There was so much ground to cover in my memoir Beauty Disrupted that I couldn’t possibly include all the details of my life. I find myself now at another crossroads where some of my personal experiences might be of benefit to share at this time, at this juncture.
Like many young women, as a teenager I was sexually active. I was also a drug addict, incredibly immature, still undeniably irresponsible and quite self centered. And like many young adults, it was a consistently hard pill to wallow that my actions would lead to consequences. I became pregnant at 16. And as painful and harrowing as it was to make the decision, I opted to have an abortion.
The event is still something I will never forget. I was terribly conflicted, and as much as I thought I would be OK becoming a mother, I also knew that in most ways I was absolutely unprepared. I did not have the support I needed. I hadn’t finished my education. I had no ways or means to raise a baby. But despite all the intellectual facts, the choice was one of the hardest I have ever had to make.