March 11, 2011 7:44 PM   Subscribe

I found out I was pregnant last week. My ex just told me he won't be coming with me to the clinic. I feel alone, weak and sad. Please give me some guidance.

I am a college student, early twenties. I found out I was pregnant last week. And before any mefites ask, yes, I am in therapy but it is not helpful at all.

Last week I found out I was pregnant, due to my ex. He and I discussed it and he helped me research options. The same day that I told him, he said he would help pay for half of the abortion and accompany me to the clinic (a 4 - 5 hour ordeal). There is no chance of us getting back together, but having his support meant a lot to me. This was last week.

Today, he left me a voicemail saying that he won't be taking me to the clinic anymore (appointment is next Saturday) because he forgot that he is busy that day. The nearby clinic has had some bad reviews and I'm very scared about the procedure and being pregnant. It upsets me that he won't be coming with me. Also, he made no mention of helping to pay for the procedure and I am worried that if he doesn't come with me he never will. He isn't returning any of my calls.

I still have feelings for him and this is not the first time he's skipped out on me. He has no feelings for me and has no desire to be in a relationship with me, as he's told me several times. I want to use this situation to really push myself to realize that I need to stop contacting this guy, that he really does not care about me and I need to get over him and push him out of my life.

But because I feel so dependent on him and I don't feel very strong, I am very affected by this. I'm worried I'll fall into bad habits and get attached to him even after this pregnancy. I'm afraid that even though I know now that him skipping out on taking me to the clinic (I have no car, I will have to take 2-3 buses to get there) is an asshole move, that I'll write it off later and forgive him for it because I'll feel the need to want to be with him/talk to him.

I feel very messed up about the pregnancy and my attachment (has lasted, unreciprocated except for the sex, for over a year) to a guy who doesn't care about me. I know this is unhealthy and so I began seeing a therapist even before I found out I was pregnant. The therapist is very unhelpful. I have told her that I do not respond well by just talking about my feelings. I need people to tell me anecdotes, talk to me directly about things I should try, reasons why the way I am thinking is unhealthy, etc. Basically, take a more active role. I will probably stop seeing her soon but to get to another therapist would take weeks of waiting.

I don't have many friends and of the three I have told, none of them offer me advice that resonates with me. But it is good to have told them so that I don't feel so alone. One of my friends has offered to accompany me to the clinic next Saturday. I guess what I'm looking for is the advice of mefites. I really value the wisdom, stories, and advice given on this board.

This last bit might sound silly but if any of you have watched the latest episode of Glee, I feel like what I really need is someone like Kurt's father (I never had anyone who really believed in me) to tell me to be strong, that I matter and that I need to keep moving. But most importantly, while I'm feeling the most down, I feel like I just need people to tell me what I need to do and share their stories so that I'll actually begin to believe that I can be strong and move forward.
posted by taiscape to Human Relations (149 answers total) 73 users marked this as a favorite
You are going to be feeling very vulnerable on Saturday. I really believe you will be better off with your friend, instead of having to experience the horrible wobbly grief of reaching to this man for help when he won't be offering anything real. When you need support, you need to know that you're leaning on someone who won't cave on you.

He's treated you in asshole ways. He shouldn't get to see you naked any more, and that means bodily or emotionally.
posted by Sallyfur at 7:56 PM on March 11, 2011 [57 favorites]

You'll be fine, you are strong, and you will get through this. Sunday will be rough, but you know you are making the right decision for yourself and your future regardless of this (totally-undeserving-of-you) guy. It's a great sign that you reached out to the people in your life for support, since this shows you are wise enough to ask for support.

Just be glad that you have the option to end this pregnancy safely. Give yourself time to be sad, to mourn the pregnancy and this lost relationship. (PS you really should lose this relationship, he sounds like bad news). In the future you will be so glad that he will not need to be a fixture in your life.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 7:59 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Your ex is being a wimp and a jerk and doesn't deserve your continued affection. If he can't even muster up the backbone to return your calls, don't waste any more of your time or energy on him. Take your friend up on their offer to go to your appointment with you.

If you are in Chicago, memail me. I will happily drive you to/from the clinic.
posted by phunniemee at 7:59 PM on March 11, 2011 [27 favorites]

Take your friend up on the offer. Having someone there will be very important. If you are in Toronto, I will happily be there as well. Stay strong, make the best decision for you (not your ex), and know that you will get through this.
posted by Go Banana at 8:03 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Honestly, this isn't something that should be forgivable. I mean, you are now at your most vulnerable and you're feeling most alone and he's not living up to even the bare minimum of responsibility for his actions. He's saying "he's busy" when you need him the most. Let your ex stay your ex forever.

You deserve so much more. We all do, every single one of us. Him talking to you doesn't equal caring. Caring is showing up. Caring is being there for someone you love.

So go with your friend to the clinic. Don't be alone. It's too easy to be depressed when you're alone at that time. Be with someone who, even as a friend, gives a damn about you.

Strength to you. You'll be in my thoughts.
posted by inturnaround at 8:08 PM on March 11, 2011 [5 favorites]

All I can do is 2nd what has been said above. This guy is useless and a total jerk.

If you're near DC, I'd like to be your friend.
posted by Flamingo at 8:09 PM on March 11, 2011 [7 favorites]

Hey, taiscape, this internet stranger is rooting for you. You absolutely do matter, and you are strong and smart for making the right decision for your circumstances. I don't have a car, but if you're in Hamilton, ON, I can arrange cabs and go with you.

I had an abortion about 10 years ago and was scared out of my mind that it would hurt more than I could deal with, or that the clinic staff would be assholes, or that it would be very painful afterward, or that I would feel sick and ashamed whenever I thought about it for the rest of my life. Almost talked myself out of going through with it (which would have been a horrible idea! sheesh, past self!). I don't remember anything about the procedure because of whatever sedative they gave me, and for a couple of days afterward I had worse-than-usual cramps, and that was about it. It was helpful to have snacks/light meals already prepped and waiting in the fridge, and plenty of movies lined up to watch on TV, and before the procedure I made arrangements for friends to come over and visit me afterward so I felt less icky and more taken care of.

Good luck! I'll think good thoughts in your direction next Saturday.
posted by bewilderbeast at 8:14 PM on March 11, 2011 [9 favorites]

Your 'ex' needs to be written out of your life. There is nothing about him that warrants your continuing any relationship.

Accept the kindness of your fiend, allow him/her to take you to the clinic.

In this life, in this world, we have ourselves. You will prevail.

If you need a conversation, someone to talk to, memail me. You'll be'll survive this.
posted by tomswift at 8:17 PM on March 11, 2011

Have you considered getting a different therapist? You need support now. Like everyone else above i agree that you should have your friend accompany you. If she doesn't have a car can you afford to take a cab home from the clinic? Reach out to friends and family who will be supportive, even if they're far away. And do your best to forget about the asshole. You can do it. I'm in Savannah if you happen to be here and would be happy to drive you. Feel free to memail me if you need a supportive friend, I'm a mom of grown children and I've had an abortion.

Maybe everyone else who is willing to help out in person could say where they are in their post.
posted by mareli at 8:21 PM on March 11, 2011

Be strong.

You matter.

You need to keep moving.

Others have offered, I will too. For real--I have nothing to do next weekend more important. In DC, have a car, and I'd probably even be able to talk my wife into going with us.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:24 PM on March 11, 2011

Hey, I can help if you're in the Minneapolis area.
posted by lakeroon at 8:30 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh, dear. I am so sorry.

I have not had an abortion but I did miscarry, and that resulted in a D&C. Not great fun. I had general anaesthetic and was in the hospital overnight, which I understand is not the usual deal for an abortion. It was not too difficult physically except for a little period when coming out of the anaesthetic, and the next 24h were not great but easily managed with better painkillers.

It would have been a terrible time, emotionally and physically, to be with somebody who didn't want to be with me. It is a great blessing that this boy is not able to accompany you.

I can't understand why you would still have feelings for him at this point, at least feelings that are not 'revulsion.' Do find a new therapist.

One tends to be short on friends when one is in a relationship with a jerk. Use this as a turning point; move confidently forward, meet new people, good people, and make new friends.

If you want some reading material, I liked Kim Kluger-Bell's Unspeakable Losses: Healing From Miscarriage, Abortion, And Other Pregnancy Loss.
posted by kmennie at 8:31 PM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]

taiscape, your profile says Baltimore -- is that where the clinic is? I'm in NYC and available next Saturday, just in case.

My heart goes out to you. I know what it's like to be in your 20s and attached to an unhealthy relationship. This too shall pass, but it takes time. And unfortunately, continued sex with the ex keeps you attached. So no more sex. Or calls. Or any contact at all. You mention being dependent on him -- know that you have the power to change that. When you feel like contacting him, do something else: write in a journal, exercise, listen to music, go to a movie, call a friend. Whatever healthy activity you can do to avoid contacting him. (Personally, I don't think it's even worth trying to pursue him for half of the cost of the abortion, but YMMV.)

If it really will take weeks to line up another therapist, I would keep the current therapist (unless she really upsets you) and print out this thread and bring it to your next appt. You may still be able to get something useful out of therapy while you wait for another appointment. You may have to try several therapists before you find one that fits.

I agree with the other posters: going with a friend is much better. It would be yet another vulnerable time shared with him, which wouldn't be healthy for you. On Saturday, bring some pads with you and wear very comfortable clothes. Nothing tight or binding around your waist. Think loose sweats or yoga pants and a comfy t-shirt, sweater or sweatshirt. Make sure your friend can wait to take you home (or to his/her place). You may be groggy and have mild nausea or cramps. You may want to sleep, cry, talk, zone out with movies, magazines, etc. Hopefully your friend, or another friend, can keep you company the rest of the day -- or at least several few hours -- in case you don't want to be alone.

And taiscape, I feel like this is important: What exactly are the bad reviews about the clinic?
posted by Majorita at 8:31 PM on March 11, 2011 [5 favorites]

Let your friend help you on Saturday. You might want to ask your other friends to come as well. The more non-ex support you have around you, the better. Ask them to stay the night with you, if possible.

If you're afraid of the closest clinic, can you find one that might make you feel more comfortable, even if it's a longer drive? Anything you can do to put your mind a bit more at ease might help.
posted by pourtant at 8:33 PM on March 11, 2011

Whatever your feelings -- and feeling sad is totally fine -- you are certainly not weak. It is 100% OK to feel sad or angry or worried (just as it's OK to feel relieved, if that's one of the feelings you have, too!); none of this makes you weak. In fact, it makes you strong that you can name your feelings, because only by expressing our feelings can they ebb and flow, which is precisely what helps us get through them.

You may find you are hearing a lot of negative self-talk in your head -- that you're weak or silly or should have never done this, that, or the other thing. I am here to tell you that voice is wrong and to give you permission to tell that voice to shut up. You are worthy of love and respect from yourself and others. You are not weak or stupid. You deserve love and strength and support -- and the fact that your ex has withdrawn them is his failing, not yours. It says everything about him and nothing about you.

Take your friend up on her offer to go with you. Or, if you're in L.A., contact me -- if I can't go with you myself, I will find another Mefite here who will. I can literally think of a dozen off the top of my head who would support you without question.

I have not had an abortion myself but I know several women who have. All of them report that it hurt less than they feared, and that the emotional ups and downs came and went. Every one of them survived and thrived, and you will, too.

Have some comfort foods ready ahead of time, so that you don't have to worry about cooking when you get home. Have some favorite movies on hand, but don't be surprised if you just feel like sleeping. (Maybe have fresh sheets on your bed and some cozy pajamas ready, too.) Basically, think of some ways you can be gentle and nurturing as you, quite literally, take good care of yourself.

A few practical tips to manage anxiety: practice slow breathing and envisioning a calming space (the proverbial "happy place"!) Close your eyes and take a slow -- slow! -- deep breath in through your nose... hold it a moment... now a slow exhale through your mouth. Practice doing this to a count of 4 on the inhale and exhale, then work up to 6 or 8.

Practice envisioning a place where you have felt calm and safe. Imagine the sensations -- is there sun on your face? Birds singing? The sound of water rushing by? Plan on going there in your mind when you need to. Stay in touch with your breath. All of this will slow your heart rate and help you to feel calm and more centered.

Find a simple, positive, nuturing mantra to replace the negative voice in your head or when you are feeling overwhelmed. My go-to in times of stress and trouble is "whatever happens, I can handle it."

I'm with you, woman. Lots of us are.
posted by scody at 8:34 PM on March 11, 2011 [14 favorites]

Another thing you need to know is that your hormones right now are affecting your emotions in an unusual way. This will pass. In the meantime, baby yourself, eat your favorite foods, watch silly comedies, read a good book.
posted by mareli at 8:35 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Here is a way that you can get the support and advice that you need when you need it. Start by thinking of five people. They should people who either believe in you and see (or saw) your potential or people with a wisdom or personality that you respect. They can be real people in your life, famous figures or fictional characters. One of them should be Kurt's father. These people are going to be your invisible allies. Even though they can't be with you in person, they are going to be with you in spirit.

Once you have chosen your five people, call a meeting. Give each person a specific place to sit or stand in the room that you are in. Take time visualize each person - what they are wearing, how they have positioned their body, the expression on their faces. If it feels right, tell them about your problem. You don't have to say the words out loud, but do imagine the exact words that you are using. Or just go straight to a question. Ask your question and the imagine the answer that each of these people would give you. Reading this, it might seem like you are just talking to yourself but it is different because you aren't asking "what do I think I should do" but rather "what would This Person think I should do" and you will get different answers from different allies. Then you can take these answers and decide what YOU want to do. Even just visualizing the caring and support you would get if these people were there with you will make your heart feel as if it had a physical reality instead of an internal experience.

If you want a more direct assignment, then I invite you to memail me your list of five allies and then send me a follow up each time you call a meeting and let me know how it went.
posted by metahawk at 8:41 PM on March 11, 2011 [173 favorites]

Oops -- your profile doesn't say Baltimore -- my bad.
posted by Majorita at 8:41 PM on March 11, 2011

Nthing go with your friend. Pls don't allow your ex to come with you even if he calls you back.

Can you arrange to stay at the friends' place or have her over to yours after the procedure as well? It'll help to have someone there to talk to or watch a feel-good movie with.

*I'm worried I'll fall into bad habits and get attached to him even after this pregnancy. I'm afraid that .........I'll write it off later and forgive him for it because I'll feel the need to want to be with him/talk to him.*

You may, for some time. Ask your friends to look out for you, talk to them whenever you want to and they'll set you right. You'll not be able to view this situation with clarity immediately what with all the messy details and emotions. That's normal.

Give yourself time and don't beat yourself up too much for being weak. You're going through a hell of a lot right now! And those hormones probably aren't helping either. But soon enough you'll be wondering why you wasted so much time with this guy.

Take care, be strong. *hug*
posted by roshni at 8:46 PM on March 11, 2011

You probably shouldn't do this, but... if how you characterize him is correct, if you were to call him to tell him "I'm keeping it", he'd no doubt be there with the full, not half, payment for the procedure in about five minutes, and wouldn't leave your side until it was finished.
posted by orthogonality at 8:50 PM on March 11, 2011 [33 favorites]

I wish I could hug you. I went through it when I was younger too, and it's like it was another life. I got over it and found happiness elswhere. You'll get through it too. Just really pamper yourself for a while, like mareli says above; allow yourself some escapist entertainment, and get alot of sleep. The cramps after the procedure can be painfull, like really bad menstrual cramps. And DO go to your follow up appointment; take good care of yourself. Time will heal this pain. And about this guy....what a jerk! Keep telling yourself you deserve better, because you do. I'll be thinking about you.
posted by hollyanderbody at 8:50 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

You're attached and in love to someone he never was. The guy you have in your head is strong and smart and lives up to his promises and has the balls to be honest with you--and he's not that.

The good thing is that you are a strong, smart woman. You know what's going on. You've just said it, look, right up there! Those aren't the words of someone who is too weak to do this. Or the words of someone who is going to let the imaginary good guy cloud the reality of who her ex is.

When I was in my early 20s, I got pregnant when I didn't want to. My SO went with me. And he didn't get it. Really. He was freaked and focused on what it meant to him and oh crap how did this happen and all that. And maybe I'm projecting, but I think your ex would be the same. And because of that, and because you're still trying to get the imaginary guy your ex never really was to love you, you wouldn't be able to just focus on you and get through this. I wish I had a friend, a kind, loving friend, with me to go to the abortion clinic rather than my ex. I wish I had let myself just drink tea and watch cartoons and just be afterward rather than trying to make him feel better.

And, if you're anywhere in the SF Bay Area, I'll drive you and your friend. And I'll be damn proud of you for all of this, because I am already.
posted by Gucky at 8:55 PM on March 11, 2011 [6 favorites]

I'm normal and in Philadelphia if you would like a friend. I'm available any time if you want someone to come with you to the clinic. If not, I'm rooting for you from afar. You are NOT weak: you are capable and strong and you deserve all the happiness and love the world has to offer.

At a time when I really, really needed to hear it, my friend sent me this quotation, and now I'm passing it along to you:

"If love is an action, how do you express self-love? Self-love starts with having the courage to be who you are, regardless of what others might think. It is about having the courage to live your dreams, to do what makes you happy in life, so that one day you won't wake up saying, 'I wish I had.' Self-love is about self-care, making your health a priority. Self-love is revealed in your willingness to stay focused on the things you say are important. It's about having the courage to set boundaries and protect them."
- Francine Ward
posted by easy, lucky, free at 8:59 PM on March 11, 2011 [8 favorites]

I would like to chime back in to say that metahawk's idea regarding your five invisible allies is awesome. If you're the type of person who finds solace in writing, it might be a useful journal exercise, too. And also to say that I hope you'll feel free to update this thread as you might need to next week, to let us know how you're doing. You will not be alone -- there's a crew of us on your side!
posted by scody at 9:01 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sometimes I think the universe throws a million things at us at once, rather than separately, for a reason - because we are already in the throes of sadness and angst, we might as well get more of the hard stuff over with while our systems are geared up to deal with hardship. This will all be hard for now, but the blessing here is the clarity it will offer on who you want to spend time with and how you want to live your life. It is hard when sexual partners do not support us, are thoughtless, leave us alone to go to the clinic and skip out on helping to pay for an abortion; but the clarity that this combo of bad behaviour offers is dazzling, and it becomes easier to cut such people out of our lives.

Practical stuff - please research a bit on what kind of procedure (manual versus vacuum, etc.) you hope to have at the clinic, and ask questions. Ask if pain meds cost extra and how much. Ask if the MDs are male or female, and state your preference. Go with your friend, for support and safety. Buy pads beforehand and stock up on comfort food.

I'll be thinking of you, and based on the response here, others will be, too.
posted by analog at 9:10 PM on March 11, 2011 [7 favorites]

He's doing you a HUGE favor by not showing up. Let me tell you why...

- Having someone who doesn't like you (and actively holds resentment or disdain for you) around when you are at your most vulnerable creates horrible pain and self-loathing inside. You are dodging a bullet here.

- Having someone around who wants to be there for you will be eye-opening, to say the least. You'll come through this much smoother with friends around you.

- This will be the end of your nightmare with this guy, rather than one more drama-filled hurtful experience for you to dwell on without end in sight. It's over now. You can finally start healing.

I'm sorry you are going through this, yet I'm glad you'll have proper support.
posted by jbenben at 9:14 PM on March 11, 2011 [24 favorites]

I'm really sorry you've been treated this way, but despite the vulnerability in your question, there's a hell of a lot of strength and courage in your words. You sound self-aware, scared, and brave. Take your friend with you, and know that we're all rooting for you.

I know it's a long shot, but if you're in Ithaca, NY, I'll drive you to the clinic and wait with you.
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:26 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Definitely have your friend go with you! And seriously fuck your ex, fuck the protesters, and fuck anyone else who wants to attempt to make you feel bad. Just remember that all of that is just other people's useless negativity. Ex making you feel bad? You're avoiding a lifetime of that right now. People out front trying to manipulate you emotionally? They stop caring about you the minute that kid is born. They are just a bunch of noise you've got to wade through on your way to being ok. Don't slow down and don't look down. Every step you take away from the past is a step towards the AWESOME FUTURE.
posted by troublewithwolves at 9:55 PM on March 11, 2011 [5 favorites]

DTMFA. Listen to Cee-Lo Green's Fuck You a few times. It helps. He's a douche. I spent most of my Twenties in a relationship that soured YEARS before I realized it. Whoever it is, they ain't worth it.

Ditch the therapist, too. If they're unhelpful, you're paying them for nothing, and fuck that too.
posted by Heretical at 10:01 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

You are awesome. You will be brilliant. If you are in Seattle, memail me. I will come. I will bring a posse if you want, or some ice cream, or tea, or pizza, or library books, or my dog who's really cute and loves you. Whatever you need.
posted by librarina at 10:01 PM on March 11, 2011 [5 favorites]

Since you asked for people to tell you what you need to do, here are some of my thoughts...

First, go with your friend to the clinic. Don't be afraid to ask your friend for anything you need. If one of my friends was going through this, I would want to do anything in my power to take care of her. Your friend might not know exactly what to say or do, so let her know if there is something specific you need.

Second, stop all contact with your ex-boyfriend. I know it's tempting to maintain contact. My first break-up dragged on for a very long time because I couldn't cut off all contact. It's essential that you break all ties to him though. Almost 6 years later and I can't believe I ever loved him!

I think you will feel better and you will come through this a strong person.

I found the two books below very helpful when I was going through a rough time:

The Journey from Abandonment to Healing: Turn the End of a Relationship into the Beginning of a New Life by Susan Anderson


Don't Call that Man by Rhonda Findling
posted by parakeetdog at 10:09 PM on March 11, 2011

You are brave, and you're doing positive active things for yourself: you're facing a hard situation straight in the eye, you're setting up friends to help, you're thinking about how you'll find the next therapist who will be a better fit, you're asking for help.

Your ex is a coward, among his other bad qualities. Even if he was crazy about you, you should still run the other way - blech. Won't go with you to the clinic, gives a mealymouthed chickenshit excuse? What an incredible tool, to weasel out of even the most minimal kind of supportiveness. How fortunate that you have this completely crystal-clear evidence of him being a total loser and unsuitable for your fine, fine company. Write him off, never contact him again, block his number.

(You ask for stories: I had to do this with an ex that I was still mooning about even though he was totally inconsiderate and a tool. I finally just had to say, that's it, no more, never talk to me again, we're done. Anything that could be considered "unfinished business" is declared to be finished, debts are forgiven, no contact of any kind, it's as if he dropped off the face of the earth. Best decision I ever made; can't believe how much time I wasted on that foolishness. From then on I had a requirement that potential partners be considerate, and that has worked out in the best possible way.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:15 PM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]

Hey taiscape, if you're in the Los Angeles send me a message. I would be happy to help as well.
posted by Kloryne at 10:26 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you're in the Denver metro, memail me. Let your friends (imaginary and real life) help you. Afterwards, please never give that weak cowardly slimeball access to your body, your mind, or your heart, not EVER, again. We are all rooting for you.
posted by cyndigo at 10:26 PM on March 11, 2011

I just wanted to say that your early twenties are a particular kind of lonely hell and that it gets alot better...and that you'll get through this just fine. I promise.
posted by bananafish at 10:26 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

I want you to know, I feel so sorry for you and your situation. I wish you well. Please try to realize that things do get better.
posted by fifilaru at 10:33 PM on March 11, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you everyone for your responses. I just finished talking with my ex. It was pretty ugly, but in the end I had the courage to tell him that I didn't want him to go with me, as I would want someone who cared about me by my side rather than someone who is just going out of obligation. Now I just need to not contact him ever again. I am emotionally spent so I will read all these responses carefully after some sleep and take your advice. Thank you so much.

One thing did catch my eye though:
@orthogonality: I don't know if this makes my ex an asshole or just really smart, but as soon as he found out I was pregnant he looked up state laws for cases where the man wants the woman to abort but the woman refuses to. It was a "just in case" scenario for him. I told him I wasn't interested in keeping the baby from the get-go. According to state law, so long as the man encourages the woman to abort the child/expresses his disinterest, he will not be financially responsible for it. So if I tried to keep the baby, he said he'd go to a notary and get them to record his statement that he wanted me to get an abortion.
posted by taiscape at 10:34 PM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]

Now I just need to not contact him ever again.

Every time you contemplate contacting a douchey ex-boyfriend and ultimately decide against it, his penis shrinks. That's a scientific fact.

Way to go on asserting yourself--he needed to know he's not wanted. This guy is a class A loser.
posted by phunniemee at 10:43 PM on March 11, 2011 [24 favorites]

Please do not believe anything he tells you that he has "researched" is actually the law! I'd bet dollars to donuts he is manipulating you and hedging it as "Oh, not that I'd ever WANT something like that, but I've totally just learned that my disinterest in this situation removes me from all obligation! Crazy!" He knows you are at a disadvantage here and he's using it. That's not how it works. (Just had to delete the phrase "Also, if you want, I will fight him." from this response.)
posted by troublewithwolves at 10:44 PM on March 11, 2011 [43 favorites]

I don't know if this makes my ex an asshole

Yes, emphatically, it makes him a completely huge asshole.

(can that be true, or is he lying to manipulate you? I'm honestly curious because I didn't realize any states had a law that goes against the interests of the child like that)
posted by JenMarie at 10:45 PM on March 11, 2011 [23 favorites]

"So if I tried to keep the baby, he said he'd go to a notary and get them to record his statement that he wanted me to get an abortion."

Words can't express how I felt reading that. It's the absolute lowest thing I've ever encountered on metafilter.

Please update and let us know how you are doing after your appointment. You'll be in my thoughts.
posted by jbenben at 10:49 PM on March 11, 2011 [57 favorites]

You should be so proud of yourself. You're in an incredibly painful place right now and you're really doing such a good job.

If you're in the Portland, OR area, I'm free Sunday and I'd love to help.
posted by milk white peacock at 10:57 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, what a sad story. I'm so sorry you're going through this.

I think everyone here has given good advice. It's perfectly normal that you're attached to him, but now you have to let him go, forgive him if it makes you feel better but that doesn't obligate you to speak to him ever again. (You don't even have to tell him you forgive him. Heck, let him twist with the guilt for the rest of his life.)

I do want to weigh in a bit about your therapist--only you can know if they aren't working out, but consider, maybe, the therapist is forcing you to confront things that are uncomfortable and make you feel bad about yourself, and that seems unhelpful to you right now.

And there's a reason for that: Right now is not the time to confront these issues. Think of it like a broken leg--right now you need unconditional support to get through the crisis, and then later, when you've healed a bit, you can start working on your strength and range of motion. Does this make sense? Don't fire the therapist, necessarily, because this actually may be the kind of work you need to do to get to the bottom of the issues you have, but that's for later. You need friends, and a support group. See if your therapist can refer you to one, or if you really don't want to talk to him/her, call the nearest Planned Parenthood/church/women's support center and see what's available in your area.

In the meantime, delete his contact information from your phone/email so you aren't tempted to get in touch, and every time you want to call him, call a friend instead, or pretend to call Kurt's dad.

Good luck to you. This world can be so beautiful, and you deserve a place in it on your own terms, no matter what anyone else seems to be telling you. Take care of yourself, BE KIND TO YOURSELF, and let us know how you're doing.
posted by thinkingwoman at 10:59 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

I don't know if this makes my ex an asshole

He was already an asshole. Now he's an even bigger asshole.
posted by spinturtle at 11:16 PM on March 11, 2011 [20 favorites]

I don't know if this makes my ex an asshole

This means that he is an asshole.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:31 PM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]

Taiscape, he is an asshole and a lier. He can sign away his parental rights (custody and visitation) but not his reponsibilities. That he would would lie and manipulate you at such a vulnerable time honestly makes me very concerned for your safety around him. I am so happy to hear you have made the right choice to cut off all contact.

You are much, much better off without him. Yes, it sucks he won't pay but consider it the cost of being free from the hell that would have been a relationship with him.

You are a strong, smart woman. You have an amazing life ahead of you and so many opportunities. Keep being strong.
posted by saucysault at 11:48 PM on March 11, 2011 [30 favorites]

You are amazing. He is cowardly.
Memail me if you are in Cincinnati; I have a helping hand to extend. If you aren't, I hope you are either near one of the incredible MeFites who has offered help or that you can just take heart in the fact that so many people have offered to help. You are so very not alone.
posted by AthenaPolias at 11:51 PM on March 11, 2011

>>According to state law, so long as the man encourages the woman to abort the child/expresses his disinterest, he will not be financially responsible for it. So if I tried to keep the baby, he said he'd go to a notary and get them to record his statement that he wanted me to get an abortion.

I really, really doubt that. I don't know what state you're in or I would nose around and see what I could find, but I would be beyond shocked if any state has laws to that effect.

That's not really the point, though. The guy's a major asshole, you don't need him, and you're better off without him. But Christ am I beyond pissed off that he would (almost certainly) make shit like that up -- as if everything else wasn't bad enough.
posted by J. Wilson at 11:58 PM on March 11, 2011 [30 favorites]

The way your ex has lied to you just now is astonishing, and evil.

It is also quite revealing of the way he thinks: as if his wishes were law.

He expects you to believe this too, and after an ugly confrontation which you went into with the reasonable goal of asserting yourself and giving him a deserved telling off, you almost do believe it. You asked for reasons why your thoughts are unhealthy, well, here's one: you were intimately involved with someone who has a distorted view of reality. They will inevitably distort your view. Bad company corrupts.

jbenben is right: I don't think I've read anything on the green that's more despicable than this. I just want you to know I'm so angry on your behalf.
posted by tel3path at 12:06 AM on March 12, 2011 [21 favorites]

It is so lucky that he is being so clear about what a totally unworthy person he is. Good riddance!
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:09 AM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

I didn't see an SF/Bay Area offer of a ride/support (including ice cream, booze, a cuddle with my awesome cat, etc.) so if you're in the Bay Area (or hey, even Sacramento and environs) please feel free to memail me. I have a car and am more than willing to help you with anything I can.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 12:15 AM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

also, if you are american--this might help with funding
posted by PinkMoose at 12:37 AM on March 12, 2011 [7 favorites]

I would be stunned beyond all belief if what your ex said is true. I'm no expert in this field, but "in the best interest of the child" is the standard in family court and I'm not aware of the "daddy wanted mommy to get an abortion get out of child support free" exception.

To say your ex is the lowest, most vile piece of manipulative shit on the planet really doesn't properly express the situation. Please look to your friends for support and never so much as say another word to this man unless it's to tell him to go to hell.
posted by whoaali at 12:41 AM on March 12, 2011 [12 favorites]

this is not about your ex. this is about you. you can be the person you have always wanted to find in the world. you can take care of yourself better than anyone else can. you are beautiful and you can trust your own feelings and instincts.
posted by macinchik at 12:57 AM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

I just want to chime in and affirm that yes, your ex is an asshole. What he said to you is so unbearably vile, I can hardly conceive of a crueler, more manipulative thing to utter. He doesn't deserve any part of you. I know your heart is broken now, but it gets so, so much better. You have the strength and courage in you to be happy. Don't let this jerk hold you back any longer.
posted by keep it under cover at 1:06 AM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

What he said to you was disgusting, and--as several people above have weighed in on--very unlikely to be upheld in court. What a piece of shit.

Long shot, OP, but if you're in the Vancouver, BC area, I'd be happy to come with you and hold your hand. (But abortions are free here and you mentioned paying for yours, so...)
posted by Hakaisha at 1:23 AM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, he's an ass. No, you shouldn't care. Do what is best for you. This is a decision that will change your life. If you are not in a position to have a child, then do not. Support from an Other is not in play here. You have friends in this matter. I promise. For reals.
posted by negative1 at 1:40 AM on March 12, 2011

I worked in a clerical function in a California county child support office for a couple months once (before I left my own shitty relationship and moved far away, never to speak to the dude again even to get divorced). I am not a family law specialist, a court advocate, or anything like that-- I'm a regular Unix geek who needed a paycheck and could pass 15 hours of basic training to not mess up documents. That being said..

If a notarized anything was enough to get either parent off the hook, I would not have had my job (sending out lots of "hey, jackass, you owe this kid your financial support" and "hey, employer, we'd like to take your pet jackass' paycheck to support his or her kid" forms). I do not believe that this situation is unique to California law, either.

Hang in there. Let your MeFite pals take care of you. Breathe. Don't talk to jackass. Keep your friends close.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:46 AM on March 12, 2011 [4 favorites]

If none of the people above who has offered in person help lives near you add your location to your profile here. That will generate a list of people near you. Email them with a link to this question and ask if they are available to help. You can remove your location later if you want.

I hope you've had a good night's sleep. Be well. be happy, and let us know how you're doing.
posted by mareli at 3:41 AM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Checking in from Boston if you're there. Would be happy to help with transportation, finding alternate clinics or a new therapist, ice cream, lending an ear, or kicking your ex in the junk.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:41 AM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

I just read your update and wanted to reiterate what everyone else here has said - your ex is an evil, manipulative douche of epic proportions.

Now I just need to not contact him ever again.
Whenever I have the desire to contact someone that I know I should continue to keep out of my life, I envision that person standing in front of me. While holding that person's image in my mind, I write down what I want to say in a letter and save it on my computer. I don't print the letters. I don't read them again. But I have a tangible reminder in the form of a list of files that I am strong enough to move on.

I'm in Pittsburgh. Contact me if you need a ride, an escort or a hug.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:38 AM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Offering help in Akron and surrounds here.

Your ex isn't just an asshole, he's a liar. His research no doubt consists of sketchy internet sites or talking to someone who doesn't know his ass from his elbow. If he can pay his half, great. But if he won't, and you can still manage the cost, I would really encourage you too. The total abdication of his responsibilities is a concrete thing to hold onto and keep you strong in your determination not to contact him; having no obligation or need for him can only help you move on. Wishing you strength.
posted by lemniskate at 4:52 AM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

According to state law, so long as the man encourages the woman to abort the child/expresses his disinterest, he will not be financially responsible for it.

This is completely and utterly false. And not "honest mistake" or "legal misinterpretation" -false. This is "I am totally making shit up" -false.

Ask him where he did his research. Specifically. Name the book or books. Name the place he did the research. Was it a library? What was the name of the library? Push him for details, because he's lying through his fucking teeth.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:55 AM on March 12, 2011 [13 favorites]

Don't ask him, don't talk to him, don't call him, don't text him, don't email him. He's a sick fuck who deceived you into thinking he was a good guy.
posted by mareli at 4:57 AM on March 12, 2011 [13 favorites]

Your update makes me agree even more with those say he's doing you a huge favor by letting you how awful he really is. That is just... there are no words. Down the line, you are going to be so glad he is no longer in your life. Please do concentrate on being good to yourself right now.
posted by BibiRose at 5:05 AM on March 12, 2011

Definitely get support from a friend for before/after the operation. ^_^

Many clinics can also offer you an escort, in case there are scary protesters out the front.
posted by Hot buttered sockpuppets at 5:07 AM on March 12, 2011

As much as I despise it when people call things a 'blessing in disguise', this... kind of is. You have absolute, irrefutable proof (backed up by many, many Mefites) about how much of an asshole your boyfriend is, and now he won't be there during a time that you will be hurting (emotionally and physically), weak, and scared. A friend will be there, someone who cares about you and wouldn't pull the shit that your boyfriend has.

Make sure not to have any obligations afterwards next Saturday, and schedule a huuuuge block of time (the rest of the day, ideally) to sleep or take a long shower or eat a lot of comfort food or veg out in front of the TV.

If you are around Pittsburgh, please let me know.
posted by amicamentis at 5:44 AM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

According to state law, so long as the man encourages the woman to abort the child/expresses his disinterest, he will not be financially responsible for it.

I will eat my foot if this is not complete bullshit. The man is an utter asshole for telling you this one thing alone.

I'm in Milwaukee. I haven't been pregnant, so I don't have any direct experience, but I do have a car and I'm a good listener.
posted by desjardins at 5:59 AM on March 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

If that statement were true, it'd be the top result for a Google search of "how to get out of paying child support."
posted by desjardins at 6:03 AM on March 12, 2011 [4 favorites]

Another vote for stay the hell away from him. He only has his own interests in mind.

I'm in New Jersey/Tri-state area if you need someone.
posted by rachaelfaith at 6:07 AM on March 12, 2011

Your ex is a lying about his research into the law. Delete all his contact info and never speak to him again.
posted by Mavri at 6:09 AM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I will be in central california this coming Saturday. Mefi mail me if you need help and are in that area.
posted by jadepearl at 6:14 AM on March 12, 2011

I'm in NYC, and happy to escort you and be your friend anywhere accessible by LIRR or Metro North, anywhere in or near DC and its suburbs, anywhere in or near Boston or its suburbs - basically, anywhere I can make a weekend trip to to be there for you.

Dude's an asshole, and he was lying about the law, which makes him even more of an asshole. It would be Big News if some jurisdiction had such wacked out legislation as that. As is, lack of that sort of law is something that those "Mens' Rights Activists" are always whining about.
posted by Eshkol at 6:31 AM on March 12, 2011

I don't have anything to add - and I'm in the Netherlands! - other than to say that you matter, you're doing the right thing, your ex is a waste of space douchenozzle, and you will move past this.

Oh, actually, one thing - I've not had an abortion, but many of my friends have. Don't be surprised if you start crying as soon as you come out of sedation from the procedure. The hormonal maelstrom of pregnancy and surgical termination is really, really intense. Be prepared to be in survival mode. This does not make you weak, cowardly, nor does it mean you made a mistake. It makes you a human being in pain. You need and deserve unconditional support right now. And cookies. And maybe also bourbon.
posted by nerdfish at 6:35 AM on March 12, 2011 [11 favorites]

I'd also like to add that forming strong emotional attachments to withholding - and, in this case, really harmful - people is *really common,* especially when you're younger. I know almost all of my early romantic relationships were like that, and our bullshit first relationships are still a popular topic of conversations with my ladyfriends. Don't think for a second that it makes you a bad, or a weak, person. It takes time, experience and a lot of pain to learn how to 'do' a romantic relationship. Not that you ever really get it right, but it is a process.
posted by nerdfish at 6:40 AM on March 12, 2011 [18 favorites]

This thread is full of great advice. I want to chime in and say that your ex is a coward and you need to get him as fully out of your life as you possibly can.

Would it be OK if we tried to set up a donation method or something for you in case you're afraid of affording what's going on with your right now?
posted by TomMelee at 6:55 AM on March 12, 2011 [8 favorites]

I've been the boyfriend in this scenario and your ex is being an absolute, total, dick. Good luck to you.
posted by josher71 at 7:05 AM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Anyone (not just a boyfriend) can be with you when everything is hunky-dorey. It takes a REAL man, friend, (insert whatever applies) to stick by you when things are really tough.

Listen, you matter so much... you don't need to convince anyone to love you. There is someone out there who will worship the ground you walk on. But how will you ever recognize him when he comes into your life if you're focussing on this guy who got you pregnant and now left you hanging in the wind? You deserve better than that!

Abortion is never an easy option. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
posted by iNurtureTheOdd at 7:18 AM on March 12, 2011

Yeah, so your ex is a complete and total liar about that "notarized statement of wanting an abortion" business. I don't know where you are, but here in Washington state I know for sure that's not a law on the books. My boyfriend pays child support in this state for a child he did not want and for whom he has signed away parental rights. Telling his lawyer he didn't want this child garnered him a "gee, that's too bad, but you're kind of stuck now." If your ex were even telling a shadow of the truth, you'd have heard a lot more about that kind of legal action, trust me.

What a complete ass. Please let me go punch him right in the mouth for you, it would be sooooo satisfying.

And I'd like to chime in with another offer of support from Seattle -- if you're anywhere around here at all, MeMail me. I'll escort you to the clinic, bring you comic books and ice cream, listen to you vent, whatever.
posted by palomar at 7:19 AM on March 12, 2011 [4 favorites]

Your ex is being a lot more than a dick: He's scaring me. He's crossed the line and you need to keep him out of your life. Even if he shows up tonight with the sweetest apology ever made by man to a woman. Do not speak to him, not by phone, not by messaging, not through morse code. What you do with your body is no longer his concern unless you decide to make him a father (which does not sound likely). Make sure whoever accompanies you/stays with you after knows that he is to have NO access to you for any reason.
posted by Ys at 7:19 AM on March 12, 2011 [5 favorites]

Madison, WI here -- we're here for you.

Also, I want to address your self-esteem from another side. There are a lot of people telling you that you're better off without him, he's an asshole, all that. But it's so hard to hear people say how awful this guy is, because you were dating him, and you have feelings for a part of him that keeps stringing you along just enough to give you a little bit of hope.

So when people say, "Oh, girlfriend, he is SO TERRIBLE," this thing inside you says, "If he's terrible, I must be REALLY terrible for actually sticking with him even though he clearly sucks so much." And wow, when you're already feeling so bad, that kind of self-talk hurts so much.

Look for people who can help you focus on the things that are good and right with YOU, not bad and wrong with HIM (and, thus, you for liking him). Everybody makes decisions that lead to things they couldn't predict. You're strong, and you're making the right decisions by going through with this, looking for support and caring for yourself.

I'm here to talk, if you want. MeMail any time.
posted by Madamina at 7:21 AM on March 12, 2011 [26 favorites]

According to state law, so long as the man encourages the woman to abort the child/expresses his disinterest, he will not be financially responsible for it.

This theory seems to be called financial abortion, and it appears to be just that: a legal theory that some people wish were the law but does not appear to be the law in any U.S. state. A federal appeals court in Michigan explicitly rejected a similar theory.

Your ex is either lying or woefully misinformed. Either way, he's completely and utterly incorrect.

I'm worried I'll fall into bad habits and get attached to him even after this pregnancy.

Remember that feelings are different from actions. There is no harm in feeling anything if you realize that feelings do not have to lead to actions. You can't necessarily choose what you feel, but you can choose what actions you take in response to those feelings. Once you realize this, it is incredibly freeing. You can just observe your feelings and turn them over in your mind like an anthropologist, like a third party neutrally observing them in someone else. Hmm, I seem to feel attachment toward him; it's okay for me to feel that - it's just a feeling! And then you can move on to whatever else you were doing.

It seems like you know the best action is to avoid him, because you know what the consequences of interacting with him will be.

You seem you have a good head on your shoulders and a high level of self-awareness, which is going to be incredibly helpful as you go through life.

tell me to be strong, that I matter

You are strong! That is clear from your post. And yes, you matter! You totally matter!
posted by Tin Man at 7:28 AM on March 12, 2011 [10 favorites]

I want to touch on what Madamina said -- all the people here saying what a terrible person your ex is are totally right, that guy is a dick. But he probably has a few good things going for him, and it doesn't make you a bad person for still having this attachment to him. Please be gentle with yourself, and don't beat yourself up for still having feelings for him. Don't contact him, but don't beat yourself up, either.

Please feel free to MeMail me if you need to vent about him -- I've been through the wringer a few times with guys like this and maybe I can give you some perspective.
posted by palomar at 7:31 AM on March 12, 2011 [5 favorites]

I was in your shoes when I was in my early 20s and a poor undergrad student. I found out I was pregnant after I'd broken up with a selfish and insensitive ex-boyfriend. I had been on birth control pills, but they failed. I did not have a car and the abortion clinic was an hour away. I talked the ex into taking me to the clinic and tearfully convinced him to pay for the abortion. He mocked me for crying on the drive to the clinic. The procedure took about 3 hours and while it wasn't a walk in the park, it wasn't awful. The earlier you are in your pregnancy, the simpler it is. My procedure was more like a menstrual extraction. When I was ready to leave, I went into the clinic waiting room where the ex was scowling impatiently. In the car, on the way home, he informed me that at one point he got really bored and considered just leaving and letting me figure out my own way home. What a nice guy, hunh?

He dropped me off at my apartment and we didn't speak for almost a year. The recovery from the abortion wasn't bad at all. I even went to a friend's potluck dinner the same evening. My only regret was that I had asked the ex to accompany me to the clinic. Him being there made the experience 100x worse emotionally, especially since he was not at all supportive or nice to me. I wished that I had asked a friend to go to the clinic with me instead of the ex.

A year later, the ex started contacting me. He'd found religion and started going to therapy because he felt guilty that I'd had an abortion. He sent me long, rambling letters about how he regretted that we hadn't discussed "keeping our baby." At this point, I had moved on in my life and had another boyfriend. I wanted nothing to do with the ex and did not respond to his attempts to contact me.

5 years later, I heard through the grapevine that the ex had plunged himself headfirst into a serious meth addiction and was partially blaming me for it (for breaking his heart). Then one day his name and picture appeared in the local news for armed robbery of a local business. He spent 7 years in prison and is now out, and after spending some time in a half-way house, lives in a different city where he has had no luck finding a job and sponges off of his current girlfriend.

As for me, I look back on this time as a difficult but also as an opportunity. My life would have been completely different had I kept the pregnancy and the connection to the ex. It would have been a challenge to finish undergrad, travel the world and complete a graduate degree, and get a great job in my field. I may not have met the man who is now my husband, who in a few short weeks will become a father when I give birth to our first child.

Because I can afford to now, I write a big check to Planned Parenthood every year.

The moral of my story is, everything is going to be okay. Please look at this situation as an opportunity to completely cut the connection to your loser ex-boyfriend. Take a friend with you to the clinic. Let yourself grieve and talk about the abortion with your friends. Then keep moving on with your life. You might look back on this situation one day with a bit of sadness, but also relief, as if you have dodged a bullet.

I'll be thinking about you, keeping you in my thoughts during the next few weeks. If you want to talk to someone who has been there, please feel free to send me a message.
posted by pluckysparrow at 8:04 AM on March 12, 2011 [108 favorites]

So glad to hear you're getting a true friend to go with you to your surgery. You need someone you can depend on, not a jerk who is only interested in himself.

Take care and if you're anywhere near Burlington, VT, memail me and I can help with transportation.

posted by garnetgirl at 8:35 AM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't know if this makes my ex an asshole or just really smart, but as soon as he found out I was pregnant he looked up state laws for cases where the man wants the woman to abort but the woman refuses to. It was a "just in case" scenario for him. .... So if I tried to keep the baby, he said he'd go to a notary and get them to record his statement that he wanted me to get an abortion.

Just adding one more voice to the chorus that this confirms that your ex is an enormous douchebag asshole jerkface. Please let yourself get angry about him saying this, especially since it appears unlikely that it is true. To lie to you about this to manipulate you into having an abortion it appears he is unlikely to even help pay for is astoundingly unkind. That makes him an even huger, more assholish asshole.

Be strong and take care of yourself!
posted by smartypantz at 8:57 AM on March 12, 2011

According to state law, so long as the man encourages the woman to abort the child/expresses his disinterest, he will not be financially responsible for it. So if I tried to keep the baby, he said he'd go to a notary and get them to record his statement that he wanted me to get an abortion.

I would also eat my foot if this were true. If every guy who claimed they didn't want a baby could get out of their financial responsibility, nobody would get anything out of deadbeat dads. That's just not how it works. He is absolutely an asshole for saying this.

Don't let him bully you anymore or make you feel bad about yourself. I would never, ever contact him ever again. I hope you can find a better therapist, too. Work on your self esteem and find someone who really deserves to be with you and will genuinely care for you. You absolutely deserve much, much better, and never let anyone convince you otherwise.
posted by elpea at 9:10 AM on March 12, 2011

I felt 100% better after my abortion, emotionally, physically...I stayed with my abusive creepy ex for about a year after, but that's okay. It's okay if you do have a hard time getting rid of him completely. I hope you do work on it to the best of your ability and treat yourself well.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:16 AM on March 12, 2011

Ask him where he did his research. Specifically. Name the book or books. Name the place he did the research. Was it a library? What was the name of the library? Push him for details, because he's lying through his fucking teeth.

Please don't do any of these things because that would mean you're talking to him.

Please do not talk to him. Do not email or leave messages for him. He is a liar and a manipulator and and a coward. You get to choose better for yourself, you have that right.

Good luck, be strong, and let people help you.
posted by tristeza at 9:26 AM on March 12, 2011 [17 favorites]

don't know if this makes my ex an asshole or just really smart

Oh, if these conditions were mutually exclusive how much easier this world would be.

Right now you should just be focusing on taking care of yourself and finding people who will really support you but good grief you need to come back later and have it reiterated to you however many times necessary that this individual is a horrible person. He has been manipulating you for no other purpose than sexual access. He has purposely exploited your lack of self-worth (and I have no doubt consistently reinforced it by belittling you and tearing you down) with no regard to its impact on you, for sex and probably for the satisfaction of exerting power over you. And he is such a miserable, self-centered, selfish excuse for a man that he will not take even the most minimal responsibility for the consequences of his actions. Would you want someone you cared about to be in the clutches of this sort of villain? So start caring for yourself. Hang up the phone, delete the text, the email, no contact. Cut him out of your life like a cancer because that is exactly what he is.

A couple other pieces of advice: I hope you stick with therapy for longer. It is a long process and there is a lot of "what is the point of this" in it. But I suspect you need to spend some serious time talking about your past and your feelings because there are deep issues at the heart of someone who gets treated like you and still fears you won't be able to resist going back for further punishment. Give it time, don't think so much about where it is going, see what unfolds over the course of a year or more if you can.

For further support (this is based on experiences of someone very close to me) you might consider looking for a codependency support group. More on codependency. The idea of codependency largely came out of the drug and alcohol recovery movement so it carries some of the baggage of AA and similar groups. But there is often a focus in groups on anecdotes, pragmatic coping strategies, shared experience etc. that might fit what you're missing in therapy. It was a great help to my friend and I think contributed to them being able to move on to a healthy and lasting relationship.
posted by nanojath at 10:01 AM on March 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

I'm in the U.P if you are too, send me some memail and I'm your new friend.
posted by coolsara at 10:59 AM on March 12, 2011

As a mother of three daughters about your age can I just be one more voice telling you that you matter - much more than you think, to far more people than you think, I guarantee you. And you are strong and you will be fine.
I live in Wales, so no practical use to you, but please let those who can help in a practical way do so. You can always pass it on sometime in the next 60 years or so...
posted by sianifach at 11:05 AM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Next Sunday is the one year anniversary of my own abortion. My story (and my ex) is so similar to yours that it actually makes me want to cry. I even got the same bullshit about notaries and child support.

In other words, you are my soul sister.

I want you to know that even though I missed my shitty ex when I cut contact, I survived and not having him with me at the clinic was the best decision I could have made for myself. My ex paid for nothing, he did nothing to assist me - AT THE TIME, I WAS UPSET, BUT NOW I DON'T MIND BECAUSE IT MEANS I DIDN'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH HIM DURING A TOTALLY SHIT TIME. He was a totally shit person who enjoyed having lots of sex with me but never wanted to commit to me at all. He never appreciated the things that were wonderful about me, our relationship was one-sided the entire time. Cutting off contact brings a lot of clarity. I do not miss him now. Speaking of him - he contacted me for the first time in a year last night and apologized to me for his behavior. Your ex may very well do that in the future, it is very possible that he will feel sorry for what he has done. That doesn't mean you need to be friends with him, ever ever ever again

The procedure itself didn't hurt that much. Afterward, I was wonky from the sedation and I cried a little, but that was probably due to the rush of hormones I was hit with. I went directly back to my dorm room and cuddled with a (very willing, loving, nonjudgmental, concerned) male friend for the rest of the day. We watched all three Godfather movies and ate a massive amount of sushi, and then spent the night spooning. It was actually really, really nice. If my ex had been there, it would probably have been just one more tearful interaction with the drama-llama. Instead, it was the beginning of my totally new, totally awesome life.

If you are in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, South Carolina, or North Carolina, I will gladly be your friend. Memail me and I'll see what I can do for you.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 11:21 AM on March 12, 2011 [25 favorites]

Buffalo if you need the ride. What a terrible coward this man is.
posted by oflinkey at 11:55 AM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Here's another offer of a ride and friendship from western North Carolina. I've been there; I've had abortions (yeah, plural) and I have grown kids. Your ex is a tool. The only way to get completely rid of tools is to throw them all the way away: no contact is the only thing that will ever work. No it isn't easy but oh yes, it is SO SO worth it.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:19 PM on March 12, 2011 [5 favorites]

FYI- a lot the "negative" reviews of clinics online are written by pro life protesters to scare people like you away. You'll be OK and the staff will be professional.
posted by fshgrl at 12:23 PM on March 12, 2011 [28 favorites]

According to state law, so long as the man encourages the woman to abort the child/expresses his disinterest, he will not be financially responsible for it.

Yeah, that's a lie. No state has any such law on its books. He lied to you to ensure that you'd get an abortion.

So if your decision to abort is based on the idea that he's not be legally responsible for child support, you may want to talk to a lawyer now. (That said, "legally responsible" and "actually pays it" are two different things.)
posted by orthogonality at 1:04 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

To everyone in this thread offering to travel for assistance: I salute you.

I'm in the Netherlands, so it's a bit unrealistic to offer my presence, but I would if I could. Taiscape, reread the thread again, you've got friends here, and you deserve them.
posted by DreamerFi at 1:36 PM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

I just want to take a step back and point out what happened in this thread. You just bared your pain and your hurt on here, asking for advice and support. And look at the dozens and dozens of supportive, loving responses. When you let down your wall and allow yourself to be vulnerable, some people will come through for you. Many more than you think. This is what you should look for in real-life friends.

I used to be only completely trusting and vulnerable in romantic relationships. I have a hunch (can't say exactly why) that you are the same way. It took courage and deliberate effort to learn to open up to friends in the same way. It was scary, but SO worth it.
posted by squasher at 1:40 PM on March 12, 2011 [22 favorites]

I agree with the above, I'm so sorry this is happening. Even though you wish to have an abortion I want to assure anyone reading this that many cases of so called "men's rights" to not pay child support when they encouraged an abortion have been struck down. These cases were dismissed as frivolous every time. Child support is the child's right not the mother's and therefore the decisions or opinions of the mother or the father have no weight. Even in divorce cases it is impossible to waive child support (contrasted with spousal support which is regularly waived). Children must be supported by their parents unless or until a child is legally surrendered by both.
posted by boobjob at 1:40 PM on March 12, 2011

Your ex is an embarrassment to his gender and to the species. There are amphibians that care more about their mates and their progeny than this guy does. I wish you all the strength you need and more to never speak with him again. How wonderful will it be to look back in 10 or 20 years and think about the fact that you cut things off with him when you did?

Let me add this: there have been so many geographically specific offers of rides/support/friendship in this thread that it is increasingly unlikely that your area has not already been mentioned. If it has not, and if you still need any of those things, I hereby guarantee (on behalf of MetaFilter) that if you tell us where you are, WE WILL FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP. You can either post it in the thread and we can do it out in the open, or you can MeMail someone you trust (or someone who seems nice) and we can do it behind the scenes via MeMail and email (if you want your location to remain a secret). My confidence in the goodness and effectiveness of this community is such that I 100% guarantee it.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:06 PM on March 12, 2011 [14 favorites]

Count me in to hold your hand if you're in the NYC area too.
posted by gaspode at 2:24 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Have faith in yourself, you are so strong. You have another friend in Burlington, VT, pulling for you.
posted by vortex genie 2 at 3:43 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you so much everyone. I am truly touched by the number of responses and offers for transportation. I've been reading all the recent responses and I've been trying to read all of them from the bottom up but I keep crying once I hit a certain number and can't go any higher. I'm just really touched by how nice all of you are. I know I'll come back again and again to this page, it's really opened my eyes to a lot of things and I'll never forget it for the rest of my life.

To clarify a few things: I live very close to DC and the Planned Parenthood I would be going to is in Silver Spring. My friend/roommate will be going with me and we'll be taking public transportation. I've read many helpful offers from DC, but after having talked to my friend about it, she says that she would feel uneasy being in a car with a stranger. We'll find a way to the bus together.

Also, I'm really shocked (I don't really know why) and hurt to learn that he really did feed me false information about male abortion/financial abortion being part of Maryland State law. He contacted me telling me that he intended to keep his promise to take me to the clinic, assuming I let him. If I don't let him, he said he won't really care either way, he'll be comfortable knowing that he "tried" and I was the one who turned down his offer. I contacted him (hopefully last time!) to tell him that I didn't want his company but I would like him to uphold his promise to pay for half of the abortion. I don't know what he will say and am conflicted on whether or not to involve his parents if he fails to respond or to just suck it up and pay for it on my own.
posted by taiscape at 4:29 PM on March 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

I'm in Western Mass if you'd like me to be with you, house you, drive you anywhere at any time, or if you just want to talk. I had an abortion a couple years ago and, looking back, I wish I could give myself a HUGE hug and tell myself that everything would be fine. So, I'm sending YOU that hug right now instead.

You are not alone. There's a lot of love in this thread, and many people who are GENUINE in their wish to help you outside of a computer screen. Be strong!
posted by missmary6 at 4:30 PM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Hi, taiscape, should have previewed! If you need help financially, I, personally, could help you out if it didn't make you uncomfortable, and I bet there are many more like me.
posted by missmary6 at 4:32 PM on March 12, 2011 [8 favorites]

I'm with missmary6 - maybe we could set up a paypal or something for you that people could donate to (anonymously, if that would make you more comfortable)? I'm not sure exactly how to go about doing that, but I bet someone here could figure it out.
posted by you're a kitty! at 4:39 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't know what he will say and am conflicted on whether or not to involve his parents if he fails to respond or to just suck it up and pay for it on my own.

I would not even consider involving his parents; it will only prolong the connection and drama and pain -- none of which is worth any amount of money in the world at this point. They may not believe anything you have to say, but even if they don't dismiss you out of hand and they talk to your ex, he will certainly tell them lies about you, about his responsibility, etc., and will escalate things with you accordingly. He has already shown you exactly who he is. Put nothing past him at this point. There is simply not one good, positive, or healthy thing that can come of any further contact with him directly or indirectly.

I know it's very hard to believe that you can be strong enough not to contact him again -- and it is probably going to be very hard to get out of the habit of calling him. So take some practical steps to make it harder for you to contact him -- to build in a little bit of a fail-safe mechanism. Take his number off your phone. Tape a note to your phone and your computer reminding yourself (gently, positively!) not to call or text or email or IM him. Remember that the impulse to call him is just a feeling -- and feelings always, always, always pass, and you will always, always, always survive them, even at those moments where you might fear that you won't.

It will also help to start coming up with a list of things to do to distract yourself when you feel the impulse. They should all be simple, free, pleasurable 5-minute timeout types of things: go make a cup of tea, watch your favorite funny clip on youtube, listen to your favorite (positive, upbeat) song, do 20 jumping jacks, play with the cat, walk around the block... heck, call a quick meeting of your invisible allies and ask Kurt's dad what he thinks! :) The feeling and the time will pass, and you will feel better and stronger every time you resist contacting him.

I know it's going to be hard at first. I also know you can do it!

And seriously, don't worry about the money. I don't want to get too out-of-bounds of any rules here, but I am confident that a bunch of us would be happy to pitch in if there's some way to do it. Forget your ex. Forget the money. You don't need anything from him ever again. You are worth so much more.
posted by scody at 5:29 PM on March 12, 2011 [11 favorites]

oh, and when I wrote "it is probably going to be very hard to get out of the habit of calling him," I should have clarified that it will be very hard at first to get out of the habit -- but every time you resist it, it will get easier. I have been there, too. Lord, girl, how I have been there! I promise promise promise you it gets better!
posted by scody at 5:34 PM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

My sister (not a mefite, but a lurker) asked me to tell you that "the Silver Spring people are REALLY great ... really really great." They are "so nice." She did clinic escort training there and I guess it was a positive experience! So that backs up fshgrl's idea.
posted by librarina at 5:45 PM on March 12, 2011 [9 favorites]

I feel alone, weak and sad.

Remember that "feel" is the operative word here (and it's totally normal btw). But please believe me when I say that your postings show you to be strong and wise, stronger and wiser than I was at your age, or most other women I knew for that matter.

I say this without hesitation, having been in your exact same shoes at 21, right down to the asshole of an ex trying to bail on a ride to the clinic. I shook him loose afterwards, and likewise so will you.

PS: Ask the friend to stay with you overnight, keep freshly laundered pajamas and comfort foods on hand, and rent classic movies or comedies to watch that night and the following day. It hurts something fierce right now but you'll be fine, all of us on AskMe know you will...
posted by braemar at 6:15 PM on March 12, 2011 [4 favorites]

My friend/roommate will be going with me and we'll be taking public transportation. I've read many helpful offers from DC, but after having talked to my friend about it, she says that she would feel uneasy being in a car with a stranger. We'll find a way to the bus together.

Can you two afford a Zipcar? My friend says you may bleed a lot afterwards and be uncomfortable, so getting home fast might be the best way. Maybe a cab? I hate to think of you on the bus.

I logged in to chime in and say I've called some of the guys women here talk about in their questions really terrible things, but what this guy told you about child support just takes the cake. I've thought some women and men had boyfriends who were terrible assholes and dicks, but this guy is nothing more than an evil motherfucker. I am really angry by what he tried to make you believe. I hate violence but it would be very satisfying to me to see palomar punch that motherfucker in the mouth. What an evil motherfucking asshole that guy is. Along with jbenben, this is pretty much the lowest thing I can remember seeing on a relationship related AskMe.
posted by anniecat at 7:09 PM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

I am sure mefites are willing to pay for your cab ride. Don't take the bus.
posted by desjardins at 7:47 PM on March 12, 2011 [13 favorites]

He has no feelings for me and has no desire to be in a relationship with me, as he's told me several times.

He really can't get any clearer, can he?
posted by spaltavian at 7:53 PM on March 12, 2011

How do we set up a set up a discreet way to securely contribute financial assistance?

Thanks all.
posted by jbenben at 8:01 PM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Maybe just PayPal?
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:12 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I want to echo something Madamina said. We are all saying what a bad guy your ex is because we think you are so valuable and special that we're outraged by the way he mistreated you.

But you didn't do anything wrong by being with this guy. You aren't a bad person for finding it hard to stay away from him. MANY, MANY people get involved in relationships (and not just romantic relationships- friendships, work relationships, family relationships) that are not good for them. If they didn't, no one would ever sell a self-help book!

Guys like this don't wear big signs that say, "HI, I'M A DOUCHENOZZLE!" They are good at being sweet and nice SOME of the time, and at figuring out where your insecurities and uncertainties are and exploiting them. Some of them don't even do it CONSCIOUSLY.

It's okay that you got involved with him. It doesn't make you foolish or stupid. It's also okay to leave him for good. You are a good, valuable, important person, and you deserve kindness and love.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 8:25 PM on March 12, 2011 [19 favorites]

Suggestion: one person collects all the donations for taiscape through PayPal, and then that person would be in charge of sending the money to her, that way it stays anonymous.

The only catch is, it would have to be someone we trust. Maybe a mod? Maybe if taiscape makes a throwaway e-mail just for the PayPal to go to, so it's not recognizable to anyone else?

There is one other method I am familiar with called a ChipIn (nice because it gives you a little goal thermometer thing), but it still requires someone to collect the money via PayPal.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:27 PM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Please don't use public transit. Can your friend get a ZipCar?
This is a very personal decision and the following is only meant as information: if you were to have a medical abortion (instead of having the procedure at the clinic) you would travel to the clinic and go home with the final medical dose that will induce the abortion. With this option, the abortion happens at home - you curl up with some heavy pads on (and strong Ibuprofen that they'll prescribe) while watching some comfort movies and eating comfort snacks.
I say this only because if you have to travel on public transportation, this option provides a window where you'll be physically comfortable. But really, for emotional health, it might be easier on you to have your own private space in transit.
I hope we aren't bombarding you with too much advice, there's just a lot of people here who care. HUGS.
posted by missmary6 at 10:29 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't know what he will say and am conflicted on whether or not to involve his parents if he fails to respond or to just suck it up and pay for it on my own.

I would advise against contacting his parents. They may or may not be good people, but they will have their own complicated feelings about the decision you are making concerning their would-be grandchild and they will likely side with their son regardless of whether or not he is being an asshat. Because he is their son.

I know getting my own ex's parents involved made things more complicated instead of easier in my own situation. Although they talked a lot in the beginning about offering me their support and taking good care of me, they were extremely wary of me and withdrew their offers of support/paying their half after "privately discussing my character," with their son. Whatever THAT means. I worry that your ex's parents might react the same way, since they WILL be told the story mainly through the perspective of their son, who seems to have very few warm feelings for you.

But, you know what? Him not paying his half? That's okay. Ideally, he would give you the money. But you do NOT need his or his parent's money to get the termination. The fact he won't give you the money is a blessing in disguise. Now, you are free of him and OWE HIM NOTHING. Your friends love you and WILL help you. This is going to turn out okay.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 11:00 PM on March 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you decide the best thing for you is to take the bus, you can do it. Also, as I'm sure you noticed, it appears that the clinic is four blocks from the Metro Red Line, if the red line is more accessible to you.
posted by salvia at 11:01 PM on March 12, 2011

Response by poster: I think I've set everything up correctly on ChipIn, the hardest thing was just the title:

Anyway, I still haven't heard from my ex yet but I'm not going to count on it anymore and am still going to pay my share of it. I shared medical/transportation cost information with another mefite and she suggested this goal number to cover cab fare too. So thank you, everyone, my friend and I will most likely be taking a cab over instead of public transit.

And thank you for leveling with me about not getting his parents involved. I feel like he's got me and the world fooled sometimes since he can be such a sweet, nice guy. I've heard him lie to his parents about me and I just wanted to expose him/secure financial support but you're right, the drama is so not worth it.

I also want to share something: Post-abortion week is my spring break and I had originally made plans to stay put in this house while everyone else went on vacation so that I could spend time with my ex. I can assure you that won't happen. I don't think I could go home as I haven't told my family and they'll know something's up so I was thinking of holing up with ice cream + netflix trial and not moving around too much since it might be painful.

I know, not ideal, but then my friend suggested a really good project for me. I am going to make a book over that break with all the comments/memail made from this thread, pictures of the Five People, and personal journal entries. I'm also planning to watch movies that focus on the personal growth of women who come out stronger in the end (like Waitress and An Education) and so I don't think it will be all that bad.

Thank you everyone for the inspiration and the support. It really means a lot to me and I feel like you've set my head on right.
posted by taiscape at 7:44 AM on March 13, 2011 [72 favorites]

Thank you for following up, taiscape!

Your friend's project idea is lovely, and I am really super proud of you for making a plan to take good care of yourself.

posted by bewilderbeast at 8:20 AM on March 13, 2011 [3 favorites]

Glad to hear. I donated a little bit and hope that helps. For what it's worth, pregnancy hormones make me way more needy and clingy than I otherwise am, and I found the post-abortion clarity in that sense to be a huge breath of fresh air.

Everyone was very kind and pleasant and the facilities were clean and comfortable.

Best of luck.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:24 AM on March 13, 2011

Does anyone know what the rules are around here, such that we could post a link to this question on MetaTalk so others can get updated and maybe also chip in?
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:44 AM on March 13, 2011

Yay, Mefites! You did it.

And Taiscape, you took a big step asking for help. It's the beginning of taking good care of yourself!

I thought a quote from Jo Caudert Might be appropraite.

"You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose."

Take Care.
posted by MiggySawdust at 12:15 PM on March 13, 2011 [6 favorites]

This is a great post. Thanks for the followup. I hope you realise and appreciate how strong you are and the inspiration you have provided for others in the process.
posted by xm at 12:23 PM on March 13, 2011

I hope you realize how many people all around the country, and around the world, wholeheartedly support you and believe in you.

For what it's worth, one of the things I use to get me through hard times are quotes that resonate with me. Maybe one of the ones I'm including here will speak to you.


To believe yourself to be brave is to be brave; it is the only essential thing.
----Mark Twain

Our most important thoughts are those which contradict our emotions.
----Paul Valery

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
----Helen Keller

I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person would be me.
----Anna Quindlen

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
---Albert Camus

When I find myself fading, I close my eyes and realize my friends are my energy.
---Jason Sirdin
posted by you're a kitty! at 2:05 PM on March 13, 2011 [14 favorites]

Response by poster: Hi everyone,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you so much for caring and sharing your stories and words of encouragement and offers of rides and financial support. At first I just thought posting near-anonymously here was a good idea for me because I wanted to seek advice but I was afraid of telling the people around me for fear of judgment.

You have all really changed my life. I didn't trust there to be so much kindness and generosity out there, but there is. I have learned a lot, from learning that my ex lied and screwed with me about male abortion being part of state law to the fact that for every person who does a bad or evil act, there are many, many more good people out there. You all have reshaped my view of humanity, I'm not quite sure how to fully express this in words.

This isn't quite the end yet, I know I put myself into this position mostly because I'm not always a very strong person and I need to keep working towards building my self-respect and self-esteem. I will.

The ChipIn thing was amazing. I took a nap this afternoon and woke up to the email that I had reached my goal and my eyes bugged out. I am so incredibly blown away. Thank you again everyone, you've taught me a lot about self-worth and the power of kindness. In the future, when I am financially stable I too will return the favor to others in need. Thank you.
posted by taiscape at 3:03 PM on March 13, 2011 [70 favorites]

In the future, when I am financially stable I too will return the favor to others in need.

taiscape, you are such a gracious, good-hearted young woman. I am so proud of you.
posted by scody at 3:17 PM on March 13, 2011 [9 favorites]

I'm not always a very strong person.

We all have our moments of weakness, but it really seems that you've proven your mettle under pressure. You've made us proud, and hopefully you'll discover that you've made yourself proud, too. You'll emerge from this scary, difficult experience with a new-found respect for your own strength, which is something that will give your self-confidence a real boost in the future. That's the one upside to struggles - they show us just how strong we've become.
posted by you're a kitty! at 3:45 PM on March 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

Consider getting involved in an abortion access or other reproductive rights organization if you get the chance. I was so grateful and lucky to be able to access an abortion, on a sliding scale, in comfort, with good medical care, and I'm passionate about helping other women do the same. I feel good about helping other women have the opportunities I had, including the opportunity to extricate myself from an abusive relationship.

Thank you much for the update. You are going to make it through this, and I'm so glad you turned to us for help.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:54 PM on March 13, 2011 [5 favorites]

I love MetaFilter.
posted by jbenben at 4:55 PM on March 13, 2011 [18 favorites]

I'm not always a very strong person.

Man, do I hear you. But here's what I keep in my head and my heart: if I ever have a moment when I DO feel stronger, financially or whatever, I give until I can't anymore. I know there will be lots of times when I don't have the brain space to show up, or talk to people, or participate, or give money. So I just do the best I can in those brief times when it's possible, and train myself tp get in the habit.

When I can, I do. And when I can't, I think about the times when I can.
posted by Madamina at 8:39 AM on March 14, 2011 [9 favorites]

Chiming back in with a suggestion for a book that might be useful to you (I haven't read it myself, but I have heard very good things about it): The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion.
posted by scody at 9:18 AM on March 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

I'm looking at this thread for the first time since Saturday morning, when all the offers of help brought tears to my eyes. I hope things go okay and you make a full recovery.
posted by SillyShepherd at 6:23 PM on March 14, 2011

Thought of you today -- hope that you are recovering at home in comfort and with love from friends nearby (as well as us from afar).
posted by salvia at 11:52 PM on March 19, 2011

Sending you my loving thoughts and warm encouragement. I admire you for your honesty, courage and clarity. And been in a similar situation as you in my life too.

Reading a number of the books on this list of resources really helped me because my unhealthy boyfriend choices had childhood roots that I needed to examine. Like you I did not find therapists practical enough at all when I was in real emotional pain. It was only when I was basically ok that therapy really helped learn about the subtleties of relationships.

What helped me practically in the beginning were Adult Children of Alcoholics (or otherwise dysfunctional families) meetings or Codependents Anonymous. They're online now.

Anyway, glad you reached out for help and that you received it too. :)
posted by nickyskye at 12:25 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Hope your recovery is going well! I hope you'll keep in mind that anything protesters said to you is untrue. I've been a clinic escort and heard what anti-choice protesters say, both about women who have abortions and about the science. The so-called science is a lie: your chance of breast cancer isn't affected, and there's no rigorous study that says how you'll feel in x years. And since their goal is to keep you from having an abortion, they'll say anything (promises to help AND calling you names) to get you to do it.

You are still a good person and you will survive this. And your ex is a disgrace to the species. You deserve better, and in the future, you will find it. Hugs and strength from Texas!
posted by immlass at 7:41 AM on March 20, 2011

If you get a chance and feel like it, do drop in and let us know how you're recovering.

posted by you're a kitty! at 4:44 PM on March 20, 2011

I'm damn proud of this web community.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 5:29 PM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Thinking of you and hope all is well.
posted by gaspode at 5:38 PM on March 20, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, I did the second half of the abortion process today (misoprostol) and am sitting in my bed with a heating pad. Recovery is getting better, it was fairly painful at first so I decided to take a lot of naps during the initial hours. The abortion was successful. The next part might be kind of disgusting, just to warn you, but I actually saw the embryo. It fell out while I was changing and I picked it up with a really freaked me out, way more than finding out that I was pregnant. It was a really, really strange, emotional moment.

Anyway, just to recap going to the clinic: I was really glad to get the heads up on the protestors because there were many protestors when my friend and I got to the clinic. They were pretty handsy and aggressive so I really appreciate that the escorts were there. The wait inside the clinic was pretty long, it took around 3.5 hours to finish the whole process, the majority of which was spent in the waiting room so in case you are reading this because you are in a similar position that I was in, make sure you bring something to pass the time with. The staff was very kind, the facilities were clean and they very clearly walked me through the process (and the many pills).

I don't know how to express my thanks to the mefite community enough, you all have really helped me during a dark, uncertain time. I am looking forward to making the pregnancy/abortion book and including all of the comments and advice from this thread. I really like using creative outlets to relieve stress so I have a lot of ideas kicking around in my head.

I'm going to take it easy for the next couple of days. I have not yet experienced any weird symptoms, so I think everything's going to be okay. Thank you everyone for your continued support. This has definitely been life-changing and I am very grateful that this experience has also affected me positively (many thanks). I'm still struggling to process a lot of it and seeing the embryo made me feel something akin to regret or grief (panic?) but really, I'm relieved that it's finally over. Wow.
posted by taiscape at 9:14 PM on March 20, 2011 [21 favorites]

taiscape, just wanted to tell you that this MetaFilter post helped me a lot. Maybe it offers you some comfort too:

Mizuko Kuyo, meaning "water-child memorial service" is a memorial service held by or for those who have experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion, and has become widespread in Japan since the 1970's. (Wikipedia definition). Peggy Orenstein relates her experience with miscarriage and this ritual in Mourning My Miscarriage - In Japan, I Find a Culture Willing to Acknowledge My Loss.

posted by nickyskye at 9:34 PM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Just chiming in with a virtual hug, taiscape.
posted by sarcasticah at 12:07 AM on March 21, 2011

Hey, taiscape? Way to be strong, really strong. You went through a lot of tough stuff recently and it looks like you handled it with grace and a level head. I wish you a safe recovery and a big hug.
posted by rachaelfaith at 10:16 AM on March 21, 2011

taiscape, I think you've proven how strong you really are. I hope this doesn't come off as patriarchal or anything, but I'm proud of you.

Good luck with everything going forward. You deserve happiness.
posted by inturnaround at 4:22 PM on March 21, 2011

I'm also planning to watch movies that focus on the personal growth of women who come out stronger in the end (like Waitress and An Education) and so I don't think it will be all that bad.

Well, if you need an outpouring of suggestions, y'know, you can go ahead and post another AskMe. I bet a whole lot of us would love to give you food for thought and comfort and (cathartic) tears and laughter.
posted by desuetude at 12:05 AM on March 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

For those still reading...

Old-skool MeFite sapphireblue is taking donations for the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon. If she meets her goal, she'll get a #prochoice hashtag tattoo.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:10 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

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