18 years ago I returned fully to The Catholic Church. I did so after years away from Truth and from The Eucharist. I found my way back through the spirituality of the 12 Step Program that literally gave me back my sanity, along with sobriety. I have not had a drink since May 4th, 1992. I have not taken an illegal drug since May 4th, 1992. I have not used a legal drug illegally since May 4th, 1992.
During the time I was away and living in darkness I committed several crimes against myself and against humanity. One of the worst crimes I committed was murder. I murdered my own children by having abortions.
I stayed away from The Church because I was convinced that no one who was Catholic would ever accept me again. I am, after all, damaged goods. I lived a lifestyle that was horrible - it was wild, it was loud, it was colorful but it was also dark, and dank and secretive. I thought my sexuality had to be expressed according to the norms of the radical feminism presented to me in the 1970's and 1980's. When that behavior made me sick - actually sick - I convinced myself that the fault was mine. I am not hip enough, I am not smart enough, I am not sophisticated enough to be a part of the radical group that claimed ownership of arts and creativity.
Well, listen all that might be true. I may not be smart enough and I sure am not hip enough (trust me, anyone who cries at MacDonald's Commercials during Advent is not hip and never will be) to be accepted by that group that sees my present behavior as unacceptable. I cannot imagine anyone at the Queen Bean listening to my poetry at the weekly slam. I am not politically correct. I know that standing up and saying, "Yes, I once did that (whatever it was) and I think it was the worst mistake I ever made. It is not logical and it is not good for women" will get me punched in the stomach (figuratively and, alas, literally in some circles). I may have to give up my dreams of sophisticated conversations with people of different political and sociological ideals - those days seem to be gone now as both the Left and the Right in this country are incapable of having discussions.
I get it. I really do.
However, I also get this: the most important thing in my life today is being able to stand before Our Lord at the end of time and say, "Here I am. I asked for forgiveness and I received it from the Church YOU founded. I suited up and showed up every week. I gave my time, my talent and my treasure to people. Most importantly, I told the truth of my life as best I could. I know I made some mistakes and I may still have some attachments, Lord, but I am here and I love You. Walking towards You became my primary aim. I lost friends. I lost family. I died alone and I died lonely but here I am."
With that said, I took a huge step about a month ago. I wrote out my testimonial for the Silent No More Campaign in such a way that is could be a part of their website. It can be accessed here: http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/testimonies/testimony.aspx?ID=2831.
I want to make something very clear. I did this on my own. No one made me, no one forced me and no one told me that if I didn't do it I would never really be a part of the pro-life movement.
I also want to tell those women and men who are suffering from the after affects of abortion that there is healing available.
And finally, I want to make this statement: the people who have been the most supportive of me in my journey back to sanity have been those members of that 12 Step Program that teach me how to be sober one day at a time AND those members of that horribly exclusive and conservative Catholic Church, the very people I was convinced would reject me and hate me and not let their children sit next to me during Mass.
Yes, I regret my abortions. Yes, I regret being a drunk and a drug addict. Yes, I wish I had married and become a mother and raised my own children. I cannot change my past. Today I can only point others to it and remind them that true feminism does not mean imitating bad male behavior. True feminism is being real about who and what we are, and moving forward in the world without fear that who and what we are is not good enough simply because we are female. Equality does not mean Sameness. Equality means we are all due the respect and dignity due to a creature made in the Image and Likeness of GOD.