Being a single parent was taking a mental and physical toll on me during the days of the boy next door. I worked 50 miles away from where I lived and many times worked nearly a twelve-hour day. The girls went to two  different babysitters in one day. They ate breakfast and dinner in my car on the way to and from… we were falling apart.

Since I had started my new job making a giant 12 dollars an hour, I qualified for absolutely ZERO state aid. Between renting a trailer, my Honda Civic, gas to get to work, and daycare I couldn’t keep the power on in our house. Constantly I would come home to no power, sit down and cry and wonder what the hell I was doing wrong.

It was in those weak hours that I found out I was pregnant. I sat stunned. We had been careful, there was no desire to try to have children. We were both struggling financially and still battling my parents over our relationship. I began having violent nightmares. I would wake covered in cold sweat, sobbing. In my dream my daughters would be dirty and crawling around on a roach infested floor in the kitchen of a run down drug house, I was standing over the stove stirring something that resembled SPAM mixed with lettuce… EW. There’s a baby on my hip and two more on the floor behind me.

My life is not my own. He comes in from work high as a kite, throws a head of lettuce on the floor and my daughters fight over it because they’re starving… I wake…. this dream happens over and over again. I hear my parents voice. I see my GI Bill for college going out the window. I began to believe I will never be or do anything that I dreamt I would be. The stress makes me quit eating, sleeping, focusing on anything. I would catch myself sliding off the side of the interstate as I would daze off and hit the wake up bumps down the sides.

My life is not my own. I must save my daughters. I wanted more than this. God what is happening to me? I began to hate the boy next door and his innocent smile. His good-natured, it will all work out attitude. It doesn’t all work out, I’ve seen it. Eventually I will be alone with three children. Because men walk away.

I made an appointment at a clinic to terminate my pregnancy. I believed in pro-choice. I was choosing to let my daughters live a better life. That’s what I thought at the time. That’s what I believed had to happen. I had to escape and make a better life for the kids I already had. I chose to “save” the ones I could.