As I sat on the side of the bathtub that day, I looked around my parents’ bathroom hopelessly for what I felt was my last time. I had been having second thoughts off and on all day, but every time I glanced down at my bulging stomach, I knew this day had to end—for the both of us. I got up and walked to the medicine cabinet containing a variety of medications.
As I opened the cupboard, I pulled out an orange bottle full of round, white pills and placed them in the palm of my hand. By this time, you were kicking, so I placed my quivering hand over my stomach and the pills fell to the floor. As the pain continued, I sat down, and to get my mind off of it, I thought about what kind of future you would have if I wasn’t trying to end our lives: the smiles, the school activities, the vivid imagination of a child. No, I thought. I couldn’t take care of you. I was only sixteen myself. How could I be there for you when you needed it? The only person that knew was my sister, your Aunt Sue. She begged me to try putting you up for adoption after birth, but at the time, I felt like if I couldn’t have you, nobody else could either. A little selfish, huh?
Since you’re halfway through with this letter, I know you’re probably wondering why I took my life. Earlier, I felt like if I ended someone’s life, I needed to end my own as well. What was the use of living? I had no one; I had nothing. I felt like everyday was a struggle and it needed to be ended. One day I decided I needed to take a walk to clear my head. As I got down the street, I noticed a billboard with the scripture, “God never puts more on us than we can bear.” Even though I’d heard that verse plenty of times, this was the first day I felt and believed in it. That’s why I spared your life. You were never the problem; I was the problem.
If you’re reading this now, then you’re twenty years old today; Happy Birthday, my love. I told your Aunt Sue to give this to you on your twentieth birthday because I felt it was time you knew the truth. That scripture changed my decision around completely. I couldn’t end your life for my mistakes. So much was going on with me at the time, your dad, left me when he found out I was pregnant with you; he couldn’t handle the responsibility. I was broke; I had nothing and nobody. When I was growing up, I was taught that without a man, you’re nothing. He was very insistent and wanted me to abide by everything he said and did. I took the verbal and physical abuse like a fool because that was the only way I knew how. So when your dad left me, I felt incomplete; like I had lost everything. But I got over it, because I needed to do better for you. I just couldn’t continue living in despair. So I had you—then I killed myself. You didn’t deserve me. You deserved better. Everything was wrong with me, my relationships, my whole life was a complete mess. I knew my sister would take care of you; she always knew what was best. I wish I’d got away from my family like she did, then maybe, I wouldn’t be so confused about life. Alexus, always believe in yourself and never make the mistakes I did. The only thing I regretted is the thought I had of taking your life, a little innocent baby, mindless of my own feelings and for that I will always be sorry. You’re older now
and I know my sister has taught you well; she was the only one I loved the most. Treat her with respect and kindness. Don’t let issues get you down; know that with God, all things are possible. If you have dreams, go for them. Not for me, not for your Aunt Sue, but for you. Just know this: I always loved you. And I’m looking down on you everyday.