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20 years later

Trigger warning for domestic violence/abortion

Twenty years ago I was 20, I'd had a rough year and a half, but no one I knew, or had ever known (to my knowledge) had had cancer, I was still young and healthy and innocent and had my entire life ahead of me... a lot happens in 20 years.

At the beginning of 2021 I started an online support group for victims of domestic violence. I am certainly no professional, my scope of knowledge reaches as far as "people need support, access to others with knowledge of local resources and also to know they aren't CRAZY"

"Lucky me" I also know MULTIPLE people who have been or are currently in some form of a domestic abuse situation, (with a spouse, room-mate, partner, parent, sibling etc) so finding a few people to help admin was easy. Once our group grew to over 2000 I knew we needed to recruit a few more and so we did, psychologists .Dr.Anne is one of which. Another of the Canadian admins I follow on TikTok her handle is @_stronger_than_before_ ,and she makes awesome video's. Anyway check out these TikTok's if you're into TikTok they are educating and real and validating.

So also 20 years has passed, and cancer has touched so many people I know, Killing many of them but thankfully, thankfully, thankfully been defeated by one super little kid I know.

I'm getting off track, grief does that. Go to the garage to grab an empty box and instead I need to know right then where my two boxes of photo albums are... except I can't lift 6 LBS let alone all the boxes of books, and clothes and what not... le sigh.

So yes, on Christmas day my cousin turned 20.

Why does this matter?

Because of something that I am reminded of every single time I see her. And because (like my little sister) she is perfect in my eyes. She is thoughtful, and quiet, she is an artist, and warm, and seems to take it all in. She is just really good natured and everything positive that I guarantee my child would not have been.

So we venture into the past.

I had been in two relationships prior to being 20, one with my "first love", a hilarious, stuttering, cute, innocent, artsy, trustworthy, loyal, easy to get along with high schooler, who eventually grew to love drugs more than me. I was heart broken - we shared mostly all the same friends, it was difficult to navigate, and at this time I grew closer to my girlfriends. (Michelle, Dar, Fuss, Julie) but he continued to love drugs for a long time, possibly still (so clearly that was the right decision for him, first loves rarely last). I saw him last about 15 years ago, and have not a pinch of ill will towards him. He was good to me, he just loved something else more than me.

The other relationship had with a very hard working, loyal, trusting teen, who was raised by divorced parents and wanted nothing more than to be a dad (one day). His own father a shining star in my mind, his parents divorced but so very amicable. His dad didn't sleep, he read, he chatted, he made sure we got places safe, regardless of if that was DDing us to Toronto or Barrie, or just being available new years eve to save us from a party someone was pulling knives at. He let me live with them in not one apartment, but two and a house, both while I dated his son and after I had moved away to college. Our relationship was comfortable and respectful, and slowly morphed for me into a friendship, there just was NO romance. But we were good, so much so that after we broke up, when I was in a car accident I came back and lived on their couch to recover, and when I was held hostage at 2am in a college residence, HIS dad not my own, was the one to drive out of town in the middle of the night to save me. I am forever indebt to Dave Elliott.

I was very love bombed in this third relationship of mine, I met him at college, my first job at my new college was at The First Class (located directly above "The last Class" which was a restaurant/bar. I was cute and innocent, and had only ever dated nice guys with no ill intent.

This "boy" was damaged, for sure. He was a student, his last girlfriend had cheated on him, he was living with his best friend, his dad had left the picture when he was a small child and his mother was an alcoholic who had an open door of men coming through.

There were PLENTY of red flags. (basically every teenage girl READ these red flags) which I overlooked because I was being love bombed half the time, cause I'd never had a boyfriend who was jealous, cause I'd never had a boyfriend with a parent who was as horrible as his mother or who didn't have both parents in the picture, there were a LOT of reasons why I gave this dude the time of day. Also he was a liar, but I knew no one who knew him. There was no one to tell me this. Eventually I learned he didn't actually LIVE with his best friend, he didn't really live anywhere, he just stayed places. I learned he wasn't actually enrolled in my college (although I had met him there and left to go to class, with a mutual acquaintance. Like he went to classes, he had me go places he "lived" Like we went in and slept. Later I'd find out he had just been there and knew where a key was, or that they didn't lock their doors or whatever. These lies went DEEP. (At one point he "sublets off a guy who has ended his semester and is gone to BC or something. However "apparently" the guy sublets to him and some other girl. No one could reach the actual lease holder. This was pre-everyone-and-their-mom having a smart phone. He had me, her and her boyfriend convinced they had both paid this guy. So the girls boyfriend, actually builds a wall in the basement, and all the sudden it's a 4 bedroom, and he's living for free.)

So this guy, he was mentally and verbally abusive, I was gaslit all the time, sexually assaulted, guilt-tripped, threatened, but I was trauma-bonded (best description is chemical imbalance created by the up's and lows), and then one night we were at a friends place and we had been out drinking and a bunch of them were doing drugs. This "boy"friend of mine was in her daughters room with me and threatening me (I probably looked at another male) and I tried to call his bluff. I said "do it then", and he grabbed me by the shirt neck ripping my shirt and breaking my necklace and punched me in the cheek. I screamed out for Jen, Jen came I told her, he took off running, Jen told all the coked up guys in the living room and they went chasing him. Guy was such an actual P***y that he ran flagged down cops and told them that there were guys chasing him and he had been assaulted. He then lied to police about marks on his body from when he HAD actually been assaulted the week prior, unfortunately for him at that time he had been lying at the bottom of the stairs bleeding and I had called police, so that was all reported. Once the police came, (you know for the terrible assault these nice guys had done against my loser abuser... obviously, we told them the truth.) He was charged, and spent, almost zero time in jail. (these guys know how to work the system)

Along the line I had managed to get sick and take antibiotics which rendered my birthcontrol useless, and thus ended up pregnant. No we weren't using condoms, that would have meant I was sleeping around (of course... to him, y’a know since his ex had cheated on him *doubtful looking back, and his mom slept around a lot *not doubtful since she disgustingly told me her sons gf she has slept with 369 men-gross.)

The ex (ex #2 was such a good man he seriously offered to raise the baby with me or even on his own, since we were always being accused of sleeping together anyways, he told me to just tell the loser that it was his (however this would have been IMO risky for both of us and since he had already shown up there to threaten ex and his Dad) - p.s. abusers like to deflect, and take attention off of themselves) Long story short, I "miscarried" abortion at that time to tell him would be super RISKY for my life and would also have lost me a friend as I knew the ex, strongly didn't believe in abortion. I applied into every school FAR FAR from Barrie Ontario, and in September moved to London Ontario, where I knew one acquaintance. I found us a 6 bedroom house w 4 other guys, and started life over.

Anyways back to my cousin (who is now btw half way through University)

Whenever I see this little girl (who isn’t so little anymore) , I think of her dad, the only one of the 4 of my relatives who knew I was pregnant and encouraged me to have the baby, and then didn't actually have to do very much of the parenting of his own four kids. My cousins are all INCREDIBLE, I have no idea how my aunty Julie did it. My cousin is talented, and smart and pretty, and so is her mom. I am glad her mom had her, I am also glad that abortion is part of HEALTH CARE.

By the way - if the egg bank would take my eggs I'd willingly give them to my sister, and I would have then given her all my eggs too if we knew she had POI. But NO I wouldn't have kept that baby and let her adopt. NO ONE wants a baby with half that guy's genes, I mean people debate over the ethics genetic testing of embryos for my PALB2 gene, but ... like how much would it suck if you adopted a baby that was a monster mixed with a mutant? no one wants that guy in their life forever or even for 18 years. (flip side I helped her find a donor if you'd like to follow her story she is on instagram as )

Sorry for the ramble.

1 in 3 women in Canada will experience intimate partner assault/abuse. if you are one of these women seek out our online support group or look up your local domestic violence centre. I’m so glad covid wasn’t a thing while I was stuck with that guy.

1 in 8 women in Canada will get some form of Breast cancer- if you are genetically predisposed take action.

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