Hidden, Part 1
I used to be a liar.
I would lie to myself all the time. My life revolved around others, pleasing others and making sure others were OK.
People often ask me why I moved back home a year ago, at the age of 27: a period that should have marked the best years of my life. The truth is, I was depressed. At the time, I thought about death a lot. I used to imagine what it would be like if I were actually dead. I mean, think about it: Wouldn’t it be great to wake up and have no more problems? You’d be completely numb, without a conscious mind, free.
I came to realize, though, that while everybody dies, not everyone lives. This is my story.
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an actress. Then, when I was in my late teens, I wanted to be a dancer, and then a model…you get the point. When you’re young, you think you’re invincible and you can do whatever you want. That same mentality carried out to my late 20s.
When I was 19, just shy of turning 20, that’s when I first fell in love. That was my best year ever! Mostly because I was having the time of my life and also because that’s when I first met Bodie. The way he looked at me was electric! Nobody had ever looked at me the way he did. I felt this instant pull I was immediately drawn to him.
I still remember the first night I met him; he was staring at me from the other side of the room. Our eyes locked and we met on the dance floor. I felt like I had known him from somewhere—a past life, maybe? There was something about the intensity of the connection I felt with him. I wanted to get to know him, and so I did: in the bedroom, that is.
We would always see each other out and partied the night away with friends and occasionally hook up at the end of every night…until one day he told me he had a girlfriend. I don’t know if I was bothered by this or not. I think what I was most bothered about was wondering if I’d ever feel that intense connection again with someone else. Or was that a once-in-a lifetime thing?
Not long after, I made the decision to move to Sydney.
I was a young 22-year-old free spirit, ready to take on what the big smoke had to offer—and off I went. Sydney in your early 20s is like the Gold Coast on steroids. The busy hustle and bustle was fun and exciting because it was new to me. I quickly landed a job, made some new friends, and even got a boyfriend. Life was good.
Fast-forward a few years later. I hit a road block with my now ex-boyfriend, and I decided to call our relationship off. He was a great guy—he just wasn’t the guy for me. Our relationship was “steady” and “comfortable,” but I craved something deeper. I wanted passion and romance. Something was missing in my life and I started to look back for a minute. Should I have looked back? Probably not.
It was 2017 and summer rolled around quickly. I turned 27 on February 1. A few weeks later, I thought I would visit my parents on the Gold Coast for a few days and hit up the old flame while I was there, so I sent Bodie a message through Facebook: “How are you? I’m going to be on the Gold Coast and I really want to see you.”
Then, one night while I was on the Gold Coast, he came over. I was so excited to see him, and the same feelings and memories came flooding back almost instantly. We hung out for a bit, and I returned to Sydney the next day.
Over a month passed, and one morning I wasn’t feeling like myself. I wasn’t sleeping well. I realized my period was late. I was going to the toilet a lot. Could I be pregnant? Surely not. I went to the chemist and bought a pregnancy test. As soon as I got home, I went into the bathroom, took the test, then placed it on the bathroom sink and waited three minutes. Those three minutes were the longest three minutes of my life; sure enough, the test was clear as crystal with two red lines…I was pregnant!
I remember crying for days after I found out. I was in denial, even though it was quite evident. The sex hadn’t even been that great, and I couldn’t believe I actually let it happen again!
That night, all I kept thinking about was: My pill…where is it? I can’t find it! What bag is it in? Did I forget to take it? Can you even fall pregnant if you are on the pill? What are the chances? Do I need to Google this? I started to panic and got anxious, but none of that mattered anymore because it was too late.
Eventually I got a grip and finally made an appointment with the doctor. He did a blood test and told me to come back in a few days. A few days later, I went back and found out I was super early in my pregnancy. The doctor said I was only six weeks along.
One morning I woke up and decided I had to tell Bodie. I needed to be honest and face my fears, so I wrote the message a few times and sent it to myself before sending it to him. I wanted to say it in a way that wouldn’t make him mad. I finally clicked “send” and I also sent a picture of the pregnancy test. His reaction did not surprise me. He told me he had just gotten back with his ex and that it would be best for the both of us if I just got an abortion. I agreed, but I couldn’t help but think, Really? I just told you I’m pregnant and you’re talking about your ex-girlfriend? Where is the respect, where is the compassion, and what about asking me if I’m OK? Nothing. Not a damn thing.
For a few weeks, we went back and forth about having the abortion. I was on board with it at first, but then one day I changed my mind. What if I did want to have this baby? What did I really want? I turned to my family for support.
Now, just some advice for anyone else who is going through this: When you tell one person in your family you’re pregnant, be prepared for the rest of the family to find out! Suddenly everyone knew: my brothers, my sister in-law, my parents…they all found out, eventually.
Read the rest of Tina’s story in “Hidden, Part 2.“