I. Am. Enough.

Growing up, we visited my maternal grandparents at least  twice a year – at Christmas and during summer vacation.


Mom? Dad? If you’re reading this, I’ve realized that Mt. Carmel did more damage to me than he-who-shall-not-be-named. I think that Mt. Carmel is the reason that I ended up being the perfect victim for someone like that man. I don’t mean this in an accusatory way. I’m trying to share an epiphany that, strangely, makes me feel better.


Mt. Carmel. Where to start? Mt. Carmel was a school. That also offered boarding. Its founders and builders make Baptists look like frat partiers. Seriously.

Anyway, Mt. Carmel is what people today would call a cult or a sect. Thankfully, once my mother left home for college, she never went back there. OK, she never went back there to live. Unfortunately, we went back umpteen times to visit.

And so, at the tender age of – wow, probably 3 or 4 – I learned that I wasn’t “enough.”

I wasn’t “good enough.”

I wasn’t “Christian enough.”

I wasn’t “well-behaved enough.”

I wasn’t dressed “appropriately enough.”

I just wasn’t – ever … enough.

I learned this from my grandparents – you know, the very people who are supposed to dote on you and spoil you.

I grew up in the Nazarene church. Again – ugh. Once I left home I didn’t go to church for decades. Because honestly? I really got tired of being – and feeling – that I wasn’t “enough.”

And then I joined the Presbyterian church.

Things went well until… I learned that I didn’t “attend church enough.”

I wasn’t “involved enough.”

I wasn’t an “active enough member.”

And so on.

Churches. You wonder why you are bleeding people. It’s because you constantly make them feel as though they “aren’t enough.”

The fact is, I AM enough. And I don’t need a church to affirm that. I’ve got a great psychologist and a support system that says that I am doing OK.

And I BELIEVE that I am doing OK. I’m not where I want to be yet. But I’m getting there.

Churches – until you start recognizing that, for some people, just making it to a pew is an accomplishment, you will continue to see a decline in your population.

I never wanted to go to church to prove that I was “enough.” I just wanted to go to church knowing that I would be accepted – regardless of what I was capable of giving.

I am enough. I always have been. It’s just taken me 40-plus years to realize that.







So let’s talk abortion…

When I was in high school, two of my “church friends,” as I referred to them back then, had abortions.

Both had gotten pregnant by the same guy, a free-wheeling asshole who attended our evangelical church. Both girls had parents who – back then AND now – adamantly opposed abortion. And yet …

… When *THEIR* girls got pregnant, those same parents rushed their daughters to abortion clinics. The whole church knew. But it politely turned a blind eye.

And then there was me – the 15-year-old who unfortunately drew the eye of a 24-year-old man who had flunked out of college. “Would it be so bad if you got pregnant?” he whispered into my ear, as I lay crying after yet another episode of unwanted sex.

Yes. It would have. And I would have aborted that fertilized egg – or fetus or whatever the far right is now calling it – in a split second. I hated my “boyfriend.” I hated myself. If he had succeeded in implanting something in me, I probably would have contemplated running away or suicide. Please note: the evangelical “boyfriend” was physically and sexually and emotionally abusive. He did not deserve a child then. I’m told he and his future wife later adopted one. They did not deserve that child. I know what he put me through. He never, ever should have been allowed the privilege of raising a child – not ever.

In my 20s, when I was working as a reporter for the Odessa American, my friend Melanie and her brother introduced me to a friend of her brother’s. We had just arrived at Riley’s Roadhouse, just before closing. We had just enough time to order a bloody Mary for each of us.

I was date-raped that night. I’d only had one drink. But I later learned that at that time, a lot of young guys in the area had come into possession of Rohypnol, the date-rape drug.

The next day, I tried to make an appointment with my female primary care doctor. But she wasn’t in. Instead, I got some old white man.

“Would it really be so bad if you were pregnant?” he asked, before refusing to write a prescription for the morning-after pill.

Desperate and panicked, I tracked down my regular doctor at home. She immediately ordered a prescription not only for the morning-after pill but also an anti-nausea medication… just in case.

Do I feel guilty? Nope. I didn’t then. I don’t now. I’d just been victimized. And whatever was in my body was no more than a teensy mass of cells. I bled out those cells and I was not – and never have been – sorry.

I went on to have two beautiful children with my husband.

They were wanted and planned for. Their father wasn’t an abusive pedophile. Their father wasn’t someone who drugged a 26-year-old single woman. Their father is a wonderful man I met at age 30. When. I. Was. Ready. And. Able. To. Have. Children.

I’m sharing this story because I think that all too often, the so-called “pro-lifers” want to think that women who seek abortions are “slutty” or “loose” women who “asked for” what happened to them.

Instead, you should be asking – “Who are these men who drive women to seek to terminate their pregnancies?”

But, of course, you won’t do that. Because it’s never the guy’s fault.

Go ahead. Seek to criminalize abortion. Seek to make those who have had one appear to be “bad women.” In fact, most times, we were victims. We did what we had to do to survive.

And I ask you to ask yourself – what if your daughter came to your with stories similar to mine? What would you tell her? What would you do?