You heard of me years ago and wanted to write me a letter. I had a brief 3-month relationship with Bryan L—- in XXX8, apparently while you and he were broken up. At that time, Bryan told me that he was infertile and though I was 25 at the time and old enough to know better, I believed him because he was 34 and he would know. Lo and behold, I got pregnant. Bryan tried to deny it, and that’s when he decided to tell me that he was divorcing his 2nd wife and tried and couldn’t get pregnant. Yes, they hid that from me, and at the time, in the Army, dating someone while not yet divorced can get him court-martialed. Well, wife #2 from NY was older, and I was 25, and I’m fertile & pregnant. We had lots of unprotected sex, and he climaxed every time. He said right away he didn’t believe in abortion. It had not even crossed my mind, but it’s odd to me that he brought it up first in hindsight.
He wanted to know 2 months later if I loved him yet, and it was hard because he kept hiding so many things from me. So one day, he said he was going to Barstow to watch football with a friend. I should have known better than in August – football season hadn’t started. He disappeared for 3 days, and I was panicking. I thought something happened to him, and I was ready to call his chain of command, thinking something happened and I’m having his baby. Then he called me Monday morning; he was safe. I was relieved, what happened? Was he stuck somewhere? Bryan called me every day up until then. No, “remember that friend,” he told me about? Yeah. “We decided to go off to Vegas and do something spontaneous.” Ok, but why not tell me that I was so worried. And he yelled, “Because he didn’t want to be obligated to tell me.” I don’t know where this was coming from.
This man was guilt-tripping me non-stop about my pregnancy and “IT’S A HUMAN LIFE.” I never thought of abortion, but he talked about it all the time, that he was against it – was he trying to convince himself or me? I was trying to figure out what happens next. I was exhausted and sleeping all the time. He kept doing everything he could to make me not trust him. When he thought so little of me to let me worry about that while I was pregnant – this is not someone I could raise a baby with, nor did I want to chase him down to pay child support. He told me how he outsmarted his first german wife, Army basic housing allowance, while he was finalizing his divorce. I had already told my mother I was pregnant and upset because Bryan and I were fighting all the time. She was trying to encourage me to focus on what we had in common, not on what divided us. It was odd for me because I was conflicted. I asked my mother not to say anything yet, and she decided to tell my sister anyway “because she’s married, and she wanted this for a long time.” My boundaries mean nothing to anyone, apparently.
He’s not obligated to do anything for me. I had enough, I was humiliated, and I was having an abortion, something that went against my moral values, but being a single parent is not want I wanted, not with someone I just started dating and not someone that was okay being on his 2nd divorce and starting another relationship with a friend. He clearly likes his life to be sloppy, but I had unprotected sex with someone that told me he was infertile. I just trusted that. So it says a lot about me. I wasn’t raised that way. Bryan decides he wants to pay for it. Really? I decline, and my friends say no, he got you pregnant, and he needs to see what this does to you, how it heartbreaking, and how traumatic it is. And she knew because she had one, and I didn’t realize at the time what she was trying to prepare me for. It was worse than what she warned me about. I was 10-11 weeks. I had a sonogram from my last doctor, and Bryan went to the last session with my doctor. So it was shocking that he decided to run off with a friend and not be obligated to me. It’s a 2-hour drive to the clinic.
Bryan is with me, and he wants to write a check for this. A check at an abortion clinic. She said no, I need to collect 300 cash from you. So then he had to find an ATM. I get on the table, and the nurse tells me that I am farther along and traumatizing. No, I know how far I am. I know when I started having sex with Bryan, and I have my last sonogram, and she said: “I see a very large fetus.” The word she used was fetus, not embryo. I am in tears; what is going on? I already feel conflicted about this. The doctor comes in and looks at the sonogram, and he told the nurse she’s not that far along. She’s about 10-11 weeks.
But I was so unnerved about a doctor having to confirm what I knew and what the nurse said I was too upset; I didn’t want to do this. I got off the table. Bryan followed me and wondered what it’s too intense? In that hot sun, I sat in his car, the black interior, at least he parked in the shade, and I was sobbing. I can’t do this. We have to figure out a way to work this out, and at the time, I thought parenting, but Bryan YELLED at me. “YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS DECISION FOR YOURSELF. I DON’T WANT TO GET MARRIED.” The way that he yelled at me, I can remember the shrill in his voice, I remember how abandoned I felt. And I stoically walked back in and was ready to continue the procedure. Bryan followed me and started a perfunctory protest, but he did what he wanted; he bullied me into doing it.
Another nurse came in; she was older, calling Bryan a hottie and talking about California’s great pot. This is not my life; I don’t do drugs, I don’t get casually pregnant by a man working on divorce #2 who didn’t love me. And yet, I did get pregnant. When it was over with, I said nothing on the drive home. And Bryan called me to say, “people love you -Em.” It was perfunctory; he moved on. I felt suicidal, I did something that violates my own living standards, and why did I listen to the son of a bitch? There’s still a rank thing at the time that still was at work now that I think about it. Yeah, I had a personal relationship with him, but something about yelling at me like that… I was conditioned. I couldn’t understand it or process it. I visited another male friend who knew me from college, and we both landed in the Army in the same unit.
He was someone I trust could watch me when I was feeling suicidal. No, he thought it was a time to try to have sex with me, and I finally found my nerve and told him I just lost a baby. What is wrong with him. He decided to say that he would have taken care of my baby. I found my nerve – oh fuck off, I’ve heard every excuse to get laid, the man that impregnated me said that he was infertile. I just had surgery down there. I’m a breeding ground for infection. You are unconscionable to try to use this moment, this moment after I’ve had the procedure, not before, to make a bullshit statement like that. I slammed the door.
I hated myself and wondered, why am I attracting men that can’t love me back? Bryan helped me pack up my stuff for my move to my next station, and he even drove me to the airport – asking me to stay in touch so that he knows he didn’t ruin my life. He sent me a card a month or two later. I moved on. I got promoted. He emailed me at my job email (literally, I did not write to him after that) and wanted to know why I had not written to him to tell him I got promoted. I was 27. At the time, I was in a relationship and happy. He was 6’6″ and a rugby player. I was in Germany and enjoying Europe. I found a way to stop hating Bryan and stop hating myself. I sent Bryan a card at his old address at Ft. Irwin because he told me to write to him.
A year earlier, I tried calling him because he told me to, but he just blew me off on the phone. Mary, you know my address. He was a dick. But I moved on. I sent a card that said. Basically, I think I found a way to stop hating you. I’ll remember you as the guy that jumped in a dumpster for me to retrieve my wallet when I dropped it in by mistake, and that’s how I will choose to remember him.
Bryan was trying to encourage me to consider making my next duty assignment Ft. Bragg. That’s interesting when I talked about that before – he was “all roads lead to Darmstadt, Germany,” where I was to be stationed. Now he was encouraging me to PCS. But the women that I knew that went to Bragg told me not to go. I was sexually harassed at my previous unit. Bryan knew about it. The women I served with said it’s a lot worse at Ft. Bragg. Besides, the man paid for my abortion; why on earth do I need to be where he’s at? I had moved on, and I wasn’t trying to hate Bryan anymore, but this was pissing me off. He wrote about “all women jump teams.” Really trying to sell me on PCSing there.
I am at Sergeant school, and I get an email from Bryan, again, unsolicited, reading “about your card.” This is when Bryand decides he has to share my life again (my promotions) but is only sharing his life because he’s forced to. That he got back with his ex-girlfriend Deon in Las Vegas (after we broke up). I’m guessing you’re the friend he went to watch Football with when he disappeared that weekend. That he had a baby with you named E*****, I think, and that he moved on to Ft. Bragg, and you stayed behind in Vegas. That his mail from Ft. Irwin was forwarded to his wife in Vegas. Wow, he got married and had a baby after me. I let that sink in for a while, logged off. And no, I didn’t regret that I had an abortion. That’s what my friends thought I should be feeling. And the feeling that I felt was different. It was anger and rage; who the fuck does he think he is that he can be so cavalier with me after something so traumatizing that he literally screamed me into doing? I also felt an enormous amount of relief, that could have been me that had a baby. I started a family intercepting a letter from a woman he cannot finish things with because when things get tough for Bryan, he decides he needs to move on to the next thing so that he’s not alone, just in case.
I could handle being separated, but Bryan can’t, apparently. Cause that’s when he said you wanted to write a letter to me to find out if our contact was “totally innocent.” I don’t know if trying to convince me to move to Ft. Bragg is innocent, but I know the way he operates in hindsight. He tried to say, “my family is in your hands..” and then he had the audacity to tell me what dates he was with me. This is too Jerry Springer for me, and yet that was my life. I remember too well the time it happened. It broke my spirit. It’s also the reason I can never have a baby again. Because of that procedure, I developed adenomyosis and fibroids. I have to have the top of my uterus removed, and hoping that I don’t have cancer. I find out tomorrow if I do.
I wonder what kind of mother I would have been. I would do better than my own, who got caught up in a religious cult. Would I have had to chase down Bryan for child support, probably? I would have stayed in the Army, probably even deployed or been killed by now. I got out. I became a contractor, I make about 200k a year, but I never married and can’t have children.
So yeah, I think he harmed my life for sure, not sure that he ruined it. I was a willing participant, for sure. He’s never contacted me since the last time I went off on him in that email for telling me that news that he moved got married, and please don’t trash him to his 3rd wife. I asked Bryan if he gave a damn about my feelings when he wrote that? He just said, “All I can say is” he didn’t know I was going to write to his wife.
Nice, I was blamed for writing to his old address that he told me to write to, and it got forwarded to yet another wife I didn’t know about. I remember that phrase of his very well. “All he can say?” Dude, stop talking, don’t contact me again – leave me alone. I won’t respond to any letter that she writes, not for you, but for her; I can’t imagine how painful it was for her to read my card and learn that, yeah, you keep secrets from her too, and she actually gave you a baby. You don’t have the right to intrude on my life anymore. I’ve not talked to Bryan since. But since learning about my adenomyosis at the focal point where implantation occurs, I cannot stop reliving what happened that day.
I don’t share this with you to cause you pain. Once upon a time, you wanted to know what happened. Now you know, and I hope that what Bryan did all those years ago, to have a wife and family with someone other than me, and jump out of planes and then try to reappear in my life 2 years later to intrude and hide things he “wanted to tell me in his own time”… was worth it. I would like him to suffer; I’ll have to settle for you being the one that signed up to be wife #3 and having to trust him because we both know he can’t be trusted.