Back in the car, we drove to the beach in silence. My mum walked me down onto the stones where I took the pill in the most dramatic setting possible. To this day, I have no idea why she made it feel like such a big deal. The waves were crashing, the wind blowing, the grey skies overwhelming. She told me off, told me never to do something so reckless again, that I was too young to be taking the morning after pill.
The experience put me off sex for a long time. But the problem wasn’t the sex, or even the ripped condom, it was how everyone around me dealt with it, and how little I knew about getting emergency contraception.
This letter is to my mother, who made me feel worse about the situation. She made me feel like I shouldn’t be having sex, even though my body was telling me otherwise. If only she knew that taking that pill was me taking responsibility to do what I want with my life. I wish she had laughed about the mistake and supported me, or just told me which condoms would work better!
This letter is to the boy that I slept with, who didn’t think emergency contraception was his responsibility. He should have come with me to the pharmacy and split the cost. We could have had ice cream afterwards and laughed about our little mishap. At the very least, he could have taken my number and texted me the next day to see how I was feeling, just to show support.
Most importantly, this letter is to my younger self, who felt shame and guilt for having to use the morning after pill. I didn’t need to feel that way, the only feeling I should have had was a hangover. I wish my younger self had the knowledge to find the pill quickly so I could have sorted myself out. I should have felt empowered by my decision and my independence to have sex and make my own choices.
Sex shouldn’t come with shame or guilt. Especially when we’re young and exploring our bodies and sexuality. That time is for feeling those sexual rushes and to find love, lust and excitement! If one thing goes wrong that doesn’t mean the fun has to end, it’s just time to take responsibility. For me, that was taking the morning after pill. No shame. No guilt. My choice.