Former “Married at First Sight” star Jamie Otis didn’t have the easiest childhood.
One of five children, Otis’ mom wasn’t able to care for any of them. Once Otis was old enough to handle it, she became her siblings’ primary caregiver.
Otis told People:
Ever since I was little, my mom told me she almost aborted me. I know that sounds a little hypocritical coming from me, but with that being said, my mom had a total of five children — none of whom she could provide for. I don’t mean this to be negative towards my mom. It’s just a fact.
My mom was sexually abused by a relative and beaten to a bloody pulp so many times by boyfriends. I had no idea who my father was. My siblings and I would wake up with no heat, no electricity and no food half the time because my mom couldn’t afford us all. Even if she tried to have a job, she had five kids as a single woman and had no self-worth or support.
By the time Otis was a teen, her mom became addicted to drugs and would leave her and her siblings alone for weeks at a time to fend for themselves.
And by the age of 18, Otis found herself going down a similar path.
As a freshman in college, Otis fell pregnant to a boy who “wasn’t able to be a good father”:
I’ve never wanted to be with the possessive, controlling and jealous kind of guy my mom dated, and in my heart I knew my boyfriend wasn’t able to be a good father.
Despite growing up in a family that doesn’t have abortions “under any circumstances,” Otis made the decision she never thought she would make:
I chose to have an abortion. I wouldn’t have been able to provide this child the kind of life he or she deserved. And I wanted to finish college and provide for my siblings and give us a better life. I didn’t see how that would be possible while also taking care of a baby.
Then Otis fell pregnant again while in nursing school.
I don’t even want to admit that it happened twice, but here I am sharing my story so other women can feel that they aren’t alone. Abortion was so frowned upon in my family, but I think even my mom would vouch for this today: We should be able to have the choice in hopes of breaking the cycle. My mom went on to live a life that was so destructive not only for herself but for every single child she brought into this world that the cycle continued with my sister until she was able to pick up the pieces of her life and change it.
The choices she made years ago still make her feel “like a terrible, selfish human being” to this day. She says she wishes she had someone around her back then who would have told her she wasn’t “evil.”
Now, she looks at her husband, Doug, and her daughter, Henley, whom she says she wouldn’t have had she given birth to two other babies with men not fit to be fathers:
I know I’m going to get backlash for opening up about my past. Like I said, my abortions still torment me and I hate that I had to have them. However, am I thankful? Of course. I wouldn’t be able to be a good mother to my daughter right now or have been able to be a good parent to my siblings back then.
The mom of one, who has also been open about her struggles to continue growing her family, opened up further on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
I’ve been keeping a shameful secret. The only place I had the guts to share about it was in my book, Wifey 101. And boy, did I get backlash. • Its very controversial. Some women who read my book came right here to my page to spew the most hurtful words at me. They’ve called me all sorts of cruel names. I hate to admit it, but I caved to their hatred. I just couldn’t cope with it all, so I kept quiet about my truth. But I just cannot continue to sit in silence while women’s fundamental human rights are being taken away. I am speaking up for HER. • I had an abortion. Twice. Is it something I’m proud of? Heck no! No one *wants* an abortion. It has left the most painful hole in my heart. But do I think women should be stripped of their right to choose? Absolutely not. • I’m speaking up for the little girl who was raped. She’s been through enough pain. She needs to know her voice DOES matter. For the woman who has a medical condition and will die if she carries. This woman should be allowed to decide what’s best for her. And for the young adult who is just like I was…I am speaking up for YOU. • You’re a teenager raising your 3 younger siblings all alone while your mom is off on drug binges. You’re trying to keep food on the table, heat & lights on in the house, AND put yourself through college while working as a waitress. You’re not evil if you want to break the cycle of welfare, drug addiction, & raising fatherless children. You’re not a monster if you want to raise children in a loving, stable, healthy environment. • There *is* a shade of grey. I dont believe in aborting at every stage of pregnancy. What I do believe in is EDUCATION AND PREVENTION.?? • We can’t hate on women and stifle their voices and their needs – especially if we haven’t walked in their shoes. Instead, let’s focus on education in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Let’s lift victims up in support and let them know they matter & their voice is heard and respected. • Ladies, no matter what our belief is-we’ve got to support one another. Love is the only way we can truly make change in this world…we cannot standby & let men take away our fundamental human rights.?#womensrights
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Otis says there needs to be more open discussions around sex education.