When I was adopted, I got more than just parents—I got a whole family. This included a cousin who was exactly my age, and we immediately became best friends. We grew apart as teenagers, but I was the one she turned to when she learned she was pregnant. I knew her mother would disown her, so I helped her procure an abortion and went with her to the clinic, where we were seen by a classmate. I already had a bit of a reputation and was more resilient than my cousin, so I told everyone it was me getting an abortion. My cousin dropped me when all my friends did. Afraid her mom would hear about the clinic, she told her she’d accompanied me. My aunt told my parents, who nearly disowned me, and our relationship has never recovered. They still seem to regret adopting me, and I’m not welcome in family photos. I’m not welcome to attend holidays held at my aunt’s house because she thinks I “dragged her daughter down with me,” even 10 years later. My cousin remains the perfect angel of the family. I’m so fed up—I want to just tell everyone the truth. I don’t expect it to fix a thing, but I’m tired of carrying the burden. Would it be wrong of me to spill? I don’t want to be the black sheep anymore.
—Tired of Secrets