It was the two abortions I had that nearly destroyed me.
When I became pregnant for the fifth time in seven years, my doctor asked me if I really thought I should “continue the pregnancy.” Abortion had never occurred to me until he suggested it.
My husband said, “It’s your decision. Do what you want,” and left for work. Naively, I began looking for women who had had abortions. I wanted to know what to expect. But I couldn’t find anyone who would admit to having had one. I asked my doctor and he said, “It only takes a few minutes and it’s over.”
I had my first abortion in another state. Afterwards, before I even got home, I began to cry. It didn’t help.
I continued to cry after I got home. I cried on my knees beside my bed. When finally I stopped crying on the outside, I kept crying on the inside. I felt so dirty and alone.
Something deep inside of me froze, I think. I dreamed a lot about snow and ice, as well as about babies. I felt cheated, betrayed, and manipulated. I went to counseling and the psychologist said “Forgive yourself,” and “Let yourself go on.” She didn’t say how.
I wasn’t told that after having an abortion an unbelievable self-hatred would consume me and lead to distrust, suspicion, and the utter inability to care about myself, or others–including my four children. I wasn’t told that hearing babies cry would trigger such anger that I wouldn’t be able to be around babies at all.
I wasn’t told that it would become impossible to look at my own eyes in a mirror. Or that my confidence would be so shaken that I would become unable to make important life decisions. My self-hatred kept me from pursuing my goal of becoming a registered nurse. I didn’t think I deserved success.
I wasn’t told that I would come to hate all those who advised me to have my abortions, because they were my accomplices in the murders of my babies. I wasn’t told that having an abortion with my husband’s consent would end up causing me to hate the father of my children, or that I would be unable to sustain ANY satisfying, lasting, fulfilling relationships.
I wasn’t told that I could become suicidal in the fall of every year, when both of my babies should have been born. I wasn’t told that on the birthdays of my living children, I would remember the two for whom I would never make a birthday cake, or that on Mother’s Day I would remember the two who would never send me a card, or that every Christmas I would remember the two for whom there would be no presents.
My abortions were supposed to be a “quick-fix” for my problems, but they didn’t tell me there is no “quick-fix” for regrets.
The nightmares continued. I became a workaholic. Work didn’t help. I became a compulsive eater. Food didn’t help. I became an anorexic as a form of self-punishment. That came close to killing me; I had two strokes.
I tried alcohol. It only helped temporarily. The torment would still be there when I woke up. That effort to escape the pain only lasted two months.
Healing does not mean forgetting. I will always regret what I did and always miss my babies until the day I am with them in Heaven. But I know now that God can use every part of our lives, even the worst parts, to help us to help others.
*Posted with permission of Elliot Institute