I got pregnant at 17 after being raped

7 years ago at the age of 17 I got pregnant after a rape. At first I was adamant that I was going to keep it, thinking something good could come out of something bad, but then I told my parents and everything changed. They pushed me and pushed me to abort the baby saying it would ruin my life, I'm too young and that I would never cope. I couldn't bring myself to tell them about the rape so had to put up with my mum going on about why I didn't use contraception. When the news started to sink in a little and flashbacks of the rape became to overwhelming I started to hate this "thing" inside of me. I started to feel dirty inside and just wanted it out of me. I thought that it would constantly remind me of the father and what he did instead of my baby, a part of me.

I opted to have a surgical abortion at 11 weeks

I didn't believe in abortion and on the day still wasn't 100% I was doing the right thing. Alone on the bed I was scared, thinking, until it was time to go into theatre. When I woke up the first question I asked was is it over. When she said 'yes' I burst into tears. The anaesthetist came running in and explained that it could be a side effect from the drugs, but inside I knew it was because I had made the biggest mistake ever.

Trying to put the abortion behind me

Afterwards I tried my best to get on with life, I went to university to study nursing, everything seemed to be back to normal for a while. Inside however I was breaking, guilt was taking over and I grew to hate myself. I became very depressed and attempted suicide. I had to leave university to get better but couldn't get over what I had done. I attempted suicide 5 times in total with overdoses and had to go through intense therapy to finally grieve for my loss and learn to move on from it. I'm now married with 2 lovely children but not a day goes by when I don't think about my first child, he/she would be 6 yrs old now.

Breaking the Silence

No one tells you about the after effects of abortion. It almost killed me, and if I could turn back the time, my decision would have been to keep the baby. I never want another person to go through what I did because of abortion.

Editor's Comment

I was very sad to read your story. Not only did you suffer the horror of rape but then you have had to cope with the pain of an abortion you felt was a mistake. It must have been very hard to be locked into secrecy and silence with the rape, and for your parents to misunderstand what had happened. Rape is a very difficult experience to handle and I am glad you have found happiness in your marriage and children. There is a national helpline 0800 0282228 with trained advisors to help with a crisis like this, or you can access help through a local centre by following this link find a centre for post abortion support in your area.

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