An abortion 33 years ago at 17 years old

The truth about abortion is a loss and it is a very real and a paralysing experience, to the point that only after 33 years after the experience am I able to talk about it.
My journey started when I was 17 years old and became pregnant to my first boyfriend. The shock of finding out that I was pregnant was very overwhelming.

Suddenly my life was turned upside down.

Not sure how I was going to afford to keep myself let alone the child. When sharing with family and friends of the crisis, the only answer and words of reassurance was to have an abortion. With only being 6 weeks pregnant the aim was to have the abortion as soon as possible. There was no time to think it through, the date was set and the choice was made!
There was no ultrasound or photo showing what stage the baby was at. To this day, I cannot recall who took me to the clinic or about the procedure, all I remember, I was terrified and could not even speak up for myself.
After the procedure I came home and it was never spoken about again. Through the years following the abortion, I stuffed the whole experience deep down, and it was so hidden, that I recall having nightmares.
I avoided the subject as I could not face it. I simply did not want to acknowledge the experience!! If you have not received counselling or been supported through the years, it sits and waits for you, the time comes, when one has to acknowledge it and bring it all to the light. You get these promptings, the subject keeps coming up around you, or get shown a book, or friends talk about it - you will know, instinctly it is time to tell someone that you were once a mother but never got to see it through. After finally telling my husband of 20 years.

I started to deal with the pain, regret, shame and found forgiveness from God.

Even though I had spoken to someone, I was still feeling sorrow and very tearful, thought it was time to seek counselling, and that is when I made contact with Abortion Recovery Care & Helpline (ARCH), who referred me to Reading Lifeline. An appointment was scheduled to meet with Lis, I was nervous on the day, but when meeting with Lis, I felt very comfortable and was relieved to finally be dealing with the hidden secret.
The programme was very helpful working through the experience and on how I came to make the decision to abort, and how to heal from the decision by finding forgiveness and forgiving all those involved.

Editor's Comment

Thank you for describing your very painful journey. It must have been a hard secret to carry for so many years, and emotionally exhausting to suppress those feelings for so long. I am so glad you have found help and support through Reading Lifeline.

This story was sent in on 13/01/2011

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