It's easy to say months later 'I could've done it!' but I didn't and ended up having an abortion
It is easy to say months later: ‘I could have done it!’.
Yes, I could have done it to go through a pregnancy and bring up a child with love despite being in a difficult situation.
Unfortunately, I did not do it and ended up having an abortion.
The year following my abortion I tried hard to keep my life together, tried to be normal, tried to move on, ... deep down though I felt like something within me had died.
I could not identify with who I was anymore, joy had gone out of many things and the normal things in life started to take all my effort.
Having always been a very social, positive, outgoing and honest person with deep values, I struggled with the fact that I started to avoid social situations and learned to tell half-truths to hide what had really happened in my life.
A year after my abortion I was at the point of total exhaustion
About a year after my abortion I found myself at a point of total exhaustion. I remembered the contact number of a pregnancy crisis centre and got in touch with them. I am so glad I did take that step.
The lady that I saw introduced me to to the post-abortion recovery programme 'The Journey'.
When I met the lady for the first time I did not believe that I could ever feel different again, all I wanted was to cry and hide away.
Yes, I had a partner and friends that I could be completely honest about how I felt, but still, I felt stuck with myself and these feelings of sadness, emptiness, guilt and anger.
Going through the programme was hard work as it opened up many feelings that I learned to hide away and was afraid to face, but it helped me to see the circumstances of my pregnancy and abortion in a different perspective.
Only now I could see how my previously strong self worth and healthy confidence had fallen to zero and that this was part of me struggling with life.
I learned the difference of guilt and shame, blame and accountability and the importance of acknowledging feelings of anger and grief.
I started to write and paint some of my feelings down, and slowly could experience how I could heal from inside.
Although I had to take some time off work to do this inner work, I can truly say that I could find more peace in my heart again
Most of all, I could forgive myself and the people that had contributed to me having the abortion, eg. the father of the child and doctors. I didn't think that I would ever be able to do that.
There will always be a deep sadness that I have lost my first child to abortion, but I now also know that I can still live on - despite it all. I could find trust again and I am finding my confidence again, right now... and that little person will always be in my heart.
I just want to encourage people who battle with the effects of an abortion, feel low and worthless because of it or who just struggle with the hiding of what has happened, to use 'The Journey'.
It might give you a way to live on without that weight on your heart. It did it for me.
This story was sent in on 19/10/2011