I had a termination at 17 - same old story - doing my exams, parents felt I was too young.

I had a termination at 17 - same old story - doing my exams, parents felt I was too young. My parents were brilliant but they made the decision, not me. I was in the hospital on Christmas Eve. I watched my parents walk through the hospital doors and I thought I wanted to run away, but I didn't have anywhere to go so I went through with it, a decision I regret to this day. I am now 41 and still live with the grief of destroying that life. I have 3 wonderful children but I still think I should have 4. All I can say to anyone in the same situation I found myself in is that I have never forgotten how I felt in that hospital bed. The nursing staff were good but I remember my boobs going hard and leaking. I remember the sorrow I felt. I remember Christmas Day feeling empty, but trying to put on a brave face. I remember feeling so ashamed. To this day only my parents, an old family friend and my husband know what I did. I don't think I could ever tell my children unless they find themselves in the same situation as I did. I stay silent when friends discuss the abortion debate. I find I can't say anything. I will never forget and I do find myself thinking sometimes if there is an afterlife will that baby that could have been forgive me. Editor’s note: Thank you so much for telling us your story, especially as you have told so few. After 24 years, you are experiencing the loss and grief of your termination and I really feel for you. You also seem to be in hiding, afraid to reveal the real you because of the shame you feel. Shame makes us think there is something deeply flawed about us. Perhaps you even say to yourself sometimes ‘If my children or my friends really knew what I was like…’ Does that sound like you? If so, I know without a doubt that there is hope for you to find recovery – to grieve your loss, to relate to the decision and the experience in a much better way, and to emerge from the shadows of shame. You might like to ring the helpline initially and talk it through with an advisor – you can do this anonymously. Talking to someone that way will help you to have courage to visit a centre and begin a journey of recovery.

This story was sent in on 07/06/2007

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