I had an abortion 12 years ago and my life has not been the same since.

I had an abortion 12 years ago and my life has not been the same since. I already suffered from anxiety and some depression before the abortion but soon afterwards I spiralled downwards into deep depression. I felt totally empty inside except for being filled up with a loud screaming feeling that I could only shut out by drinking wine. I wanted desperately to turn back time and often wished I had never been born. I reached a rock bottom five years ago and got help for depression. It wasn't until I gave birth to a beautiful little girl a year ago that I realised how numb I had become following the abortion. I can't describe how much I relished being able to carry and give birth to my baby. And I have been overwhelmed by how much I love her. The new feeling has been bitter sweet though because of the baby I didn't have. I tend to think of life in terms of the life I had before the abortion and the one I have now. I read somewhere that this might mean I have unresolved grief. I do not want to face and feel grief as I have already been in pain for so long. I wish I could just put this behind me and move on. Editor’s note: Thank you for sharing your story with us…It’s good news that you have had a beautiful girl and enjoy feeling love in your heart for her, but you seem unhappy that the love you feel is mixed with negative emotions from your abortion experience. It’s perfectly understandable that you don’t wish to open up that old wound after so long because of the pain there, but it’s possible you are being robbed of the full enjoyment of being a mother due to unresolved emotions. Working through grief – and any other buried emotions - in a healthy way means that you can at last find freedom to love your new daughter fully, without guilt, without shame, without grief, without sadness and without regret. ‘Putting things behind us’ just to avoid pain means we often miss out on so much else in our lives, using all our energy to keep those negative feelings at bay. In the end, pain avoidance achieves very little. We are designed to go through pain and, with the right help, heal. When pain is handled well and we learn from it, we can grow into better people as a result. What better gift for your new daughter? It takes courage for that journey, but you can have the help and support you need. You can begin walking this journey by contacting your nearest centre, the helpline or Online Advisor.

This story was sent in on 09/04/2008

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