I'm currently a 21 year old student, doing well at university, but 5 years ago I had a termination.

I'm currently a 21 year old student, doing well at university, but 5 years ago I had a termination. I did it for all of the right reasons; it would have been very selfish of me to bring a child into the world at 16, with no partner and no secure environment to bring up a child, as well as being only a child myself. In total, from finding out I was pregnant to the post abortion appointment, I was seen three times. Medically everything went fine; emotionally it wasn't. It now appears that I buried these feelings and now I am having difficulty in dealing with them. A few weeks ago I had to take an exam and the basis for the exam was around teenage pregnancy. As a result of this, old feelings and memories have resurfaced rather strongly and now I'm at a complete loss about what to do or where to turn. It came as rather a shock, as the termination took place so long ago. I'm overwhelmed with a massive sense of sadness. I don't want to go out and I feel like just hiding in bed. I feel like I should just 'snap out of it' but no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to shake this feeling. Editor’s note: Thank you for sharing your story with us…It sounds as if you have had a ‘trigger’ experience – coming across something that surfaced your deeper feelings. For you, it was having to think about teenage pregnancy and reliving your memories. I wonder, too, if it happened around this time of year? It seems that these feelings are so strong for you right now that your only defence is to hibernate. It’s a way of drawing a warm blanket around yourself to push the world away – a retreat, a withdrawal to sleep your way through pain. It’s very important that you listen to the message of your heart…what’s it saying to you? I suspect it’s telling you of your deeper feelings – grief, loss or guilt most likely. Your heart won’t let you just snap out of it – it is demanding more attention than that. Most people expend a lot of energy avoiding pain, but the best way to deal with it well is to let it go through you, rather than try to suppress it, ignore it or deny it. It’s time for you to be brave and visit your nearest centre where you can receive specialist support. You can talk with someone who will listen patiently, understand your pain and help you to come to terms with what has happened, attending to the different feelings in your heart. There is a way through and there is hope for you, so that you can be the 21 year old you’re meant to be. We’ll be thinking of you.

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