I am 21 now and in November 2007 at 19 years old I fell pregnant.
A few days into the New Year me, my mam told my dad about I was pregnant. He went quiet then walked off saying, 'She can't be, she can't be', and then said he was going to kill my boyfriend if he saw him again. After a few days, my mam told me to leave my house and stay with my boyfriend. I took a small bag of clothes, thinking I would be back soon. While I was staying with my boyfriend my mam told me my dad didn't want to see me anymore and that I was not allowed back in my house. I had always been very close to my mam and dad, being an only child, and I was devastated by how they were treating me. It was as if they were totally different people.
I met up with my mam one day who told me that they had decided if I was keeping my baby that they were going to move away. She told me my dad didn’t want to speak to me ever again and I had to get on with my own life. My mam kept in contact with me by text over the next few days. She wouldn’t answer my phone calls if I rang her and if I phoned the house phone I would be cut off straight away by whoever answered.
I cried for days on end, couldn’t sleep or eat and thought to myself that an abortion was my only way of putting things back. I felt so pushed into the abortion and couldn’t hide my feelings from the staff at the hospital who were none too keen to give me the abortion as they knew it would affect me afterwards. I was allowed back in my house after agreeing that I would get the abortion but nobody wanted to talk about it. I spent all of my time in my room worrying and crying about getting the abortion. I didn’t want to go through with. I went downstairs to speak to my mam and dad about it and pleaded with them not to make me get it but they said I was too young, couldn’t afford it and all the rest.
On January 21st 2008, I had a medical abortion and my boyfriend came to the hospital with me. He never really showed any emotion throughout any of the pregnancy and just seemed to go along with things which upset me. After the abortion, I was exhausted and my mam took me home. The next few days she looked after me but I was just in a daze, upset and numb from what had happened. There is not a day goes by when I don't think about the abortion and how it has affected me. Things with my boyfriend were ruined, he was not allowed back in my house and I was told not to see him again...I did see him four months after it happened but things got too bad between us and we split, all down to the abortion.
I struggled to keep on top of things at work and was being called in at work for poor performance. I was totally unfocused on things and I often called in sick due to the depression I was suffering after the abortion. A month or so later, I couldn’t handle my job anymore and I handed in my notice. I have since not been able to find work and am still unemployed. I drink a lot more than I did before the abortion and have terrible anger problems; I am now in for anger management sessions. I rely on anti depressants to keep me going which my doctor gave me but who wants to be on anti depressants at 21 when you’re meant to be enjoying life?
I have never spoken to my dad about the abortion; sometimes I will get upset and speak to my mam who says she feels guilty about it a lot. Even though it’s two years on, everyday things trigger me off, babies on TV or adverts. I hate going near other people’s babies and avoid talking about babies at all costs. Sometimes I get angry and frustrated about the way my parents treated me and feel some resentment but there isn’t much I can do about it now. I hope my story helps someone. Nobody should ever be pushed into an abortion. It is an awful thing to go through and has left me in pieces.
Editor’s note: Thanks for telling us your story…You were clear about your desire to keep the baby, but met with strong rejection and lack of acceptance from your father that made a decision to keep the baby very difficult. It makes me think you come from a very traditional background, although, of course, fathers do generally tend to struggle more with the realisation that their daughter’s are sexually active. However, it sounds as if shame may have been a strong motivator in your father’s response, especially because it was accompanied by such strong rejection and because you were only accepted back once the abortion was agreed upon. It’s sad that shame is so powerful that it means women have to go through the profound and painful experience of abortion - a greater cost in many ways.
I think you are struggling with regret, loss, anger and grief primarily. Anger management may be helpful, but it may not address the real issues which are the lack of support, the rejection and pressure you felt from your parents. They are being buried under depression, and forgotten in alcohol, but this is a dead end for you. Recovery is possible, however. There is hope. Contact your nearest centre as soon as you can. We’ll be thinking of you.