I'm 32 years old and have been with my partner for seven years.

I'm 32 years old and have been with my partner for seven years. A year ago, I found out I was pregnant, unplanned! Although it was a shock and I knew financially we were not in a good position, I was pleased and bonded with my baby very quickly. My partner, however, was totally against the idea. He said we couldn't afford it and he was not ready to be a father. I was devastated. We spent the next three weeks arguing about what to do. I was devastated at the thought of a termination but he kept telling me we couldn't afford it. Over those three weeks, I made three appointments at an abortion clinic, then cancelled them because I couldn't go through with it. I kept hoping that he would change his mind but still he kept saying he wasn't ready and we didn't have the money. Eventually I stood firm and told him I was keeping the baby but he completely lost the plot! He said he didn't think our relationship would survive if I went through with the pregnancy as he just wasn't ready. I was suddenly faced with having to choose between them. If I had my baby I would end up as a single parent and I was in no position to support a baby on my own. On the other hand, I had begun to feel the symptoms of early pregnancy and knew that my baby was there growing inside me. I cried myself to sleep every night at the thought of a termination. My partner kept up the pressure and eventually after numerous rows and heated discussions I finally agreed to a termination. I was seven weeks pregnant. I guess in the end I didn't want my child to grow up being resented or even worse, without a father. It's the worst thing I’ve ever done. It's been a year now and it hurts as much now as it did then. I feel racked with guilt and will always regret my decision. I feel so bad that I didn't fight harder to keep my baby and that I didn't have enough courage to do it on my own. I don't know if I will ever come to terms with what I did and I know that I will never forgive myself. I think about my baby every day. I feel completely traumatised by the whole thing. I'm not the same person anymore and don't know if I ever will be. I bury myself in my work; I’ve had counselling, been on anti-depressants and am seeing a mental health nurse. Nothing really helps. Some days I feel like the pain and guilt are too much to bear. Although I’d never do it, I think about going to sleep and not waking up. I suppose what I want to say is don't ever make a decision based on what someone else wants, no matter how much pressure they put on you. Whatever decision you make, you are the one that has to live with it, no one else. As far as my partner is concerned it’s all over and he doesn't even think about it apart from when he sees me upset. He didn't see it as a baby and has absolutely no understanding of how I feel. Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story...You were deeply ambivalent about having an abortion and are now are left with feelings of regret, loss and guilt, blanketed in depression to make it more bearable. I don’t know if the counselling you received was general or specialised, but it sounds as if the core emotions and effects on you have not been addressed fully or specifically. Please get in touch with your nearest centre so that you can receive support specifically for post-abortion stress. There is real hope that you can experience recovery and be restored to who you are really meant to be, rather than this shadow of yourself. We’ll be thinking of you.

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