I had an abortion a year ago...
I had an abortion a year ago and I would strongly advise anyone who is thinking of it, unless you are totally sure, don't do it. It has completely turned my life upside down. I have been through the counselling and completed the 'Journey' recovery programme and, don't get me wrong, it helped me so much!! But if I had the right support or the determination to stick with what I wanted I wouldn't have had to.
I had been with my boyfriend a year and a half. I was 15 when we first started going out and, when I was 16, we decided to start trying for a baby. He is six years older than me and made it out to be this fabulous thing that we could share and have our own house etc. So, me being naïve, said ok. Eight months later, I started getting the symptoms and this is how clueless I was. He told me they were the symptoms. I didn't even know!
I bought a pregnancy test and, lo and behold, I was pregnant. Surprisingly, I was the one that was surprised by it but the smile on my face when I saw those two blue lines was huge!! I rang my boyfriend straight away and all he could do was swear down the phone. I was working at the time in a new job. I was very concerned about everything so I would be lost in thought clutching my belly all day! My boyfriend wouldn't talk to me about it, then forced me to go to the doctor’s to see about a termination. I had the leaflet in my hand and was reading it, taking it all in! He started shouting at me to ring the number. It was a Friday evening; I knew no-one would answer but rang to stop him shouting, as I thought it went to voicemail. It was a Bank Holiday weekend so I couldn't get hold of the clinic all weekend so I just had to go to work and think all day.
Soon it became obvious to everyone at work there was something wrong so I told my manager what was happening. They weren't nice about it, just more concerned about the time I was going to have to take off. With my boyfriend not talking to me about the situation and my work not being very helpful, I was very lost. So I got hold of the clinic and book an appointment for the following week. That came along all too quickly!! In this time, my boyfriend and I had barely spoken about it. He pretended nothing was happening! So was a bit of a shock for us both to be asked all these questions about it as he knew very little about the feelings I had towards it or that I was having.
They did the scan but didn't offer to let me look at the screen or see the pictures, although I was smiling at him because he was staring at the screen. If I had seen it, I don't think I would have gone through with it, but I didn't even think to ask because I was too busy looking for a reaction from my boyfriend. How could someone watch their baby on a screen and not feel anything? Or not say anything? They told me I was seven weeks gone. We left with plenty of leaflets and nothing to say.
The second appointment rolled around and he decided it wasn't worth taking the day off for so I went on my own to sign the papers and have the blood tests! I had told some of my friends by this point but they didn't want to say their opinion on anything as this would make it harder for me. My boyfriend decided to tell his auntie. She told him that an abortion was the right thing so his mind was made up!! He said that if I kept it, he would leave me but want to see the child. A few days later, after all of this, when everything was whirling around in my head, I got fired from my new job - more ammunition for my boyfriend to persuade me to have the termination.
The first appointment came along - a week before my 17th birthday. I had told my mum the night before what was happening and she told me to do whatever I felt was right, but deep down I know she would want me to have the abortion as I was so young. I went there reluctantly. They had me sat down on the bed and explained what was going to happen on the second appointment and asked if I was totally sure. I looked at my boyfriend, then my mum, and started crying. The nurse gave me the tablet and at first I tried but I couldn't swallow it. By this point I was crying like crazy but somehow swallowed the pill. I immediately wanted to make myself throw up so it wouldn't get into my system, but I had to be strong because everyone was pushing me in this direction. They had to be right, didn’t they?
It was a couple of days between the pill and the actual abortion. I did everything they asked me to do, and then it all happened. They had given me codeine so I was as high as a kite and fascinated by everything. I resent them for giving me that tablet. I have flashbacks of what I saw! It was horrible! But walking out I did feel relief as there was no massive decision over my head anymore. I was fine for a few months and then I started getting the flashbacks. I wish I could tell more about how I felt but I can hardly remember. I wasn't in the right state of mind for anything. I couldn't go into a shop with baby clothes in or I would cry. I hated everyone and everything. My boyfriend and I had stopped talking again. I would have days when I was fine, and then the next would be horrendous. Everyone had to tiptoe round me and the rest of my family were unaware of what was happening so they thought I was just being a moody teenager. My mum and dad moved to France in August, so four months after my boyfriend moved in with me. This made everything seem ten times worse.
I decided on going to counselling as I had become a horrible person and still had no-one to talk to. My boyfriend ignored me if I spoke about it and my mum just said I was stronger than to let it get me down. I completed the journey and have got very far as I am able to write down what my experience was like and hopefully help others as before I couldn't even talk about it to anyone else other than the two people I thought would help me.
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…What I notice about your story is how passive you were in the whole process, seemingly powerless to do anything other than stay on what sounds like a conveyor belt towards something you didn’t want to do. You’re right about support and determination. For many young women, despite what their hearts are saying about being pregnant, they feel almost at the mercy of what other people want or think is best under the circumstances, but a decision about a pregnancy must always include what the heart is saying – our conscience, instinct and beliefs – and be the decision we can live with. When our heart feelings are ignored, pain is caused.
It’s good that you have had the opportunity to work through the Journey recovery programme and spend time dealing with emotions like anger, loss, guilt and grief. It sounds as though you have had to struggle with a lot on your own. Well done for sharing your story with us.