In my mind I feel I've committed the most evil of sins a mother could.

By anonymous on 17/06/2009
This is the second time I've used your web site as a vent for my emotions. I had a termination in March/April/May last year. I spread it over three months because that's how long it took. I had many complications and infections; my physical health is still not fully recovered but right now that seems like the least of my worries, possibly only what I deserve... For in my mind I feel I've committed the most evil of sins a mother could.

Right now my fiancé is walking the streets after yet another argument about our sex life. He's struggling to cope with the many stresses our lives have thrown at us over the last year and has been referred to a counsellor by his GP. I know I need counselling but for many reasons just can't commit. I don't feel I deserve to feel better about what I have done or feel genuine happiness again. I murdered my child, a soul who couldn't even fend for itself without my help and I took its life. What sort of person does that???? I didn't want the termination but was torn between my heart and my head. My partner and my mind knew we couldn't afford another child (we each have a girl from previous relationships), but my heart craved this baby - it ached for my baby. I feel I did what I did to please others around me who, funnily enough, no longer want to talk about the termination, while I am left reeling in pain every single day of my existence. That's what my life's become, an existence... Another reason for not committing to counselling is the pain I know it will cause. I know I can't move forward without moving back and that is just unbearable.

Shortly after my termination my brother and his girlfriend fell pregnant with their first child, who was diagnosed with Edward's syndrome: terminal life-limiting condition where little ones often don't go full term or who pass away during or shortly after birth. They terminated. To this day my sweet sweet brother is clueless to what I did and to this day I hold myself responsible for their loss. I feel it was God's way of punishing those I love for what I had done. I know my life is heading down a slippery slope, I know what I need to do... but I can't. I fear I will lose my relationship and all sense of reason. I feel like I'm sinking...

Editor’s note: Thanks for writing in...It’s quite clear to me that you are suffering with what I call dead-end sorrow. Dead-end sorrow is the result of trying to pay back – to almost suffer willingly - for the terrible thing we feel we have done. It achieves nothing except temporary relief from the pain of guilt, but in the end it is a dead end, providing no way out from either guilt or penance. What’s needed is a healthier understanding of guilt and shame. The answer is forgiveness – and abortion is not, and never will be, the unforgiveable sin. It simply isn’t true that God punishes you or anyone else for what you have done. God is love.

Pain avoidance is a major problem in today’s society – we simply don’t understand the value of pain or the message it brings. Your pain is simply telling you that you need to deal with what you chose to do more effectively – through forgiveness, impossible though it may feel, not payback. We are all designed to heal, but some of us need more support to find it. There is hope for you and I want you to reach out for it by contacting your nearest centre. Pain cannot be avoided, or suppressed or denied – it needs to be allowed to flow through you and do what it needs to do. You will change in the process, but this will enrich you, not take away from who you are. It’s time to turn away from the darkness of penance you have been focusing on and look towards the light of forgiveness instead. We have faith for you and we’ll be thinking of you. Please get in touch as soon as you can.

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