I’m not sure how I’m going to cope with this but occasionally I have been getting an immense wave of despair, the ‘no going back’ feeling and, ‘Oh God, did I do the right thing?’By anonymous on 20/06/2009
At 25, I found it humiliating sitting in the doctor’s office in tears and asking about my options. Pregnancy was an enormous shock. The pregnancy was with a guy I had started seeing not long before and was no longer with by the time I found out. I was alone when I took the test; I did it right in the middle of a busy day, in the mindset that I would get it out of the way and to put my mind at rest. When it showed up positive, it really was all my worst fears realised. I had done tests before due to lateness and paranoia, but always with a long term boyfriend waiting outside the loo.
My first and strongest thought was, ‘Oh God, I’m going to have to have an abortion’, something I had always feared as my sister had had a surgical termination in her late teens and, at 16, it terrified me, more because I saw the after effects of her trauma and grief. She no longer drinks alcohol as it plummets her into a bout of depression often triggered by the memories of her abortion. But I’m not my sister. She adores children and she was very young. She now has two children and is very happy.
I think the hardest thing for me was not having anyone in it with me, sitting in the abortion clinic and seeing anxious boyfriends holding their partner’s hands really crushed me. Just having the support, I think, would make a lot of difference even though I’m sure I wouldn’t have realised at the time.
It has been a month since my medical abortion and now a close friend I did not confide in has told me she is pregnant. We have been friends since our teens and have always shared the same thoughts on having children. We never really saw ourselves having kids and it has never been the most important thing to us. She is in a relationship and, although apprehensive, has decided to keep it. I did feel I was coping and a lot of good things have happened in my life since my abortion, but this has brought up the question for me that had I been in a relationship at the time, would I have kept the pregnancy? I’m not sure how I’m going to cope with this but occasionally I have been getting an immense wave of despair, the ‘no going back’ feeling and, ‘Oh God, did I do the right thing?’ It’s a very hard thing to feel and not knowing how to deal with it makes it hardest.
I have since got back with the guy I fell pregnant with and told him everything. It made me feel 100x better for some reason but that has kind of worn off and he thinks I’m over it now, like it’s that easy. I’m not in love with him so I do not think I will stay with him, but in the meantime I have my sister and a very good friend, who are the only people I have confided in.
Editor’s note: Thanks for writing in…telling your story can give a sense of relief in the way you describe. It’s very common for women to tell their story and feel so much better after just one counselling session, but the relief wears off when the real issues begin to surface. These are usually issues of grief, loss, sadness, anger, guilt and shame that we find painful and try to bury, suppress or even deny. We lock up our hearts and vow never to let that pain out and make that decision wrong. But this can make us terribly lonely and telling our story helps to alleviate that.
The immense wave of despair seems to be the sudden onset of panic that maybe this wasn’t the right decision, and if it wasn’t, then the reality of the abortion is just too much to bear. That panic probably makes you feel as if the bottom may fall out of your life and that is a scary feeling – as if you have nothing to stand on. I believe it would help you to have a post-abortion emotional check up at your nearest centre, so that you can alleviate your loneliness further, tell your story to someone who understands and be helped to attend to your heart and the pain it is feeling. Just give us a call to find out your nearest centre. We’ll be thinking of you.