I went for the scan myself, waited three hours and when the nurse told me it was twins, I felt my heart die right there and then. Something inside just left me.
I'm 21 and it was twins. I found out I was pregnant on the 1st Dec 08. It was my first serious relationship. We we're seeing each other for about four months before I had found out and knew each other for about three years before that. He was 27 and had not long ended an eight year relationship earlier. I really thought he was one of the nice guys. He had chased me for ages to go out with him. It’s laughable looking back now.
He said he wanted to treat me right and things were going well. I realise now he never even really liked me; he only wanted me for the sake of wanting me. I told him the week before Christmas and I knew the second I told him that I was on my own. He said to me, "You don't want to end up like everybody else we know, single parent, baby and a council flat. I thought you wanted more than that and didn’t think you were like this”, followed by, “We're too young. We're not ready. I'm not wanting anything heavy like that and I don't want you turning into one of those crazy girls”. I never expected romantic ideas from him but could have used some of his help. This was on the Friday, and I never saw him again till the Tuesday night when he stayed. The next bit makes me question his mental age: He actually asked me if I was sure I couldn't get pregnant again on top of this pregnancy! He left the next day and dumped me by text, saying maybe we could just meet once a week or pick things up in a couple of months when his head’s sorted and he feels better. I didn't know if I wanted to laugh or cry.
He kept in contact until he was sure the abortion was over. He swept it under the rug so his family and friends didn't know, as we run in the same circles. He even told me not to tell my mum and sister (one of my main regrets from this time) then stopped all contact. I went for the scan myself, waited three hours and when the nurse told me it was twins, I felt my heart die right there and then. Something inside just left me. I'm ashamed to admit that I thought nothing of aborting one baby but twins just felt too special. I know now this is also crap, as I have prayed so hard that by some divine miracle that I could still be pregnant, even with just one of those babies, then I would never take another day for granted.
I've prayed so much for forgiveness that my rosary beads have snapped. I never thought myself special enough for something like twins. “They are a gift from God” is what I kept hearing. I'm convinced I'm going to drop down dead any day now of a heart attack, my hearts either racing so fast it feels as it will burst or so slow. It’s going to stop altogether. I never realised the abortion which I went through with on Jan the 9th at 11 weeks would have such an effect on my mind or body. I have never been maternal, never had a younger sibling or babies in the family growing up, so when I was pregnant I felt things I’d never experienced before. I feel like a ghost standing in the corner of a room watching a body moving that doesn’t feel like mine, standing on the outside of conversations just listening and making the right sounds when needed.
I've always been a healthy eater, had no problem with food and maintained a healthy weight for my height: 9 stone 3lbs but since the abortion, hellish morning sickness, then depression, I think I have kickstarted an eating problem I never had before. I feel no hunger so I have gotten used to living on hardly anything. I struggle to eat even the smallest meals, feeling bloated and sick after more than four mouthfuls. At my thinnest, I reached 7 stone 4lbs. I looked so painfully ill and pale, and also seemed to always have the shakes, so rumours started that I m badly into drugs when really it’s this blanket of sadness that's affecting every part of me.
Around my thinnest and when my antidepressants where upped to maximum dose, my parents took back the car they bought for me, taking with it the little freedom I had. I used to drive for hours. My doctor told me if I crashed I won't be insured and he'd have to inform the DVLA. My doctor is really trying but I don't think he's ever met someone so young with no want for life, and it scares me even more when I see the worry in his eyes. I know I'm in a dark place right now. They’re talking about sectioning, ward 19, and I'm scared... I feel I'm losing my mind. It’s like a whole new me and I don't like her and can't keep up with this person. I'm so exhausted as I write this, I've been awake for 52 hours. This is the norm and when I do finally sleep the abortion takes over my dreams and I have horrible nightmares and hot sweats. I need to show a quick improvement over the next couple of weeks but don't have the energy to fake it.
When I first went to my counsellor, she asked me what I hoped to get out of these sessions. I told her I hoped to find some kind of peace, a calm, even just a little bit of a release from all this hurt would help (I've not found this). It’s like groundhog day and every day is harder than the last. When I was young, my mam was forever telling me to stop wishing my life away. She was right. I couldn't wait for the next day and always wanted to be older. I lived that fast I never enjoyed the here and now. I used to be a dreamer, always had my head in the sky. My teachers would say and I would only reply with a big smile and say, ‘ah well, you've got to dream big’ and they would laugh. I wish I could go back to this time and steal some of that absolute self belief my 13 year old self had in the bucket loads, then I would shake her and say, ‘You’re doing alright after all, girl’.
I’m 21 and I feel like a little girl lost. These emotions are too big for me and I feel as if I'm suffocating. Its July now and I'm genuinely shocked at where the times gone - and a little frightened. I don't remember much of the many other sagas of events that I've been involved in through these months but a tiny bit of me is pleased my memory’s failing me. I don't want to remember anymore. My head’s a pool of thought I'm slowly drowning in. I'm full of self hate and the only other person that's matching it is him. I saw him for the first time this month, since the day he left me in my flat in December. All I could think was the last time I saw him, I was pregnant with twins. I have never felt rage like this. I could have bloody killed him on the spot with my bare hands. He walked right up to me without a care in the world. He had himself a new girlfriend less than three weeks after me and partyed out Christmas and New Year with my closest friends, while I lay in bed still pregnant covered in my own spew and more alone than I have ever felt in my entire life. I think he got one sentence out before I had launched my drink and glass right at him. I want him to feel a tenth of what I’m feeling and it would floor him and then he would really know what feeling down is like. My counsellor said that men don't feel it like us and that he probably never will. I breathe and it hurts. Every reminder is a kick in the chest. I was told I need to find new ways of living but I thought you couldn't live without your heart? You don't; you merely exist instead.
Editor’s note: Thank you for having the courage to write your story…It sounds as if there is a lot going on for you at the moment, but it’s fairly simple to explain. Firstly, you have been desperately hurt by the rejection of both you and your pregnancy by this man and it has resulted in a deep anger and rage within you. You hoped that he would support you, but he failed – worse than that, he just stayed around to ensure you had an abortion. I think your depression comes partly from having to keep the lid on this rage – it probably frightens you, doesn’t it? There is a safe way of dealing with anger so that you can uncover deeper emotions and find healing for them.
You say your heart died when you heard it was twins – that something left you. I think you went into ‘shut down’ then; knowing what you had to do, and trying not to hear what your heart was saying to you about the pregnancy. It’s almost as if we have to sever our hearts away from us and just live in our heads, so that we don’t feel the pain of what we’re about to do, but that doesn’t mean the pain has gone away. It just means it’s locked away deep in our hearts. Your nightmares are just your subconscious’s way of telling you that there are negative emotions you need to attend to – that’s all.
I think you have been so shocked by the emotions you felt at the time of the abortion that you have had to protect your heart by almost separating from your body. That accounts for feeling as if you are ghost in the room. You have shut down and ‘split off’ from your body in an attempt to not feel the pain anymore. This is a natural reaction to pain – it only becomes a problem if you stay in it and don’t resolve the pain you feel. For you, that response to pain does seem to be continuing.
Many women who have had abortions struggle with three main emotions: guilt, grief and anger. There are others that are finer distinctions of these, but this is what we have noticed in our history of helping women like you. It seems you are trying to deal with guilt by praying and bargaining with God, in the hope of finding forgiveness, but you are also trying to pay back for your abortion by punishing yourself severely.
There are two kinds of sorrow: a dead-end sorrow and a healthy sorrow. The dead-end sorrow makes us feel as if we are under a life-sentence of needing to pay back through punishment. That’s what you are doing by hating yourself, not eating and sleeping, but God doesn’t want that. Whatever you believe about God, he is not like that. He is love – and only love. So why do we do it? It feels ‘good’ to punish ourselves and feel in control of our pain that way – that’s the difficulty. And it becomes addictive. But it’s not the best way forward. There is another way based on a right understanding of who God is and how forgiveness works.
Your counsellor is right that a new way to live is needed, but that is with your heart, not without it – healed and whole again. It is possible and there is hope for you. Perhaps if your counsellor is not from a CareConfidential centre, she could contact us to find out about our Journey recovery programme. It may help you to have counselling that’s been specially designed for women who have had an abortion. Ask her to contact us, if you wish. We’ll be thinking of you.