I still remember the way I felt when I saw the pregnancy test read positive. Five tests later, I actually started to get excited.

I still remember the way I felt when I saw the pregnancy test read positive. Five tests later, I actually started to get excited. My boyfriend of two years started to talk about baby plans. It took two weeks to decide on the termination, for reasons I still can't justify fully. At the time, I was a first year undergraduate at a very prestigious university, from a strict Christian home, and considered the ‘shame’ that would've been brought to my family. I felt completely relieved after the abortion (I was 8 weeks in), and now, 6 months later, I still have nightmares on what ‘could-have-been’. I cry myself to sleep most nights, and my partner goes through the same mental torture, probably on a higher scale. There is no doubt that my career may have been extremely crippled with the birth of a child, but the guilt remains regardless. Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story…relief is a common emotion after abortion because the agonising decision making is over, or because the pressure is off and the problem is gone. However, other emotions like guilt can follow on, particularly if the decision wasn’t 100%. Guilt tells us that somehow we have made a mistake and we often use a lot of energy trying to pay back for it in some way. This feeling of having no way out of guilt can lead to tears and despair – ‘mental torture’, as you describe it. The ‘head’ – or logic – had the answer to deal with the circumstances you were in, but it’s the heart – our deeper self consisting of our conscience, instinct and beliefs - that suffers the fallout from such a profound experience as abortion. It would help you both for you to visit your nearest centre and talk to someone confidentially about how to find healing from this experience. Our recovery programme – The Journey – covers the three main responses to abortion – guilt, anger and grief – helping you to find healthy ways of relating to your experience and dealing with these crushing emotions. There is a way through this, and there is hope for you both. Just get in touch – we’ll be thinking of you.
This story was sent in on 13/09/2009 and it's been viewed 979 times.

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