I can barely write this as it makes me face the truth about my past

I can barely write my story as it makes me face the truth about my past and the children I will never get to know. I do know that the pain eats away at me every single day.

I am a 35-year-old married woman with one daughter. I think of myself as a nice, intelligent person with a lot to offer. However, I have had 3 abortions. It makes me cry just to write it. How could I be so irresponsible? How could I have let this happen?

The first one was when I was 17. I had been seeing an older guy who was very intimidating and I felt totally under his control. We were using the withdrawal method and of course, I quickly got pregnant. I could not tell my Mum (she had guessed) and I felt so ashamed to be another teenage pregnancy statistic.

A friend urged me to keep the baby as she had been through a similar situation but I couldn't cope with the thought of a child at such a young age. I had a surgical abortion at 9 weeks. I felt great upset but also a huge relief.

I cancelled the abortion

I next got pregnant at 23 with a man that I loved. Again, I felt panic at how I would cope and got an appointment for another abortion. However, something stopped me and I had a beautiful daughter. The best decision I ever made was to cancel that appointment.

I married my boyfriend when my daughter was a baby and we were happy at first...

He had many issues that I didn't realise and the fact we had a baby so quickly put a strain on us as a couple. He became abusive and this got worse as time went on.

I felt so confused and lonely that I developed Bulimia as a result of stress (I had suffered from Anorexia in my early twenties as well). I had no confidence and wouldn't go out or see friends. At the time this behaviour seemed 'normal' to me. I kept all my feelings to myself.

I then fell pregnant at the age of 31. I didn't tell my husband. I felt so sick and wanted the baby aborted. I went to a private clinic at 6 weeks and felt numb. I buried my feelings and carried on with life.

My world had become chaotic, my marriage was a disaster and I took solace in other men, drink and Bulimia. I got into trouble with the Police and had to go to court.

An abortion at 8 weeks

At the age of 34, I was pregnant again. This time with a man younger than me who could not cope with fatherhood. My husband knew about the affair and urged me to have an abortion.

I felt a strong bond with my baby and wanted to keep it. I then began to panic as I had done with all my pregnancies, worrying about money, being on my own etc. I couldn't talk to anyone. So I decided I was being selfish for wanting this child and again had an abortion at 8 weeks.

That day was the worst of my life. I remember sitting in the hospital with other women in the same situation thinking 'I can just get up at any moment and leave'. I watched the clock tick by until it was my turn. Afterwards, I was distraught and immediately wanted to 'replace' my baby. I desperately tried to get pregnant again only two weeks after.

I have been unable to conceive again and have an ovarian cyst

This is all my fault. I have abused my body and may never have another child. I feel so guilty that my daughter has no brothers or sisters. I am traumatised and have thought about suicide. I cannot eat or sleep and have lost 2 and a half stone in weight. I feel that I should be punished by not being able to have a baby although I desperately want one.

Abortion has ruined my life.

Thank you for reading this.

This story was sent in on 05/05/2010

Editor's comment

You have had a difficult life with a husband who has been abusive, and it sounds as though your self-esteem is very low and you are punishing yourself and crying out for help.

The cycle of abortion that you got trapped in has led to damaging and destructive behaviour and you need help and support to try and unravel what has happened to you and come to terms with it.

Please speak to somebody so that you can start the journey of recovery. I do believe there's a way through this for you. There may be a centre that could offer you counselling and support in your area: find a centre for post-abortion support.

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