Last November I met this woman at a nightclub. Well, things progressed rapidly that evening and we ended up sleeping together.

Last November I met this woman at a nightclub. Well, things progressed rapidly that evening and we ended up sleeping together. I liked her and we ended up exchanging numbers and went on a date. It went well and she agreed to see me again. However, at the end of the second date she said she wanted to be friends only, citing the age gap as the main reason (I was 22, she 28.) Though disappointed I understood her decision and agreed we keep in touch as ‘friends’. We ended up meeting for a drink a week or two later, ‘as friends’. Well, a few drinks later and the attraction was rekindled. I ended up going back to hers and we slept together. Stupidly, for the first (definitely last) time in my life, I got careless with contraception. She assured me she was going to take the morning after pill the next day and text me later to say she had done so. We kind of lost touch after that. Then she called me, 30th December 06…she was pregnant but was going to have a termination. I felt terrible, panicked and confused. (I’d just handed my notice in at work and was about to go travelling.) She agreed to meet me that night and we agreed the best course of action was termination. We never saw each other again after that. She kept me updated via txt about various appointments she had to attend before proceeding with the termination. But she never let me know whether she went through with it. In the end I called and left a message for her. She got back to me via txt saying she had gone ahead with it and never wanted to see me again. During all this I was having doubts about the abortion, the right thing to do etc? I feel guilty when I burn the toast, never mind this! I considered approaching her to talk about it. I was really struggling. My father noticed and I ended up confiding in him. Basically he advised, upsetting as it was, that I should just let her make the decision as I could do nothing at the end of the day. Because I had no control of what was happening I slipped into two modes of thought. 1. Abortion and 2. Preparing myself for fatherhood. The more I thought of fatherhood it started to appeal...it was stupid thing to do. Five months later I feel grief, guilt, shame, depressed, regret and 'what if'. I regret not doing anything. I regret my whole approach which I feel was weak. It’s doing my head in. I'm on the cusp of achieving the career I always wanted, going on holiday with the lads, dating a gorgeous girl but all this is overshadowed and dominated by what has happened... I can't seem to let it go. Editor’s note: Thank you for writing in…Firstly, I want to commend you for allowing yourself to think more deeply about what was really going on. You could have gone along with the rationality of the decision to have an abortion, solved the ‘problem’ and not bothered to ever consider what it meant to you. But you allowed your heart to wake up and speak to you about being a father. That’s positive, even though it causes you pain. A mistake is only a mistake when you don’t learn from it. You’ve learned a salutary lesson about contraception! But there are deeper lessons here – ones about the responsibilities of fatherhood, and what having a partner and a child means to a man. You also have questions about the role that you played in the decision making process and you are left with negative feelings such as guilt. It’s important that you talk this through with someone as you seem to have quite a keen conscience. Don’t be tempted to just bury it as it will all come back again at a later date. Contact your nearest centre, the helpline or Online Advisor to talk confidentially. Sometimes a male advisor is available if you prefer that.

This story was sent in on 30/04/2007

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