absolving abortions past

9 Jan

I have been procrastinating writing this entry for some time now. Partly because I haven’t wanted to focus on past negative occurrences and also because I still feel sad when I talk about it. I do however need to let go of this past event completely in order to make space for what is to come.

When I was 22 I had an abortion. Although I have forgiven myself and come to terms with why it happened (though that did take a long time), I still feel some loss at times. And that is not only because of the situation I find myself in now.

I think that I held on to the guilt for so long because I didn’t actually want to terminate.

My partner at the time already had a daughter from a previous relationship and actually, we weren’t that suited to each other anyway. He was pretty arrogant and liked to tell me what to do. I was very head strong and didn’t like that at all, so we often butted heads.

He was dead against me going through with the pregnancy. I actually see his point – there really was no chance that we were going to be a happy family unit and he didn’t want another child to another woman he wasn’t going to stay with.

I on the other hand really wanted to go through with it anyway. At the time I had a lot of experience with children. You could say children were my life. I had previously been working in a childcare centre, had left to complete my education degree at uni and was nannying for 5 kids.

I knew I was pregnant very early on. All the tests indicated otherwise but I was right. It was like I had a deep connection with the pregnancy (or is that what I told myself to punish myself more for having the termination).

In the end, I gave in to the pressure he was putting on me to terminate.

The whole experience was soul destroying. I cried on the way to the clinic. They had to knock me out completely because I was so distraught  (it is a wonder they actually performed the procedure). I woke up crying and cried for weeks after.

Suprisingly I got back together with this guy for a while but I never really forgave him. I think I somehow wanted something good to come out of the relationship but of course, we were doomed.

This regret and grief lived inside me for 15 odd years, until I confronted it again recently. I went a holistic counselor/healer about 18 months ago and without mentioning a word she picked I was still grieving from a past termination. She told me that I still felt guilty about my choice and that I was still holding on to this lost child. She was right and infact I still shed a tear for her (I believe this child was a girl).

The healer believed that holding onto the loss wasn’t allowing any space for the child my recent ex and I were trying to conceive. We did an exercise to help me let go of her once and for all. We used the flame of a lit candle as the soul of the child we named Katie. I spoke to Katie about how I felt, why I terminated the pregnancy and why I needed to release her and make room for another child. The flame was then extinguished and I allowed myself to grieve fully for her.

And so I have cleared space to accept another child, with love, into my body and into my life.

Though many woman have come to terms and feel very comfortable with their decision to terminate a pregnancy – very few find it easy. Research indicates that 93% of women regret their abortions and many suffer from post-traumatic stress and shame. This shame oftens stands in the way of seeking help to get through the emotional turmoil. In my opinion, anti-abortion activists have a lot to answer for here.

Regardless how I feel about my own termination, it still gets my back up when anti-abortion zealots rant on about abortion being murder of what I believe to be ‘presentient’ beings. It is a choice that most women do not want to make and it is not something they take lightly. But a choice it is and a choice it should be. Outlawing it just moves it to dangerous underground practices in any case.

I truly do believe that everything happens for a reason though and that Katie has a life somewhere else now. I also know that I made the only decision I could at the time. And had I not terminated I most likely would have not traveled the world, I would not have met the extraordinary people I have, I may not have carved the solid career I have and I may not have broken away from toxic environments that were necessary. I know the child to come is meant to be here and I welcome them with open arms.

All is how it is meant to be.

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One Response to “absolving abortions past”

  1. Anonymous January 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    I’m so proud of you for writing this. I went through a similar experience years ago where I too had to learn to forgive myself. I am now happily married with two wonderful children. I agree with you that abortion is not a choice that most women make lightly. I also still believe in choice, but I do think women need more counseling about their choices which at the time was not available to me. Best Wishes!

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