…but I have no idea what snow in May is supposed to mean.
It’s the 24th of March for heaven’s sake. Mother Nature you are drunk.
Let me say a little piece about this, and by god I hope some one hears me.
You see so many people talk about the women who feel “relief” after an abortion. They use it as a reason why abortion should be legal. What you don’t see people talk about is women who suffer greatly afterwards. Please note that this is not a pro-life or pro-choice post. It’s something much different, something often swept under the rug: it’s about after care for women who have gone through abortions and have had no one to help them when they do suffer from it.
This is my story. I may get a lot of hate mail. I may lose folllowers. I may end up harassed enough that I have to shut down my blog. Quite frankly, I’m terrified to say what I am about to say.
This is the first time since my own abortion that I have had the courage to come forward and make a public statement. I have always wanted to, but there is such hate for women who have gone through with the act that I have been terrified and ashamed. Even now, as I sit to write this, I am shaking.
Three years ago, at the age of 20, I moved in with my then fiance. We got our first place and things were perfect. I thought we were very in love; I thought that things were going to be wonderful. Unfortunately, a week later I found out that I was pregnant. The first words my fiance said to me when I told him the news were “why are you smiling”. It hurt me, but I thought for sure he was just in shock and that he would come to his senses. We had talked many times before about what we would do in this situation. He knew I dreamed of being a mother. And yet, over the following weeks, nothing changed. His insults grew worse; he told me that the thought of changing a diaper disgusted him. He told me I could not put our child up for adoption because as soon as I saw it I would want to keep it—not that many children do not get adopted, no, he simply did not want me to be able to see my child. He did not want to run the risk of me loving my baby enough to keep it. He didn’t want to accept any responsibility: he wanted to drink and go party and have his fun. When we would play wrestle, he would pause at times and look at my stomach and cock his fist and I could see in his eyes what he was thinking. He wanted to be rougher. He wanted to cause a miscarriage in case I refused to do what he wanted. My opinions in this matter were not heard; he and his mother told me that I was not allowed to tell my parents about my pregnancy because they “wouldn’t understand”. I was forced to tell my friends I had miscarried; I was forced to tell my doctor I wasn’t keeping my child. I have never forgotten the look of disgust he gave me even as I openly cried in front of him.
I begged my fiance to let me keep our child. Unfortunately, I should have been stronger, but I was twenty and in a very manipulative relationship (looking back, the signs are all very much there) and in the end, I wasn’t. I let myself be pushed around. I let myself by controlled, I let myself be told what to do, and I was the one who swallowed those pills that robbed my unborn child of nutrition and sent me into forced labor.
Without going into too many specifics, let me just tell you that the pill method is extremely painful. I was told that Planned Parenthood would provide counseling: there was very little of that, actually. The place was full of people, many of them teenagers, all of them chatting and on their phones. The woman next to me was so far along that she was showing: I didn’t understand, and I couldn’t stop crying. Out of all these people here, I was the only one who seemed to want to keep my child. Perhaps that is why I suffered the way I did afterward.
We were all stuck in a room and explained the procedure, then given a private moment in which someone asked if this was what we really wanted and had us sign a paper. There was no counseling. I was even given an ultrasound and shown the fetus of my unborn child: they offered to print the ultrasound out for me so I could keep it.
The following day is extremely painful. You are sent into forced labor. I spent the entire day bleeding and crying and throwing up. I even passed out from pain at one point. My then fiance did not bother to stay home from work with me that day. I was completely alone. The first week after that I didn’t think much of what had happened: the depression is slow to set in. It starts as little things, such as the swelling in your breasts going down. I had not helped myself: during my short pregnancy I had signed up for multiple sites and continued to get ‘update’ emails in my inbox daily, torturing me with the would have, should have, could haves of the would-be stages of my pregnancy. I could not shower without crying. I hated the person I saw in the mirror. My stomach was not rounded, my breasts not swollen. I felt I had murdered my child, and the worst part was that my very own body was confirmation of this every single day. My fiance told me that I couldn’t seek help: that I needed to be strong and handle my depression on my own. I became addicted to pain pills and to alcohol. I searched for anything and everything I could to fill the hole inside me and made terrible decisions I now have to live with. The worst part was that I could tell no one that I was suffering like this: that I spent my days crying, that every day on my 30 mile drive home from work I contemplated running my car into the concrete wall on the side of the highway, that I cried in the car, in the shower, when I woke up, at work, in my sleep. My fiance and I split; I couldn’t stand to be around him. He quit coming home. The apartment was empty, and I was terrified to seek help because I was terrified of being judged.
I never got help. My then ex-fiance walked in one day to find me bleeding out in the tub. It took me two years to even handle being around pregnant women. I couldn’t be around babies, infants, toddlers. I couldn’t say the word ‘abortion’. Friends who found out judged me harshly; my mother had to guess after I visited her one day and she saw my depression at such high stages. I moved back home. I worked through my addictions. I did research, and I learned about a condition called PASS, which is similar to postpartum but refers to women who have had abortions. While it’s not scientifically confirmed as a condition, the steps were exactly what I went through, and I whole heartedly believe it is real.
My case was bad, but there are women out there who have had it worse: suicide rates are higher among women who have had abortions. But people overlook this, or they use it in favor of one or the other side of the argument. We scream for pro-choice but label women who have made that choice as murderers. We condemn them and make them feel as if they have nowhere to turn. We take away their value as a person and turn them into a statistic to be used in further politics. I have been called a murderer and only recently was able to quit viewing myself as that. I’ve been told I’m going to Hell, that I need to pray to God to forgive me. I’ve been told nasty, nasty things, and so have many other women. It leads to one thing: shutting down. Because we have no safe place to turn to. Because the people who claim to understand, don’t. Because the pro-choicers refuse to acknowledge that some women really do suffer, even women who thought they wanted the abortion, and because pro-lifers cast us off as the devil. But we are here, we are struggling, and we are keeping our voices silent because the masses are against us.
This has to change. We need to accept and recognize that suffering from an abortion is a very real thing. Women have snapped, killed themselves, killed others, suffered and been labeled and buried themselves because there was no one to help them. The media labels us as monsters and convinces us that that is what we are. Where is the help for us? It’s time we quit turning a blind eye to those women who have made this choice and are not ok with it; we need to quit labeling them and instead offer them the help they need. Quit using us as a turning point in a debate, as a reason one side or the other is right, and recognize that we are here, we have been there, and we are human still.
It could save someone’s life.
For anyone who is interested in some amazing remixes of the Super Metroid soundtrack, you owe it to yourself to check this out. Minimum pricing is $10 for 30 tracks but it’s well worth more than that and you can pay what you deem appropriate. Hope you all enjoy.
Chrom with a big bubble wand.
I don’t know what else to say besides “that’s magical.”