8 Years Later

8 years

Note: The Exhale Pro-Voice After-Abortion Stories Hub includes people’s stories of their experiences and emotions, exactly as they have written them in. We do not edit these stories at all, and the content that follows this message is exactly as we received it. We know that people’s experiences are complex, and these stories reflect the many emotions they may be feeling after their abortions. From relief to grief, and everything in between, and all at the same time, we’re here for you.

8 years later.

I had an abortion almost immediately after I met my husband. We were in graduate school, poor, unstable, self-focused, and not ready. I was 27. I told no one, and as a result, I was very reliant on my brand new boyfriend (now husband) for emotional support. He just didn’t know how to help me, and I didn’t know how to help myself.

The women who cared for me at the planned parenthood where I had my termination performed were beautiful angels who held my heart so kindly while I was with them. After I left the clinic I was overwhelmed by the isolation because I didn’t know how to talk to anyone about my choice. I was relieved and I was saddened because I had always wanted to have a family. I carried the experience of loss and isolation with me for years. Since I didn’t understand my own feelings, it mostly came out in anger and tears.

When I was 33 I gave birth to our daughter. This pregnancy was purposeful. I suffered from postpartum psychosis, entered intense psychiatric counseling, and began medications to overcome this. During the counseling process, I learned to trust myself and spoke of my abortion often. I went through a process of rebuilding and learning to trust myself.

Even after all of this work, I still feel sad when I think of the 27 year old me walking into the clinic alone to say goodbye to a lifelong desire. I still feel raw and open when I think about that young woman being alone with her pain for years afterwards. I cry imagining my daughter in such isolation. It hurts my heart to think of other woman in this place right now.

Today I am 35. I feel forgiven by myself. I don’t ever say that I made the right choice because I don’t know if that’s true. I know my life is beautiful the way it is and I accept and love my young self who had to navigate the choice of termination. I tell friends and people in my life my story calmly and take every opportunity to help other women in need. I wish I had talked sooner but I wasn’t ready. I’m just ready now almost a decade later.

Submitted by: Elise

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2 responses to “8 Years Later”

  1. Kristen Montevirgen

    I know that I don’t have much of a right to respond to your story, since I never followed through with an abortion, but nevertheless I can only relate to not being able to forgive myself for many years for merely considering it. I guess it could come across as trite or offensive, but when I confronted Jesus Christ about it, I found tangible, forgiveness and mercy for myself, from Him…Freedom!! He will do the same for you, friend, just ask Him. Also, I believe that He is taking care of your baby as well as my friends’ babies.

  2. Amy

    Thank you for sharing. I’m 28 and this resonates so much with me that I’m crying as I read. Forgiving ourselves is such a long difficult road that I’ve barely begun to travel but your story has given me a small glimpse into what my future could look like. You’ve given me a tiny but an incredibly important piece of hope to hold on to.

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