Discord in-Decision

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.

“Don’t let it go too far,” says the gravel-voiced therapist I saw four times
In a room that was spare.
Low table, coffee pot, Kleenex.
Not a couch but a black leather chair,

Dusty slants of light.
Her face lined with counsel,
Solid, leaning forward, always asking.
Not a couch but a chair.

“Close your eyes.”
See a calm place. Euphoric like the
Way I felt entwined, and then –
Damaged film strip

Inky streaks obscure, darken
What was serene. And there, there deep inside,
Something stirring.

Slip of life, yes life to break,
Break you open. Shatter the wooden cross
My mother bought at the church sale.

Eyes closed in the chair I do
As I’m told, conjure bright waves, light –
I shudder at the sun.
“Why is it so hard for you to talk about yourself?”

What I’m told, what I’d been told
What I believe, what I believed.
What I hold and what I want,
I’ll shade my eyes.

“Listen to yourself when you say
‘I don’t want.’”
Mourn the careful application of blush washed
Away, that good veil.

Listen through the fog,
Through the trillion splintered shards
Disintegrating, obscuring sacrifice –
I breathe them out, I bleed.


Say “thank you” into the cubicle desk phone.
Sound normal. Collected.
Pencil-skirted in an office chair.

Hands on the steering wheel, eyes on the road,
Hold yourself together now. Drive
Into the pounding light.

Submitted anonymously from NYC

You deserve nonjudgmental
after-abortion support.

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