One Year Later

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.

Submitted by: Tori

Hello friends!

I am writing this message a year after getting an abortion. Although I came across this website shortly after my abortion as it was sent to me by my therapist, I did not see anything that spoke to my situation necessarily. While I admire all of the messages that every person posted, I found it difficult to relate to anything. I thought that I’d share my experience in case any amazing women can relate to it on some level.

I had my abortion in my second year of university. I was dating the guy that got me pregnant, but I knew I would not be with him forever. I knew instantly that I would get an abortion after finding out. The guy I was seeing was on the same page. I think that it’s very important to note that I come from a very liberal and accepting family, but nonetheless, I did not feel comfortable telling my sisters at the time.

I finally told them after looking up things that may happen, realizing my sisters would be the only people I feel comfortable seeing me in such a state. The pain I felt during the abortion was awful and traumatizing, but I am so lucky that I had my sisters there to support me.

The experience of the abortion is not what I want to talk about today, however. What I do want to get across in this post is that everything is going to be okay. I know that sounds SO cliche, but it is really really true. I struggled with intense body dysmorphia following my abortion and developed a really unhealthy relationship with myself and my body. This eventually faded away as time went on, but I felt myself still getting upset about everything that transpired after the abortion.

I found that the people that were checking in on me during the process the abortion stopped asking me how I was doing. I understand that this is something that is natural, that humans should continue on with their lives as if this huge thing that happens just sort of goes away in time, but I struggled far beyond the time that people stopped asking me how I was. So, here I am asking — how are you?

I am a year out of this experience and still sometimes feel so upset about everything that happened. It is so great to have support during a time that causes so much anxiety and sadness. When that suddenly stops, it feels sort of unfinished with no closure. At the core of this rant, I’m trying to say that it doesn’t need to be so black and white. These issues impact the rest of your life whether it is unconscious or not. Whatever the case is, I want you to know that is okay to still feel upset about what happened and what that time of your life looked like.

I can say now, a year later, that I barely feel the ramifications of this time of my life. But that does not mean that I don’t think about it. I still have days where my abortion and my experience consumes every thought. However, it does not dictate who I am. But, if it does, that’s okay… What I’m trying to say is you have the right to feel whatever you want.

I feel like there’s so much discourse relating to religious awakenings and God forgiving your sin. I am not (nor is my family) religious. I don’t feel like I need to be forgiven for what I did. I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but for any non-religious women who experiences this, I want you to know you do not need to feel forgiven. You are totally validated in doing what you did. No matter what the reasoning is. You are okay. You did what you wanted/needed to do in that situation.

I hope in reading this you find some comfort in knowing that I am in the exact same place. I don’t know what the f*** to do regarding the abortion, but I am doing just fine in the same regard. You will be okay. And you don’t need any kind of forgiveness. You’re doing amazing and you should feel proud in yourself to have been put in such an awful position and gotten through it! Keep going!!!

You deserve nonjudgmental
after-abortion support.

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