Religious Guilt

religious guilt childhood bedroom

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.

I came from a very religious family.

I had a medicated abortion in December 2022. It was a very traumatic experience, BITH physically & psychologically. It’s February now and the trauma and anxiety is still extremely prominent. It is breathing down my neck every day.

I have moments of pulsating panic from time to time. Certain things trigger me like pregnant people & babies/pregnancy in movies or TV shows. I feel weak because I feel like those things shouldn’t affect me but they do after this experience.

I am trying to be gentle with myself and give my body and mind time to heal, but it is so hard, all I want to do is move on. I made my decision in a split second. I have no regrets nor do I feel ashamed of it.
However, I am a pastors daughter. And the religious guilt that follows my decision has been a weight in my shoulders that I cannot escape. Of course I did not tell my parents, nor will I ever as I am an adult and it is not their business.

But just knowing their stance on abortion and knowing what I have been grown up and coerced to believe is the “only right choice”, I cannot help but feel an enormous amount of religious guilt for what I have done.

I consider myself a post-evangelist, learning and rediscovering the world without church, or strict religion like I had growing up. It has been a fantastic journey and I have learned so many new things about the world and about myself.

But I am frustrated with this guilt that has come up post-abortion. I don’t know how to deal with it, how to process it, how to move past it; because religion has been my entire life until recently.

My situation is very niche, and I feel very alone. My boyfriend has been my truest and biggest supporter through all of this. And the only other person I have told is my sister. She has also been supportive but I don’t talk to her as much.

I am starting therapy tomorrow. For many reasons but this is the first thing I want to tackle. I am tired of feeling paranoid of it happening again, guilty, and triggered. I am so exhausted. I want to learn how to trust my decision and trust my mind and body.

I want to look back at my decision and know wholeheartedly that it was the right thing for me to do without having religious guilt looming over me telling me otherwise.

I am hoping to grow from this and move on with my life.

Thank you for listening, whoever you are.

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