Struggling with self and love

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: Stella

I am struggling. It’s been 6 months. I have been through every emotion. As I work through the stages of grief, coming to acceptance is perhaps the hardest of all.

I made the choice to end my only pregnancy at 44 because my partner could not commit to parenting. It was not just him, I too was so so unsure. I also wanted the life we were building back, and felt the pressure and weight of this enormous life choice.

But how could I forsake this child and motherhood? I think I acted out of fear, I think I panicked when faced with the choice of changing our lives forever. I feel my partner should have better protected me and the baby. I was vulnerable, hormonal, having to make the choice alone. How do I live with this?

My partner is a good man, he really is. It’s so fair to feel unprepared to take on parenting in your 50s (his age). He was not going to leave, he expressed support and commitment if I wanted to go ahead, but he was not happy or enthusiastic, he felt it was too much of a risk to our relationship, to healthy aging, even to the child’s needs. I internalized that fear, it drove me, perhaps too much.

Lots of people have successful families later in life. Once the child was born the baby would have changed our fears into to love. Now I can’t stop reliving the choice and moments where I could/should have acted differently. Now I am struggling to love both my partner and myself. But I don’t want to lose him, I don’t want to lose everything. Sometimes I feel so lost.

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4 responses to “Struggling with self and love”

  1. Sheryl

    Thanks for sharing! I am in the same boat (I am 42) and feel the same pain. I understand both you and your partner, because my husband and I had similar concerns. Indeed the other choice won’t be all beautiful either. It actually may have a fairly good chance to result in problems we were worrying about. Our worries at the time didn’t come from nowhere. They were true and observed from friends’ experiences. I agree with you that we’d cherish what we have now (your partner, my husband). I’d encourage you (and myself) to focus on other things we are fond of. I am so touched to see your courage in your reply to Kathleen. Hope we all will find peace and feel better soon.

  2. K.

    I feel like I know exactly what you mean. My situation is a bit different (I have kids already) but the emotions are very much the same. I think about the change from fear into love every day and it hurts. I’m told that the alternate life I’m imagining is a romanticized version of what could have been and I guess it might be but it does help sometimes to think of what could have gone wrong had I not gone through with this.
    I just wanted to say I’m sending good thoughts your way.

  3. Kathleen

    I remember reading your story and your comments. I was actually wondering how you were faring. I’m 6 months out as well (& 42). I am so exhausted from all the emotions. I wake up thinking about it and vacillate on a roller coaster of emotions all day long– grieving, telling myself to move on, forgiveness, guilt, how could I, what could have been, etc etc etc. I hope you can find peace in the days ahead….. I am so grateful for this space to know other women are going through this same complicated experience.
    Much love,

    1. Stella

      Kathleen, heartfelt thanks and wishes of peace to you as well. We will find our way through this. We will find meaning and healing and happiness. You are brave and wise in meeting your thoughts and feelings. As you work through all of this if you ever want to connect directly, my email is stellamanu1111 at Love to you and all of us in this experience.

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