On one side, we see life through the lens of media. We see love stories, we see excitement, we see happy endings. Then there is reality where there are life scarring break ups, daily boredom that drives you mad, and people who are not very happy with where there life is going. We watch, see what we want, expect our lives to be pan out in a similar way and when it doesn’t.. we can easily become discontent with what we have now. Why don’t I have this? Why don’t I live like that?
Last week I wrote a blog post on media’s affect on sexual freedom and how media glorifies the promiscuous, carefree lifestyle and how it has impacted our views on the merits of abstinence. Well on the other side of this lifestyle is the dark realities that go often unspoken. Scarred hearts, ruined lives, loss of trust in people after being hurt, and the big ones such as STDS and Abortion. The real life consequences that for some reason TV shows don’t like to highlight and if it does, the problem somehow wraps up in 30 minutes or an hour and all is good at the end.
There is a site called “abortionchangesyou.com” that has stories of real people and their real experience dealing with the emotional consequences of abortion. Some speak for themselves, others for a loved one. Either way its a stark reality check that life isn’t as simple as the fictional stories we see on our tv screens or movie theaters. It also gives a moment of pause for those battling between pro choice and pro life that amidst all the fighting and arguing, there are real people out there that we should be sensitive to especially as it has become such a prominent political issue.
Think: At current abortion rates, 1 in 3 women in the US will have an abortion by age 45.
My Child would have been 22 this year
As a teenager, I assumed legalized abortion was necessary for women to attain their educational and career goals. So it’s not surprising that when I became pregnant at 18, I had an abortion.
I was completely unprepared for the emotional fallout after the abortion.
I thought the abortion would erase the pregnancy. I thought I could move on with my life.
I was wrong.
Although I didn’t feel this way before the procedure, it was now clear to me that the abortion ended the life of my child. I felt guilty and desired punishment.
I deserved to suffer.
I soon found myself in a cycle of self-destructive behavior
that included an eating disorder.
Desperate for a fresh start, I broke up with my boyfriend, quit my job, and moved from the Midwest to Hawaii.
Although Hawaii was breathtakingly beautiful and bursting with life, I felt dead inside. It didn’t take long for me to realize I couldn’t escape from myself.
About two years after the abortion, I was living in Southern California when I began experiencing periods of intense anger followed by periods of profound sadness.
For weeks and sometimes months at a time, I was too fatigued to do more than eat a meal and shower during the day.
I lost interest in food, and my weight fell dangerously low.
This downward spiral continued until suicidal thoughts began to scare me. That’s when I finally went to see a therapist.
With the help of counselors and supportive friends, my time of self-condemnation and self-punishment came to an end.
I was finally able to enter into a healthy grieving process.
As I grieved the loss of my child, I slowly became aware of how my choice to abort had impacted my family . . . a choice they only learned about when I decided to go public with my experience.
I was surprised and saddened that my parents, my sister, and even my children struggled to deal with the loss of a family member through abortion.
In addition to coping with the fallout that the abortion has caused in my family, there are still times that are painful for me.
After all, healing doesn’t mean forgetting.
If my child had gone to college, she would have graduated this year.
This child would now be a young woman with gifts and abilities,
hopes and dreams . . .
her whole life ahead of her.
There will always be a hole in my heart—
a hole in the fabric of our family and our community.
My child would have been 22 this year.
I Never Had the Chance to Know My Brother or Sister
The day after I graduated from eighth grade,
my mother had an abortion.
She raised me to be pro-choice, so I really didn’t think much about it.
Well, not until last year.
While my mother was driving me back to college, out of the blue she told me she’d had another abortion while I was growing up.
At first I was shocked,
then I was appalled,
and finally I was angry with her.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it would have been like to have two siblings.
I’m angry with my mother that she would abort them—
that she would take them away from me.
I feel like my life as an only child is a lie.
But I also began to understand why my mother struggles with depression. While I was growing up, there were so many times that her bedroom door would be closed, and I could hear her crying in her room.
I feel compassion for my mother;
but at the same time, I am angry with her.
We used to be very close,
but now there is distance between us.
I want to repair the damage to our relationship; but first, I’d need to share how I feel about her abortions.
I’m afraid to do that—
I’m afraid I’ll hurt her,
I’m afraid I’ll be too angry to control myself.
My Wife Gets Depressed around the Anniversary of Our Daughter’s Abortion
LISA AND ANN
When my daughter, Lisa, was in college, she became pregnant by an older man.
She called her mother and me for help.
Ann immediately caught a flight to be with Lisa and to help her think through her options. We wanted Lisa to have the baby; but ultimately, she chose to have an abortion.
Ann was devastated by Lisa’s decision.
Maybe if I’d been a better father, this wouldn’t have happened . . .
My daughter has never gotten over it. Lisa never married, and now it appears that she’ll never have any children. Since Lisa is our only child, that means we’ll never have grandchildren.
I think about the abortion from time to time, and it hurts me to do so. But I must admit—it’s much more painful to watch my wife.
Ann has never stopped grieving the loss of our grandchild. Every year on the anniversary of the baby’s due date, Ann mourns and struggles with depression.
Yet she won’t talk about it with Lisa because she doesn’t want to cause our daughter additional pain.
Abortion has profoundly affected our family.
It has changed all of us.