It has been too long since I posted a blog, but I was encouraged recently by an anonymous reader. She thanked me for helping her understand how her past abortion was still impacting her life. Like me, she’d spent years thinking something was wrong with her, never connecting her emotional struggles to her abortion. It saddens me how often that is the case. In the name of women’s rights, we have tried to convince women that there are no negative consequences to abortion. For some, this is true. But for others, it is not.
Strength to you, my friend, and thank God you can finally start putting the pieces together! For true healing to take place, we must first understand what needs to be healed. In post-abortion stress the pain gets camouflaged in so many other things. It’s easy to miss the connections.
For instance, I struggled with insecurities about my motherhood for years. It took a crisis in the life of one of my children for me to finally realize that no matter how hard I tried to be a great mother, I couldn’t protect my children from every pain, accident, or evil person out there. The process nearly sank me because I had been trying so hard to prove to myself that I was a good mother. Admitting that I couldn’t protect my children from evil meant admitting, in my mind, to another failure as a mother.
I know it sounds trite and naive, but I really believed I needed to do everything right. It finally occurred to me that my struggle wasn’t about the crisis in my child’s life. My struggle was about how it made me perceive myself as a mother and how my past abortion affected that. When I finally put all this together, I was able to work through my feelings much more effectively. Looking back now, I can see how irrational trying to be perfect was; but at the time, I didn’t understand the underlying motivations for my behavior.
I continue to share my story because of women like this. And, here’s to more women being honest about their struggles after abortion. It’s the best help we can give each other.