I had an abortion three and a half months ago. My partner and I found out we were pregnant after having only dated for a very short period of time. In the beginning of February I had a positive pregnancy test and within ten days we were no longer pregnant. I have never had any moral qualms about having an abortion. At the same time, as cliché as it might sound, I never thought I’d be in the position to decide whether or not to have an abortion. While I still feel content with my decision, I hate the feelings that go along with having an abortion.
When I made the decision, my partner was supportive and comforting. I felt very fortunate that I didn’t have to go through it alone. I still am grateful to him. We were both emotional and sad about it, but at the same time we were just trying to keep our heads above water. He had just finished grad school and was trying to get his life in order and I was in the midst of grad school trying to finish projects, take exams, write papers, etc. Within six months of starting grad school, I moved across the country without knowing anyone to begin the program, I’d made new friends, did well in school, started dating this wonderful man, then out of nowhere I was pregnant. I had been processing so much up til then, that it has taken a long time for my feelings around the abortion to really sink in.
The abortion itself was painful, uncomfortable and inconvenient, but it was also the right decision for me. I knew that I wanted to have children after I was married or close to it. And I was nowhere near close to married. So I had the abortion, found a counselor and the support I needed so that I would have someone I could talk about it with openly. And kept on with my life. A few weeks after the abortion the man and I broke up, I finished my first year of grad school and am trying to find a summer job. About two weeks ago I noticed how abnormally I have been behaving. I’ve found myself FULL of rage. Generally, I’m a pretty balanced person, I’m kind and thoughtful and fun, but I started to snap at people. I was so angry at the man I’d been dating I could hardly stand it. I was intensely irritable and self-conscious too.
I’m not as angry at the moment, now that I’ve identified the rage as symptoms of post abortion stress. But the anger around having an abortion in a state where I’m isolated and feel alone is still there, and the grief around the loss of the relationship is just as isolating. What I notice most is the intensity of the desire to have children. Even though I’d always known I wanted children, the chemistry in my body felt like it had changed after being pregnant. Now I’ve realized how much I want children and a man to share my life with. And I feel sad that it feels like I’m so far from having them. I don’t feel like myself right now. I feel unattractive, sad and have low self-esteem. Yet at the same time, I know I made the right choice for myself and understand that this intense, heavy grief and loneliness is a part of this process.
I’ve got a good understanding of my feelings and know why everything is happening, but that knowledge and understanding doesn’t take the feelings away. And talking to a counselor is helpful, but I really need to hear other women's experiences with abortion to feel strong and supported. So, I’ve joined a support group. At some point, the sobbing around this will stop and I’ll feel like myself again. But until then, I know I need to continue taking care of myself by taking action around it. Like dressing in a way that makes me feel beautiful and talking/writing about it to nonjudgmental/supportive people. I’ve gotta say that I wholeheartedly resent all this work I have to do to keep myself sane and healthy, but I need to continue to do it because I believe that if I put in this much energy into feeling better, then one day, I will feel better.