On September 11, 2001, I had an abortion. I remember everything about it. The people in the waiting room with me, the news of the World Trade Center attacks on the television, the smells, the song playing on the radio while the doctor performed the procedure, the soup my boyfriend served me on the couch when we got home... It haunts me daily.
The father and I were both 18 at the time. We lead a pretty rough life after high school-- lots of narcotics and alcohol-- I wasted all the money I had received for college on drugs. We didn't tell our parents about the pregnancy or the abortion for several years. We made the decision ourselves, without really talking about it. We wanted kids and we wanted to get married, but it wasn't the right time.
After the abortion, we went on to live a "normal" life together. We both went back to work. We both pretended everything was perfectly fine. Then I started feeling very depressed and alone. I was on autopilot; I couldn't pay attention to conversations, I couldn't remember how I had driven to a location, etc. My life was passing me by and I didn't know what to do about it.
My doctor put me on an anti-depression medication. That particular medication pushed me over the edge. My emotions went completely out of control. I felt like everyone was against me and no one was listening. I began deliberately hurting myself-- biting my arms, hitting my head on the wall, anything that would make me feel physical pain. During an argument with the father I took a kitchen knife and sliced my arm open while yelling "pay attention to me!" I wasn't trying to kill myself-- I wanted someone to listen to me, to acknowledge there was a problem...and fix it.
I went to multiple counselors and was on lots of medications. Nothing seemed to help. One day it clicked: could having an abortion and keeping it a secret all these years have something to do with my emotional state? I started researching Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome-- it fit me to a "T"! I couldn't' believe it-- everything I was feeling, how I was acting, could all be attributed to PASS.
I began posting on PASS message boards and attempted to complete a bible study regarding healing after abortion. Being able to talk about the abortion helped tremendously. I started to heal from the inside out. I forgave myself and all parties involved with the procedure. I even named our baby and put her name on a memorial wall for unborn children.
The father and I eventually separated. He was not there for my healing process. I had no idea how he felt about the abortion. Today, we speak on occasion-- enough for me to know that he does think about me and our aborted baby-- and that he also went through a very rough spell when he finally acknowledged his feelings of guilt and sadness.
I am now married to a wonderful man and we have two beautiful sons together. I think about my daughter daily. I wonder what she would look like, how she would act, what stage of her life she would be in. I miss her dearly, and I cry for her daily. God has forgiven me and has welcomed my daughter into His house so she may live forever in His presence. Someday I will meet my daughter and I will hold her hand for eternity.