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12-10-2007 10:35 AM
LavenderMae
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
But, no matter how many times I want to say that I just can't do it again, that I've done my best but I just don't want to have to see it and feel their hands squeeze and hear them cry... I end up thinking, if I'm not there, they'll be all alone. And it is such a hard decision that women do need all the support they can get.

Thank you! Cherrymary , thank you too.


Spruce, I agree with you.
12-10-2007 03:39 AM
spruce I have to reply to the posts that seem to indicate that *all* women who have gone through abortions need to recover from the actual *abortion.*

In my case, my pain and recovery were because of the things in my life that led me to be unable to support myself and my children through another pregnancy...through the personal issues that led to my accidentally becoming pregnant in such a hard time of my life...

I never needed to recover from the abortion, although there was sadness. I loved being a mother, I loved my girls, I wanted more children...

But my recovery really involved finding the reasons I had put myself in such a position in the first place...and those issues seem to be glossed over by anyone who ever finds out I have had an abortion. Suddenly, the issues aren't about my loneliness, fear, sadness, insecurities...they're just about the procedure itself.

For me, anyway, my "recovery" has not been an abortion recovery. It's been a recovery of what I was missing...ME. My sense of me, of self worth, of so many things (and my stress and hard work and guilt over working as a single mother...) those were things I needed to fix. Not some media-mandated sense that having an abortion was, in itself, a situation needing "recovery."

love, penelope
12-09-2007 12:39 PM
cherrymary
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
Bolding mine. Oh, man, do I hear that. I have never been a position where I had to have an abortion, and for that I am truly and eternally greatful. But I have held the hands of many women while a doctor emptied her uterus, and I'll probably have to do it again. It's an incredibly difficult thing to do. I've volunteered at three Planned Parenthoods, and it's always hard, whether the woman is a stranger or a friend.

But, no matter how many times I want to say that I just can't do it again, that I've done my best but I just don't want to have to see it and feel their hands squeeze and hear them cry... I end up thinking, if I'm not there, they'll be all alone. And it is such a hard decsion that women do need all the support they can get.
:

I don't know what I would have done without my mother helping me through mine, I feel like I would have died from loneliness. I believe that pregnant women deserve doulas, no matter what the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy may be, and that's why I am so grateful to do the job I do... we're not here to pass judgement, just to hold the space.

peace mamas
12-09-2007 12:37 PM
cherrymary sorry... double post
12-09-2007 01:39 AM
Leta
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe View Post
Thanks for this thread. I think I will pass along the info.

[I]How about support for someone who was present during an abortion?[/I] I was and it was hard. Now I know why most places have the suport person wait outside. However, my sister really wanted me there. So the Dr said I could stay and I stayed. I was sitting there on my birthday and on my period and there was my baby sister, pregnant and getting an abortion. I just kept thinking how I should have been the one pg and she the one on her period. Sigh. It just sucks that it all happened.

One thing is certain. Abortion is *not* an easy choice. Women who make that choice should have the support they need.
Bolding mine. Oh, man, do I hear that. I have never been a position where I had to have an abortion, and for that I am truly and eternally greatful. But I have held the hands of many women while a doctor emptied her uterus, and I'll probably have to do it again. It's an incredibly difficult thing to do. I've volunteered at three Planned Parenthoods, and it's always hard, whether the woman is a stranger or a friend.

But, no matter how many times I want to say that I just can't do it again, that I've done my best but I just don't want to have to see it and feel their hands squeeze and hear them cry... I end up thinking, if I'm not there, they'll be all alone. And it is such a hard decsion that women do need all the support they can get.
12-09-2007 12:51 AM
cherrymary Wow, did this thread really start in 2005?? Anyway, I am so touched and amazed at what a caring, nuanced, non-polarized dialogue this turned out to be. you all. I want to start by sharing that I had an abortion at age 19, supported by my dear mother, and although I'm not sad about it, it is definitely an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. ITA with the poster that said that there's a stigma around talking about it, whether you're sad about it or NOT sad about it it's hard to say ANYTHING without getting jumped on!!!

I'm confused by one POV that came up a couple of times - I just picked a couple of quotes, and I know that these posters aren't saying things are black and white, but I think the grey area they illuminate is really interesting/important:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
On the whole, I still believe it should be legal because I do not claim to know the circumstances of anyone else and so I dont feel I have the right to make that choice for them. On the other hand, having carried babies to term, I can totally see the prolife pov.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miatagirl
I never had an abortion, but really didn't care if other women chose to have one or not. When I gave birth to my dd in October, my views changed.
A lot of people seem to feel this way, so I DO want to understand it, or maybe clear up a misperception - does anybody think that pro-choice people don't have babies? I'm a birth doula and aspiring midwife, and I have the deepest respect for the miracle of pregnancy and birth. I also work in an abortion clinic, where I give women and girls a very different kind of emotional and physical support. I just don't see why those two things would be mutually exclusive. Most of my co-workers have kids, and we have pregnant staff (including OBs!) that continue to work until they go on maternity leave, and then yes, they come back to work (and we all ooh and aah over their little bundles). One patient decided to continue her pregnancy after meeting with a visibly pregnant counselor, and they had a lovely bonding moment over it. In fact, many of our patients decide to continue their pregnancies after coming in - teens and adults, in abusive and healthy relationships alike - and we support them all, obviously. We do everything we can to make sure people are sure about their decision, and if there's any doubt about that at any step along the way we WILL NOT provide them with an abortion, but we will give them referrals and resources. And lots of people are sad about it, but they're still sure - and that's ok. Others are not sad, and that's ok too.

So threads like this one are so important for me to read because they address the real grief that people feel after abortion. For some reason, I was able to go through the grieving process beforehand - and it was HARD - and then go on with my life, without regret. But of course, this process is unique and individual to every woman, and MANY women feel sad and traumatized by it for the rest of their lives, and especially around their future pregnancies. We need to support these women as best we can, without extrapolating to other people's experiences.

/soapbox !!!

I really apologize if this comes across as polemical in ANY way - I don't mean to single out one particular view point at all - I just want to speak up for the view that birth and choice don't have to be mutually exclusive.

ETA: ITA with Tammy that the modern Buddhist ritual around pregnancy loss/abortion in Japan is amazing. There are a couple of great books about it, one's called Liquid Life, I can't remember the other one. Need to add to my re-reading list!
12-07-2007 01:51 AM
Turquesa I've been in tears reading through all of these posts. : My heart and support go out to all of you who are recovering emotionally from an abortion. It will be a glorious day when mental health professionals (and the rest of society) take women who are saddened by abortion seriously and validate (not politicize, simply validate) their grief.

Our culture is deeply wounded in that it lacks a socially validated means of closure. Buddhist women in Japan have the Jizo, a ceremony for offspring that have died. The ritual acknowledges all forms of perinatal loss, including induced abortion.
Check out: http://www.goatintheroad.org/html/ceremony.html.

You have all of my best wishes in your journey to recovery.
12-05-2007 09:21 PM
maxmama The PRCs in our area are not unbiased in any way. They have one agenda: to keep women from choosing abortion. A good abortion clinic (and I've worked in several) respects all choices women make, including parenting, adoption and abortion.

The local PRCs also are not providing medically correct information (there are some very questionable videos and literature distributed).

Post-abortion recovery groups often seem to have the assumption that all women need to "recover" from an abortion, that it is de facto a traumatic experience. It wasn't for me and for some women I know. It was for other women, often because they were choosing it against their better judgment to please a parent or partner. To be told by "recovery" groups that my experience is invalid is frustrating and disrespectful.
12-05-2007 07:47 PM
asoulunbound PRC is a pregnancy resource center. I used to work at one for almost a year. They are designed to help post-abortive women and also to support women through unplanned pregnancies. PRC offer referrals to other community support as well, and often offer resources for women/couples who feel they may want to learn more about placing their child with an adoptive family. Many have support groups for single moms or adoptive parents, etc.
12-05-2007 03:14 PM
liseux "I would be very cautious about any support groups offered through a PRC, since most PRCs have a very clear agenda, regardless of what they claim. Also, "post-abortion stress" is not a diagnosis recognized by the APA, or any legitimate research, so again, I would be very cautious of any organization that offered support for that specific "syndrome". " maxmama

A PRC may have an agenda, but so do many abortion providers. It really is unfair to judge, b/c many, like Rachels Vineyard and After Abortion have helped many women.

I appreciate those of you who shared your stories of healing. I wish you only the best. I admire you for being open about it.
12-05-2007 02:16 PM
Kleine Hexe
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmama View Post
I would be very cautious about any support groups offered through a PRC, since most PRCs have a very clear agenda, regardless of what they claim.

What is a PRC?
03-06-2007 06:41 PM
asoulunbound
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
My pain isn't political.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
And as for PASS not being recognized as a 'real' diagnosis, neither was PTSD at first, nor was autism or pdd for that matter. Things sometimes take time to be accepted.
:
03-04-2007 04:10 AM
Anglyn
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
One of the problems is that pro-lifers will take the trauma women go through from abortion to then claim that abortion should not be legal because it is traumatic to the mothers. But they don't understand that an abortion is almost always the least bad of two very bad options. Taking away abortion rights will be forcing them to the worse option. Abortion is often the only escape a woman has from an abusive relationship. I don't want to go into details but I know whereof I speak.
Well....I suppose they might, in fact, Im quite sure they already do. But I dont think that women who truly are suffering should do so in silence to help promote the prochoice stance. My pain isn't political. I cant help how others may use it, but I refuse to hide it anymore. It isnt political to me, its very personal. I myself am VERY torn on the whole issue. On the whole, I still believe it should be legal because I do not claim to know the circumstances of anyone else and so I dont feel I have the right to make that choice for them. On the other hand, having carried babies to term, I can totally see the prolife pov.

But regardless of my politcal views, Im just saying that I dont think women should hide thier pain,if they feel it, because of fear that others will use it to thier political gain, if that makes sense.

And as for PASS not being recognized as a 'real' diagnosis, neither was PTSD at first, nor was autism or pdd for that matter. Things sometimes take time to be accepted. Would PASS being recognized further the politcal agenda of the prolife movement? I dont know, but I dont that should be a primary consideration for recognized it. Helping those who have it should be. JMO.
03-03-2007 08:49 PM
meowee One of the problems is that pro-lifers will take the trauma women go through from abortion to then claim that abortion should not be legal because it is traumatic to the mothers. But they don't understand that an abortion is almost always the least bad of two very bad options. Taking away abortion rights will be forcing them to the worse option. Abortion is often the only escape a woman has from an abusive relationship. I don't want to go into details but I know whereof I speak.
03-03-2007 05:45 PM
Teakafrog http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/ offers support and healing.

Tammy
03-03-2007 03:56 PM
Mrs. Cheerful Face I could have used a friend like you a couple of years ago, keep up the great, compassionate care!
02-21-2007 10:12 PM
Isaac'sMa I only made it through the first page of replies and I have tears running down my face. I had an abortion several years ago and it is still very painful for me at times. Other mamas have described it more succinctly. I was also on the afterabortion.com boards immediately afterward and wanted to encourage your friend to go there. The boards are supportive and she will find people who are going through the same things she is. It is a wonderful resource.
02-21-2007 09:55 PM
Kleine Hexe Thanks for this thread. I think I will pass along the info.

How about support for someone who was present during an abortion? I was and it was hard. Now I know why most places have the suport person wait outside. However, my sister really wanted me there. So the Dr said I could stay and I stayed. I was sitting there on my birthday and on my period and there was my baby sister, pregnant and getting an abortion. I just kept thinking how I should have been the one pg and she the one on her period. Sigh. It just sucks that it all happened.

One thing is certain. Abortion is *not* an easy choice. Women who make that choice should have the support they need.
02-21-2007 08:28 PM
Crazy Basil
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miatagirl View Post
I just wish women could read the testimonies of other women who have had abortions, like on this thread so that they are more careful and use protection so that they never have to have such heavy bad feelings.
Just a gentle hope that this statement doesn't mean that you think that all, or even most women who have abortions do so because they were irresponsible or careless. There are infinite reasons and situations that result in a woman arriving at the decision that is best for her and statements and beliefs such as the above only foster a climate of shame, making one of the most difficult and intimate decisions of a lifetime even more heart wrenching. It sounds like you went through a very difficult period and I'm sorry for your struggles.
02-19-2007 04:39 AM
Miatagirl I never had an abortion, but really didn't care if other women chose to have one or not.

When I gave birth to my dd in October, my views changed. Just seeing how my baby is such a miracle made me sick to my stomach that some little miracles were not being born. I actually cried for days over babies I never met... These feelings were during my postpartum depression, and most of the feelings were due to wild hormones. Also during my baby blues I wanted to then save all the babies in the world, and was thinking that I wanted to adopt all the babies that woment wanted to abort. It was very strange. I'm now back to normal, and now understand somewhat what a woman who had an abortion felt like, maybe... There is a lot of emotion and heavy feelings, and wish I could comfort women who feel that way. I just wish women could read the testimonies of other women who have had abortions, like on this thread so that they are more careful and use protection so that they never have to have such heavy bad feelings. (especially if it is going to make them have bonding issues in the future.)

I don't condemn anyone who has had an abortion, I just wanted to tell my what I went through during postpartum depression...
02-18-2007 07:58 PM
asoulunbound

Reading through this thread again, I'd just like to say thank you to the women on the board who could have made it a very negative or political thing, but chose not too. As a PP said, it's way too easy to let politics get in the way of things. I wish it were not that way.
02-13-2007 11:25 AM
maxsmum
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
to you MMS. I totally relate to what you wrote, and wish I had some wisdom that was helpful. I wish it were easier- but then, I don't think it is should be easy. It is a such a difficult choice, and the guilt can be overwhelming. Like you, I know that I did the right thing for where I was and who I was with at the time, but sometimes even this knowledge feels like a copout. I think when you are up against having done something that goes against your very core, regardless of circumstance, it's going to hurt your psyche. I try to aknowledge the hurt and pain, and use it as incentive to be the best mamma I can. This is the only way I know of to "pay back" the universe, if that makes any sense.

The one thing that did help me so much was to talk to my little one that was not to be. I had been hearing children's voices in my head for a few months after, during my depression, and thought- wow, I'm really going crazy! I took a long road trip to N. Maine to recover, and one morning woke up at sunrise over a still lake. That morning, I told the little spirit how sad and sorry I was, how hard it was to make that decision and that I wished her well and to be born into a lovely family when she was ready. Something happened after this- I felt heard and accepted, and soon after the voices left. The gift of the whole terrible experience has been the deepening of my spiritual path- and a real quest to understand spirit and soul, and to live life in harmony with universal values.

I hope you are able to continue your path to recovery, and if you'd like to talk about anything, feel free to PM me.

Be well,
Candace
I had a similar experience, no voices in my head, but I spoke to the spirit of my unborn child and it did wonders for me. I was led into a relaxed state by a Jungian analyst because I was too afraid to do it on my own. During the experience I felt that the spirit forgave me and told me it would be with me again. It was very powerful.

I regret having had to make that decision but I am grateful that it was an option for me.

I got pregnant with DS the same time of year and had him right around the time I would have been due the first time, but 15 years later. Somehow I found this comforting.
02-12-2007 09:06 PM
deuxceleste Thank you It's good to hear that there are so many listening ears out there.
02-03-2007 12:55 AM
asoulunbound I work at a crisis pregnancy center (CPC). Yes, we are a faith-based center.
That being said, alot of the women who are at a CPC are there because they love women, and want to help. Many of the women I know that work at the CPC have had abortions.
There's no judgement in the CPC where I work- every person has inherent worth in the eyes of God.
I would encourage your friend, regardless of her faith, to find some sort of support group where people can empthasize (sp?). It need not be at a church or CPC, many groups meet in conference rooms at hotels or universities.
You should be honoured she shared her pain with you.
for her child.
10-28-2006 04:18 PM
deuxceleste I didn't take any offense to anything you said at all... as I said, I'm absolutely thrilled that there's a group which is so supportive within your church congregation. I'm positive it's a step in the right direction to recovery for a lot of people, and hopefully those people will go on to counsel and support yet more.

I've gotten a TON of PMs as a result of this, but I do want to thank the majority of you for being so caring in your responses.
10-24-2006 10:05 AM
CMcC Deuxceleste: Oh, no apology needed. I was not offended at all. (I'm usually the one who is misunderstood and have to choose my words carefully....)

Without a doubt current abuse can play apart! How many abortions are results of rape and incest? I don't think we have an accurate count in these situations. But I would guess the number fairly high. Not just a rape from an outside source either...women who fear their abusive husbands and want to get away... Unfortunately, it happens, probably much more than anyone knows.

Some of the women I mentioned earlier had been in abusive relationships (as adults). The trend was to find an abusive man and marry him....want to get away, oops your pregnant, have an abortion so you won't be tied to the abusive man....

The way childhood abuse plays in it is not learning how to trust others (particuraly men), what love is (not just a sexual touch), choosing the right guy (they have a bad self-image)... Does this make sense? Many people continue the abuse cycle as adults....it's VERY difficult to break away. Obviously not everyone who has had an abortion was abused as a child or adult...but I believe it's more of a factor than anyone realizes at this time.

Here is a link to some abuse statistics: http://www.journeytototalfreedom.com/stats.html

If you look at those stats.... The likelyhood of continuing the abuse cycle is HUGE. So all those girls and boys have dysfunctional lives. The likelyhood of them having unwanted pregnancies is big...I wonder how many end in abortion? And the ones who don't choose abortion, or adoption, the cycle of abuse most likely continues to the next generation. IMO, if we could fix all the abuse and neglect.... there would probably be a much lesser call for abortion. Imagine if we all grew up in attachment parenting style homes that were truly loving... all the kids would learn how to grow up healthy, treat each other with respect, be responsible.... I think there would be far less unwanted pregnancies as a result... But those of us who didn't grow up in wonderful homes have enormous difficulty figuring out how to trust others, love ourself and manage our own homes/families. How do you parent your children when you yourself wasn't parented? It's SOOO difficult! Personally, I dated guys I knew was not good. Fortunately, I got out. The biggest attraction to my husband was 1 week into our relationship. We had an arguement....I threw a fit (like always) and instead of fighting back (like what I was use to) he got up and walked away. I WAS FLOORED! I didn't understand his reaction. Walk away??? Over the last 10 years he has helped me grow up...much less fits.... But if had I stayed in those bad relationships...who would have shown me a better way? They were hurting just as much as I was. As a teenager I bought my share of pg test...probably had a few miscarriages (now that I know the signs)...but like I said, I could have very easily been in that situation to make a decsion (keep baby, adoption or abortion). The same goes for my friends in high school... Abuse plays a role in promiscuity and getting into bad relationships and situations where you have to make a decision...

Hopefully this makes sense. And if I have offended anyone, it was not my intention. These are just my views and experiences.
10-23-2006 10:35 PM
deuxceleste
Quote:
Originally Posted by CMcC View Post
Sexual abuse is so prevelant in our society that I believe it does indeed play a big part in reasons behind abortion.... I'm looking for the specific data that stands behind that....
This is all I could find: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract. Don't know if that link'll work.

But hey- regardless of the history of the women, it's definitely not something to take lightly. I think it's absolutely wonderful (and that's putting it lightly- a superlative escapes me at the moment) that your church offers such kind, caring support to women (and men, I'm sure) who have had traumatic experiences and who need a listening ear.

I in no way, no way AT ALL intended to offend you or belittle your or your friends' experiences or grief. And in hindsight, the same way I get testy when posters tell me to "be careful" where I'm getting my information, or when they proceed to tell me what pain I am and am not legitimately feeling. I sincerely owe you an apology for the way my post may have come across. Truly it's a curious thing for me, and that's all I intended to imply. So please accept my apology if you were in any way offended or hurt by my words.

IMHO, and I'm sure others will agree, that this board, particularly this thread, is not a place for passing judgement or asking too many questions of one another. Each person here experiences their own loss and their own pain in a vastly different way, and it's those differences that can help us find strength in each other's anonymous, faceless words. So again, I definitely apologize for sounding snarky if that's the case, and even if it's NOT the case, I could have chosen my words more carefully.

On the subject of abuse, do you think that this possibly includes CURRENT abuse? As in, pregnant as a direct result of abuse by another?
10-23-2006 06:30 PM
CMcC Here a few articles, still looking for stuff specifically towards abuse in childhood....

http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/abstract/172/5/637

http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/conte...330/7491/560-c

http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/article...i?artid=550633
10-23-2006 04:25 PM
CMcC Lotusbeans: I'm in the class for those who were abused as children. The class is taught by a women who went through the saved one class (which is specifically for women who have had abortions.) We have many women go through both classes. I believe the information is in the 2 books we use in the Journey To Total Freedom class. The workbook we use is from http://www.committedtofreedom.com/ It specifically deals with sexual abuse. My Father's Child by Lynda Elliot and Vicki Tanner deals with physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Just in our own church, most women who have had an abortion also go through the abuse class...usually for sexual abuse... Deuxceleste: maybe I'm wrong about "Most women" in public, but definately at our church of over 3,000 "most women" definately applies.

Many of the women (in the class) find the abortion was just a result/consenquence of being abused as a child. Other things include destructive relationships, weight issues, abusing drugs/alcohol...etc. Does this make sense? When your trust and your body has been violated as a child, you can carry the anger and hurt with you throughout your life letting it effect every part of your life. How is a young woman able to learn what real love is when she was sexual abused as a child? She may grow up and "fall in love" with all the wrong guys, find herself pregnant and in a bad relationship, then she has to make a hard decision....keep a baby (that she didn't plan on) and isn't sure she can care for it (finacially and emotionally)....or does she have an abortion.... The women I have talked with thought abortion would just make their problems disappear. However, seeing what Post Abortion Syndrom has done to them, I believe it just made a difficult situation even harder. I'm fortunate that I was never in that situation to make that choice...however, it was just by pure luck that I didn't become pregnant... Otherwise, I may have become one of my friends adding complications to my already destructive life....

Sexual abuse is so prevelant in our society that I believe it does indeed play a big part in reasons behind abortion.... I'm looking for the specific data that stands behind that....
10-23-2006 04:17 PM
deuxceleste in a strange way i can see where that assumption could be made. think of it in terms of attachment parenting.

still not sure of its accuracy though.
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