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I failed horribly as a mother to my first child

I was a senior in college. My boyfriend had told me months before that if I ever became pregnant he would talk me into having an abortion. I knew as soon as I learned I was pregnant that I could never rely on him to see me through the pregnancy and certainly not as a husband. My mother was shell-shocked already, dealing with my younger brother having conceived a child out of marriage, my sister dropping out of high school and moving to another state and my youngest sister attempting suicide all in 1 year. My father has always been unapproachable. I felt alone. I knew adoption was the right thing to do. One of my sisters, however, had been adopted and was verbally and emotionally abused by my father for years. I was afraid of my child going through this and me not knowing, not being able to help. I talked myself into the abortion.

It was the worst day of my life. It was as though I had a veil behind my eyes. I could see and go through the motions but my feelings and spirit were completely cut off. I barely spoke to anyone. I physically went through with it but my heart and soul had been left behind. They could not have gone through with it.

It left a huge part of myself walled in and virtually dead. For years, I rationalized that I had to do it. Tried to atone for it by self-sacrifice, told myself if I had another unplanned pregnancy I would prove I could do the right thing, but was grateful it never happened. I never spoke of the experience. Denied it to myself and most significant, to my husband. My husband has suffered greatly, from the knowledge that I could actually do such a thing and from the fact that I lied to him about it on 2 separate occasions. This injury to him has added greatly to my regrets about the abortion and my actions during years of denial.

I have only recently begun to deal with this and am feeling tremendous sorrow and pain. In time, I know there will be healing. I pray a lot. I examine myself and try to change my character faults and build my self-esteem. I have told each member of my family and a few friends and their reactions have given me insight into their individual characters and my relationship with each.

The abortion has done 2 things: it made facing myself and my family's difficulties much more difficult. The years when I could have been dealing with these things have been wasted. Second, it has cast a shadow over my life. No matter how successful I may be as a wife and mother, there will always be a bitter memory that I failed horribly as a mother to my first child.

Priests for Life
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