Free of the pain and the guilt

Florida,  United States
  In May of 1979, I was a very frightened girl.  I was having a baby.  In fact, I was so afraid of what my parent’s reaction would be and what could happen to me and my family, that I had an abortion.

I was in shock when I went to have my abortion and I think I remained in shock for a long time after it.  The painful experience of my abortion was buried so deep that I did not even begin to really think about it or remember it until 24 years later.

I remember lying on the table during the abortion and feeling as if the life inside of me was being sucked out.  I cried during the entire procedure and as the tears kept streaming down my face, I sang the song “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.”  It’s a song from Godspell that Mary Magdalene sings about Jesus.  And that’s how I felt.  I was not loving my God and, as I found out afterwards, my abortion was the most unloving thing I could do to myself and my daughter.  

For years after my abortion, the guilt, shame, and pain weighed me down.  I had done something that was immoral and unthinkable.  And I continued on a path in my life and in relationships that compromised my morals, hurt my body, and made me feel less and less proud of myself.  

Many people saw me as a successful loving and spiritual person.  What they didn’t know was that I lived in fear.  Fear in telling the secret of my abortion, fear of getting too close to a man, fear of being too close to God.  I was afraid of dealing with the most hurtful, traumatic experience in my life.    

Twenty four years after my abortion that changed.  My involvement in my church lead to a phone call asking me to help with a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat.  I began to cry.  Except this time they were tears of relief because I finally could share and deal with my abortion and not be afraid anymore.  That year happened to be the same year I opened my heart to a man, and I got married.  My husband joined me on the weekend that changed my life for the better.  I am free.  Free of the pain and the guilt.  And it is because of the support of my family, my husband and my daughter Gabrielle that I stand here today.  You see, my daughter waited a long time for me to finally acknowledge her and love her.  And I think it is because of that and the fact that she’s a very spunky girl from Brooklyn that she inspires me and gives me the courage to be Silent No More.
Priests for Life