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I would shut down or would cry

I was 23 years old, I am now 30. I was a college student and participating in student teaching. I realized I was pregnant when I missed my period and immediately got a pregnancy test done to confirm it. It was a joint decision between my ex-boyfriend and I. Even though it was a joint decision, I still felt manipulated and controlled by him -- simply because he never offered any alternatives and I was too upset to consider any alternatives. I went to a Planned Parenthood Clinic. I don’t know why I went there. I guess simply because I knew they performed abortions and I didn’t have a doctor I went to all the time. I was supposedly counseled at the clinic but I don’t think they really wanted to find out how I felt.

My abortion experience was scary. It’s hard to remember exactly how I was feeling. I do remember that after it happened the doctor asked if I wanted to see what came out of me, and he showed my just a bunch of tissues and said, "it was too small -- you can hardly see it". Because of that I have only recently been able to picture it as a baby and not as a mass of tissue. After the abortion I had to sit in a recovery room for an hour. I remember thinking, "I feel fine, just get me out of here". After I got into the car with my boyfriend he said, "I don’t ever want to talk about this again". This made me feel very shameful and very guilty - but it was confusing to me because I was also feeling a tremendous relief.

[The abortion] affected the relationship between my ex-boyfriend and I because it put walls between us. I knew he didn’t want to talk about it anymore, but I was feeling pain. He seemed unaffected by it and to this day I don’t know if it affects him. I really didn’t start feeling the pain, guilt, and shame until about 7 years later. I had become a Christian and the fact that I had committed such a terrible sin weighed heavily on my mind. It got to where every time I heard about an abortion issue I would shut down or would cry. I would always feel extremely guilty and very hypocritical. I put up a lot of walls between others and myself -- I did tell people about it and most were very accepting and loving but a few cut off there friendship with me after I told them. This led me to put up walls and be weary of what others would think. I have never told my parents and I don’t know if I ever will be able to, which makes me feel very deceitful.

For 7 years I did nothing but repress it and pretend it never happened or try to appear unaffected by it. I have recently joined a group called "Conquerors". It helps me to deal with my abortion by offering information and support from others who have gone through the same things. It also offers me biblical principles to help me deal with the issues of shame, guilt, grief, accountability, acceptance, and hope. It ultimately shows me that I am a worthwhile person through Christ even though I made a bad choice. I has helped a lot !!

[The abortion] has definitely affected my self esteem. How can a good person make such bad choice -- I realize now that through the sacrifice that Christ made I am a worthwhile person. It has brought me much closer with the Lord.

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