I was raised in an abusive, alcoholic home. My father
sexually abused me from the time I came home from the hospital until I left
home at 17. My mother, a co-dependent,
lived through her own nightmare with my father.
When I graduated from high school, I married for a very
short time, then I moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Quickly I became involved in a monogamous
relationship. A few months later I began to feel sick, a different kind of
sickness I had ever felt. I took a pregnancy test, and it was negative. Over
the course of a month I kept taking pregnancy tests and they were always
negative. I finally called a woman’s clinic and they suggested I come in to
have a more accurate test. The result, I was pregnant. I was referred to a
doctor. He gave me an examination and scolded me for not coming in sooner. He
said if I wanted to get rid of it I would have to do something quickly. I called the number he gave me and set an
appointment. As the woman gave me instructions, she told me to go to the back
entrance of the hospital (it was an old hospital that was converted to an
abortion clinic). She said there would be people outside, with signs, and told
me not to look at them or talk to them.
To be honest, I wasn’t all that familiar with the whole
abortion issue. It was 1979, and I hadn’t heard about the Roe vs Wade and the
impact it had on our country. All I knew for the first time in my life I was
free. Free from an abusive father and ex-husband, free from a condescending
mother. Free to be myself. The thought
of having a child seemed too much for me. I had to be strong and responsible my
whole life. Even though I did not fully understand what I was doing I decided
to have an abortion and then I would be able to create my own path.
I drove myself to the hospital – that’s what they called
it. There were people around, however, I went to the back door, through a gate.
The atmosphere was very cold. I was treated, not as an individual, but I felt
like I was just another person. I was
taken to my room. It had a hospital bed and
that’s it. I put the gown on they gave me and waited. After awhile a nurse came
in and led me down the hall to an examine room. A doctor came in and explained
what he was going to do. He mentioned something about injecting a liquid into
my belly button. In a few hours, I would get cramps like I was having a period
and then I would feel something come out of me.
I can’t remember the procedure, but a while after that I was back in my
room with an IV. A nurse came in to check on me and told me if I need anything
to push the button on the device she gave me. I asked her how long I would have
to lie there, and she said that she didn’t know. It was growing dark, and I was
getting anxious. Finally, I started having horrible cramps and rang the nurse.
She came in and looked at me and checked me, she said I needed to push. At one
point she asked me how far along I was. I told her I wasn’t sure, but I had not
had my period for 5 months. She said, it
is longer than that. Suddenly I felt something come out of me between my legs. Though
I was laying down I was able to see the nurse had something in her hands. I
started to sit up, and she pushed me down and said I could not see it. I laid
there for a few hours without emotion. I believe I was stuffing down all my
emotions, a way of life for me with my abuse. In a few hours they said I could
go home. They gave me a prescription and said I should sleep for the remainder
of the day.
I went to work the following night and two hours into my
shift I began to have cramps. I went to the bathroom and there were baseball
size clots coming out of me, hour after hour until my shift was through. I called my boyfriend, and he drove me to the
local hospital, the clinic told me I could not contact them. When I arrived at
the hospital they were resistant to take care of me, because I had had an
abortion. After a couple of hours, a doctor agreed to see me and gave me a D
& C. Physically, I was fine.
After my abortion I became promiscuous (I had always only
had one boyfriend at a time), my drinking increased dramatically, and I began
to do some pretty heavy drugs. Though I was able to maintain my job, the rest
of my life was out of control. This way of life continued for three years. I
had stuffed my feelings down so deep, and the alcohol and drugs allowed me to
numb the pain and “forget” what I had done.
Over the course of 10 years I started to realize my life
was not how I wanted it. I began to search for healthy ways to bring up the
emotions and feeling around the incest and abuse. I did not recognize there was
apart of me that was hurting from my abortion.
I got married and had a beautiful daughter. My
relationship with her dad was terrible. When she was three months old I was
pregnant again. I did not want to bring another child into the bad relationship,
and I thought I could not handle another child. At seven weeks I had another
abortion. This was less complicated and very quick. After the abortion the
doctor led me out to a room filled with other girls/women sitting in reclining
chairs. The chairs were stained and looked terrible. He got me situated and
said to me, “You are a good mom.” It really took me by surprise, as I had just
terminated the life of a fetus that could have been a baby one day. I went on with my life and left the father of
A few years later God came into my life. And for the very
first time, I felt love. I worked with my pastor and a prayer team through my
live of abuse, bad choices, and hatred for myself. I forgave myself, and I knew God had forgiven
me. As the years went by and I was feeling more at peace and finally “living”,
I was offered a job at a Pregnancy Help Center. Here I am able to understand
the emotions and feelings of those who consider abortion. Here I am able to
understand the women and men who have had abortions. Here I am able to show
love, compassion, and caring.
I participated in a Rachael’s Vineyard retreat almost 30
years after my first abortion. It was life changing. I thought I was complete
in my healing, however, there was still more deep down inside. I released the
remaining emotions and feelings and became whole.