What You Are Feeling Is Normal
Abortion is a life-changing event. Whatever you’re feeling is a normal response to a significant and possibly traumatic moment in your life. Every woman’s reaction to abortion is different — unique to her.
Some women report no adverse reactions following abortion. Some women report feeling relieved right after. Later, many women report emotional, psychological, and spiritual trauma.
It’s important to recognize what you’re experiencing and find help to feel whole again.
To heal a wound, we must recognize that we’re wounded. To move on from an experience, we must name the experience.
We can’t begin to recover from abortion until we understand how abortion changes us.
Please be gentle with yourself and realize that your feelings are valid. We are here to listen, whether you know the words you want to say or not. We understand it can be difficult. Take your time. We are here when you are ready.
Take a moment to read through the following. Do any of these seem like your experience? We can help you.
- affect our ability to trust others and ourselves.
- affect our ability to bond and make commitments.
- create holes in conversation and memory – things we don’t allow ourselves to talk or think about.
- become a secret we keep from those we love most.
- become a source of blame and manipulation for ourselves or others.
- affect our openness to the love of our friends and family, a spouse or other children.
- affect our bodies, our fertility, even our hormones.
Most of all, abortion can affect our ability to think clearly, choose wisely, and put our lives into perspective. It can leave us thinking that there is no way out of the black hole we are in.
You don’t have to remain in this difficult place. And you don’t have to do it alone. We can help you find peace.
Since your abortion, you may notice symptoms including:
- Anger or resentment toward you, God or others
- Spiritual Emptiness
- Shame or guilt
- Constant Sadness
- Worry about the future
- Relationship problems
- Intimacy problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Difficulty concentrating
- Avoidance behavior
- Nightmares or flashbacks
- Sleep disorders
- Disordered eating
- Substance abuse
- Unexplained physical pain
- Difficulties in subsequent pregnancies or labor
- Difficulty bonding with other children
- Strong response each year around the time of your abortion or due date
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, know that you don’t have to face them alone. We can point you toward the right person to offer the help you personally need. Just talking with someone about how you’re feeling can be an important step on your journey towards healing and peace. Reach out to us. We are here to listen.
Call us at (877) 301-9684. We’re here to listen.
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Note: If you recently experienced an abortion and are experiencing adverse physical symptoms, such as bleeding, fever, or vomiting, please see a doctor immediately.
Will I always feel this way?
Abortion is unlike any other experience in your life. It is something that affects you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And, to overcome its effects in your life, it is important to tap into everything that gives you strength. Time may mask some of the feelings, but a complete healing often requires some additional steps. We can point you toward the best resources for you.
My abortion was recent. I don’t feel bad now, but I’m worried I might feel bad later. What should I do?
You are right to be concerned. Every woman’s experience is different. The fact that you are looking for some help now means that you might benefit from someone to talk to, even if you don’t think you feel bad.
It’s been so many years. I’m scared to open up.
It is not uncommon for women to keep their abortion secret for many years, even from their husbands or children. There is guilt and shame surrounding the topic. It can also be a very difficult topic to bring up after so many years of silence. The good news is that once you share your story, you will be free from the secret. We can help you find the words and ease your fears, no matter how long it’s been.
Should I tell my fiancé or spouse about my abortion?
The secret of abortion can act like a cancer in a relationship. Abortion is different from every other experience in your life. Not sharing it can lead to distrust and guilt and ultimately cause relationships to split. We know how difficult it can be to share this secret. We can help you find the words and offer you courage.
Who can I trust with this secret?
Keeping the secret of abortion is difficult. It can seem like such a weight on your heart. But, telling it carries the risk of losing friends or breaking relationships. Do you have a trusted friend who can help you carry this weight? We would like to hear your story. And we can help you identify others in your life who will offer support.
Does anyone else feel this way?
Every woman experiences abortion differently. What you are feeling is perfectly normal for you. Your life story, your personal values, even your health play a role in how you feel following abortion. The good news is that you don’t have to keep feeling the way you do, and chances are there are many others who share the same feelings. You are not alone. We can help. byyoursidela.org/connect
Why is everybody judging me?
Abortion is an incredibly personal experience, but it is also a political issue. Sometimes people judge a person’s situation based on their political opinions rather than taking the time to understand the person herself. We understand and want to offer you a safe space to share your story, free of judgment.
What if my body is damaged?
Abortion can leave scars on our hearts and in our minds, but it can also cause physical damage. If you have symptoms of bleeding, fever or vomiting following abortion, seek medical help immediately. If you aren’t sure whether you have physical damage following an abortion, visit your doctor and be sure to share about your abortion so she can do a thorough examination.
Be Gentle With Yourself
Remember to be gentle with yourself as you are processing the effects of abortion in your life. Take the time to care for yourself, ensuring you receive enough nutrition, rest, and exercise.
If you are experiencing strong emotional reactions, try some calming techniques: page to music, breathe deeply, try yoga poses, journal, light a candle, color, take a bath, or go for a walk.
Talking about your abortion can help. Reach out to us. We’re here to listen.
Let yourself grieve.
Women who have had abortions are often denied the chance to mourn the loss.
Sometimes it’s because no one knows her secret.
Sometimes it’s because family and friends are angry or judgmental.
Sometimes it’s because the people she loves just don’t understand the pain.
People tell us we need to “be strong” and “get over it.” Or they say it’s no big deal.
They mean well, but it’s difficult for them to understand what we are going through.
We understand. We’re here to grieve with you, whether your abortion took place recently or many years ago. You’re not alone. We’re here, and we want to help.