- Posted February 10, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Have you had an abortion?
Beauty from Ashes
He asked me what I wanted to do. I didn't hesitate. Mechanically I looked him square in the eye and said, “I cannot have an abortion.” He diverted his eyes from me, and he put the discussion on hold. How he convinced me, I will never know, except that I felt like I had nothing in the world but him. Who could I disclose this secret to? No one. ...So I thought. I found myself in a place where I was convinced I could only do whatever he wanted me to do. So, I shut down my mind and heart, all reason, and even the cry from my own body, and I agreed to an abortion.
And he made all the arrangements.
The first appointment on a Friday morning in February, we walked into the Planned Parenthood waiting room, I sat down and I don't remember much except that there was cork board covered in pro-choice bumper stickers and there were 2 or 3 people also in the waiting room. My appointment was at 8:00 am and the next appointment was at 8:15 am. In disbelief, I said to my boyfriend, "They do these every 15 minutes?" "Be quiet," he said flatly with disgust. It seemed he was disgusted with me. And so, I remained silent unless someone asked me a question. I was taken back and given a blood test and taken into an office where I had to sign a release form consisting of two pages and at least 30-40 side effects of the abortion including death. I was sweet, compliant, and dead inside...all except for heart beats...mine and my baby's. But, soon, that would change.
As I lay on the table a woman shallowly chatted with me about meaningless things and anything that forcibly came to mind while a life was being vacuumed from me. She did her best to distract and comfort me. It was excruciating and loud and stupid.
Soon after the "procedure," I was alone...and alone in my grief and heartache and loss is where I remained for several months. I waited in that sterile room for a while. Someone gave me a maxi pad (I wasn't sure where it was supposed to go since all I had on was a gown), and told me where the recovery room was. No, no one walked me to the recovery room. No one cared. Once my baby was gone and the money paid, they didn't give me a second thought. I was crampy, faint, and dizzy. Before the actual abortion, they were so attentive and kind, but my treatment after was wholly neglectful. I stumbled my way to the recovery room where at least half a dozen or so cots were arranged...as many as they could fit in that tight, stifling white room; and I curled up on one of them. All I wanted was to leave, but I didn't feel well enough to be up and walking yet. I willed myself to stand up as soon as I could and got dressed. I made my way to a restroom at this point, but found myself lightheaded and unstable on my feet. I walked out of the restroom and a man walked by. He was clearly surprised to see me wandering around. He asked what I was doing and I told him I wanted to leave. He directed me to some place I cannot remember at this point...whether it was back to the recovery room or to the exit, I don't recall. All I wanted was for someone to take me away from there as quickly as possible.
The way I left the clinic was not the way I came in. A private, back-door entrance where they handed me a brown paper bag...containing birth control pills, I assume. I never looked in the bag. I threw it in the trash.
I felt Sick.
In the living room of his parents' house, my boyfriend dumped me just as he was about to leave for work. I crumbled to the floor, desperately gripped the hem of his pant leg and begged him with everything I had not to leave me. I was totally pathetic, pitiful, and heartbroken. A complete basket-case. He left me heaped on the floor and he walked out the door. I ran after him. He got in his car. I got in mine....crying, screaming, frantically chasing him down the road. I was wholly pathetic.
I sobbed and sobbed inconsolably...for weeks. I became a drain on my mom and I was utterly wretched. I worked, went to school, but I don't remember any of it. I only remember that I hoped I wouldn't wake up in the morning and my tears never ran dry. I wished for that. I had to will myself out of bed every day. Will one foot in front of the other. At 20 years old, my life was a mindless, numb existence.
Providentially, I called a friend one night. She wasn't home. Her mother (who answered the phone) was the recipient of my great sorrow, guilt, and grief. Uncontrollably, I spilled my secret to her. She was stunned, but prayed for me at that very moment. I have no recollection of what she said, but I was overwhelmed as if immersed in an ocean of peace. In my heart, I suddenly knew that everything was going to be alright. ...That I was going to be alright. It was unexplainable. But I have had an incredible weight of guilt lifted from me since that moment. How thankful I am.
She told me to read the Psalms. And I did. The Psalms were my greatest comfort. A link to reality and peace and hope. I was enraptured with God's word. It became my life. I walked from class to class at my college reading my Bible. A guy in my French class lovingly teased me about it. That pink Bible - which is now marked up, highlighted, and worn out - instantaneously delivered me from the pain that so often was too much to bear. The love of God is far greater than any pain dealt to us in this life.
My abortion will forever be the biggest regret of my life. I am burdened with it every day and even though I have healed enough to be able to speak freely about it; when I do, I tremble all the while.
I was fortunate to have attended a Post-Abortion healing and recovery workshop shortly after my abortion. Through it, I forgave my boyfriend and myself. And am so free because God has forgiven me.
Still, I hope women will know that abortion devastates women and kills the innocent. And will choose life for themselves and their beautiful babies.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak of my heartache here. I hope it helps women to choose well.