I had an abortion a five years ago, and I want to completely let it go and forget it ever happened.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (39 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm very liberal, have always been extremely pro-choice (interned with Planned Parenthood in college, told my partner that if there was ever an unplanned pregnancy, I would get an abortion), and I know there was no way I could have actually had it. I'm not brave, I don't like problems, I'm deeply sensitive to how other people think of me, what I think they think of me, and my mind knows it would have been madly foolish and not at all pleasant to have a kid. Also, when I accidentally got pregnant, I was on Accutane, and there was a huge chance that that could have turned out with severe birth defects. I was not financially stable, neither was my partner.
I tried to talk to a counselor about it, but whenever I do try to talk about it, all these assumptions are brought in (I don't even know if I really wanted it and I don't think I would have if it was up to me). My partner (who I love very much) and I tried to talk about it a few times after I had the abortion, but it was too painful for me (I'm not really certain why, I suppose because I was acting all jokey, like it was no big deal immediately after, and having feelings about it later makes me seem attention-seeking) and I felt stupid (my mind was telling me I was being weak and girly). He always says all the right things that he's supposed to say, but he acknowledges that it doesn't bother him. He doesn't think about it.
I think it bothers me because I'm in love with him, and was so then, and having an abortion didn't gel with my hopes and feelings. Because I'd always said (in a very definite, jokey way, believing I'd never end up accidentally pregnant) I'd get an abortion, he had automatically reassured me that we could get an abortion that week upon my telling him I was pregnant. When he said that (I forgot about the Accutane), I went along with it (I didn't really process it, but I remembered feeling passive aggressive about it ("Fine, you want me to have an abortion? Fine!") inside.
I don't really understand how I feel. I find myself wondering why he wouldn't have wanted to have a baby with me, even though the answer is obvious. Somehow, I got into some self esteem spiral where I find myself wondering if I let myself be treated like a garbage can, or if there's something about me that is being punished or isn't good enough or meant to be treated badly (which I'm not at all, but I find myself worried that I'm marked in some way such that (and I know this sounds crazy) I'm meant to be punished or that I was always meant to be punished).
I feel bad when I read articles that say that someone is going to ban abortion, I feel bad when I read that abortions causes or doesn't cause unhappiness among women, I feel bad when the cynical part of me wonders that, "If he was in love with you, he'd have really wanted to have children with you." I feel bad when I think I might want to have children and when I think I might not want to have children. I feel bad at having been so rigid and judgmental five years ago. I feel bad that I don't know how to process how I'm feeling. I feel really dumb at the energy I spend wishing that all my emotional fantasies of feeling peaceful and warm and secure and happy would just come true. I feel extremely stupid at how guilty I feel, because I intellectually accept it and I know I didn't want it. I feel guilty because I know I'm not ruined and it's a disservice to all women who have had an abortion to even think that maybe I'm ruined (and I don't even know what I mean when I say "ruined" and that's stupid too). I feel bad when my brain (which is intensifying its urge to make me want to have a baby now, in my 30s) keeps barking thoughts that make having a baby a solution (which it couldn't be). I feel sad and envious when I hear of men who really want to have children with their wives and partners, even though it's not what I want or think I want. I briefly considered leaving my partner so I could forget about it all, but I don't want to leave him. I love him and he loves me, and I don't feel any anger or resentment towards him at all.
As much as I've written, for some reason, I can't process or articulate what my problem is, and why something that happened five years ago is still burdening me. I feel like if I just understood it better or could some how add up and explain my feelings to myself, I would be able to feel better. I'm not interested in therapy over it because I think continually admitting how stupid I feel to an actual person is going to feel worse, and after years of trying therapists, I don't like or trust them. If there's a way to just pretend it never happened without feeling like I'm a loser for not handling having an abortion as well as other women do, I would be willing to learn that.
The rest of my life is fine. I'm happy when I'm not dwelling or fighting the urge to want to beg for a baby (I think it's the wanting a baby feelings that really bring on the dwelling, actually). I have lots of hobbies and school and am fairly busy in long cycles.
What's wrong with me? Is there a way to forget this?