Abortion – Avoiding the Topic
Karen is 23. She finished college last year and landed the job of her dreams in graphic arts. The work is creative and challenging. Karen is pretty and has many friends so she is frequently included in the party circuit at work. She should be happy and excited. After all, her life is beginning just as she carefully planned it. But instead, she feels dead and dull inside. She keeps up with her job, but it doesn’t bring the joy she thought it would. She feels distant from its satisfactions. She doesn’t feel as creative as she once was, and doesn’t understand the dull distant sorrowing she feels despite her accomplishments.
Karen had an abortion in college. She thought she had a serious committed relationship with her boyfriend, but when she told him she was pregnant he was definitely less than happy about it. He told her the decision was up to her, but if she wanted an abortion, he would pay for it. She sensed his lack of commitment to her and his baby and decided on abortion. Two of her roommates had abortions and they seemed fine afterwards. What’s wrong with her that she feels so depressed about it?
Society tells young women like Karen that abortion will solve their problem. It says nothing about the problems abortion creates. Supporters of abortion claim it is a simple procedure with no lasting impact. And women who know better don’t discuss, certainly not publicly, how abortion changed their lives for the worse. They feel ashamed about the abortion and ashamed about their inability to ‘just deal with it’ as they think other women do. And so the deception continues.
Many women experience avoidance symptoms. These include avoidance of anything associated with the abortion trauma or numbing of the responsiveness that was present before the abortion. These include efforts to avoid or deny thoughts or feelings associated with the abortion; efforts to avoid activities, situations, or information that might cause a remembrance of the abortion; inability to recall the abortion experience or an important aspect of the abortion. Other significant symptoms include very diminished interest in significant activities, feeling of detachment or estrangement from others, withdrawal in relationships or reduced communication. Some women have restricted range of affect, such as an inability to have loving or tender feelings.
Sadly many women do not seek help for abortion-related problems until about five to twelve years after the abortion. In the intervening time they may suffer profoundly as some of these symptoms may periodically recur. Various methods may be tried to manage the resulting pain: alcohol, prescription drugs and illegal drugs, promiscuity, hyper-activity (workaholism), punishing oneself by being in an abusive relationship or developing eating disorders, for example. Others may attempt to replace the lost baby by becoming pregnant again, and others reenact both the pregnancy and abortion, hoping to make the experience routine and non-traumatic (or to punish themselves). Unfortunately, each of these strategies produces additional pain and problems.
You don’t have to avoid the topic of abortion. Every day we talk about abortion, discuss abortion procedures and help women find healing from their abortion experiences. Make an appointment to talk to one of our consultants. Everything you say will be kept confidential and all of our services are offered for free.
Sections of this article were reproduced from the blog: After Abortion found on the Hope After Abortion website at http://hopeafterabortion.com/?p=109