Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another ringing endorsement

Still so sad:

No amount of reasoning seems to work in convincing myself that my arguments were sound. It's way, way, WAY past time I realized that my life has moved on. ...

I spent the entire [recent] pregnancy just thinking about the last time I was pregnant (before the abortion). And how that time I had felt so excited even though I new what I was going to do. I spent this entire pregnancy hiding it from friends, family, work and avoiding talking about it, avoiding anyone with babies or anything on tv with babies or children or pregnant women. Even when I got to the point where it wasn't feasible to hide it I still forbade the father to be excited about it around me. .... Even now, whenever I have a quiet minute, on almost a daily basis, my head is just reliving the abortion. ....

Just hating every minute of being alive and wanting to undo everything. I'm punishing myself, but in aid of what I don't know. I thought that giving birth and deciding 'the other way' would help me think about something else but it hasn't.

This woman is in too much pain to realize that by continuing to embrace "choice" -- the idea of abortion as palliative -- she is assuring other women that they won't suffer what she's suffering. She's letting other women walk through that door without any forewarning.

Post-abortion women out there -- does knowing that your testimony is a warning to other women, that it might spare them the anguish you live with, help any?


Lilliput said...

How very disingenious of you to leave out this part -

"I'm no longer unemployed, or homeless, or self-injuring, or with a partner who is permanently disabled and is depressed and self-injures."

Talk about denial. What kind of things would this woman (and more importantly her twins) be suffering from if she had the babies- provided that her self harm didn't escalate to suicide.

She made the best decision for herself and her children at the time - and I for one believe it was the right one - the proof is in the fact that she is now in a healthy position to bring a child into the world.

Of course she is grieving now that she is pregnant - its like missing your grandmother when you see someone else enjoying their grandmother.

Put in the whole story - not only the part you want to hear.

Kathy said...


There is a very big difference here between her story and your analogy, unless, of course, the reason you miss your dead grandmother is because you killed her.

Lilliput said...


I don't understand, people miss their dead loved ones, whether they died naturally or were murdered?

Are you saying that she wouldn't be mourning if the twins were say - still born or miscarried? Are you saying that husbands who murder their wives in a fit of jealous rage don't miss them?

The difference is the guilt - and even though she knew at the time she made the best decision, her life is changed now and she can't remember why she made that decision to begin with - but I - as I'm on the outside can see - that if she hadn't terminated then, she wouldn't be where she is now.

That's what a good therapist has to help her realise.

The short version is - her pregnancy reminded her of the last time she was pregnant and all the unpleasant feelings going on at the time. - that's what I was trying to get at.

army_wife said...

So, let me get this straight. Killing your own children is OK, as long as it supposedly benefits your circumstances. I guess those babies were keeping her from taking the initiative to remove herself from a bad relationship, and stopping her from getting help for her own problems (self-injury)? I suppose one baby held a gun to her head while the other read a list of demands - that she stay in a toxic relationship and harm herself. An unintended pregnancy is what the woman makes of it. Many women are motivated out of concern for their baby's (or babies') life to DO SOMETHING to improve her own circumstances so that she can provide a BETTER set of circumstances for her child. The children didn't hold her back. She was under a mistaken assumption that they did, apparently. And even if by some twisted logic they were, since when is it OK to kill someone for your own personal advancement? To me, there's no difference in killing your own children in order to somehow improve your own life, and murdering your parents and grandparents so that you can inherit their estate and thereby benefit your own situation. Hmm... color me conservative, but that whole line of thinking just sounds so wrong to me.

Kathy said...

Certainly people grieve for their lost loved ones, whether the deceased died naturally or by violence; but we actually agree that the difference is whether the grieving person is also the guilty person. She would not be grieving the death (murder) of her first babies had she not killed them; they would be alive today were it not for her choice to have an abortion.

We also agree that had she not killed her babies then, she would not be just like she is now; but I see that she possibly could have been even better. There are numerous stories of women who, finding themselves unexpectedly pregnant with the child of an unworthy man, will use the LIFE of the child as a catalyst to make positive changes for themselves and their innocent babies. Unfortunately, many other women choose just to kill the baby and continue living in their hell-hole. Identical circumstances can yield opposite results.

The choices she made after the abortion to change her circumstances could also have been made without sacrificing her children on the altar of abortion. She could have given her babies up for adoption, if having to raise children would have prevented her from working and taking responsibility for herself.

I can see that men who murder their wives in a fit of jealous rage might miss their wives; but they have no one to blame but themselves for it. They SHOULD feel guilty because they ARE guilty. Abortion is a premeditated event -- not a decision made in a fit of passion. For that reason, these women should feel at least as guilty for the deaths of their babies, if not more so, than non-premeditated murder.

It sure sounds like her pregnancy was doing a lot more than reminding her of the unpleasant feelings going on at the time of her aborted pregnancy -- rather that she was being tortured by her guilt, and her pregnancy did not relieve her of her guilt, but rather augmented it.

Lilliput said...

And do you not think that she would feel guilty about giving her children up for adoption and the current pregnancy would have her wondering if her children are OK?

You can't win whatever you do and being wracked with guilt doesn't help anyone does it?

Kathy said...

I've never had an abortion nor given my children up for adoption, yet I still have guilt about where I believe or know that I've failed them. But the guilt I feel over my human faults and failings are immeasurably less than what I would feel if I murdered my children. And, yes, I'm sure that if I let my children be adopted into another family that I would sometimes wonder if they were okay, but I think I would recognize that they are almost guaranteed to be doing not just "fine" but excellent. Yeah, there's an off-chance that the adoptive family might be bad, but the almost certainty is that the child will be loved and very well taken care of. I can easily imagine the birth mothers of the numerous adopted children I know wondering if their children were okay -- even the mothers who lost custody of their children because they were judged to be unfit parents. But they can rest assured that the children are in wonderful and loving homes.

I'm not suggesting that there is any situation in life which is 100% guaranteed to yield a completely guilt-free result for the rest of your life. But I am suggesting that there are degrees of guilt, and knowing yourself to be guilty of murdering your innocent child has got to be among the worst and most superlative guilt there can be -- much worse than giving your child to a family which you believe to be a good and loving family, or raising your child yourself to the best of your capability.

I know a woman who watched her 3-y/o daughter dart out into the street and get killed by a car. I know that every day she replays the scene, wishing she had been able to react sooner somehow, to say or do something to stop her little girl's death. I know she is wracked with guilt over not having been able to stop Abby from dying. But the guilt she feels cannot compare to the guilt someone like Andrea Yates must feel to know that she and she alone is responsible for the deaths of her children -- that it was not accidental or unintentional, but the purposeful murder of her children.

GrannyGrump said...

Lilliput, there's one HUGE difference between adoption and abortion. Adoption results in a live baby, abortion in a dead one.

So there's an enormous difference if you happen to be the person the decision is being made about.

Lilliput said...

I agree with both of your comments but her guilt is now irrational so how do we help her?

Kathy said...

No, her guilt is not irrational. Her guilt is that she killed her baby. She cannot take that back. But she can use her guilt to change her life for the better, as well as try to help other people change their lives for the better. She does need grief counseling; but that counseling does not need to be along the lines of, "You shouldn't be grieving and feeling guilty because it was just a fetus so just get over it." Rather it should be, "It's understandable that you're grieving and feeling guilty over this. It's normal. Don't deny or repress these feelings. Accept what you've done and try to make amends."

I'm sure that some people feel guilty over stealing. How do they get over their guilt? It may be by making restitution. Restitution can't happen in this case -- the baby is dead and cannot be brought back to life. Having another baby obviously hasn't been a reprieve from her guilt. Perhaps saving other women from walking down the path she went down would be the balm for her soul. She is living in misery because of her abortion; perhaps saving other women from that same misery will help.

You've probably read some of the posts about Ashli McCall who had an unwanted abortion because it was the only treatment her doctor suggested to deal with her HG (horrible pregnancy sickness that literally threatened her life). Although she still has tremendous regret over the abortion, she has devoted her life to helping other women with HG who feel like abortion is their only choice discover other choices. She gives them real help and hope, because at one time she was in their shoes, helpless and hopeless, and chose abortion and regretted it. This woman can likewise give real help and hope to women who find themselves pregnant at a time or in a situation when they feel like their only choice is abortion. Abortion doesn't change the life situation of these women -- if they were struggling financially before, they'll be struggling financially afterwards; if they had a rotten boyfriend before, they'll have the same rotten boyfriend afterwards. The only thing that changes is that they've killed their baby and have to live with that knowledge -- perhaps having the same huge regrets that this woman shares. If she could stop one woman from having the same regrets, perhaps she could finally know some measure of peace.

Of course, that's just the secular answer, but you don't want the religious one, so I'll just leave it at that.