It was the worst day of my life. I remember leaving the clinic in tears and feeling helpless. Since then my life was never the same again.
This was how Margaret narrated her experience.
At 28 years old, Magie, as what her friends call her, is the head of her department in a big investment company. A smart and driven woman, she was able to climb the ladders of success without any difficulty. She has established her name in the financial district and was even featured in a magazine article “Executives Below 30”. She has traveled the world and gone places whether its work related or for sheer pleasure. But there is one thing that makes her feel inadequate.
When she was just starting her career, she fell in love with her co-worker who is a married man. “Call me stupid but I fell in love. We kept our relationship a secret and everything was going smoothly. Until I got pregnant. I told him about it and of course, he was not very happy about it. He kept on saying that it’s my fault that I was not being careful, he can’t just leave his family for me, and he will lose his job if this will be known by the company. All were directed towards me as if I was the only one who got me pregnant. I was so angry at him and at the same time, I don’t want him to leave me or end our relationship. I was afraid, young and very naive. So when he told me to get an abortion, I immediately agreed with it and followed his directions. What I thought would be the end of my worries and the beginning of a new life ahead of me, was exactly the opposite of that fateful day. Every day for 2 years I was depressed over the guilty feelings and I can’t get the thought that I allowed myself to do such horrific act. I was given antidepressants and underwent therapy sessions to help me recover. Six years later, I can say that I am still affected if the thought crosses my mind but I am now capable of managing my emotions and have come to a resolution that acceptance and forgiving myself is the only way to combat the feelings of depression and guilt.” Check out similar stories at Baby Center and Mom 365.
Guilt and Depression
Abortion is still a shady subject even if there are laws allowing it to happen. Our moral and spiritual beings dictate that it is a sin because the act kills a human being.
David C. Reardon, Ph.D., writes, “Clearly, once a young woman is pregnant, it is no longer a choice between having a baby or not having a baby. It is a choice between having a baby or having an abortion; it is a choice between having a baby or having a traumatic experience.”
Others would say that its a woman’s body, therefore, it’s her choice and decision to get it done. Brenda Major, PhD, believes future research should focus on emphasizing the “diversity and complexity of women and their circumstances.”
This article will not be debating on the morality of the issue but will focus on the emotional aftermath of the act which most of the time are not attended to.
In 1992, Dr. Gregory Wilmoth, PhD, found that “[t]here is now virtually no disagreement among researchers that some women experience negative psychological reactions postabortion.”
Guilt. I know I did something wrong, Magie confessed. This guilt tortured me like hell. Guilt can render anyone disappointment that they didn’t live up to their own beliefs. She may worry that she will be found out or punished. A woman may wallow in guilt as a self-punishment. She may think she owes an emotional price for having had an abortion. Its a draining, damaging and destructive feeling.
Depression. Because my mind cannot stop thinking about the incident, I was swallowed by dark thoughts and feelings of hopelessness and despair sank in. True regret is when you wish you had made a different decision even if placed in the exact same circumstances in the exact same place and time.
Because of the strong feelings of guilt coupled with regret on the decision to go with abortion, women suffer from depression quickly. There are some women who keep the emotions to themselves but deep inside they are grieving and struggling really hard to move on.
Ways To Combat
Forgive yourself. Write a letter to yourself. In the letter describe the circumstances you were in and the reasons you chose to have an abortion. Write a little bit about how you are feeling and who you have shared with or not and why. Only when a woman decides that she deserves forgiveness will she be able to move forward.
Share your feelings with friends. Don’t wallow in your negative emotions. Taking these off your chest can make miracles. True friends will not condemn you for what you have done rather will offer you the emotional support that you need at the present time.
Stand up and begin to fix your life. Make this as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than to stay stuck and be depressed.
Talk to a therapist. If your feelings are too intense and harrowing, it is better to talk to a therapist. They are able to provide expert mental health advises that can help you recover. This article is about depression advice that can help: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/ .