There are many things in life that you can throw the phrase ‘no regrets’ at. I’ve learned that abortion is not one of them. At least at the time that I underwent my abortion and for the few months afterwards I could have said ‘no regrets’, and I tried to.
There were many circumstances surrounding the reasons why I went for the abortion, some are even now difficult to talk about. I remember going to my first appointment to discuss things with a counsellor about circumstances were pressing in at the time and how I felt about the pregnancy. I told her I felt guilty as I’d always been very pro-life as a teenager and I had a son, so I felt the weight of the decision hanging over me. She drew me a fingernail sized scribbled circle on a paper to show me what 7 weeks looked like.
She told me a lot of things, like what the procedure would entail, how I might experience some sadness, that I should find someone to talk to.
What she didn’t tell me was that I’d feel so alone, that I would go through the procedure alone, that I would have no one to talk to. That I would have to lie to my mum about why I needed a babysitter for my 7 month old son.
What she didn’t tell me was that I wouldn’t even be able to voice what I had done to anyone, that I would carry a deep sense of shame.
What she didn’t tell me was that the decision to not take away the foetus with me like they offer, because at the time I staunchly wanted to feel ‘no regrets’, would be a nightmare I could not wake up from. That I would feel like I was not allowed to grieve.
What she didn’t tell me was that I would feel suicidal, that I would want to self-harm to inflict pain that I could physically feel instead of battling the pain that was raging inside of me.
What she didn’t tell me was that I would later have panic attacks, that I would dream I was back in that sterile room silently screaming and willing for it to stop so that I wouldn’t have to live with what I had done instead of talking about mundane things like the weather outside.
What she didn’t tell me was how hard it would be to tell family and friends about what I’d done. How I lived with a deep sense of guilt and shame. How stuck I would be in the black hole of self-hatred and loathing.
What she didn’t tell me was that I’d need to walk through a lot of painful healing to even feel human again.
What she didn’t tell me was that many of the circumstances surrounding my situation wouldn’t even be an issue down the track.
What she didn’t tell me was that forgiving myself would have to occur repeatedly.
There are many things they don’t tell you, the biggest being is that there is ALWAYS regret.