*Casey is willingly giving us permission to share her story so that others can realize there is hope in the midst of a difficult situation. All client experiences with Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers are kept with the highest confidence. The stories that are shared come from the real-life experiences that our clients, staff and volunteers had during their unplanned pregnancy.
*Her name has been changed but her story is true.
My name is Casey, and this is my story.
I grew up in a loving home with my mom, my stepdad and two older brothers. I always felt like I got lost in the shuffle of the divorce and remarriage but I didn’t blame my parents for their divorce since they had many difficult things happen during the years they were married.
My biological father’s job demanded a lot of his time. I wanted and needed more of a relationship from my Dad, but he was unable to give me more. My mom and stepdad didn’t realize the negative effect that not having a relationship with my father had on me.
After graduating high school, I met my first boyfriend in college. He was four years older than me and one of the first to show me attention. We quickly became very serious.
I was looking for acceptance and the need to feel loved. However, I found the wrong kind of love and became pregnant a year later. I got caught up in the lie that says, “It’s ok to have sex before marriage if he really loves you. Just don’t get pregnant!”
I had a sense somehow that abortion was not the right answer for me, but didn’t fully understand why. So I made the “choice” to have an abortion, not comprehending the lifelong effects it would have on me. I simply told myself it wasn’t the right time for me to have a baby. I told myself that it must be ok and safe if it’s legal.
The day of the abortion, I went by myself, feeling empty and alone. I will never forget after it was all over not understanding why my decision felt so wrong. After all, if what I had done was considered “nothing,” then I shouldn’t be feeling that way.
Although my mind didn’t know how to react to the actions that had taken place, my body knew right away something was wrong. The feelings were immediate and intense. I was sent out the door with a high temperature that lasted for days. I was too ashamed to call and ask why I was still feeling sick, even several days later.
This was a choice my boyfriend and I both made that day . . . we were trying desperately to make it seem just a simple decision. It was a quick way to forget and escape our problem. However, the fast relief came for only a moment before reality hit. In our ignorance, we made a decision that would impact us forever before knowing all of the facts or having the whole truth.
After going through this with my boyfriend, I felt I had to make our relationship work in order to make what we had done “OK.” I thought my boyfriend would love me more and would marry me soon. We stayed together longer than we should have, because I thought if we got married it would justify the decision we had made. Eventually, we broke up.
After the abortion, I started shoving the hurt and pain down deep inside. A big wall went up in me that day that would later cause me to not trust others or allow them to get close to me. I went on with my life, pushing my emotions down and out of my mind.
Years later, I met the true love of my life. We started dating and got married three years later. Through marriage, I became a full time Step-Mother of three sweet, beautiful daughters.
When the time came for us to consider adding our own children to our family, I was unable to get pregnant. We battled with infertility, trying for years and working with all kinds of specialists. Nothing worked.
Soon, all I could think about was how I HAD to get pregnant. The desire took over my life. Anger, guilt and regret welled up. That is when the shame came rushing in.
Every month of disappointment felt like I was being punished. What was to be a quick and simple procedure of my past, to be forgotten forever, was now impacting the rest of my life.
I became very angry and abusive with myself. I began hitting myself, leaving bruises and making holes in the walls. The physical pain in my body was overwhelming as I abused myself on the outside to relieve the pain on the inside.
I became very numb . . . I felt worthless . . . I felt unworthy to have a child. Tears would not come anymore; I had nothing left to give. I had learned the hard way the dark secret of abortion – the life-long impact that one decision would have on me. I couldn’t handle life anymore. I couldn’t forgive myself. I felt as if I wore a big “A” on my forehead that everyone else could see. It was mine to bear for life.
It was years before I was able to realize I could not handle this on my own anymore. I didn’t know what to do with my scarred past that I had shoved down so far. The secrets that we can’t talk about often eat away at us like cancer. But those secrets will only stay down for so long, until they show their ugly heads, again and again.
Hope and change came for me in the form of an unexpected spiritual encounter and the support of other women who had also lost children through abortion. By learning about forgiveness, and finding others who had also struggled with the bondage and hurt of an abortion, I began to look at people – including myself – in a new light. I was able to have compassion on others, and slowly began to heal.
I have since learned about Post -Abortion Syndrome and the after-effects of abortion that were related to so many of my symptoms. I have been on a journey of healing ever since. It has been a long and gut-wrenching fight. No one wants to dig up past choices and shame that had been buried deep in their soul. The post-abortion study I have been a part of helps women through the process of healing, offering forgiveness of our self and others.
My shame and guilt are a thing of the past!
Now I help others who have experienced abortion or other types of pregnancy loss through my work at Advice & Aid. I am thankful for places like this where I can share my story with others and help them process their own experience in a healthy and helpful way.
If you have had an abortion – or are thinking about it – there may be emotions, pain and struggle that are hard to deal with on your own. That’s why we are here!
Every day, we talk to women in that very position. And they are finally given options, help . . . and the hope they need.
You can talk to us at any time. We are waiting for you.
24-Hour Helpline: 913-962-0200
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