Abortion is getting to me

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From a 14 year old girl: I got pregnant about a year ago with my ex-boyfriend’s child. He cheated on me while I was on vacation. I didn’t tell my parents until after this, and they wanted me to get an abortion. I was against it, but they told me it would ruin their lives and was extremely embarrassing to them. I didn’t agree to get an abortion until after my ex-boyfriend (who I still had feelings for) begged me to get it done because he claimed he cared about me. I said I would do it, but for some reason I thought this would get him back. I went to the clinic and it was the worst feeling I had ever had. As soon as it was done, I started crying and didn’t stop all the way home. I told everyone that I had a miscarriage, even though this wasn’t true. I was absolutely ashamed of what I had done. Now every time I see a young child around the age of what my daughter would be, I start crying, and I get this feeling of emptiness. Almost as if the whole world could end but I would just sit there crying for the rest of eternity. I can’t go on living this, but I don’t know how to live any different. I hate myself for what I’ve done, but I don’t want to have to hate myself anymore. Can you please help me?

A: I can’t tell you how sad and mad your letter made me. This is a much too difficult burden for a 14-year-old to manage on her own. I’m surprised and dismayed that the clinic didn’t provide you with counseling and support both before and after the abortion. You needed it then. You need it now. Your parents also need to be reminded that this isn’t about them. It’s about you and you need their support and help.

I want you to know that what you are feeling isn’t abnormal. At your age, and without parental support, you were in no position to raise a child. But even when abortion is the best of sad options, for many women like yourself it is in fact a death. You are grieving. On top of that, your body has gone through major hormonal shifts at the same time that it is still adapting to the usual hormonal changes of adolescence. No wonder your feelings are in upheaval!

Please. Talk to your parents if you can, and to another adult you trust if you can’t. Explain that you absolutely need a counselor to talk to. With the help of your counselor, you will find a way to grieve this pregnancy and to focus on becoming the mature, independent, and responsible woman you can be so that someday you’ll be able to be a good mother. That’s one important way to give meaning to this difficult chapter in your life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Jul 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Abortion is getting to me. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/07/07/abortion-is-getting-to-me/

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