Letter from a reader
I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you so much for your blog. I have been through the horrors of post-abortion stress syndrome as a result of my sister's abortion ten years ago. My symptoms were so severe that I had to quit my job (I worked around children, and would break down and cry on a weekly basis). As my sister's actions were and remain a secret known only by me and her, I couldn't explain to anyone what was wrong with me, why I was goiing through such a terrible bout of depression, crying fits, obsessions with fertility (I know the total fertility rates of every western nation! lol) etc... It was a terrible thing to have to live with, and it has only been in the past few months that the symptoms have begun to lift and I have found myself able to begin putting myself back together.Thank you.
I will never forget, during my last day at college, I experienced a "visitation" (which I have since learned is not uncommon) by my aborted niece. I saw her as the saddest little girl, walking behind me to my car, and at the time I had no idea who she was or what she had to do with me. All I knew was that she carried with her an incredible sorrow, and she seemed, in some way, to transfer that sadness onto me. It was from that point on that my experiences with P.A.S.S. began in earnest. To this day, I can't remember that walk back to my car without wanting to cry or punch
something. Some "doctor" has butchered my only niece and thrown her tiny body in the trash, leaving me without even a grave to go to, and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it.
I have told my sister about my experiences and while she regrets the abortion she has also told me, flat out, that I am "crazy" and "overdramatic" for having been so effected. But I could not decide how her abortion would haunt me. I didn't ask that little girl to follow me home from class that day, I didn't decide to fall apart afterwards. Sometimes in life there really is no choice. I fear that I will be haunted with this until I die, and I bitterly resent my sister - both for what she has done to her daughter and for the callousness she has shown me.
So thank you so much for speaking out about the consequences of "choice". For every person like you who is in a position to do so, there are hundreds of us who cannot but are silently rooting you on. Don't ever forget that.
It's hard enough to say that our own abortion bothers us, since it ain't supposed to. This adds the burden of either feeling like we're crazy because our emotional reaction is so out of step with what we expected, or accepting our feelings but enduring social rejection for having them.
How much harder to say that we are bothered by someone else's abortion. And yet I know of many who are, who feel no right whatsoever to their feelings.
Rachel's Vineyard weekend retreats welcome those who did not personally have an abortion but who are nonetheless suffering because of an abortion. I encourage this reader to accept the gift of this weekend.