Siblings suffering from PAS (Post Abortion Syndrome)
Just got this email from one of my e-letter subscribers:
----- Original Message -----HERE'S MY REPLY TO HER:
Sent: Thursday, December 23, 2004 1:05 AM
Subject: prayer request
Please pass this on to any prayer lists you can:
Prayer for my 14 year old daughter. 2 years ago, I told her about my abortion at age 17. Since that time she has experienced migraines, fallen into deep depression, and become a frequent self-injurer. Recently she tried to commit suicide, has been hospitalized in a psychiatric facility and suffered a seizure.
I have tried to get her counselors to consider the abortion in all of this and to try to get her to talk about it, but none of her counselors think my abortion has anything to do with it. I am sure it does. We have talked and she won't open up to me about it, I think because she doesn't want to hurt me with her anger.
She writes poems about her brother, Michael, writes about her anger toward me, wondering how I could have done it, and writes about him being torn up, cut and bleeding in pieces... much like she does to her own body with her self-injury. (she sometimes lets me read these poems or leaves them where I can find them...) She has also become sexually active, and I am concerned she is trying to replace her brother by becoming pregnant herself.
Please also pray that I can find resources (books, studies, anything!) that will help me understand how to help her and that we find a counselor willing to address this!
PS: if you know of any resources dealing with siblings....please let me know.... our family is really struggling with this....
My priest friend just referred me to a very good book on cutting, called Cutting by Steven Levenkron. I don't think it addresses this kind of PAS-related kind but it could only help, I suspect.HER REPLY BACK TO ME (giving permission to blog this with names changed/omitted):
I know the NOPARH group (National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, founded in 1990) has help for siblings, go look here and see the siblings part:
"Siblings of an aborted child sometimes develop survivor syndrome like that developed when a sibling is lost through other means, such as illness or accident. They sometimes develop phobic reactions."
You can call them toll-free 1-800-5WE-CARE or email them confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org and I urge you to do it TODAY!! Since it's Christmastime, don't know what hours they're keeping, but please keep trying till you get to talk with someone and get a referral for counselors in your area. Let me know when you get one? Please?
I believe Project Rachel also can get you to a counselor and/or priest who's well versed in helping siblings with PAS.
Go call one of them right now, OK? (unless you're at work or something!)
Always with you in prayer,
I will call NOPARH and I will contact project Rachel. Our priest (who is also a MSW [Masters in Social Work]) suggested I look up Adoption syndromes too, where adopted teens act out their birth mothers issues... his thought is if the mother/daughter connection is so strong there, how much more when the child is living with the mother.Please, let's stop right now and say a prayer for this family, or send up a wish or just a kind thought, if you don't pray. Thanks to all.