an After abortion

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Thursday, April 6, 2006

What is this thing called "abortion recovery"?

A reader asked yesterday in a comments thread whether there really is such a thing as healing after an abortion.

I thought about that a lot yesterday and was going to write up a post on it, but saw this morning that another reader had beaten me to the punch.

I'm pulling Lee Anne's answer out of the comments to make sure everyone gets a chance to read it:

Our son had his appendix out a week ago today - I spent the night with him in the hospital. It was a LONG night!

Step 1 - our son had been ill through the night and I decided he needed to have the doctor check him, so I took him to the ER.

Step 2 - The doctor, through a blood test diagnosed that his white blood count was 21,000 instead of 10,000 and that compiled with his pain was a pretty good indication of appendicitis.

Step 3 - He had surgery. Because he had appendicitis, he was healed when the appendix were removed.

Step 4 - Today, a week later, he is still taking it easy and has relied on pain medication to help ease the pain.

Step 5 - Tomorrow he will go and have the staples removed which will cause discomfort, but with more ibuprofen, he will be able to deal with it.

Step 6 - He will continue to have pain from time to time where the incisions were. (he had it done by a laporoscopy procedure)

Step 7 - he will always have the scars of the surgery.
_ __ ___ ___ ____ ____ ____ ___ ___

Step 1 - (in the abortion process)...a woman finds out she is pregnant.

Step 2 - she debates her options -

Step 3 - she decides on an abortion and she submits to the procedure.

Step 4 - she realizes that she has lost her child and some of her behavior is abnormal but she ignores the fact that her abortion has anything to do with her feelings.

Step 5 - she wants to change the fact that she had an abortion but she CANNOT!

Step 6 - she reaches out to someone who can help her with her pain.

Step 7 - the people who help her with her pain are those who surround her with love, accept her grief, cry with her and help her accept that the choice that she made was made at a time when she was vulnerable and now that she is here, she can move on.

Step 8 - she is "healed" because she has addressed the issue (abortion) and has been able to put it into context of her life and yes, be sad at times, and at other times, not so sad, even joyful and she is not a bad person for having had that abortion. (not that those who do not address the situation are bad...but for this lesson (as it is), we are assuming some of this woman's problem was feeling bad about aborting her child)

Step 9 - sometimes she feels the pain of the abortion, still, but she knows that with time the very hard feelings will go away - and sometimes the feeling is worse than other times, but just like the scars on my son's abdomen, the feelings are there.

Step 10 - she will never forget that she had an abortion but the recovery from it is not as painful now. She can even celebrate the short life of her child.

___ ______ ______ _____ ______

Like I wrote, I am not an expert, but being healed from abortion is not exactly like being healed from a disease - it is rather like have diabetes - it never goes away, but you learn to manage it and you learn what will trigger feelings and what won't. Avoidance of small children, prior to being "healed" from abortion may not necessarily be something you have to do once you are "healed". Binge eating or not - in fact, one of the ways that the founder of Rachel's Vineyard even figured out that abortion had PSTD was in her therapy group of people who had eating disorders. Abuse of alcohol and or other drugs - these things may be pre-healing of abortion.
Can you relate to Lee Anne's steps?

One difference for me is that my Step 4 looked more like this:

"She realizes that some of her behavior is abnormal but she ignores the fact that her abortion has anything to do with this. She occasionally wonders if in the abortion she lost a child. There are more of these occasions as time goes on. She sees that her abnormal behaviors are hurting not just her but those around her. She gets sick of the whole messy situation and decides to ignore it some more.

Step 4A. Another round of Step 4.

Step 4B. Another round of Step 4.

Step 4C. Another round of Step 4.

right on up until Step 4Z.

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