Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Emotional Stess After My Abortions

My own shame mixed with the fear of judgment and disapproving opinions caused me to bottle up my emotions, allowing them to continue to build and fester inside me until I was ready to explode. I had become a ticking time bomb. Trying to find some way to defuse my emotions I turned to alcohol and drugs.

For a short time in between my on-again off-again relationship with my long-term boyfriend I began dating a drug dealer. He dealt mostly with ecstasy so that became my drug of choice, quickly working up to 3 or more pills a night, rolling roughly 4 times a week. It gave me what I had lost after my abortion: energy, emotional highs…peace. And one of the best factors, it kept me awake. I’d fall asleep eventually but the longer I could prolong the vivid, excruciating nightmares, the better. The come down, however, was horrible. Mixed with my already irritable and depressed state I was useless when I wasn’t rolling. To numb my senses during the day I smoked weed or drank myself into a stupor. And the longer I continued in the drug world, the more I experimented - candy flipping, meth, you name it and I was doing it.

Just a couple nights before I found out I was pregnant the second time a couple friends and I finished an eight ball of coke in one night. Imagine my surprise and fear when I discovered the pregnancy and knew I wanted to keep the baby. At that time I hoped with all that was in me that there was a God and He could help deliver me from my drug abuse to save my baby. I didn’t touch another drug my entire pregnancy but after my son was born the depression began to wash over me again. The more I loved my son the more I hurt for the child I had given up. This caused me to eventually turn away from my son and back to drugs. There is very little I remember during this time of my life and what I do remember seems like a bad dream. I recall a few mornings when he’d wake up early, only a couple hours after I had finally passed out. I’d stumble to get him out of his crib and bring him in my room leaving him to crawl around alone while I tried to continue sleeping. He’d inevitably begin crying for me to get up, throwing himself against the bottom of the bed eager for attention from his mommy. But I couldn’t move. Instead I‘d lay there listening to him while my heart broke…I just wanted to give him the love he deserved.

In the process of my second abortion, after hitting my lowest point, I realized I wanted to change. I had bound myself as a slave to depression, drugs and alcohol and I wanted freedom. Freedom, however, came at a cost. First I had to make it past the road to sobriety and that only came by the grace of God. And second, being sober meant I no longer had the drugs and alcohol to numb the longing I carried for my babies. Daily I heard demons screaming from within telling me I was a monster and unworthy of my son. It was a constant battle but I eventually found a post abortion support group and the realization that I wasn’t alone carried so much comfort. Now instead of turning to drugs that only numbed my pain I was able to turn to women who could empathize with me and help me overcome my pain.

Support and compassion are vital after an abortion; no one should feel they need to fight this emotional battle alone. Long term emotional stress is very real after an abortion! Not only are we often faced with the pain of losing a child but the pain of knowing we made that choice, which can carry immense guilt for many of us. Reaching out and talking with others helped me realize my abortions didn’t define who I was and didn’t make me a monster. They made me like every flawed human being who made a mistake and could be forgiven, I just carried a heavier burden!