Hello, I am Pamela from Pittsburgh, PA. Thirty years ago I became pregnant when my IUD failed. I was eighteen years old and I was already living on my own and financially struggling to make ends meet. I was always told that if I got pregnant that I would be on my own to raise my baby. I felt totally unprepared for motherhood, I had no social support, and I was afraid of bringing shame to my family’s name. I felt helpless, hopeless, and desperate and I made a quick decision to end my pregnancy. My boyfriend had been planning a career move out of state, and knowing that our relationship would end, I knew the prospect of fatherhood for him wasn’t an option and that I couldn’t be a mom on my own. So when I told him that I was pregnant and going to have an abortion, he agreed to my decision without any further discussion, offered to pay the one hundred dollar fee, and to go with me.
I had my abortion in a private practice and there was no counseling or discussion of adoption, and no referral to a pregnancy care center or information on resources available to help support me to parent my baby. She simply asked if I was sure this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to scream “NO - this is NOT what I want to do” but I felt terrified, trapped, and alone - and abortion was a quick fix to my problem - or so I had been told!
I was fully awake for the procedure, and was overcome with dread and despair. As tears rolled down my face, I begged God for forgiveness. Ten minutes later my life was forever changed. The only child that I would ever bear was gone forever. But despite all of the emotions and inner turmoil - I DID feel immediate relief and was glad that it was over. I thought I would leave and just get on with my life as usual. But I was wrong - I quickly discovered that I was in fact deeply hurt and wounded as I began to suffer from many symptoms of post abortion trauma. I was overcome with guilt & shame, feelings of regret & sorrow, paranoia & fear that someone would find out about my secret and the condemnation that would follow. I was angry! Especially at God for allowing this to happen to me. Angry at myself for getting into this situation -- I couldn’t forgive myself for what I had done. I tried to deny all these negative emotions by pushing them into the dark recesses of my mind. But dates like Mother’s Day, Christmas, & the anniversary date of my abortion would stir these emotions up again.
So, I smoked pot and drank and became obsessed with running and exercise – as a way to numb my pain, my grief and sadness. My personal relationships suffered, and later my marriage failed. I couldn’t connect with my nieces and nephews. I felt like I was living a double life - hiding behind a mask to cover my sin. It was paralyzing, debilitating, and exhausting! My heart, spirit, and soul had been crushed and I felt totally empty ad without purpose.
For twenty-four years I couldn’t escape the heavy oppressive feeling of this huge, deep, dark void. So I tried to fill it with promiscuous behavior, overachieving and busyness. I suffered from depression and battled thoughts in my head of wanting to hurt other people. This was very scary and I thought I was crazy and so I isolated myself. I had many suicidal thoughts and prayed that I would die - I believed I had committed THE unforgivable sin - I felt so unworthy, undeserving, and unlovable. These negative self beliefs profoundly influenced my decision to never have children -- I believed didn’t deserve to ever be a mom! And I also feared that God would hurt me or my child as punishment for my sin. But praise the Lord that HE had a plan for me!
The start of my healing journey was when a friend shared with me about her own abortion and healing that she received. She told me about the Forgiven and Set Free Bible study which I did, then I attended a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat for even deeper healing, and then I attended a Where Do Broken Hearts Go small group study. As a result I have been so blessed to have received Christ’s healing, forgiveness, mercy and grace. And I now have an indescribable sense of freedom, peace and joy, deep into the very core of my soul - and delight in knowing that I will be with my daughter, Lilly Rose, in heaven one day. That is why I am Silent No More!