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Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion
 

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At the Bottom of a Pit
Jude
Michigan, United States

I need to preface this with the fact that I did not know who the baby's dad was as I think I was raped one night while drinking...I woke up in an unknown bed with two men grinning at me. How could I have the baby when I did not know who the father was? What would my parents say? What would my boyfriend say/do? Would they all quit loving me because I disappointed them?

Immediately after the first abortion I felt awful. I remember crying in the recovery room and another girl telling me how it would get easier with the next one.  I remember thinking that I would never be back, never be like her....my heart was ripped from me. (I had received Jesus at eighteen, but went on my merry way shortly after thinking I would pick it up later as I could with the Catholic ways I was raised with).   I was living under a dark cloud, doing a lot of drinking, and working my way through college to try to win my parents’ love and approval.  My boyfriend and I broke up shortly after the abortion.

While at college I met a man who was nine years older than me, who was strong in his Christian faith.  I was drawn like a moth to a flame-thinking he could help me quit the drinking and get back on track.  I told him of my abortion and that I was not going to have sex again till I was married.  He was very controlling and manipulative, and I was so emotionally void after my experience, that I let him make calls for me.  About a year after we started dating, we had sex-thinking it must be wrong, but he knows the Bible so....I found myself pregnant and panicked. He took me to the abortion clinic...we stayed together after as I thought nobody would ever want me.  I left the state for a job and he clung to me.  He visited me out of state and tried to call the shots in my life.  At semester I came home to break it off with him.  My parents were out of town, so I stayed at his house and we went out for one last night on the town...upon my return to my job, I found myself pregnant.  He told me everything would be all right, to come home and marry him.  I was vomiting daily, all day long due to the nerves of the pregnancy and disappointing my parents.  I quit my job and went home, but we did not marry.  He left me at his house, out in the country, vomiting and not eating for the duration of the pregnancy.  He also threatened to tell my mom of my earlier abortion.  I had a son who was my whole world!  I was happy with him; my little boy was my world.

His father still tried to control my life and there were times he broke into my apartment late at night to question me.  At other times, he did not let me leave to see my friends.  I should have called the law, but thought I needed to take care of it myself-this came back to haunt me when I was going to leave the area to take a job.  I had been on welfare while pregnant and for the first 3 years of my son's life.  I was taking classes and had landed a job one and a half hours from the dad.  I was going to take my son, and live near my parents while I worked.  My son's father filed for custody, or to not have me leave and a legal battle followed.  We lived in a liberal town, he had a better lawyer and could have a schedule at work where he only worked Fri, Sat and Sun-I had to work M-F, so the referee awarded him custody of my baby.  I was devastated and felt that I could never have another child because I did not deserve one! 

My son spent his kindergarten year with his dad, and I met a new man with two kids who could be my son's new family.  We met at a church function, so how could I go wrong?  We dated two years and decided to get married.  I found out I was pregnant in September, we were going to get married in October-and he started in on how much pot he had been smoking, how he did not want another child and got a vasectomy to prove it, how the child could have health issues due to the pot...to let him out of it I said there's always abortion.  Hoping he would take me in his arms and say the love words I had been dreaming of...that everything would be alright, even if the baby had health issues...he was manipulative and said you'd do that for me?  So we did. After he yelled at me how I had killed his baby, and I sobbed as I was the one who wanted the baby....we still married in January and divorced that June.

I was back on a drinking binge and only lived for my son who had been sent to live with me.  His father was calling the shots and moved to our city to try and control my life.  He used my son to control me...and it would have gone on like that but when my son was seven and a half I met my current husband.  My son's father started to leave me alone as he seemed to be intimidated by my new boyfriend (husband).  We had a long distance relationship as his job had him traveling, and after one and a half years of dating, I found myself pregnant (I had to go off the pill for a surgery, and at that time, he refused to wear a condom). I freaked out.

How could this happen? Could I break up with him, not tell him of the child so he could never take the baby away from me?  The voices in my head had a battle, with one saying to have the baby and the other saying ‘Your mom is going to think you are so stupid’.  I didn't tell my boyfriend, I just terminated the pregnancy at five or six weeks and was relieved that my parents would not have to know.  We later married and I still kept it a secret, but did tell him that I am not the good person he thinks I am.  I married my husband because I needed the threat of being killed if I ever cheat to stop my poor choices.  I was at the bottom of a pit with no idea how to get out.  That was December 1999 and we have been married ever since. 

 In 2001 we had a baby girl-I prayed to God to let me get pregnant one more time so I could repay my husband for what I had done before we were married.  I had finally done it right, I was so happy until my mom said to me "She's beautiful...I wonder how many other children he has in other states?" My world was shattered. I worked so hard to please my mom, to win her love, and she burst my bubble with that statement.  A few months later 9/11 happened and I started to plummet into a deep depression-did I somehow cause this too?   I remember food had no taste, and the only thing that kept me going was taking care of my daughter.

My depression got to the point that my mom said to check into the mental ward or she was going to (my husband was working out of town).  I checked in and told my story to the doctor and a social worker who told me I was being condemned by God.  At this time, my husband came back to town to stay by my side.  I told him that our girl was for him, to take her and raise her in love and just let me die.  He chose to stay because of his love for me.  I was terrified and could not snap out of my depression. The doctor and my husband decided to try Electroshock therapy.  I responded well to this treatment.  They used series of four treatments to get me back on track. (While in the hospital, I woke up one morning to find my bathroom light on but the switch was in the off position...my husband had the same thing happen at our house at the same time!)  I was doing well after this for several years...until a medication made me have a manic episode.  I became very paranoid that someone was after our daughter...and did not sleep for three nights which led to a manic episode and a stay in a mental hospital.  The doctor put me on several meds to stabilize me and diagnosed me as having psychotic episodes as well as being bipolar.  For a year, I did well, working and taking care of our daughter.  I decided to take myself off my meds and ended up in the hospital again-this time in handcuffs...I was delusional that I was able to have my babies....and had to be sedated...I met a worker who let me sob my heart out on her shoulder for my  choices earlier in life.

It has been a hard battle...the after effects...some days are very good and others are hard. There are times I feel forgiven and on my way...and others where I slip and wonder how could God ever forgive me?  I didn't keep promises made to Him... or to myself....I remember other things that happened in the hospital and know that God forgives, I have to too.


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