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The loss that cannot be replaced
Linda
Ontario, Canada
         
Today, my children would be 35 and 33.

At 15, I became pregnant.  

I was afraid to face my parents’ disappointment and anger.  Finding out, my mother took me to our fatherly family doctor.  He scheduled a D & C; the word abortion was never mentioned.  He said it was just a clump of cells, an unhealthy growth.  

I was afraid to do it and afraid not to.  There was no sense of being comforted, only one of necessity.  I did as I was told.  After the abortion, I had heavy bleeding and bad cramps.  We never spoke about it again.  Inside there was a new aloneness and extra emptiness.

At age 17 I got pregnant again, trying to fill the hole that the first abortion had left in me.  Afraid, I waited until I was 16 weeks before telling my mother.  I knew that in Ontario you couldn't have an abortion in hospital beyond 12 weeks.  It never occurred to me that I could be sent somewhere else.  My mom arranged for me to go to New York City.  Vulnerable, I felt paralyzed to say or do anything except what I was told.  I flew to NYC by myself and took a cab to a doctor's office on Park Ave.  Taken into a small room and told to change into a gown, I lay on a table with my feet in stirrups, and was given a local anesthetic.  I felt everything.  I remember the scraping feeling; the feeling of the vacuuming; the feeling of the baby fighting against the abortion.  I cried out.  The doctor told me to be quiet, so the other patients wouldn’t hear me.  There was nothing kind or caring about it.  I flew home and my mom picked me up.  It was as if nothing had happened.  That night I went out with my friends and got drunk.

I felt lonely and so guilty - worthless.  After all, who kills or allows to be killed not one but two of their babies?  My drug and alcohol use increased dramatically.  I sought love and approval from men the only way I knew how, with sex.  All I had ever wanted was to be a wife and a mother.  Now, who could possibly want me?  I suffered and still do from depression.  I had constant gynecological problems.  When I finally did have a baby, I felt inadequate and unworthy as a mother.  The sight of babies was hard for me.  Their total helplessness and vulnerability were a constant reproach to me.

My healing began when I turned back to God and to His Holy Church.  I will be Silent No More because of the loss that cannot be replaced and the violence that cannot be undone.


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