When I had my abortion, I was 18 years old. I was a drug addict and had been since I was 12 years old. At 18 I had just gotten married. I did not know my husband very long before getting married, and at the time it was a very sex and drug-oriented relationship. I did not believe in God and didn't really care about anything but myself and getting high. I was an extremely selfish person.
I found out I was pregnant, which wasn't a surprise because we were not careful. I can't remember if I ever considered keeping the baby, but I do remember immediately thinking about getting an abortion. I had no faith and no morals so there didn't seem to be anything wrong with it to me. It just seemed like the thing to do since I was so young, living the drug addict lifestyle that I was and knowing that we were not ready to have a baby. I had never really been taught much about abortion. I knew what it was and I did understand that I was killing my baby, but I didn't really give much thought to it and what exactly all was going on by having one. I began to look online for abortion clinic options.
I do remember when I was in the preparation room before the procedure feeling the faintest sense of not wanting to do it, but I did not allow myself to have those feelings. When the doctor took me into the procedure room, she asked me if I would like to see the ultrasound before we started. I will always remember that moment and regret it. I think that was the first-time reality really struck me and I came face to face with the fact that this was a real baby inside of me, and MY real baby. I remember thinking to myself that if I looked at that ultrasound, I would regret it for the rest of my life, if I saw it, it would be forever etched in my mind. So, I said no. To this day, I regret that immensely, because I realize now that if I had looked at that ultrasound, I may not have gone through with it.
When it was over, my husband and I left. I was kind of numb to any emotions at that point, but I do think that deep down inside I felt remorse and realized what I had just done, although I don't think I allowed myself to acknowledge those feelings. When we got in the car my husband felt bad for me and knew that I felt bad, so he suggested that we go get some heroin. I agreed.
I don't think that I really allowed myself to think about it much after that. We went from periods of drugs to drinking heavily to being clean off and on. One thing that I recently realized that I had never connected before, was that I didn't seem to want to have sex with my husband anymore after that, whereas before we were very sexually active. I'm not sure if that is why, but it seems that something was going on deep down inside of me.
My husband and I were clean for a while and then I started drinking heavily again (which eventually led back to drugs) while he stayed clean and sober. We had started a business together and were doing really well. Things quickly fell apart between us as I continued to pursue avenues to numb myself from feeling anything and run away from having to deal with life. We got divorced after a few years and I moved back to my family and was going to try to get clean and sober, but that didn't last long and before long, I was living a semi-homeless life on the streets. I was becoming very dark inside, lonely, and wanted to die. Though I never tried to commit suicide, I did behave in such a way that I didn't care if I lived or died.
I often was taken to jail or the mental hospital by the police when they found me on the streets. In jail, I don't know why, but I began to attend some different Christian services. Perhaps deep down I was searching for What could fill that empty hole inside of me. One of the ministers at a service explained the Holy Trinity to us and as she described the Holy Spirit, something connected with that in my mind, and I felt that I could somehow comprehend the concept of God as a Spirit, whereas I always felt I could not grasp any kind of idea of God.
This led to my reading the Holy Bible, and searching for God. I tried a few different types of services, but the Catholic ones seemed to resonate the most with me. I was attracted to the Rosary and the Eucharist, especially after another inmate described to me before the Mass what it was like to receive Jesus in the Eucharist and the peace that radiated from her face as she said it. At one of the Catholic Masses in the jail, the priest offered to hear confessions after the Mass. I didn't even know what that was, but something inside of me felt compelled to go and confess the sin of my abortion, even though I had never really thought much about it or talked about it to anyone. At that moment I knew that I had sinned and I wanted to seek forgiveness. I told the priest about it. I remember how gentle and loving his face and his words were. He told me that God forgives me, and that my baby is in Heaven with Him, and asked me if I had named it. That initiated some kind of healing process for me. I finally acknowledged what I had done and came to terms with the fact that it was wrong and wanted to be forgiven for it. Finally, I was living in reality and taking responsibility for my actions.
I also read the Gospels in jail and took what Jesus said to heart and I really wanted to do everything He said and I knew that I needed to change my life. My whole life had been drugs and sin, and it was not easy for me to change that. I fell many times back into that life, but the one thing that never changed was my newfound faith in God, and my desire to become a Catholic. After this, when I would end up strung out and on the streets, I always seemed to be drawn to Catholic churches and would often go inside and pray, or
I would pray the Rosary sometimes as best as I could even when I was in sin.
Things got to their worst in my life. I was in an abusive relationship, I was strung out, I hardly ever ate or slept, I was literally losing my mind, then God intervened. I was arrested and sent to a very intense two- year program, during which time I was finally clean and sober long enough to enter the Church and receive my first Eucharist and Confirmation.
As I grew in faith, I began to understand more and more how wrong abortion is and what exactly I had done, but I still didn't feel any real emotion about it. During this time, I spent a lot of time in adoration before the Lord, went to daily Mass, and prayed a lot and I think that the Lord gave me a lot of healing through that. The transformation had been so complete that I wanted to give my entire life to God, and I looked into different religious orders.
I eventually became a nun living in a cloistered monastery. It wasn't until I was there that I finally began to actually feel the sorrow and regret. Before it was just in my mind, I knew that it was wrong, but still didn't feel anything about it. But now I was understanding with my heart what I had done. At the monastery, an important part of the healing began. I cried and cried tears of remorse and repentance as I came to realize more and more what I had done, that my baby was with the Lord, that I was a mother and had conceived a real living child with a soul and a God-given purpose and a life that should have been lived, and the opportunity to come to know the Lord through faith and glorify Him and grow in relationship with Him in his life. It all hit me on one Mother's Day during Mass and I cried.
I stayed there 7 years and then made the decision to leave. Since leaving, my relationship with the Lord has continued to deepen and my healing has continued with more tears. The more I come to know the Lord, the more I realize what a tragedy that decision to have an abortion was.
I began to get involved with praying and demonstrating outside of abortion clinics and felt called to this ministry. I found a lot of healing in that too, and peace in true repentance and speaking out, and trying to help others to avoid the same mistakes and shed light on the truth of abortion.
It has now been over 20 years since my abortion. Through this long healing process, I am finally coming to accept what I did, know that I am forgiven, and have some sense of peace knowing that I made a mistake. I even started to talk to my baby in Heaven now, pray for him, and think about and accept his forgiveness towards me. Although I know that I am loved and forgiven, there will always be a sadness inside of me in knowing what I have done, and a sense of loss in losing my child to abortion, and that is why I am silent no more.