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Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion
 

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By Grace of God I Experience a Flashback
Kathy Cosgrove
New York, United States

Forty years ago when I was in my mid 20’s I found myself in an unplanned pregnancy.
At the time, I had just come out of a horrendous marriage and had become involved with another man. He was not ready for the commitment of marriage. I already had two little girls and was struggling to make ends meet.

Since abortion was into law, I only entertained the idea that I had to have an abortion. I went to Planned Parenthood and talked to a counselor there before the abortion. He told me, “lt’s only as big as the tip of my finger.  It’s nothing.” That was my permission slip to go through with the abortion.

So my boyfriend drove me to the abortion facility, paid for it and waited in the waiting room for our baby to be killed. I remember the nurse holding my hand after the suction  machine was turned on to suction out my baby. The reality of what I was doing didn’t hit me until then, and I remember hoping my baby didn’t realize it was me that was doing this to him, as a tear ran down my cheek. 

I remember trying to pretend I was okay after I left there to go home. I was anything but okay.  On the way home, I remember my boyfriend and I not speaking  only for me to direct him to stop at a liquor store and get me a bottle.

When I got home I went to my room to be alone. I felt completely destroyed. After awhile my boyfriend came up to see me. I told him that our relationship should never have come to this and that it was over. We broke up.

We ended up getting back together shortly after that. I was out of touch with everything that was going on with me. In a very short period of time after that I needed to get pregnant (to make up for the baby I  aborted.) Again, unaware of how deeply affected I was by my abortion, 

I got pregnant again. This time he married me.  There were lots of problems in the marriage. We only fought once about the abortion, but it was with us every day. My children grew up on a battlefield. He and I fought most of the time. In between fights that became physical, to me giving him the silent treatment, afraid of bringing anything up, and feeling completely trapped and hopeless and silent we lived our lives.  

I was emotionally unavailable to my children. I felt angry and scared most of the time.
We went on to have another child, all the while becoming more and more deeply depressed. Awhile after my son was born I became terrified I was going to harm my children. I sought psychiatric help. I was put on heavy duty medication that numbed me up. I became even more deeply depressed and much more easily controlled and manipulated.

Finally, one day by the grace of God I experienced a flashback of my abortion and went right back to the table where my baby was killed.  It was at that point that I was finally able to begin to put the pieces of my life together. The marriage ended with my husband getting custody of our two children. After many years of interrupted grief, shame and many losses, I finally had the courage to attend a Lumina retreat with the Sisters of Life and a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, two different healing programs for people who’ve had abortions.
 
Through the miracle of God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy I was finally able to come to terms with my abortion and the impact it had on me, my children and my life and to forgive myself.

I decided to become Silent No More and because of this finally feel like I got my life back.


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