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Post abortion regret and moving on

(5 Posts)
anon38 Thu 15-Oct-15 15:01:01

Firstly, I'm looking for support and suggestions about dealing with the aftereffects of abortion. I'm sorry if this topic is painful for anyone to read.

I had an abortion seventeen years ago. I was 21, and spent one night with an ex, for comfort, after one of my best friends suddenly died. The condom split. I just wanted the situation to go away so terminated at 8 weeks. I had a depressive episode soon after but I didn't even tell the counsellor about the termination because I'd blocked it out so much.

The problem is that since then I think I have regretted it more and more as the years go by, and it has affected my life. I suffered from infertility for years and wasn't sure if it was related (doctor says not). I've had depression on and off, to do with the infertility, but also I think with the termination. I've become very perfectionistic and controlling - I hate getting anything wrong, or being criticised, as if having made one big mistake I can't make one ever again. This impacts on my marriage, because I criticise my husband all the time too.

The fact is that I am very lucky - after years of trying for a baby I now have two children and a husband, a decent job and a home. But I can't stop thinking about the other baby, and what I did to them. I feel like it doesn't matter what else I do with my life, I am just pretending to be a good person and a good mum, but there isn't anything I can do to change what I did or make up for it. I'm currently weaning my youngest and it seems to be hitting particularly hard right now.

I need to let go of this guilt and grief now, because if I don't it will affect my children (my marriage is already pretty low). And I don't want to hate myself anymore, it does no good.

Has anyone else felt like this, and found a way through it? Has anyone any suggestions for making peace with what I have done?

Thank you for your thoughts.

holeinmyheart Thu 15-Oct-15 20:11:35

You poor thing, as you are suffering so much.

However, however bad you feel it will not make the baby reappear. What you are doing is beating yourself up pointlessly, and what is worse beating your husband up, because you feel guilty.
That really is not fair on anyone. It is not fair to yourself, your DH or your DCs. Sad as you feel it is, what is done is done.

You are not a bad person ( far from it) otherwise you wouldn't be posting on MNet. You are aware that your behaviour is not doing anyone any good. So that is a positive start. It is half the battle of changing. Well done!

You were very young and didn't realise what you were doing might result in such overwhelming guilt. BECAUSE YOU WERE YOUNG.

You really need to FORGIVE yourself for the sake of the people you live with. They depend upon you for their emotional well being. Why should they be punished because of your mistake( as you see it) and your guilt.

Please try and be kind to yourself and forgive your young self and look forward. Try to stop dwelling on the past. Your DCs deserve to be with someone who is happy and not have their future destroyed. If you destroy your marriage as well, then you are going to deliver a double whammy to your DCs. Please don't.

I suggest if the feelings are so overwhelming then you need to see your GP. Because there seems more to this than just the loss of the baby.
Lots of hugs as you need TLC , give yourself a break. You are a decent person.

anon38 Fri 16-Oct-15 08:22:57

Thank you for responding so kindly. That means a lot to me. I will think about what you have said.

MermaidVsSailor Fri 16-Oct-15 11:51:51

You do sound like maybe you would benefit from talking to a professional about how you're feeling. Have you considered popping in to talk to your GP and seeing what they could offer you in terms of support?

I had a termination at 16 and I can relate to your feelings of guilt and regret, even though I've always been pro-choice! I had a breakdown probably almost a year later after blocking it out for that time, it wasn't until I spoke to a professional and received counselling that I was able to move past that part in my life and realise that I did what was best for me. We both made a choice to terminate when young and that's okay, we did what was best for us at that point in time.

You do sound like a wonderful mum. You're able to see that something isn't quite right and you want to change that for your children - sounds like a good mum to me! Please do consider speaking to your GP though, it sounds like you have quite a lot going on and it would be great for you to be supported through that.

anon38 Sat 17-Oct-15 21:47:04

Thank you Mermaid, I think you are right I probably need to look for some help, and I'm really glad for you that you were able to do so and it helped. I'm very grateful for your response.

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