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Sister having abortion next week- not sure how best to support her

(39 Posts)
cheekymonk Sun 28-Aug-11 19:50:43

Evening all! Well the title says it all. She is (she is 29 btw) in the middle of very messy break up with long term boyfriend (7 years) and they are battling over house (have mortgage), dogs etc and she found out last week she was 8 weeks pregnant. Poor girl had no idea when she last had sex or last had a period and was in utter disbelief that she could be pregnant. He has emotionally abused her for years and been so cruel so there is no hope of a reconciliation.
She has an abortion planned next Monday. I am just struggling to hide my feelings about it all, what with having 2 dc, one only 6 months. I went with her to all the appointments and also to dating scan sad
I can see that she needs to get her own life back on track before bringing another into the world but her occasional coldness really upsets me. She is taking sleeping tablets and when I suggested they might harm baby she said well it doesn't matter if I am not keeping it.
She is in bits over it all and I am trying to just be there for her. I have always thought I was ok with abortion until now. I just can't help but think about this doomed little life. I know this is totally unhelpful and of course haven't voiced it. She must be going through hell but it is so hard to be objective.
Going to the appointment and listing to the consent being read out was horrific, something I wouldn't wish on anyone. My Sister just seems like a child herself (she is, I am not being nasty here- she can barely cope with life) I can certainly see that it isn't a decision that anyone can make lightly. I am going with her next week I think unless my Mum can summon the strength so I need to get my feelings in check so I am a proper support to her
How? confused

ImperialBlether Sun 28-Aug-11 19:54:01

You REALLY need to stop thinking this is about you. I think you are not the right person to support her now.

cheekymonk Sun 28-Aug-11 19:58:45

I don't think it is about me at all, I am allowed to have feelings. She has no idea I feel like this. I have a week to get my thoughts sorted so I am ready to be there for her properly. Its her life, not mine.

limetrees Sun 28-Aug-11 20:01:12

She might be thinking that if she has the baby, she will never be free of the man who abused her. She might also be thinking that the baby may inherit some of her XP's traits and she would find it hard to love the baby.

I think that at the end of the day, all you can do is give her your support, even if you don't agree with her decision. If you decide to voice your opinion, you should do it briefly, calmly and sensitively and under the proviso that you will support her regardless and you will not speak about your views any further if she would prefer it that way.

FabbyChic Sun 28-Aug-11 20:05:14

Please support her for her choice and not make her feel bad for it.

She has no doubt not took the decision lightly in her shoes I would do the same. If she were to have a child now she couldn't work, the child would have no father, it would lessen her chances of meeting someone and being truly happy.

Having a child with someone who is an abusive arsehole is the last thing anybody wants because then she is going to have that person in her life for at least the next 18 years, the thought of that for her must be horrifying.

I've had terminations over the years because at the time it was not the right time, or I was too young.

I too aborted when in a long term relationship and he was a pig and the thought of having another child with him made me want to kill myself.

The decision to abort is hard enough, be strong for her, don't make her feel guilty.

cheekymonk Sun 28-Aug-11 20:05:53

You are right limetrees. It is all about her ex. She has since said however, that the pregnancy is making her feel so rough she doesn't want to have children but she may feel differently in a couple of years. She wanted marriage and kids so much and it has all gone so wrong.
I don't think she needs my 2 pennys worth. She hasn'r asked in any case. She is in enough turmoil as it is. Even talking about going to church to ask for forgiveness. I do really feel for her.

cheekymonk Sun 28-Aug-11 20:07:06

The last thing I want is to make her feel guilty...

cheekymonk Sun 28-Aug-11 20:08:53

I forgot to add that she also is unemployed at the moment and living with my Mum. This is another point. My Mum said she has nothing to offer a child but I naively thought... love but yes the baby will be a constant reminder.

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Sun 28-Aug-11 20:08:53

If you are htinking about it's 'doomed little life' then please please do not go with her. She will know you disapprove. See if she has anyone else who will be truly supportive of her. I would not want anyone with me going to an abortion that I knew they disapproved of. She's told you as she trusts you presumably and your feelings are your own, you don't have to apologise for them. But you either need to accept her decision or back off tbh.

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Sun 28-Aug-11 20:09:48

She is being practical. You are being emotional. Love is a pretty naive thing to think about when her world is beign turned upside down.

deepfriedcupcake Sun 28-Aug-11 20:10:31

It sounds like you're doing okay so far, esp by not saying what you think and by recognising it's her descision.

Ponders Sun 28-Aug-11 20:14:38

one thing you maybe could say (as there may not be an appropriate time to mention it to her in the future) is that feeling rough doesn't always happen, & that even when it does, it's usually only for a short time. Just so she knows.

Poor lamb sad

I can see it's very hard for you too, OP, & difficult to hide your feelings sad but you've really got to, she needs you to.

FabbyChic Sun 28-Aug-11 20:40:56

It's sad that religion has to kick in there somewhere in the guise of her having to ask forgiveness. She needs not forgiving she has and is doing nothing wrong.

I do so despise it when religion is mentioned because seriously if you are that religious you don't have sex outside marriage or before you are married. Religion only comes into play when people feel they need it it's a when it suits religion.

Makeyerowndamndinner Sun 28-Aug-11 21:11:35

Your sister has every right to terminate a pregnancy she does not wish to continue with.

She also has every right to take sleeping tablets if she needs to at the moment. Why would you question that choice, especially when you know she does not intend to continue with her pregnancy?

It sounds a little to me as though you are indirectly attempting to question her choice by stealth.

I'm sorry but I can't help but feel slightly annoyed by the tone of your post. You talk of the "doomed little life" of an embryo as though it should be a priority in this situation. You also talk about your sister in rather patronising terms. She is a grown woman and it sounds as though she is going through hell - what about her very real life?!

fargate Sun 28-Aug-11 21:17:55

Are you sure that you are the right person to be supporting your sister?

I think she will probably sense your mixed feeligs - your OP is scattered with lots of critical little barbs.

And something I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe, a lack of empathy? I don't know.


cheekymonk Sun 28-Aug-11 21:42:35

Well you have all got me thinking and questioning whether I am the right person but it is either me or my Mum as far as I know.
I don't know what made her think about religion. We are not a religious family.
I did briefly mention that not every pregnancy makes you feel rough but have tried to be careful as I didn't want to be manipulative/push her into anything. I have tried to say as little as possible about the whole thing.
I questioned the sleeping tablets because she has been on them a long time and seems dependent on them. She is very spaced out during the day and they don't seem to be doing her any good. She has been staying with me very recently and was still waking at 5-6 every morning in any case. Also, what if she did change her mind? The moment she made that comment, no abortion had been booked.
I probably do sound a bit patronising. My sis came down to me armed with her Cv ready for me to do, her solicitors notes to help with her breakup and generally needing help in every aspect of her life. I do get cross with her sometimes as she wants so much help but is hard to help! She is very critical and very self absorbed. The friend that has been helping her with benefits, trying to find a job etc has been slagged off by my sis in no uncertain terms but this is all beside the point. I don't always like her but it doesn't mean that I would wish this on her. I have acknowledged that she is going through hell but when we come out of the appt after the abortion has been booked and she demands to go shopping of course I am going to get annoyed! I know its her way of dealing with it but I do disapprove. I think thats it really. Its not the abortion itself but how she is dealing with it. It does seem cold. I'm sorry if that offends anyone but I am being honest.

CRIKRI Sun 28-Aug-11 21:42:53

I agree with others who have suggested that perhaps you aren't the best person to be supporting her. Even if you are biting your lip and trying to keep your feelings in check, she will be able to tell form your tone of voice, your gestures, your expressions, what you aren't saying as much as what you are saying. She doesn't need that now. She needs someone who will give her completely non-judgemental support. If that's not you, it would be far better to suggest a friend or acquaintance who can genuinely provide that.

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Sun 28-Aug-11 21:45:32

You ar ebeing judgemental. You seem to think she should be wallowing in a pool of despair and begging forgiveness. You think she's doing a terrible thing and should suffer for it. Abortion can be a positive thing. But clearly you don't believe that. Please let someone else go with her.

CRIKRI Sun 28-Aug-11 21:48:54

Cheekymonk, it's not for you to approve or disapprove of how she handles what for her is a difficult situation. If you disapprove with the way she chooses to cope with the situation (i.e. shopping) then you are still disapproving of her choices, still standing in judgement of her and still thinking of your feelings above hers. Perhaps that sounds harsh, but you can only be the kind of support she really needs if you are able to genuinely put your own feelings to one side, stop thinking about her as self-absorbed and critical and just let her be whatever she needs to be now. I'm not picking up that you are able to do this. If you can't, you could be causing her far more harm than good.

lachesis Sun 28-Aug-11 21:49:56

She's doing what she feels is best for her. She doesn't need your 2p worth, she needs to do what is best for her now. And she's decided that that means not being pregnant to this abusive man she's finally breaking free from.

If you can't support her in that, then you need to let her know.

cheekymonk Sun 28-Aug-11 21:52:39

Thats not fair, fuckityfuck. I don't think that at all. It will be a positive thing for her in the long run, I hope. Its just hard to see it when its right there in your face. She's suffering enough as it is. To give more background, my sis called the police when her ex was threatening her. She called my Mum and Dad over and in the midst of all that chaos she asked the policeman to get her tea! He did too, warmed her fish and chips up in the microwave! She just has this knack of being able to move from utter drama one minute to the trivial the next. I just find it hard to understand. I expected that she would want somewhere quiet, where we could talk and was taken aback at shopping, thats all.

cheekymonk Sun 28-Aug-11 21:55:52

I've just seen actually, that she's asking for a spare room where dogs are allowed on FB. I'm really chuffed for her and she is desperate for her own space and to get her dogs back. I've told her so, too.

snoopdogg Sun 28-Aug-11 21:58:49

I think it must be really hard supporting someone going through this when you have your own beautiful and very recent DC showing you every minute how fantastic and precious it is to bring a new life into this world but she is not in the same place as you, she does not have the same advantages and strengths as you right now.

You have done brilliantly so far and she is always going to thank you for this.

Even though you might not completely support her decision, that's what it is - hers - keep doing what you're doing, I wish you'd been my sister 25 years ago

Makeyerowndamndinner Sun 28-Aug-11 21:59:12

Ok Cheekymonk. It sounds as though you are trying to do an awful lot to support your sister at the moment. This has its own impact on you, I do understand that.

You say she has been in an abusive relationship. She could go to Women's Aid in that case and they could support her with things like finances and legal issues. This would take the pressure off you and would allow her to be supported by someone whose professional duty it is to remain completely non-judgemental. Although of course it would be up to her whether or not she wanted to go down that road.

Perhaps you find it hard to deal with the fact that she is not more upset by her decision to terminate her pregnancy. Abortion can be an emotive issue and everyone has their own personal feelings about it. But actually her response to it is her own. She is entitled to feel how she likes about it. It is her pregnancy and her body. If she wants to shrug her shoulders and go shopping, she can shrug her shoulders and go shopping. She does not have a moral duty to sit around sobbing. It may be that this unwanted pregnancy is actually the least of her worries, or it may be that detaching herself is the best way for her to deal with it at present. Either way, you don't really have a right to judge her.

I do understand also that people who are in a bad place emotionally and mentally are not always easy to like. These sorts of issues can sometimes make people selfish and unable to consider others. All the more reason for them to be supported by someone who does not have a vested emotional interest in them if at all possible.

cheekymonk Sun 28-Aug-11 22:06:47

Thanks snoopdogg. I am trying so hard to be everything she needs but yes my dd is a constant reminder. Also having dd with me during most of the appointments was awful for my Sister and me but there was noone to have dd at that point as dh was working away and it was too much for my Mum.
Yes, makeyourowndamndinner, you do make so very valid points. I know, I need to be there for her, no matter what, which is what I will do.

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