There was the Me that Everyone Knew
October 26, 1991 was the day of my abortion and the day that changed my life forever. Before the abortion, I had known that it was wrong and at first, I was sort of happy about having a baby, although scared. But because of my circumstances and I have to admit, my own selfishness, I had decided to go along with my baby’s father’s desire to abort.
It wasn’t until I woke up afterwards, when I felt the complete emptiness and utter sadness of what I had done, did I realize the gravity of my sin.
The Planned Parenthood worker woke me and told me to get up and get dressed, they needed the bed. I couldn’t move and as I slowly came out of the anesthesia, I was overcome with such feelings of loss and desolation. I just sat there and got dressed...I couldn’t even bring myself to get up and go into the bathroom. I was so full of shame.
I suppose that was my first acknowledgement of my sin, however, I tried to hide it and then bury it. With that came the consequences. That first day I cried and just wanted to be alone. The baby’s father tried to console me, but he didn’t understand and I didn’t want to make him feel bad because after all, it was ultimately my decision. I had made horrible choices and sinned terribly before this. I chose to not have God in my life. I still believed in Him and I knew He was there watching me, but I wanted to do things my way because I just wanted to do what made me happy. I liked my life and got lazy about my morals. I didn’t go to Church regularly, I prayed very little, and tuned out my parents whenever they tried to talk to me about God. Since I ran from God before I even got pregnant, the thought never even occurred to me to run to Him for help after becoming pregnant.
This choice, this sin, however, was the most heinous. The only way to continue on with my life was to not think about it. I had to bury it and move on. It was just too painful. Aside from telling 2 family members and a friend, telling other family or friends was not an option, after all, what would they think of me? I think most people had a certain opinion of me and having an abortion did not fit with who I was. At that time I was very concerned about what people thought of me. Plus, I was too ashamed and didn’t think they would understand...how could they? I didn’t understand or believe that I could do such a thing. I thought they would hate me and think I was some horrible person. I couldn’t deal with that from all of them...I already
knew it to be true and I didn’t want anyone else to see that part of me, the part that could do something so terrible. So I pushed it down and hid behind the façade that everything was fine. By pushing it down and not letting anyone in, I could still pretend to be the same old me, on the outside anyway.
I went through life as if nothing was wrong or different. I was still with my boyfriend, we went out and had fun, I worked and did what I had to do. It was like living a dual life. There was the me that everyone knew and then there was the me that I knew. The price I paid was emotional and spiritual. Never being a confident and secure person to begin with, my sin of abortion added to my low self-esteem. It was so hard to believe that I could actually do such a thing as this. What was I thinking? How could I be such a coward? I was a fake and a sad excuse for a human being. Why was God so far away? No,why did I push Him so far away???
It was at those times that I cried and begged God to forgive me. However, I didn’t think that I deserved forgiveness. After all, I took my own baby’s life. It was right for me to feel this way.
But I wanted forgiveness. I had admitted and repented a million times to God when I was alone.
Years later, one priest that I spoke with gave me a Lumina pamphlet. He urged me to call but I just put it in the drawer. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make that call. However, at that time, I had started to let God back in my life. I really started looking for Jesus. I went back to Church, eventually I started teaching Religious Ed classes which started me wanting to learn more about my faith, but I still couldn’t let go of my abortion.
Then one day, I had this sudden urge to call the Sisters of Life. I had seen them on EWTN, went on their web-site, had even pulled out my Lumina pamphlet and read it again and again. I still hadn’t found the peace that I desired. At this point, I knew that God had forgiven me but I still couldn’t forgive myself. I was still miserable inside. There was no time to think about it. It was as if God Himself was controlling my fingers to dial the phone. It was as if He had said ok, enough! You’re ready now. This is what you need to do. Things changed in me from that very first phone call. It was an amazing experience. After so many years of feeling isolated, not only did I meet other women who knew what I was going through, God put women of such compassion in my life, I just could not believe the love that surrounded me.
After that, I went to an Entering Canaan Retreat Weekend. As amazing as it sounds, it was during this weekend that my healing took place. It was then that I truly felt God’s mercy and grace. After hearing Theresa and the other women give powerful witness during the conference, I had the most amazing confession with Father Mariusz. By examining my conscience through each commandment, I was able to confess not only my abortion but even sins that I had already confessed. For the very first time, my soul felt clean and the huge burden of all my sins, especially my sin of abortion, was taken off my shoulders.
I learned through the weekend that I needed to accept God’s forgiveness because He had forgiven me and He wanted me to be at peace knowing this. I learned that I should not refuse this great gift of His, but embrace it and know that He does love me, no matter what. I learned that I’m not the monster that Satan told me I was. While I still hate my sin of abortion, I can finally look in the mirror and not hate me. One more very important thing that I’ve learned is that I do have a voice.
The peaceful and amazing retreat weekends that I’ve spent with Theresa, the Sisters of Life, the priests and every single woman who I met along the way have helped change my life. God put each and everyone of them in my path to help me. All of this and everything that I felt, every tear, every painful memory, every agonizing second of time that I’ve thought about my abortion has brought me closer in my relationship to God and my healing.
With God’s grace, I was finally able to accept His forgiveness. I am now closer to understanding the cross and Jesus’ excruciatingly painful death for us so that we may live. I understand that He hates my sins but loves me dearly and longs to heal me.
I am so very thankful to God for all that He has done for me. While He must have been very saddened by my sins and my choice to run from Him, He stayed with me along my journey and helped me learn from these sins. As my journey continues, no matter what happens, I know that Jesus is always beside me and that I can always trust in Him and His mercy.
Mending My Heart and Marriage after Abortion
A hole was ripped in my heart the day I got my abortion along with a hole in my marriage. How could I trust this person who did not love all of me, did not want our baby? Who was I now that I had rejected this new life? I hated myself. My identity as a mother and wife was shattered. What kind of mother was I? How could I ever respect myself again? How could I respect my marriage, my husband? How come I didn’t stand up for my child? How come I didn’t know it was a child… Read More
Dream a Little Dream
I had a dream that I was in a room or a church that was full of people singing a hymn. I didn’t know the words but the melody was familiar . Because of my comfort with the music, I was able to learn the words easily and soon found I was singing along with the rest of the congregation. Then, the telephone rang and my dream was over. It was one of the Sisters calling to tell me about our next group “Gathering” for post abortion healing. This connection after my dream left me thinking about the last three years.… Read More
A Story of Hope
Years ago, I had an abortion. By writing this I hope to reach anyone who may be suffering as I was, and to share with them my experience and healing.
I grew up in a Catholic home. Despite my refusal to accept many teachings of the church, I did believe in the sanctity of all human life. When I got pregnant during my first year in college, I felt my only choice was adoption. Although this was a most painful experience, it didn’t compare to the horror I went through a year later when I aborted my second child. Deep… Read More
Our Hearts are Restless
If I could change anything about my life it would be to never have aborted my two children. But I did it, and there is no turning back.
Since facing my abortions, my life had been a nightmare, but also a wake up call. I had no other choice but to take the opportunity to take a closer look at myself and the way I was living my life. I was desperate and had to do something. My life was in danger because of the depression I was living in.
That’s when I was blessed to come across Lumina while… Read More
His Mercy Endures Forever
It is good to be able to tell the story of Jesus Christ and His Loving Mercy toward me, because He rescued me from total self destruction. This really is the story of His saving Love and Mercy, the power of intercessory prayer, and the Hope there is for everyone in Christ. I am assured He wants me to share my story knowing it’s the last thing I would ever have wanted to do, but also knowing Jesus wants everyone to know of His love and mercy for each one of us.
When I was fourteen I was raped. Worse… Read More
God is Forgiveness & Love
The following is an excerpt of what I wrote days before my abortion when I was 19 and struggling with my boyfriend to make a decision.
“I go to college. We are happy. I really do love my family. My father picks up garbage for a living. His is an executive for a major corporation. I don’t know how we came together. We are so different. I didn’t even know him. All I knew was that I liked him. I liked him well enough to let him stay in my room to sleep with me. And after a time, I… Read More
A Song of Hope
My family has a generation-spanning commitment to social justice. My grandmother was a leader of the American Civil Rights Congress and an early champion of the rights of Black Americans. Her friend, Paul Robeson, toured on behalf of the Congress in 1949, the occasion for the infamous Peekskill riots.
As a committed Catholic girl opposed to violence, I joined the War Resisters League at the age of twelve. As a teen, I spoke at nuclear disarmament rallies. At the same age, I began exploring the gift of my singing voice, which would lead me to an international performing career, and
The Gift of Faith
When I was first experiencing the effects of my abortion, I began to write down and memorize scripture verses about guilt, hope, forgiveness, and faith. One of the verses I wrote down about faith read, “Faith is the realization of what’s hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” I really liked this verse and it mentioned hope and faith, two things I was desperate to have.
I needed faith to strengthen me to keep me going, and hope that God would get me through this pain. This “definition” of faith however, seemed more like a concept to me. Since… Read More
Pride Versus Humility
“But God, who is rich in mercy, was moved by the intense love with which He loved us, and when we were dead by reason of our transgressions, He made us live with the life of Christ. By grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2: 4 -7
Dead – that is exactly how I felt after my abortion. Waves of pain, guilt, shame, disgust, and despair. I was dead by reason of my transgression. Whatever relationship I had with God was now severed beyond repair. Little did I know that my abortion would be the beginning of a very long journey… Read More
My Hiding Place
At the age of 15, I met a 21 year-old man to whom I lost my virginity. After this guy left me brokenhearted and at the beginning of my sophomore year, I began dating one of my classmates. I started having sex with him because I had already done it and it seemed to be the normal thing to do. When I found out I was pregnant, I remember wanting to disappear because I knew I couldn’t come home with something like this. I had always been the baby of the family, how was I going to explain this? I… Read More
Entering the Promised Land
I could never have believed that God’s forgiveness was possible during the decades that I spent in post-abortion shame and isolation. It took a sonogram picture of my soon-to-be granddaughter to awaken a powerful haunting of conscience within me. My secret would no longer stay unspoken. I’m sure God tried to call me home decades ago but evil darkened my soul and held me captive in shame. I was afraid, feeling unworthy to dare to ask God if I could come back home. That’s probably why he sent me a parachute.
Entering Canaan was almost a miraculous experience for me… Read More
Choosing the way of Mercy
In the summer of 1973 I had my first abortion. My doctor told me I was pregnant with twins and that an early, DNC-type abortion would cure that condition. I cannot remember how my boyfriend and I arrived at the decision to terminate my pregnancy, but I was a lost, impressionable, young woman, addicted to alcohol and an abusive boyfriend. I did not know I had a choice. We were living in the heart of darkness, and, as is typical of the chain of maladies that tend to rule the activities of the realm of darkness, the early abortion left… Read More
Acknowledging My Sin
Here I am today, two and a half years after my abortion, and I know that I have been changed. Through God’s mercy and forgiveness, I have begun to heal in ways that I never thought were possible. I had full intent on bearing the brunt of my sin of abortion for my entire life, never to experience full happiness – because that’s what I was sure I deserved. I had done the unthinkable and I was prepared to beat myself up forever. I assumed the pain would be bad, but it was so much worse than anyone could ever prepare… Read More
“But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope.” The Gospel of Life
Abortion is often thought of by those who have procured one as the “unforgivable sin.” There is a belief that there is no way God could possibly forgive such an act. This leaves those who have an abortion feeling doomed to hell with no way back.
Feeling alienated from God and without hope of reconciliation has left many in the Catholic faith too terrified to confess, and convinced that their perceptions are truth. In addition, the ever-present manifestation of guilt and shame felt by… Read More
Post partum depression & Abortion
In 1979, I was married and had two children. I had suffered with post-partum depression after the births of each of my sons but to a much greater degree after the birth of my second son. When he was born in 1976, there may have been scientific evidence that post-partum depression was hormonal. In my case, the “medical professionals” that I was dealing with made me feel that it was my fault and the treatment and cure were more my responsibility and determination on my part would rectify the situation. It had been difficult for the whole family to deal… Read More
In November of 2003, I became pregnant. Although it was unplanned, my baby definitely was not unwanted. I was very worried about telling my boyfriend the news and what his reaction would be. It was one of anger. How would we afford and take care of a baby? Eventually, he came around and said he would stand by me, but then he called telling me the baby was not his. This upset me so much, my sister told me it was better to take care of the “problem” now, rather than to give it up when it was born. She… Read More