You may be hurting, both physically and emotionally and it is normal. Not only has your body gone through a trauma, your mind and heart have most probably been shaken as well. Physically your body might still be adjusting hormonally. You may be feeling just sad, or so sad you can no longer function. For many, having an abortion is so private that it becomes a secret that creates a feeling of being alone. The wound of abortion can be jagged and deep. You may need to talk, to feel understood, or perhaps you need to feel forgiven. The counselors at ChoiceOne understand and are waiting to help. Our counselors offer unconditional support, as many have been where you are and all have experienced healing.
Read through this self-assessment to see if you have symptoms of post-abortion trauma. If the list reflects problems you've experienced since your abortion, and you can shake the feelings, you may need help recovering. They tell us abortion is a quick, painless answer to the problem of an unplanned pregnancy. We know, from experience and from research, that this is simply not true for everyone. Take a moment and ask yourself some of the questions. See if you identify with any of them:
1. Have you changed as a person since your abortion? What were you like before your abortion? How are you different now?
2. If your sister or best friend were thinking about having an abortion, what would you tell her?
3. At the time of your abortion did you believe abortion was right or wrong?
4. Check the following problems that have bothered you since your abortion:
▪ I struggle with eating disorders.
▪ I find myself in abusive relationships.
▪ I'm having increased unprotected sexual activity.
▪ I'm using drugs and/or alcohol to distract myself from my pain.
▪ I often feel so sad that I can't handle my responsibilities.
▪ I often think about hurting myself.
▪ I keep having the same nightmare over and over.
5. Do you shut down or feel numb when you're in a highly emotional situation?
6. Do you experience explosive emotions?
7. Has your relationship with God changed since your abortion? If yes, in what way?
8. Have your relationships with men changed? If yes, in what way?
9. Do you feel you must hide your abortion or your feelings about it?
10. Do you avoid people or situations that remind you of your abortion?
11. Did someone pressure you into having the abortion? If yes, what is your relationship like with that person now?
12. Do you feel like you're all alone with the emotional pain you are feeling?
13. Are you interested in a support group for women who've had abortions to work through some of these problems?
Facts Provided By: Sometimes a Band-Aid Just Won't Do, ©2000, Frontlines Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI
The loss created by an abortion often leaves an empty space in one's life that never seems to be satisfied, even long after the experience is passed. It is normal to try to fill that void with activities, relationships, or even getting pregnant again and having children or having multiple abortions. But eventually the emptiness may surface again along with feelings of guilt, remorse or bitterness.
We believe that the best way to overcome those disturbing feelings left by abortion is to face them squarely with the support of others who truly understand and do not judge or condemn.
Because there are many events in life that can damage one's emotions and self-image, our post-abortion support groups provide healthy principles as tools that can be applied to any painful experience in one's life. Our safe and confidential atmosphere fosters maximum personal growth and healing.
So, take the first step and call us at 1.800.497.TEST (8378). One of our trained personnel will confidentially give you the information you need, and you'll be on your way to healing and recovery.
This information is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.