Nicole is a 40 year old English nurse
I am finding it very hard and very painful getting in touch with all my feelings - the pain and the anger that go back 18 years to when I had my abortion. My feelings and thoughts now are totally different to those of 18 years ago. Then I was celebrating my 21st birthday. I had a party, it was on Hallowe'en. One of my friends at the hospital, a porter (I was a student nurse), actually cared about me for who I was and not what I was. I was a used person, as in being abused by my father as a child to satisfy his sexual desires.
To get back to my birthday party. After the party had finished Sam was helping me to clear up when things started to get nasty. He had had quite a bit to drink and so had I, after all it was my birthday, my 21st at that. He asked me back to his room for coffee and a chat. But while we were walking through the hospital grounds towards his house he began to get very aggressive and verbally abusive, just like my dad did when I was a kid.
It was very dark but still I went with him because I trusted him, for some unknown reason. I needed to feel wanted and loved. When we got back to his place he began getting very violent towards me. I did fight against him, but to no avail. He threatened to kill me unless I did what he said. He began to hit me on the face, then he started to rip off my clothes. I knew then that I was about to be raped, and that there was nothing that I could do to stop him.
By the time he had finished with me I had been bitten all over - there were bite marks and bruises everywhere. I had two black eyes, bites all over my breasts and my abdomen, and my back was one mass of scratches where he had dug his nails into me whilst he was raping me.
I remember feeling very relieved when it was over, but also feeling very dirty and degraded of my dignity, not that I had a lot of that left anyway. I just remember running home as fast as I could and jumping into a scalding hot bath because I felt so unclean. I scrubbed myself until I made my skin bleed. I knew even then that I was pregnant.
Then I began to panic. I had been raped, beaten and assaulted and did not dare to tell anyone about it. I could not even tell my GP as he was one of the hospital registrars and he held his surgery in the staff sick bay, and always within the ear-shot of others. So I kept all of the pain, anger and panic, and the guilt to myself and tried to forget all about it. But all that did was to make things worse in the long run, as I know now.
As I said earlier, I just knew that I was pregnant. I knew that it had to be his baby as I did not have a boyfriend at the time and never really had before, and definitely not since, so strong are my feelings against men. Just before Christmas I eventually had a pregnancy test done. I got the results back on Christmas Eve. I was pregnant, my worse fears were confirmed. I can't really remember how I felt that day now, but I know what I am feeling 18 years later. I had no one that I could confide in then and even now I find it very difficult to talk about my baby and my abortion, because it upsets me so much. I keep bursting into tears and get so many mixed feelings about babies and pregnant women and prams.
I regret my actions now, but at the time my logical decisions told me to get rid of my baby. It was either my baby or my career. And at that time my career seemed to be more important to me as I had to prove to my mother that I could hold down a job and cope on my own. So I made the decision to have my baby aborted, mainly I suppose because of the circumstances of its conception - i.e. rape.
Also, I didn't think that I could have coped with a baby at that time - the memories that surrounded its conception and the memories of my father's abuse were too painful.
So I arranged to have my baby terminated, which I had done on 9 February. At the time I had no feelings towards my baby, but now it is affecting me greatly. I feel so guilty, alone and lost without my baby beside me. I don't see her as anything else but a baby of 16 weeks. She has not grown any older as the years have gone by, has never grown up into adulthood, because of what I did all that time ago.
I know very well that life begins when ovum meets sperm inside the womb, and that I ended my baby's life, I killed her. I murdered her all by myself, with a little help from the professionals, as they called themselves.
At the moment my thoughts and feelings are all about my baby, Judy, as I have decided to name her. All I know is that I want my baby so much that I have even thought about abducting someone else's from outside the shops. The feelings are so strong sometimes that I get very scared that I may do something silly.
Since I have been going to the Women Hurt group I have felt for the first time that somebody really cares about me, and about my feelings towards my baby. The warmth within the group is so strong that I am beginning to think at I may eventually get through this deep episode of depression and guilt that I have inside me.
I am sure this sounds very confusing, but I needed to get it all off my chest before I go to bed tonight. I feel so unhappy and desperate that I had to tell someone about it, and that someone was you. I hope you don't mind, but I do feel better now. Thank you for listening to me.
Love from Nicole