After Abortion: Nora's Letter

When Nora wrote this letter she was 23 years old, single and unemployed. She had an abortion three years previously.

Dear Friend, 

I'm a bit more confident in myself recently. I'm trying to be a bit more like the me that used to be. It's hard but I'm trying. I'm finding it hard to forget completely, for even one day. Indeed, I don't ever want to forget completely. After all, it was my baby, and it was inside me, no matter how short a time. I guess I'm trying not to let "the abortion" take over my whole life (I can't believe I wrote that word down, I hate it so much.) But it's damn hard.

I still can't figure out how I could allow it to happen, and I hate myself because of it. I was a weak fool. I'm torturing myself bcause I realised in my heart and soul I didn't want to do it, but yet was too afraid to stand on my own two feet and open my mouth to protest. At the time I was in a daze. I'm only sorry now that I didn't tell my mum before I left, because, having done what I did and to eventually tell my mum and then to tell dad, and realise that they would have stood by me, makes me want to die altogether. They're going through their own kind of torture because of all the times they said "never come home pregnant!" They didn't mean it!

I'm still really angry at my sister. She put so much pressure on me to have an abortion. She's so riddled with guilt now, though, I feel sorry for her. I'm still angry at her, but I don't hate her any more. She thought she was doing the right thing, with the way things were at home then. The only thing I can remember her screaming at me is "if my mother ends up in a mental hospital with a breakdown I'll kill you". I guess at the time it was the emotional turmoil and torture I was going through that made me weaken and give in. I hate myself though, every day since.

Some of the women in our group [the local group of Women Hurt by Abortion] wanted to have their abortions. I realise that no matter what the circumstances were at the time we are all suffering now. But it sickens me that some of them won't even admit that it was a baby, not a blob of cells, and I hate listening to all that. That's why I hate myself all the more, because I realised, from the minute I found out, that it was a baby. And I allowed myself to be bullied into doing such a horrible thing like allowing my baby to be butchered.

That's a very strong word to use, but that's what I did. It goes beyond my comprehension of myself, as all my life I've hoped that someday I'd have a baby. Realising that I could lose control of my own life so easily, in such an important decision as the life or death of my own child, makes me feel a complete and total waste of life myself.

What or who am I to want any kind of happiness anymore? I might seem hard on myself, thinking over things, because I know deep down in my heart I'm not a monster really and I made a mistake. But it's one mistake that is the most horrific mistake to make and I feel I deserve to punish myself all the time.

I get so confused. I get so happy at times, then memories flood back and I start thinking "I'm not a nice person, I'm a monster". It frightens me so much, a permanent battle in my head and life. I try to mix and be happy and then I say "stop, I don't deserve this."

Thinking about myself and how I used to feel about abortion, indeed, how I still feel, I could have been the one that would have pointed the finger. You don't ever know, do you?

I suppose you can only learn and grow strong, if only it was that simple. Sorry for being so depressed again when I had decided to be positive, with a happy outlook, but it helps to be able to release at least some of what I'm feeling.