"I struggled alone with my pain. I was hounded by guilt, and couldn’t tell anyone. Who would understand?”
“I had not realised how much the abortion had affected me and what it was doing to my life or relationships. I didn't think I needed help until I felt so low and life seemed hopeless.”
“My relationship with my partner ended a few years after the abortion. I felt incredibly lost and sad. The grief of losing my baby and then losing him felt huge."
"Abortion grief is not like other griefs. It is harder to talk about, because it makes people uncomfortable or you think people will judge you.
No matter what I tell myself in my head my heart just aches.”
Remember, everyone's experience is different. Whatever you are feeling is okay and normal.
You may find it hard if you expected things to settle or to go back to the way they were before all this happened and they haven't. It can be a difficult and confusing time soon after an abortion experience with the build up, decision-making, going through the procedure and wondering now what?
Going from being pregnant to not pregnant can mean some hormonal and biological changes. There may be a mix of thoughts and feelings. If there were uncertainties around the decision, different pressures or influences . . . it can be hard to make sense of these now.
In any case, your experience is likely to involve grief, as you adjust to the losses and changes from the whole situation around the abortion and the abortion itself.
How do I know if I am experiencing grief after my abortion?
feeling numb or in shock, or sad and tearful
unable to turn off thoughts and feelings
continually focusing on the abortion, or telling myself to just get over it
find it hard to talk about what happened
going over lots of "what ifs" repeatedly
problems eating, sleeping, concentrating or doing usual tasks
greater anger and impatience
self-medicating, greater risk taking or activities to escape unbearable feelings
If you are experiencing some of the above reactions, or those in the Post Abortion Grief Checklist, you may be affected by your abortion more than you realise.
What is the hardest thing for you right now?
What is it that you are needing?
You might try How to Help Myself for ways to manage distressing feelings.
And because invariably healing happens in relationship, being able to share our grief with someone who cares and whom we can trust is often beneficial. Go to the support services page if you would like to connect with someone for support. Being able to talk about your experience and express the emotions around it may help.
Alternatively, if you have a story you would like to share email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
N.B. In our experience people will be at different stages of processing, adjustment and healing after an abortion experience. Stories will not be published automatically. Generally it is important to have done some healing work before going public with a personal story, and confidentiality and privacy issues are also important considerations. Buttons Project reserves the right to edit or screen stories for this website - we will endeavour to do this with sensitivity and care and in consultation with you first.