Letting go…

by Mia

January 20, 2021

On this day, 10th December, I have come to a realisation that I have let my abortion story hold me back for 10 years and this is a letter for myself to move forward with my life and live again.

I hope my story will bring comfort or understanding to any individual who has felt or feels alone in their process of post-abortion or leading up to the procedure.

For starters, I thank the recent short-lived romance I had because it has awakened me to a realisation of deep truth that I have kept this hidden and held on to it for a long time.

I had an abortion when I was 15.

What I remembered was watching a part of me die as I was lying down on the operating table, awake but under local anaesthesia during the whole procedure. Listening to a side conversation between the nurse and the doctor about their weekend plans.

I have always wanted to be a mother but I did not think that I would be in that position of losing my baby. When my boyfriend and I found out our contraception failed, I knew I could not keep the baby for 2 reasons.

1) I was young and did not have the resources to successfully raise a child and build for their future.

2) I would not be able to live with myself if it had to come to giving them up for adoption and leaving them wondering why their mother didn’t want them.

I grew up Catholic and this experience has interfered with my faith in God and myself. I lived on carrying shame, guilt, self-hate, anxiety and fear but kept them shut deep inside. Throughout the following 10 years, a lot of patterns have emerged.

  • Fear of making a mistake or taking a risk.
  • Romances that end as soon as they started.
  • Seeking validation when it came to making life decisions.
  • Overworking myself.
  • Moving countries to escape.
  • Pleasing others instead of myself.
  • Allowing myself to be disrespected and walked over.

As I am currently pursuing my master’s and working in Student Affairs, after my recent short-lived romance, it was through numerous conversations with my mum that we both finally learned each other’s side of the story for the first time. This is when I learned that I have not let go and heal. I faced my truth that I made a difficult decision of losing my baby even though I wanted to keep them. It felt like a part of me reopened when I said the truth out loud to myself and my mum.

I was offered a suggestion by the counsellor to talk to the baby leading up to the procedure. So one night, I spoke and played ‘Beautiful Boy’ by John Lennon. That is when I bonded with my baby. After a week or so since the procedure, I had complications and lost a lot of blood. It felt like I was going through another cycle of the procedure. I was no longer myself and empty.

What I want to tell myself now – It is ok of what I chose. It is ok that I did want my baby but I understand that I was not able to provide the best parenting at that time. Letting go doesn’t mean I will forget my baby. This experience does not define who I am today. I was lucky to have this procedure in the safest practice. I am allowed to grieve and move forward with my life. I can become a mother in the future. I am not alone in this process of healing. Forgive me and let go.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!