Women and teens who have lost a child due to abortion can feel captive to toxic emotions, but they do not have to stay there. If you are ready to take some simple steps toward healing from the emotions that remind you of what happened here are some helpful tips using the LOVE Principle: find a listening ear who can validate your feelings and encourage you to seek help.
A trained coach can help. Sometimes going to a good friend or unqualified source only brings you more invalidation and can cause more trauma. The first time you reach out may not give you the listening ear, and validation. Make sure your choice can edify your grieving process. Counselors and coaches, even friends or professionals can condemn abortion and invalidate your grief. This is your story. How you feel is what matters. Know that you can recover from the emotions that are making life difficult including: overwhelming sadness, guilt, lack of concentration, day-dreaming, insomnia, anxiety or depression.
A strong first step is to share your secret. As in any path to healing from life altering situations, it is important that you be honest with yourself and give yourself permission to re-visit the occurrence regardless of how much time has passed. Consider the possibility that keeping the secret is requiring more energy than you have available. The issue has decided to surface.
Give yourself a break. Many times if we can’t find others to condemn and punish us, we will take over the job ourselves! Understand that abortion can involve many losses even separate from the pregnancy. The outcome often impacts other relationships, trust, intimacy and future pregnancies. Give yourself permission to mourn your losses and feel the emotions of those losses.
Do not confuse the latest political, legal or religious debates with your own past decision. If you listen to all the rhetoric from both sides you will become paralyzed with fear and confusion which will increase your anxiety. Know that walking out of the darkness and into the light of healing will free up space in your mind and heart to put towards positive outcomes in your life.
If you are ready to talk as a result of this article, I welcome a free 10 min video chat to encourage you to get help. Visit JessicaGaffney.com to book a time slot.