Forums Home

Lived Experience Forum

Acceptance, connection, support. Share the journey.

Safe, anonymous discussion for people living with mental illness, moderated 24/7 by mental health professionals.

Read the community guidelines
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Something’s not right

Highlighted
Casual Contributor

Abortion ruined my life

My name is Cottee and I am 25 years old. Five months ago I had an abortion and it has completely ruined my life.

 

My husband and I were newly married when we carelessly fell pregnant. We panicked, as we didn't feel "ready" to be parents - even though my dream is to be a mother. My husband said that we should terminate the pregnancy and try again when the time was right. We sought abortion counselling from a family planning clinic and were also assured that the abortion would have no affect on my future fertility - as this was a huge concern of mine. I agreed to the abortion but I never felt convinced that I was making the right decision. I expressed this to my husband who simply told me that my fears were not justified and it would all be okay.

 

Immediately following the abortion I was overcome with regret. This manifested into depression and suicidal thoughts. Over the following months I started to deteriorate physically and mentally. I was having increasing pelvic pains and new that something wasn't right. Finally I found answers, after being brushed off by many doctors. And last month I had surgery which found that I was suffering from a pelvic infection (most likely caused by the abortion) and also riddled with endometriosis. I was told that my prospects for future fertility are limited.

 

I feel like my life is over and I just want to die. The grief and regret are eating me inside. I cannot live knowing that I had the chance to be a mother and I let it slip away. I hate myself. I hate my husband. And I hate my life. Every minute of every day I think about the abortion. My mind spins in circles thinking about how much I regret the past, how much I hate the present and how much I fear the future. The only thing that brings me comfort is knowing that at any moment, if it all becomes too much - I have the power to end my own suffering by taking my life.

 

Please help me. I don't know what to do.

7 REPLIES

Re: Abortion ruined my life

This is so hard @Cottee Heart

 

I see that you are new to the forums and I wanted to extend a warm welcome to our community. It's a brave decision to share your story with others and to ask for help. There are so many caring and non-judgmental people here and I hope you find this a supportive place to be.

 

I am hearing how your decision to have the abortion may have been right for you and your partner at the time, but that it's something you think about and regret every day. That must be incredibly hard to sit with.

 

It’s really important to talk about how you’re feeling if you’re having thoughts of suicide. If you would like more support around these thoughts, please reach out to one of the following services or keep posting on here Smiley Happy

 

Lifeline: 13 11 14 or Crisis Chat

Suicide call back service: 1300 659 467 or online counselling

Samaritans: 135 247

If in immediate danger: 000

 

You don’t deserve to go through this alone. For lots of people who experience thoughts of suicide, they can find it helpful to put together a safety plan. We really encourage you to give it a go here. You might also like to have a read of this resource on coping with thoughts of suicide. 

 

All the best Cottee.

 

Jupiter

Re: Abortion ruined my life

Hi @Cottee. Very sorry to hear about what you're going through. It sounds like you've been dealing with something really hard for a while. 

 
Recently (very recenty) I had a medical termination of a pregnancy that was unplanned and came at a terrible time. I struggled enormously with the decision and am in the early stages of adjusting to it. My emotions are a bit all over the place but I believe I made the best decision I could have made at the time with what I had/have. I truly believe this about all of us who are faced with making this decision. I wonder whether this is a situation in which sometimes there is no real right or wrong choice and that it can instead be a decision that comes from what we believe is the better option at the time. It can be a very difficult experience and my heart goes out to you for going through something that I now understand can be absolutely agonising.
 
I'm so sorry to hear about the complications you had and can imagine how much more that would add to your feelings right now. 
 
Are you able to get in touch with the counsellor or service you spoke with from the family planning clinic? There are services and support available to people following abortion to help with the adjustment and the experience. Three subsidised pregnancy counselling sessions are also available through Medicare with a referral from your GP. There's some info on that here if you're interested. 
 
Something that is helping and has helped me is connecting with people who understand. There's lots of understanding here on the forum. Please keep talking if it helps you.

Re: Abortion ruined my life

I have spoken to my husband quite extensively about my emotions regarding the abortion and my thoughts of suicide. He knows that I am not coping because he is living this experience with me. But I don't think he understands how to help. He holds me as I cry and tells me that it'll all be okay. But it doesn't help. I think because deep down I blame him. I am filled with feelings of bitterness and resentment towards him. When he tells me it'll be okay, I don't believe him. He said it would be okay before the abortion and it wasn't. I feel like he betrayed me. I feel like the my medical professionals betrayed me. And worst of all - I feel like I betrayed myself.

Re: Abortion ruined my life

Hi @Cottee, adding another voice of support to you here. 

I too have had medical terminations of pregnancies in the past, two of them. Mine is a bit of a different situation though, as I was pretty clear that was the choice I needed to make. Nonetheless the second time this happened, it was a difficult choice, as it was at a time in my life after which it would be unlikely that I would get pregnant again. I have no children now and am past childbearing age. There have been some times when I've felt an emptiness due to this, but mostly I live well now with this aspect of my life.

I'm sad to hear of your powerful feelings of regret over this decision, the medical complications that have arisen, and the endometriosis that has been discovered in the process of your treatment. Hearing your anger, despair and suicidal feelings too. Your feelings towards your husband at this time would make it all so much harder, as I imagine it might be hard to accept from him much support, understanding and love while feeling this way.

One thing that is often said about suicide is that it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I realise that you may regret this decision for a long time but I'd like you to consider that it's all still fairly recent, that the medical complications might mean your body is in some trauma from the experience, and that it is quite likely that you are unable to think or feel clearly about the big picture at this time. You are still young and, though there may be difficulties in getting pregnant again in the future due to the endometriosis, it sounds like that is not at all an impossibility. After all, you got pregnant this time with endometriosis, which may be a good indicator that it can happen again. I'd encourage you not to give up on this possibility, which I recognise is a hope you cherish.

I so agree with @CheerBear that you may really need and benefit from counselling about what has happened now. Please see your GP as soon as you can to get this happening for you. It would be understandable if you do not wish to return to the counselling service that gave you advice that all would be okay with termination. Seeing a new psychologist or counsellor might bet the best avenue, but both are options to you.

I am much older that you (56) and I have been suicidal in the past too. It may be hard to believe right now, but we can get through these very difficult crisis moments in our lives. Our experiences may change who we are in some ways, or who we think we are, but that's part of the process of living. It often leads to greater wisdom and understanding over time, and even a better appreciation of life. Unfortunately life is not without a lot of pain at times, though this may be your first major experience of extreme mental and emotional distress. I hope you will find a way to see past this awful time eventually, when your body, mind and heart are not in such flux.

Also emphasising that this forum is a very supportive place for people struggling with all sorts of issues. If nothing else, I hope you will stick around and ask for as much support as you need to get through this.

Kindest wishes, Maz.

Re: Abortion ruined my life

@Cottee I hear and feel that bitterness and resentment in a way also, though mine is more about the imbalance of the consequences of something we both did. I think those feelings are really understandable especially given you were told things would be OK. I can imagine how hard it would be to hear that from him now when he said it earlier and it wasn't OK for you.

I also understand the feeling of betraying yourself. It seems like maybe you had a feeling things weren't right but you went against it. I get how hard it can be to live with yourself when you do something that is in contrast with what you feel inside. I don't know about you but I know with this one I experienced a huge internal battle trying to work out what was right and what I was feeling and thinking. My hormones were all over the place and that didn't make it easier. I was having trouble sleeping and feeling sick. I was trying to think of what would be best for myself and for others who might be impacted by my decision. I tried to imagine my future both ways. Very little seemed to make sense to me. It's not a great place to be making a major life decision from at all, but it is all we might have at the time.

I'm trying hard to practice being kind to myself (people like @Mazarita above help a lot with that) and looking back on what I've been through with some compassion for how difficult it was. If only we could see into the future and know what the outcome of different paths would be! All of these kinds of experiences would be much easier if we had that ability, but we can only do the best we can with what we have and for an unplanned pregancy at a tricky time, sometimes what we have is a pretty big mess of things to work through.

Also agreeing with the above and your endometriosis, though understanding how difficult it might be to hear that your fertility may be compromised. I too have endo but my now four pregnancies tell me the impact on my fertility has probably been pretty minimal. I don't know about the effect of the pelvic infection for you, but I know I'd like to go back to the doctor who told me fertility would be an issue and show him my first surprise baby who is now a very healthy bigger kid.

Great to see you here Cottee.

Re: Abortion ruined my life

I have seen a counselor on a few occasions since the termination and didn't feel that it helped, but maybe she just wasn't the right person for me. She spoke a lot about being kind to myself and practicing forgiveness towards myself and my husband. But neither of those things come easily or naturally to me. I have always been very critical of myself and often have feeling of self hatred and loathing. I had anorexia when I was younger because I took these feelings to an extreme level.

 

I feel like the termination represents a catastrophic turn of events in my life. And I find myself constantly mourning the life I could have had. I will admit I have lived a priviledged life. I had an idyllic childhood, the only people in my life that have died were very old and my husband is my highschool sweetheart. So I have not experienced heartache or loss. Nothing remotely close to what I am going through right now. I feel like I was living in a snow globe and now it's shattered.

 

I am so scared that I will never again feel happiness like I felt before.

 

All my hopes and dreams are pinned on being able to conceive and have a baby. But I'm terrified that I will not be able to. I know that there is still a chance but I'm too scared to be hopeful for fear of failing.

Re: Abortion ruined my life

Good to hear back from you, @Cottee.

The counsellor you saw raised some worthwhile thoughts about kindness to ourselves, self forgiveness, and forgiveness towards others. In the long term, it may be that these are things you could work towards having more of in your life. But I can see how it might be hard to do at the moment, while you are in acute distress. As you said, the counsellor you saw may not have been the right match for you, or not realised the severity of your mental and emotional trouble. It definitely seems worthwhile to seek out another, who may understand better and be able to help more.

In the meantime, it's your survival of this event in your life that seems most important. As much as possible, I'd try to postpone the worry about having children for a time in the future, when you will be better able to cope and deal with the issues. For now I would just focus on my own survival. You matter, and you need to be here first of all for there to be any hope for a child in the future.

Really sorry to hear you have been through anorexia. The fact that you survived that is a testament to your strength, and capacity to get through this too. The happiness you feel in the future may not be exactly the same as what you have experienced before, but you are very likely to experience happiness again, even if in different ways than you can imagine at this time. 

Keep talking if you are finding it helpful to express yourself and be heard here.

Further information:

  • Loading...

For urgent assistance, call: