The Sixth Street Bridge

The Sixth Street Bridge
At the tender age of 17, I walked across this bridge, alone, into Downtown Pittsburgh, with $300 in my pocket that my mother had given me to get an abortion. I went into the Fulton Building (in the picture) and did what I was told to do. I didn't have a choice - if I did, I wouldn't have chosen abortion.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Forgiveness and Love at the Foot of the Cross

Forgiveness, I’ve found, is not for sissies.  I guess it does come easier to some than others.  My husband is a very easy forgiver.  I am not.  I’ve been known to hold a grudge or two.  Even after someone forgives me I’ve always been quick to re-defend myself and go back again and again with a new argument to prove whatever point I’m trying to make.  For MelanCatholics like me, accepting and parceling out forgiveness has many complicated facets that once shined and perfected, are only gone back over and over again searching for any little flaw that we missed.  Which quickly leads my thinking to, perhaps I am forgiven, but why am I not overflowing with mercy and grace?  Why don’t I feel it, really feel it, down to my toes?

I’ve been on this journey for a while and something keeps gnawing at me.  Yes, I’m forgiven.  Yes, I have to forgive some other people.  There’s no sin greater than God’s mercy.  Got it.  But why wasn’t I feeling it?  Or even if I felt it, which surely I had to at least one moment in time, what was next?  I yearned and sought and hunted for what was to happen next.  I filled the time with reparative works of redemption.  I’ve spoken on this blog many times about the graces that have filled my life since my first acknowledgement of Grace and my beginning to mourn for her.  Yet, something was still awry.  After lots of counseling and prayers and talks and reading and praying and tears, I still felt like I wasn’t finished and was starting to fear I never would be.  If I’m forgiven, and I believe in that forgiveness and that awesome mercy, shouldn’t I feel a little bit of, dare I even go down that road, love?

I suppose none of us will ever be finished in the way we imagine ourselves to be.  I was waiting until I was good enough, healthier, better, more spiritual, stronger, to abandon my own plan and ask what His might be.  In looking at all I had done in the past couple of years, what He might ask of me if I was ready for the next step?  I just kept feeling that there was still more work I could do, there had to be.  It can’t be that easy.
I spent the last several months in the ebb and flow of a cyclical depression that has demarcated my life since August 22 of 1987 and perhaps a bit before then when I started to question if I was truly worthy of anything.  Was I good enough for anybody?  Would I ever be? 

Maybe I haven’t been resisting God’s love, maybe I just didn’t know what that kind of love is supposed to feel like.  I’m not that familiar with all encompassing, overwhelming love.  I know what it felt like in the first few years with my husband, now that was some overwhelming love!  But, over the past 17 years together, that love has eased into a familiarity and comfortableness, that though I am grateful for and am aware of just how blessed I am to have that love at all, it’s not the same as in the beginning.  But it’s not supposed to be.  Yes, my children love me, but as children do, they can make you wonder if you were ever cut out to be a parent at all.  The love from Him is different and I have had to have felt it at some point.  I know I’ve been in the presence of it.  When the tears fill my eyes during Mass, when the first few notes of a familiar hymn begin, when I gaze upon Him in adoration.  In all the places where I’ve sought him out – I have had to have taken with me just a little piece of His love for me.  But then I would keep it in my pocket and not allow it into my everyday life or in my interactions with others. His love seemed almost too big for me.  Okay in small doses, but anything bigger, that would be a bit scary.  Love that big would have to hurt at some point.

I went into my second Rachel’s Vineyard retreat not knowing what I wanted out of it.  I arrived at the same retreat house as my earlier retreat– and it was familiar and inviting and safe and quiet – which is the best part!  I was looking forward to going away by myself “to a deserted place and rest a while."  I did have hopes for finding whatever it was I was missing.

I won’t share all that happened on the retreat for most of it is deeply personal and I need to be a bit stingy about it.  But, like my first retreat, the time spent in Adoration proved to be the turning point.  Another of my favorite things about retreats, the closeness of a chapel, the nearness of Him, the tangible availability of Him, the palpable Spirit so nearby.

I had spent Friday evening and most of Saturday mentally hashing out the better part of the last two years.  Trying to focus on the positive things I’ve done and where I’ve been led.  Saturday morning I was a bit unsteady and I started to wonder if I was okay at all and I started to worry that I may leave the retreat and be worse off and not better.  I had the chance on Saturday night to have a conversation with the good Priest who was at our retreat.  Don’t you love it when you go to confession with a Priest, who doesn’t know you all that well, or maybe you always go behind the screen, but the Priest, in persona Christi – they cut to the quick of it, the very core of you in mere moments?  Wow.  He had me figured out and had many good things to say.  

Afterwards, I went back outside to wander around a bit.  At the retreat, you are given a rather large and cumbersome rock at the beginning.  The rock is to symbolize whatever it comes to symbolize for you and you are to take it everywhere with you.  The last time I held on to it like an old friend.  It came to symbolize all that I had carried around for 20+ years and the guilt and shame and secrecy and unworthiness and the non-belief of his love and mercy for me.  I pitched that rock into a pond on that retreat.  Since it also symbolized my grief over my lost Grace, I wanted it be physically somewhere that I could come to visit if I wanted.  A memorial that I would know is there.  I could come and visit and be sad, but then leave again.  A touchstone that I couldn’t touch. 

This time, I got rid of the rock a bit differently because of what it began to symbolize.  It began to symbolize me.  Imperfect, rough around the edges, heavy, boring, mundane, gray, morose.  There weren’t any shiny spots or anything beautiful about the rock.  I thought about writing on it with a pink Sharpie I had to try make it symbolize something a bit more worthy.  Then it hit me, or He hit me.  There was nothing I could do to make the rock, or myself, better.  All of this good work that I had been doing for the past two years, this forgiveness that I was aware of, yet still I felt unworthy in His presence. 

What I was missing was that yes, I am forgiven, and I will be forgiven again and again and again until my last day on this earth, but nothing I can do on my own can give me what comes along with that forgiveness.  If I accept His mercy, I’ve got to accept all that goes with it – and that’s a long bill of sale. I never felt ready to take it on.  I will never ever be able to make myself perfect enough for Him. Spending all this time waiting until I was 100% fixed to surrender to him.  To raise the white flag.  To just give up. 

I walked quietly up to the second floor chapel and there He was - in the beautiful candlelight.  I went up to Him and knelt down and tried to settle my mind down with what I had just begun to realize.  I started to hear the voices from those who have held my hand on this journey.  I began to realize more deeply that I am the only person holding me back.  Not my past.  Not the people from my past who hurt me.  Not my Mom.  Not my Dad.  No one, not any more.  I am the only one standing in my own way. 

I’m not sure what happened to cause me to do what I did next.  I stood up and moved the kneeler out of the way.  I knelt on the floor for a few moments and then I lay down in front of Him, on the floor, with my nose on the carpet.  Immediately my shoulders relaxed and I felt the ever present knot at the base of my neck start to soften.  My breathing became quiet and deep.  Then the words came in my head and from my heart.  “I give up,” I told Him.  Take all of me, every broken, ugly, gray and jagged edge piece of me.  Take the pieces of me that I feel are forever bruised and tarnished because of my choices.  Take the parts of my mind where I don’t allow you to reside because I’m afraid of what I’ll do if I allow you all the way in.  Take my wounded and patched together heart that still has deep recesses of pain that cry out for aid only You can provide. Take all the memories of the past that I don’t know what to do with. Take all my anger and pain.  Fill me up with something else, fill me up with whatever you want to, just please take me.  Please turn all of this into what it’s supposed to be.  I’ve done all I can think of.  Tell me what do next. Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it.  I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

I’m not sure how many times I said I’m sorry and as the tears dropped from eyes onto the floor and I felt as if every ounce of energy had gone out from me, I felt I heard Him say, “get up.”  And so I did, first kneeling until I felt steady enough to stand.  As I stood up, I felt an emotion that I hadn’t felt, truly felt in I don’t know how long – joy.  I looked down and there was my rock, there was me, ragged and broken and heavy.  I heard my husband’s voice in my head, “leave it there,” which he has advised me to do with many things that I insist on carrying around with me.  I remembered many times hearing people say to “leave it at the foot of the cross.”  So, I walked behind the small alter toward the crucifix that hung on the wall and I placed my rock, I placed myself, on the floor at the foot of that cross.

I walked back down the stairs not just physically lighter for having left my rock, but emotionally lighter.  I got it, for the first time in a long time, I got it.  I had been taking the forgiveness, but saying no thank you to the rest of it, all that which comes with forgiveness from Him.  His mercy makes me a new creation.  Because of His mercy, I don’t have to work so darn hard.  No, I’m not off the hook, but I don’t need to spend the rest of my life searching for punishment for my past because I won’t find it.  As unmerited as it may be, He has poured out his love and mercy on me and instead of soaking up every particle of it, I’ve allowed it to trickle off my raggedy edges and puddle at my feet because I felt I wasn’t good enough for it to seep in.  Instead of being a sponge, I became a cold, hard, rock.  I had become so tough over the years to keep any pain from coming near to me, but in the same way, I’ve kept joy and love at arms length.  I had spent the better part of the past 10 years keeping friends at arm’s length.  I’ve held grudges against family members because it was easier than trying to get along.  I’ve pushed my husband away just to see how far I can push him before he doesn’t come back.  The energy I've spent testing God and my husband and whomever else in my life just to see if I can make them not love me.  I can’t remember the last time I didn’t stifle a laugh. 

I had opened my mind to forgiveness, but not my heart.  It’s got to penetrate my heart for it to change me from the inside.  I can’t change anything intellectually without the cooperation of my spirit, my soul, all of me.  I lay down in my bed that night and I whispered many prayers of thanksgiving and many more prayers for those that I love and for those that have helped me along the way of this journey. 

I started to re-read all of my favorite scriptures about the women who Jesus helped or came across.  I can relate to all of them and I can easily relate to parts of all of their stories.  I read and re-read Luke 7, but this time I started to concentrate on what the woman must have felt like after Jesus forgave her sins.  I had for so long concentrated on these women in scriptures when they are down in the dirt, tears on their faces, drying His feet with their hair, but I would stop before it got to the good part.  He forgives them – what joy they must have felt!  I have only begun to imagine what that must have been like.  I need to concentrate now more on what happened after the forgiveness – love, joy, happiness.  I had accepted his forgiveness but stayed stagnant – not allowing it to go any further.

I know I’m still on the high from the retreat and it’s only been a week and things will return to normal – but the love remains, it will always and forever, despite everything I do or don’t do.  I’ve lived the last couple of years knowing that I was forgiven for my abortion, now I want to live with the love that comes along with His mercy – show me what that can do Lord. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Here I go again...

Later today I'll be leaving for my 2nd Rachel's Vineyard retreat.  I'm so anxious I can barely sit still - which is good for the state of my household since it will be left in pristine condition - not sure what it will look like when I return.  I'm trying not to over think things or analyze seven ways till Sunday but it's difficult. I do have a few goals in mind but I'm trying not to have a plan.

I'm exhausted from fending off doubts and fears and voices and the constant commentary in my head.  I've been trying desperately to focus on the good that I know will come from this weekend, that I'll probably be closer to Grace than I have in a while, and for whatever spiritually may happen.  I can't lie - the idea of the weekend in itself is promising.  I think moms should get an annual retreat every year - preferably a silent one.  They have adoration through the night at the retreat and the idea of sleeping that close to Him gives me goosebumps.

So, I have a little time left to prepare until I actually leave.  I've reached out to a few people for prayers and have received so much encouragement for which I am humbled and grateful. I just wanted to share some of the prayers that have been shared with me over the last couple of weeks or so because I'm sure someone needs them as much, and more, than I do.
Prayer of Surrender

Lord, Jesus Christ, I ask the grace to accept the sadness in my heart, as your will for me, in this moment. I offer it up, in union with your sufferings, for those who are in deepest need of your redeeming grace. I surrender myself to your Father's will and I ask you to help me to move on to the next task that you have set for me. Spirit of Christ, help me to enter into a deeper union with you. Lead me away from dwelling on the hurt I feel: to thoughts of charity for those who need my love, to thoughts of compassion for those who need my care, and to thoughts of giving to those who need my help. As I give myself to you, help me to provide for the salvation of those who come to me in need. May I find my healing in this giving. May I always accept God's will. May I find my true self by living for others in a spirit of sacrifice and suffering. May I die more fully to myself, and live more fully in you. As I seek to surrender to the Father's will, may I come to trust that he will do everything for me.
With Ecclesiastical Approval
Adapted from spiritual teachings of
Rev. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J.
From the Father Walter Ciszek Prayer League

 From Sarah Young Devotions - today's devotional...

Instead of trying to "fix" yourself, fix your gaze on Me, the Lover of your soul. Rather than using your energy to judge yourself, redirect it to praising Me. Remember that I see you clothed in My righteousness, radiant in My perfect Love.  Ephesians 2:7-8; Hebrews 3:1; Psalm 34:5 I want you to experience the riches of your salvation: the Joy of being loved constantly and perfectly. You make a practice of judging yourself, based on how you look or behave or feel. If you like what you see in the mirror, you feel a bit more worthy of My Love. When things are going smoothly and your performance seems adequate, you find it easier to believe you are My beloved child. When you feel discouraged, you tend to look inward so you can correct whatever is wrong.
Instead of trying to "fix" yourself, fix your gaze on Me, the Lover of your soul. Rather than using your energy to judge yourself, redirect it to praising Me. Remember that I see you clothed in My righteousness, radiant in My perfect Love. Ephesians 2:7-8; Hebrews 3:1; Psalm 34:5 

And finally, a Prayer for Healing
God our Father,
your are the only source
of health and healing,
the spirit of calm and the
central peace
of this universe, 
Grant me a spirit
of your indewlling
and surrounding presence
in my hour of need
so that I may permit you
to give me health and strength
and peace through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Saint Michael the Archangel...

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the
wickedness and snares of the devil.

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, Satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world
seeking the ruin of souls.


The New Sexual Revolution

I've written often here about my complete lack of any sexual education to speak of.  I don't think I've heard my mother even say the word "sex" three times in my lifetime and if I did it was not in any educational context toward me.  I learned everything I knew on the playground and on the bus - where most people of my generation learned about it - sadly. 

I'm hope that at some point in the future, the Lord will use me in some manner to educate young women and young men about sex, pregnancy, abortion, chastity and anything else He would have me do. 

Until then, I came across an awesome resource.  The premise of it is a "new sexual revolution."  Amen.  I hope it reaches millions and millions of young people.  I spent time pouring over it and the Q&A section alone - if only I had such a resource at 14, or 15 years of age!  It is truly an awesome website - pass it on. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Gratitude & Prayers on the Anniversary of my Blog

Hard to believe that it's been a year since I began this online journal of my journey.  As with most things in life, sometimes it feels like forever, others it feels like I just began yesterday.  If you've been a regular or even infrequent visitor to my blog, you are probably familiar with my often daily struggle to stay in the light, to remain focused on the positive, to be mindful of God's Grace in my life.  The other day I came across this quote, the reality of which in my life is both sad and quite funny at the same time.

"Must you continue to be your own cross? No matter which way God leads you, you change everything into bitterness by constantly brooding over everything. For the love of God, replace all this self-scrutiny with a pure and simple glance at God's goodness." St. Jeanne de Chantal
Upon sharing the above with someone, they replied with a direction to this from the CCC 2005...

Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved. However, according to the Lord's words "Thus you will know them by their fruits" - reflection on God's blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.
And further, a direction to St. Joan of Arc's (who will be my research project this week) reply to a question of her knowledge that she was indeed, in God's grace, she replied thus...
"If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there."
Amen, St. Joan.

My goals for the start of this blog have been met and far exceeded anything I set out to accomplish and for this I'm extremely grateful.  I am humbled by comments and emails received.  I am further humbled by those who have graciously shared my story on their own blogs, especially Mark Shea of Catholic and Enjoying It, and Dear Father George of the Holy Souls Hermitage.  That they found my story worthy enough for the sharing is overwhelming.

Surprisingly, my blog has become a source of prayer as I pray for those who send me emails and I pray for the unknown people behind the keywords that bring you to my story.  I hope you found whatever it is you needed while you visited.  I pray too for the small percentage of those I affectionately refer to as "whack-a-do's" for reminding me that no, I'm not that kind of crazy, thank you Jesus.

I pray for all those who found my blog looking for ultrasound pictures and how to tell male from female in utero, and down's syndrome in utero, and malformations in utero.  Now I know why I chose that ultrasound picture to put on my blog early on.  I pray that all of you who found it, for whatever reason you were looking, stopped and paused a moment while here.

I pray and am thankful for those who found my blog upon searching for ways to help a post abortive woman, preaching on abortion, and similar search phrases.  I pray that you did find something here and you did help whoever it is you were thinking of.

I pray for the literally thousands who stumbled upon my blog by way of unicornuate uterus searches, and the chances for pregnancy with a banana shaped uterus, blocked fallopian tubes, non-ovulation, etc.  This "rare" condition, obviously not so rare, is not an absolute. I pray that your physicians find ways to assist you and that you don't give up hope on becoming pregnant - I did, three times, when the odds were certainly against it all.

My prayers for all those who stumbled here looking for forgiveness for abortion - know that, yes, there is infinite mercy and forgiveness from Him.  I pray that you have come to know this as an absolute and have gone to find it.

My prayers for those who found me by searching for "abortion."  For you, I offer up the simplest of prayers because I don't know your whys or reasons.  I ask Him to help you and I ask Our Lady to intercede on your behalf.

By far the most visited post on my blog is the Story of my Abortion that I posted on July 4th of last year.  I pray for all of you who read it for whatever reason you did.  My main goal in starting this blog was to share my story to help whomever, however.  I pray that my story has done just that. 

So, for all of the above, I am eternally grateful and humbled more than ever before in my lifetime.  A year of reflection, 73 posts, 47 followers, 10 countries, and 23,396 visits.  Truly, utterly, humbled. 

Thank you to my husband for his patient, unending support.  Thank you to those of you (and you know who you are) who know me by name and have offered your support and guidance over the last year.  Thank you to Grace for your persistence in making yourself known to me when I needed you most.  And a thank you to my two children here on earth, who humble me every day on a multitude of levels, perhaps one day I'll share this journal with you and you'll understand.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Just the brush of him...

My family and I have just returned from a lovely vacation - as restful as it could be with two children!  I arrived home to my very excited, beloved dog who missed us greatly and she and I climbed onto the bed to snuggle and I was out like a light in about 5 minutes.  I guess I needed a mini vacation from my vacation.

Being at the shore is always a place of peace for me.  Whereas my husband can and does find God everywhere in nature, in all kinds of weather, for me it's at the shore, gazing out at the mighty ocean, digging my toes in the cool sand and wondering who had walked there before me?  Where did this particular sand churn up from?  The frothy surf washing over my toes - who else did this water touch? 

I allowed myself some time on vacation to wander and think and write a bit and I had some decisions to make.  I've decided to attend a 2nd Rachel's Vineyard retreat and though I asked just about everyone in my little circle of hope and healing, I was still unconvinced as to what I should do - attend another retreat or not? It didn't help that of those I asked - no one really gave me a concrete answer! I came home with the decision that yes, it will be a good thing for lots of reasons and I'm sure lots more that I haven't even thought of in my control-freak nature of a mind while I still go on thinking I'm in charge of all of this.

If I wasn't totally and completely convinced of my decision - I received even more confirmation at Mass this morning with the Gospel.  I didn't even see it coming.
"There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, "If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured."
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who has touched my clothes?"
But his disciples said to Jesus,
"You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, 'Who touched me?'"
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."
This scripture has come to mean so very much to me it's hard to articulate and hearing the words spoken at Mass today gave me goosebumps.  I've spoken about it before on my journey and, go figure, not until today did I realize that the story is in Mark and Luke. (Don't you love it when that happens?)  Anyway, today's Gospel illuminated some new things for me.  I've spent much time waiting and wondering when I'll be fixed of all of this.  I began this journey in October of 2009 - and here on July 1, 2012 - I'm still at it.  On vacation, there were a few moments of, "there should be three."  However, I've learned to feel the grief for a moment, allow myself to think about it and then let it go.

But, the Gospel today caused me to think that it isn't just one touch of his garment - although that's all it takes in this particular passage - but in looking at the bigger picture - today it became for me the idea that the garment is there for the touching whenever the need should arise.  I don't have to be hemorrhaging for 12 years (or 20 +) before I reach out just for the mere brush with His power. 

On this earth, in this body, I will break again and again, pain and suffering will return in some form or another.  Not until the next life will everything be healed completely.  But for now, I have all that He has left for me to touch, to reach out for, to sustain me, to buoy me when I feel I'm going under.  The Mass, His body, His blood, adoration, the blessing of a good Priest, reconciliation, spiritual places, spiritual reading, a Church with the doors open.  In this journey I've found places where He is that I would have never looked for at all.  The same feeling and healing of touching His garment - I have that feeling on this earth, in this life, every time my child reaches out for my hand, each time my husband touches the small of my back. 

Perhaps in all my waiting to be perfect before coming before Him, my waiting to be fixed to truly surrender to all He wants to give me, I've missed what I've already been given?  I've learned to seek out what fills my soul and heals my heart.  I've learned to ask for help and not be nearly as ashamed of it as I used to be. I've learned that John the Baptist and St. John are not the same person!  (I hate it when that happens.)

Alas, work remains.  I have grown a strong enough faith to believe in His forgiveness and mercy, but I'm afraid I haven't learned how or have refused to forgive many people who I feel have hurt me in many ways.  Take for instance the new ministry by Abby Johnson, And Then There Were None.  On it's face - a truly remarkable idea that no doubt will have a huge impact.  However, it's hard for me to get totally on board with the idea, holding on to my anger at those who sell the lies behind the brick walls.  Opening up this proverbial Pandora's Box has opened up more than just one box.  I fear now that this refusal is weighing me down and it's getting heavier instead of lighter.  Of course, the big stumbling block is forgiving my Mom and my Dad.  But, now that I'm a parent, I see that it's easy for me to sit up on my high horse and say that I would never do the same as what my parents did.  I can't claim to know what their reasons or motivations where.  To waste time on trying to figure it out is pointless, but spend time I do all the same. 

Next on the list are all the boys who came before my husband and took a little or large piece with them when they left. Whether it was just a piece of an already tender heart searching for love or actions that left a gaping would surrounded with bruises and broken bones. Whether it was the not taking me seriously enough when I said no, or my not being strong enough to say no and mean it.  Or whether it was when I said no, and then was kicked in the face and body and no quickly became a yes.  All wounds, and many more, that need healing. 

I'm not sure what I hate more - the fact that these things happened or that I allowed them to happen. That I put myself in the position to let them happen or - we circle back around to my parents as I angrily wonder where the hell where they?  A different time. A different place. A different idea of parenting.

Even with all the horribleness, there were glimmers of my, however faint, voice when I refused to be taken advantage of, when I said no and I meant it. Obviously, I had it in me somewhere, some strength that came from within, from Him.

I was in a "relationship" with a boy or let's call it what it was - after school sex before the parents came home. He never took me out on a date and wouldn't acknowledge me in the hallway beyond a "hey."  One day after school - he decided it would be a good idea to give me to his friend as a birthday present. Yep, the friend was at the door ready to jump in. As much as it physically hurts to put these memories out there - this moment and many others were after my abortion.  I had allowed myself to be used to the point where a boy thought I would be just fine with the idea. I, for once, said no. I flat out refused. The friend left. But the boy wasn't about to let the after school special end with me.

I had another "girlfriend" who picked me up to go out with a group and I found out later that the only reason she invited me was to "entertain" her friend and yes - that means exactly what you are thinking. I refused and was belittled and defriended in ways that were most horrible before the time where a simple delete button on Facebook defriended someone. These were the times of a public defriending where everything you'd ever done would be dragged out or passed in a note all over the school.

Some of this I know sounds petty.  Some of it just needs to be forgotten and I had forgotten a lot of it for a long time.  But, for some reason, now, I feel the need to somehow forgive those who hurt me, those who took advantage, those who belittled me, those who allowed it to happen.  I hope to find my way to do just that.  The Enemy knows my weaknesses well it seems for as soon as one wound heals another starts to bleed. And they are all different. All in need of treatment to heal the pain and somehow make the memory fade away.  And all lead back to sex, pregnancy, and abortion.  Two things that should be sacred and, thank God, are for me now, and one that should never be allowed to happen to anyone. 

I'm still hemorrhaging, maybe in different ways, but at least now I can touch the hem of his clothes in a myriad of ways, ...just for the brush of him.  Thank you to Kariann over at Daughter of the King for posting this beautiful video on today's Gospel.