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.

Friday, January 18, 2013

7 Quick Takes on Being Postabortive


--- 1 ---
Just when you think you are going along just fine, doing well, trudging on, WINNING... you're knocked so far down you start to believe you may never get up.  Through blurry, tear stained eyes, a bleary mind, and a heart that is testing the strength of the stitching holding it together, you wake up the next day still alive.  Now what?  I hope that one of my "7 Quick Takes Friday" posts will be a joyful one - today is not that day.  Today is the day I just spit out what's on my mind in the hopes that it helps someone, somewhere, or just me.

--- 2 ---
Last evening, I had the privilege of helping with a task that I had initially suggested and was grateful that the suggestion was received. I stuffed bulletins at my parish with a quote from JPII speaking with women who have had abortions and information on where to go for help for postabortion healing.  Aren't I just a success story?  I sat there and placed each insert in however many bulletins until I ran out.  I tried to pray as I did so.  Then the doubt crept in.  Who the hell am I to sit in my parish rectory, all holier than thou, stuffing bulletins from my new-found high horse? 
--- 3 ---
I decided to go over to adoration when I was finished, grateful for the opportunity, and the idea that I was so near by to Him all that time just had me quite giddy.  I wasn't prepared for adoration, no journal, no book, no rosary... just me.  I sat there and asked for forgiveness and offered thanksgiving and then asked for help.  I'm not sure what I got.  I began to think about a lot of things and my parents in particular, and things I haven't thought about in a long time.  Long story short, with tears streaming, face down, I left adoration and went to my car where I was able to lose it completely.  I was alone and I cried and cried and cried, drove home, poured it out to my hubby, cried some more.  Cried myself to sleep.

--- 4 ---
I hope that next week on the March for Life, prayers are said for the walking wounded who abortion has scarred for life.  Millions of women and men, millions of stories, millions of reasons, excuses, and lies, millions of children in heaven waiting, albeit in paradise, for their parents to come.  I hope that the people who line the streets with those pictures of ripped up and torn up babies realize they are preaching to the choir at the March - and are hurting more than helping at that point.  You, with the ugly signs, you will cause me to doubt the mercy of my Lord and Savior - that's what your signs do. 

--- 5 ---
Why do we need prayers?  Abortion is an evil, despicable thing.  I will never forget it, though I beg to.  I want the memory to leave me. If I could cut out the part of my brain where them memory festers, I would. I want the pain to stop, the never ending, always there, throbbing at different intensities but always there, pain of what I did, of what I had, of what I don't have, of what could have, would have, should have been.  I want the sound of that machine to be gone forever.  I want the sound of scraping metal on metal surgical tools on a tray to leave me.  I want the memory of that abortionist's face, only from profile because he never once looked at me, to disappear.  I want the cold feeling of the speculum violating me in a way I never even knew existed until that moment to go away. I want the memory of the cramping, and pulling, and tugging, and "just a little pressure, now," to stop.  I want the tears I remember silently rolling down the sides of my face to dry up. I want the feeling of the "counselor's" hand in mind to leave me.  I want her words of, "it's going to be okay, it's almost over," to never enter my mind again.  My body was not made for this violence.  Those precious parts of me that He created to bring forth life were now and forever damaged and made into something else entirely and over and over and over again for a long while the damage resurfaced.  And now, despite the blessings heaped upon me in my mostly charmed life, the pain remains, the emptiness, the despair, the loneliness, and hopelessness at times when I'm so not expecting it.

--- 6 ---
In 1987 there was no ultrasound. I was fed the "bunch of cells" lie and I tried to believe it.  Now, I know how big that lie is.  Now I'm not only tortured by the pain of my memories of the abortion, now I have the added pain of exactly what was taken from me in my face every day. Now I can see online pictures of the abortion procedure room, and that machine, and the jar that my Grace was deposited into. I can't enter a doctor's office to this day without flashing back to that "treatment" room.  Same tile floors, same ceiling, same smells.  I don't know how to put this all away in some nice little box on the shelf and be rid of it.  My anger turns to Him as I ask why?  Why did you make me go through this? Why did you make me bring it up - now?  Why did you make me feel like I have some part in stopping the violence to happening to someone else?  Just leave me alone with it, where I can stuff it down inside me and never act on it. Why do I write about it and talk about it?  Why am I going to the March for Life next week? What's the point? 

--- 7 ---
That's it.  That's all I've got for today.  Hopefully the fog will lift throughout the day today as I go about my vocational duties and chores.  Hopefully I keep the demons at bay.  Hopefully I'm reminded of why I'm here and what the point is.   

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

21 comments:

  1. See you at the March for Life, where we can pray together for healing on this country and for the Truth to be loved and accepted in many hearts... because GOD IS GREATER...

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  2. I think your points on #s 4, 5, and 6 are so well made, so beautifully albeit sadly articulated. I saw a picture the other day that I thought said it all: when there is a crisis pregnancy, we must work to eliminate the crisis, not the pregnancy. And we must meet those who have ended the pregnancy with love. Only love.

    I am so sorry this was all brought back up for you. I am so glad you are working at your parish to educate and hopefully save someone else from this pain. Personally, I think you have more right to be there than anyone else.

    Praying for you, daily, but extra this coming week!

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  3. Bless you. I pray God will help you to see His goodness in all of this - for He *can* make good come of it. If you haven't already, ask God to show you His Father heart - He knows what it is to lose a child.

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  4. When I was at Urbana 2000 (a mission conference at the University of Illinois -- Urbana/Champaign), the Operation Rescue people decided to come with their pictures of aborted babies. You want to talk about preaching to the choir? 20,000 evangelical college students, missionaries from around the globe, pastors....

    There are definitely better ways to get the message across as you well know. I have friends from college who had abortions and none of them have escaped it without depression and regret.

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  5. You are not alone! There are many ways to have an abortion and one of the least discussed is through contraceptive devices. I never understood what happened to me until I read Blessed JohnPaul II's Theology of the Body. Then my eyes were opened and my heart and mind burned with the grave sin that I had committed. But where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. In my darkest moments, this loving creator and redeemer kept calling me back from my own personal hell. The daily rosary was my first ladder out of the darkness and then reading books by Catholic authors who are true to the Magisterium, daily Mass, monthly confession, Adoration, and following Catholic blogs are just some of the ways to keep me on the path to holiness. Our redeemer came not for saints but for us, the sinner. My sweet Mother Mary then led me to the secular Carmelites and to consecration to her. Prayer is a powerful force that wraps me in a mantle of love and keeps me heading towards the light rather than the darkness. I will keep you in prayer this day! Blessings in Carmel!

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  6. Thank you all for your words of encouragement and solidarity and prayers. Even with how horrible the other night was, the next day I returned to Mass. I just felt like I had to. It's become "home" for me I guess. This week will be a challenging one, no doubt, so thank you for your prayers. I ask that you pray for all postabortive women. The USCCB has a page for prayers for this weekat http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/nine-days-of-prayer-penance-and-pilgrimage-marking-the-40th-anniversary-of-roe-v-wade.cfm

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  7. I'll pray for you and all the other post-abortive women.

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  8. Be consoled!
    By declining to wallow in fear and isolation (a very illusive 'coping strategy' - the wiles of the Deceiver in fact) you accepted the grace on offer - just yesterday afternoon at my usual weekly Holy Hour I noted this down "As I was trying to make my Holy Hour, I saw the suffering Jesus, who spoke these words to me: My daughter, do not pay so much attention to the vessel of grace as to the grace itself which I give you, because you are not always pleased with the vessel, and then the graces, too, become deficient. I want to guard you from that, and I want you never to pay attention to the vessel in which I send you My grace. Let all the attention of your soul be concentrated on responding to My grace as faithfully as possible." after reading it @ para 1599 in the chapel's copy of the Diary of the secretary of Divine Mercy
    http://www.divinemercystpauls.com/Saint%20Faustina%20Diary/HTML/files/assets/basic-html/page362.html
    (The "vessel" I take to be the mere earthly circumstance: an encounter with a specific person or persons, an remarkable (or unremarkable) event, a certain (or uncertain) thing, even an acute (or vague) feeling, which in the transcendent scheme of things are all perishable and passing 'means' (no we never 'use' another human being as a means, yet the situational aspects of the relationship certainly are form the means of our redemption) to the permanent eternal 'end' Jesus wants us to follow the light of his merciful grace guide us on the journey.
    Indeed you are a very courageous soul, so few Christians live out the consequences of the compunction from their sins for fear of the burden it brings.

    Jesu ufam tobie!

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    1. wow. thank you for the insights. Trying not to give in to the isolation is difficult... I do have two young children who keep me busy whether I like it or not. It's the quiet hours of the night that are most difficult.

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  9. Thank you for opening your journey. My story is very much like yours. Are you going to be marching with the Silent No More group? Have you given your testimony there? Sadly I will not make it this year, but in past years, as I have done that, there has been a huge strength gained. Yes, you are surrounded with the like-minded, but each person's testimony is heard and appreciated, and is UPHELD and the truth attested to in a way that has great ramifications, some seen, some not.

    My abortion was over 30 years ago now, and certain scenes still come before my eyes, and sometimes, as in your memories during adoration, things I had forgotten will be brought up. Oh, how I would like to never have to look back! I can only hope that the Lord means it for my good and others. That somehow those painful memories, if nothing else, will be a small suffering to offer, and to gain insight into what others may be dealing with.

    God Bless you!
    +JMJ+

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    1. I won't be with the Silent No More Group, I hope to one day in the future. I will be with a parish group. I do remember vividly last year walking behind the long, long line of women holding up their signs and wanting to tap each one. Just to see them all there together was uplifting. There are millions of us, but yet we all think we're the only one sometimes.

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  10. You wonder what right you have to speak against the evil of abortion, when you've had one. Let me just say that the world needs people who will testify to its evil and to the incalculable damage it causes. Who has more right and credibility than one who has walked that road and experienced that pain? Perhaps this is the purpose in all your pain, and in your redemption--that you might be a witness to the lies told andy the damage caused, a witness that might be rejected by those who don't want to hear the message, but can never be refuted, because the story you tell is the story you lived, and live with still. Stand strong. You may never know the full extent of your influence, but never doubt that it exists.

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  11. Perhaps this thought can also give you some solace when you linger in the moonlight hours?
    "THE CENTER of every man's existence is a dream. Death, disease, insanity, are merely material accidents, like a toothache or a twisted ankle. That these brutal forces always besiege and often capture the citadel does not prove that they are the citadel." ~G.K. Chesterton: 'Twelve Types.'
    ie dream...now through a glass darkly...then wake face to face!

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    1. oops missing URL
      http://www.facebook.com/r.php?fbpage_id=10634906142&r=111
      [https://www.facebook.com/G.K.Chesterton?group_id=0]

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  12. Dear Ancilla Domini,
    Don't know if this will help, but when I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year I was struck by how amazing the ways of God are. I know that sounds funny, but from a medical point of view why I got cancer was, and remains, a mystery. From a faith standpoint, any suffering we are allowed by God has a purpose: to help us grow in His grace and love; to help those around us, even the souls in Purgatory.

    I found myself wondering if maybe my cancer was a cross (teeny-tiny one) to carry for someone who couldn't carry it herself.

    Perhaps your pain and anguish, coming even as you reach out to help others, is a sign of Christ's enormous trust in you. Perhaps there's a woman, or many women, who can't handle their own pain; whose anguish would destroy them, and so Our Lord chooses you for this blessing (such a blessing!). Not just you, but your family and friends who support you, pray for you and comfort you.

    God bless you; you're in my prayers.

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    1. "Christ's enormous trust in you..." Wow, Freddy. I get weak in the knees just thinking what if that were true or is true. Your words have touched my heart, I can only pray to live up to them.

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  13. Dear "Non Existent Mother" who commented on this post earlier. I'm glad you found my blog. I did have to edit your comment on my blog, however, and I can't agree to follow you on your blog because "counseling" you through an abortion would be to agree with it. I can't do that. My advice is just don't do it. Read every post on my blog and you'll understand why. There is always another way. A friend of mine suggested you visit www.optionline.org where you can search by zip code for local help and assistance. Or reach out to your local Catholic Diocese and/or Catholic Charities office for places and people who can help you. Have you thought about adoption? You will be in my prayers and I hope and pray that you choose life for you are not a "non existent mother," you already ARE a mother.

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  14. Whether or not you ever "carry a sign," silent you are not. My gratitude only increases for you -- and for Him for leading me to your loud, loud words. A week later, a month later, a year later and thensome, you have made such a difference. I hope that at least for today, that is one millionth the consolation you have brought to countless. Thank you.

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