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, July 8, 2011

“The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.” St. Teresa of Avila

Well, I sure hope that he is because I need him!

I'm so completely and amazingly overwhelmed with the response I have gotten thus far with this venture.  It's more than I could have ever hoped for.  After a couple of days of having my story out there, I had times when I wanted to trash the whole blog and forget about it, what's the point, why am I doing this, it's not going to help me...but then a peek back in my journal reminded me of one of the reasons I had written down about why I wanted to start a blog at all - to help someone else - anybody else.  Bolstering my own psyche was a welcome side effect.

In the last year and a half or so of my healing from abortion - I have tried lots of different things to try to "fix" myself.  Of course, I'll never be fixed in the way I imagine - none of us will I suppose - but I have been able to take on some things that are reparative in nature and try to move me step by step from the 17 year old girl who had an abortion to a woman who lost a child.  That's a big step and even after I take it - I find myself taking 10 steps backwards again.  Some days I still feel as though I'm walking around with a giant A on my forehead and everyone knows!  I have just a few people whom I talk to about this and it's difficult sometimes to even face them.  I really hate being a coward.  It's hard not to think that everything that goes wrong in my life isn't a direct result of my having had an abortion - that I'm being punished continually in all manner of ways, but then I'll get a glimmer of something to remind me that all that is essentially hogwash.  So, back to my journal to force myself to write down some good things that have come out of this journey and some things that may lend me some insight as to why I took the first step toward healing. 

I can't pinpoint the moment when I thought - oh gee, it's been 20+ years, I think I'll talk about my abortion now.  I don't remember any one thing happening that prompted me. I think it was more of a gradual awakening to the idea that this pain, this hurt, this void and my despair that no amount of Zoloft could shake had to be dealt with - and now.  I had to find someone to talk about it to first - so let's just go all in - and find a priest!  Go big or go home right?  I had confessed my abortion years ago - while still in college wherein I was told that I was "absolved," but that he "couldn't guarantee it!"  Um, thanks.  That's worthy of a post on its own I'm sure.  What's the statute of limitations on bad confessors?   

As I sat here and typed out the story of my abortion - I had to just let it settle in for a few days.  As I was putting it out there for the whole "world" to see, the person I was most worried about reading it was my husband.  Although none of it was really new to him - I still worried that this would be the  moment when he would say, "Well, that's it, I'm outta here."  Like somehow he was going to see just how truly horrible I really am and run for the hills.  But, my personal "St. Joseph" came through again - with love and acceptance and understanding, as always.  He did remark that it was difficult for him to read and he was angry about it, not angry at me, angry at all of the circumstances, angry that I had to go through it.

I think the whole idea for this blog started a few months ago when I took my first foray into pro life activism.  I joined a group of people who were offering a prayerful witness outside of a women's clinic on a Saturday morning.  It was a pretty big group so I felt kind of safe in there.  There were a few women there with the signs that say, "I regret my abortion!"  I don't think I'll ever be that brave, but one of them did stand behind me for a few minutes so I felt like - oh boy - now everyone is really going to know!  But I just kept breathing and clutching my rosary.  It actually was really good experience for me.  I was able to hide my tears behind sunglasses and I could ignore the other crazy protesters with their disgusting signs and their hateful yelling. (Note to self for another post - "How NOT to witness outside of an abortion clinic.")  When I first thought about joining them - I didn't think my being there would do anything - I'm not going to stop anyone from having an abortion.  But, a wise priest reminded me that I could pray for ALL of the souls there that day.  So, I thought about all those little souls that would be leaving this earth that morning so that's what I concentrated on.  I just tried to picture my Gracie, ushering those little souls to Heaven with her and that maybe she saw me there and was proud of me.  

So, I'm heading out again this weekend to offer the same witness.  I will have all manner of spiritual warfare going on in my head from now until I get out of the car at the church so I'd appreciate any prayers you might have to spare.

1 comment:

  1. ...he "couldn't guarantee it!"
    Constantly in the sludge of my sins in spite of absolution, this makes sense to me.
    The most terrifying moments -- that become days and then weeks -- are those when it seems this truth is the only crystal clear reality in the blackness. It is as though from the cross He speaks, "You are beyond even My reach."
    "...all manner of spiritual warfare" -- guess that is what this is about?