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.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Today was one of those days...for many reasons and for a single reason, well at least a single reason in my mind.  Today was one of those days because I had an abortion at age 17 and will be and am being forever punished and tortured by all forces of nature, all forces of evil, all things that I can control and all things that I can't.  Today was one of those days where my two living children made me feel as though I have failed in every way possible as a mother.  Today, I failed as a wife.  Today, I failed as a daughter.  I lost my temper so many times today to the point where I didn't have any feelings at all.  I've fought with two young children over the stupidest of things.  My two children who are essentially what my Mom calls "traveling angels" showed their horns today in all manner of ways.  I suppose I should be grateful that their horrible behavior is only shown at home, but sometimes, it's not enough.

I'll spare you the gory details of it all and quite honestly I don't have the energy to bang them all out on this keyboard, but the crux of it is... after all is said and done and the bad day is almost put to bed, at least two parts of it, I'm left here, feeling alone and feeling beaten, bruised, battered and worst of I all, feeling like I deserve it.  Quite often I'm looking for condemnation for my abortion and today was one of those days when I think I found it.

All of this, of course, is a completely ridiculous line of thinking and I should stop it, but today, I don't want to stop it, I want to see where it goes, I want to see what's at the end of it if it ends at all.  All of this is ridiculous because my life is not horrible.  I should be able to cling to all the positives in it, but not today. 

Today is one of those days when I swear off the Church and think thoughts like what's the point, why even go, what if we're wrong, what if it's not true, what if days like today is all there is.  Like the movie goes, what if this is as good as it gets... because I don't deserve any better?

Up until today, although the past couple of weeks have been rough, but nothing out of the ordinary for most parents who work and struggle and worry about finances and their family's well being and what's going on the in the world, but one trudges on because what else is there to do?

Today, I gave up.  I give up.

Lately, I've been learning a lot about the history of the Church and it's been fascinating and a lot to absorb and I assume that one can never ever learn every thing about it, but there are highlights that I cling to and I have my "a-ha" moments in my new found history lessons.  One of these themes is how our Church is of the "both/and" philosophy. How the Church doesn't see dichotomies where none exist, sometimes there doesn't have to be one at all.  Some things are just a dichotomy by design and as Catholics we believe it certain things can be both/and.

So this kind of thinking leads to me start thinking what things am I both/and?  What can I be both/and?  I can be post abortive and happy.  I can be post abortive and Catholic.  I can be post abortive and a good Mom.  I can be both a woman with a wretched sexual past and be a faithfully devoted, chaste spouse now. I can sit and have hours long intellectual conversations with big words over coffee and cigarettes (cigarettes are only allowed on my birthday) and I can be ridiculously simple and goofy and dense.  I can be both extroverted and shy.

But days like today make me feel like I'm not both/and anything, I'm neither.  I'm nothing.  Chief cook and bottle washer with a purely utilitarian purpose.  What if I'm something completely unrecognizable that doesn't have a category.  What if this is all I am, this person I am today?  I'm just waiting for other shoe to drop. 

I don't even know where to go with it all and I'm sick of trying.  I'm sick of the roller coaster of emotions.  I'm sick of feeling all together.  So, if I'm neither, what am I? 

Feeling defeated is a scary place to be, and when the things that cause you to feel defeated seem to come more quickly and easily than the things that build you up, what then?  When will my two steps forward stop being followed by a step back?  What do you do when the words of any prayer barely form in your mind, let alone find their way to your lips or heart? What if you feel you can't even look to Him for help because you aren't even sure he's really there?


  1. The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things but vice versa, the bad things don't always spoil the good things or make them unimportant

  2. When I have days like the one you those describe here-days where I feel like and may actually have failed God, those around me and even myself, I pray to the one intercessor whom I do not deserve, but through His love and mercy, God has given me. I pray to my daughter in heaven and ask her to pray for me. When every other prayer feels like sawdust in my mouth, I simply ask her to pray for me.
    My prayers and the prayers of our children are with you.
    God bless.

  3. Going two steps forward and only one backwards is still progress! May you continue to stumble forward!

  4. You need to throw yourself at the foot of the Cross. That is the answer to all of life's crises, and make an act of will to recognize that God loves you. Because if that is true, then it may not take away all the pain, but it definitely cushions it, and it provides someplace to start building yourself back up again. When you recognize that God loves you, notwithstanding your failures, difficulties and obstacles, when you humble yourself, that's when he transforms you. You don't have to be perfect, you don't have to be without flaws, you just have to be ready to let God transform you. Relying on him is the only way. We're flawed creatures and we need his mercy.

  5. Dear Infinite GRACE:

    I know about the pain of abortion too, and have struggled with wanting to die, with low-self esteem and feelings of unworthiness big time. And many of us, feel that we do not deserve to be happy and that we are terrible parents too.

    Have you gone for any post abortion healing/ministry? has an online bible study, very good too.

    However, I want to encourage you now. Since you have asked God to forgive you, he totally does...the hardest part is for us to forgive ourselves! Jesus taught us to cast ALL of our cares on HIM...sometimes we need to just take a short time out, and get on our knees and cry out to HIM...for mercy and grace and strength!!!

    YOU are a GOOD MOM!!! You are a NEW creature in CHRIST, and greater is HE that is IN you, then he that is in the world. I don't care what people think of me...cause Jesus took all my shame, and guilt on the cross.

    when you dont forgive yourself, you are really saying, that what JESUS/Yeshua did on the cross was not good enough for you!

    Once you KNOW who you are as a woman of GOD, you can hold your head up, and know that you are LOVED, and FORGIVEN and your sins are as far away as the east is from the West!! Get into the WORD of Proverbs and the book of the New Testament and Pray and praise is a relationship with HIM that matters.

    GOD BLESS YOU my sister, and know you are not alone!


  6. Dear Infinite Grace,
    You are not alone. I don't know what provoked your despair on that particular day, but I know what it feels like to feel the way you do. For different reasons I often have days like you have described. The only comfort for me is turning to the Cross and clinging to the Lord. I don't even do that very well some days.
    You must not give up. That is what the evil one wants you and me and people like us who are prone to despair to do. But Jesus is greater than our despair. What causes me to despair most these days if feeling like a failure as a mother. My children are of a wide age range and I am afraid they will abandon their faith, and of course I will wear the blame. Of late I have been getting messages from spiritual reading and at Sunday mass, in my prayers that no matter how I have failed as a mother, my children have their own free will.God is greater than my failure, and can use anything to bring a soul to Himself. For my part I must pray and seek forgiveness for my sins and try to live a closer walk with Christ while washing the dirty dishes.
    Please be patient with yourself and let the love of Christ touch you. A brief act of faith, "I believe, help my unbelief" and writing as you did is a great way to bring the despair into the light of day.
    I forget it too easily, but nothing can separate us from the Love of God. We have to reject Him, He will never reject us. It is a lie to think our unworthiness is too great for us to be redeemed. Great Saints felt the absence of God, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, lived most of her life that way. You are forgiven and precious in God's eyes.
    You are forgiven, and loved and redeemed. I will pray for you. Please pray for me.

  7. Dear Infinite Grace,
    My heart goes out to you... I am glad to see people, who have been in your shoes, offer witness, support and love to you - that IS Christ reaching out to your heart, my friend. I am also glad to see someone else posted about how Blessed Mother Teresa suffered greatly from "spiritual dryness", but she never gave into it. She believed God was with her, even when she couldn't feel Him, but I digress... I can't be a witness to your set of circumstances, but I understand the pull from prayer and feeling like a bad person/"un-catholic". Thankfully it is in these times that God reminds me, SOMEHOW, that He is there. He may send me a cardinal after having not seen one for an extended period of time (I LOVE cardinals!), mostly during low points, or He will take advantage of my channel surfing and "speak" to me on a channel/show I happened to stop on that I don't normally watch (usually EWTN or the 700 club), or He could "speak" thru the Gospel (Sundays, or any time I try to be a better catholic and open the Bible, or even an article that was posted on my FB page)... My favorite times are when He reminds me of Psalm 139. I get frustrated and anxious... A LOT... and He showed me His love in this manner when I went to World Youth Day (in Spain) this summer. I was out with members of the young adult community I belong to (some of us made the trip together) and got very grouchy (couldn't even stand myself!!)... I felt alone, stupid, and useless (self-pity) and left the 2 I was with and headed back to the parish we were staying in. When I got there, I felt like a grade-A jerk and completely unworthy of His love, as I wasn't exhibiting His example... I wrote in my journal expressing my gratitude for the wonderful start to our trip and condemning myself for my behavior/attitude on this particular day. After a couple of small "God-incidents", I was feeling a bit better, and chose to do the evening prayers in my Pilgrim's Magnificat. I opened to the day and started crying... Hello, Psalm 139!! (The 1st time I had ever read Psalm 139 was when it was "given" to me by Frank Kelly (healing service) the WEEK BEFORE I went to WYD!!!) He (God) is truly amazing!! I offer you Psalm 139 as well... it soothes, loves and heals. When I am "dry" and have trouble praying, I offer "Sweet Jesus, please have mercy on me" (paraphrased from something I've read - from Peter Kreeft, I believe, but am not certain), and when I feel as tho it COULD be an "attack", I pray to Saint Michael.
    God bless you, my friend, and give you comfort. I am sure you are a wonderful mother!! Like anonymous, I too, will keep you in prayer, and I have no doubt that God will forgive you... Will you let Him?
    Sending you a (((HUG))) and God's peace... please take a moment and imagine resting in His embrace. He IS there.
    Always, Terri