Who could imagine one word could mean so much? So much confusion, so much disturbance, so much PAIN. That word turned my life around.
Suddenly, I didn’t know anything - couldn’t think straight, make decisions, sleep, eat or relax. So much for that new chapter in my life, the start of a new job, a new career! I missed the first day of work because I was still groggy from the anaesthetic I was given when I underwent the operation - the termination of my pregnancy.
I thought I would forget. I thought everything would just return to normal and I could get on with my life - now the ‘problem’ was ‘gone’. No one told me of the emotional pain I might suffer from that day on. My ‘counselling’ at the abortion clinic was fast and nothing more than the question: ‘Are you sure?’
I wasn’t sure, but I felt trapped so I said ‘Yes.’ I felt trapped by my circumstances, my boyfriend’s attitude, by my fears. I wish someone had spent more time helping me find out what I really wanted.
I had no idea I would feel like that afterwards - so empty and lost. Why didn’t someone warn me about the emotional cost? And even if I was told, would I have listened? I don’t know. All I know is that my life was turned upside down.
Thank God, someone was there ready to help pick up the pieces. Six weeks of self-denial and pretence was all my subconscious would allow me before I was a complete emotional mess. Night times were the worst. I had dreams of babies and would wake up crying. There was no one to comfort me. My ‘boyfriend’ left soon after the abortion. I could not talk about it to a soul. And who would have listened? It’s not a topic for dinner parties or coffee chats. No-one wants to know. I wonder how many other women are hurting alone like I was then?
What brought me to Open Doors? I’m not sure. Perhaps it was the face on the ad in the phone book. Perhaps it was some guidance from above. I was so anxious before I made the first call but finding someone who understood my need to cry and talk about my baby was worth the anxiety.
I wasn’t stupid - I knew how pregnancy happens and I knew I was risking it with this relationship, so why did I continue? Especially knowing he did not really love me or even want a proper relationship? My desire for approval was stronger than my sense of safety and my own self-esteem - a vulnerable position I did not understand at the time.
The significance of this did not become apparent until after the initial counselling. I was slowly coming to terms with my abortion but had entered another demeaning relationship. Why did I keep doing that?
I needed someone to help me discover and recognise the reason, work through it and then decide how I would make changes in my life so I didn’t fall into the same self destructive pattern. Sounds easy - no way!! So many painful experiences to go through to get only half way and even then to find it is not all smooth sailing. How much do we need to experience before we can be assured of not repeating negative patterns? How was I to know that learning good positive patterns would be difficult too? How could I have done all of this alone? I have no idea.
Thank God for counsellors, grief counsellors, any counsellors, someone to talk to, someone to listen, really listen. They helped me put my life back together.
This is a true story from a client of Open Doors Counselling but some of the details have been changed to protect “Sarah’s” confidentiality.
Open Doors Counselling
5 Greenwood Ave Ringwood Victoria 3134
Phone (03) 9870 7044
Freecall outside Melbourne 1800 647 995
email@example.com | www.opendoors.com.au