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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » So I had an abortion...

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Author Topic: So I had an abortion...
forgetregretxox
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im not really sure if im posting this in the right section but i guess it can fit.
anyways 3 weeks ago i had an abortion...i found out i was pregnant about a week before. the abortion wasnt entirely my choice...my mom really pressured me into it and i dont know...i guess i did because i felt like i had to...ive been feeling really guilty and i dont know...empty i guess since i had it done...but it made me really want a baby...when i found out i was pregnant i was shocked but i wasnt upset...i was sort of excited but like alwyas i just sort of did what mommy told me to do...now it really feels like theres something missing...it made me really really really want to be a mom...and i honestly have no idea what to do. [Frown] [Frown]

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diamonds4lucy
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Hey there, forgetregretxox- I have to head out the door and just noticed your question, but I just wanted to let you know that I've seen it, and either me or one of the other volunteers will be here later to give you some support.

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forgetregretxox
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okay thank you...
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pyro_angel
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Hey Forgetregret.
Exhale has a website and hotline with resources for women who have had abortions. I don't have personal experience with them, but their values are similar to those at Scarleteen.
Also, here is a list of hotlines in Ontario if you want to call and talk to someone. They are very supportive and usually anonymous.
Sorry I can't be of more help.

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Courtenay

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forgetregretxox
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thanks...im taking a look at the exhale website right now.
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forgetregretxox
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i took a look at the website but i didnt really find much i guess. :S i dont know.
im thinking about the hotlines but i dont know...i dont know if id be able to talk about it with someone on the phone...

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orca
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forgetregret, did the clinic or doctor you went to offer any post-abortion counseling? If so, that might be something to look into. If they didn't offer counseling or they didn't give you the name of a counselor, you can also call up the clinic or doctor and ask for a referral.

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forgetregretxox
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is councelling available without my mom having to know? like would she have to be involved in any way?
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pyro_angel
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Hotlines are available for sure without your mom knowing (unless you're calling from home and she's nearby). Counseling sessions are always confidential (your mom isn't with you and no one will tell her what you say) but getting to and paying for the counseling might be easier if you let her know you're going. She doesn't need to know why or what you talk about.

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Courtenay

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forgetregretxox
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i dont really think i could tell her i was going to counselling at all.
shes really like i dont know...she wants me to be perfect and meh.
do hotline numbers show up on phone bills? >.<

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pyro_angel
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1-800 numbers are free, but if you have a phone bill set up that tracks EVERY call you make, yes it would show up. You could just tell her that you called Nestle to ask them about a chocolate bar or something, though. Unless she called the number or looked it up. You can always use a payphone or a friend's phone.
Also, there are in-person counseling services that are available free of charge in Ontario. It's a big province, but I'll find you some in-person resources.

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Courtenay

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pyro_angel
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There is a women's center in Toronto. I know that may be very far from where you live, but if you can call them (from a friend's or a payphone, or some other way) they can refer you to something closer to home:
THE WOMEN'S HEALTH RESOURCE CENTRE 790 Bay Street Toronto 416-351-3716
Also, you can go to your family doctor (your mom doesn't need to know why) and they can help you find the resources you need.

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Courtenay

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forgetregretxox
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i probably could go to the womens centre in TO...my brother lives down south in toronto so...thank you. [Smile] i think one of the problems is that i dont know what i need? like idk...i just feel sort of weird and off and confused...
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Heather
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Forgetregret, I do abortion counseling for part of my living, so if you'd like to talk more in-depth here, we can do that as well.

I sincerely hope that when you got your abortion, a counselor at the clinic asked you how YOU felt about having a termination, and if you said you felt you had to, made clear that no one has to, and asked more questions about why you felt that way. If no one had that discussion with you as a client, they truly should have.

I hear you saying that you felt pushed into this, and that's one thing we know tends to incline people towards having a negative experience with abortion. Is this something you're able to discuss with your mother? Mind, that doesn't mean that parenting was your best choice, either, but any choice you made should have been one you came to yourself, without any pressure from anyone. We can't expect our choices to be positive and powerful unless they are really OUR choices.

Just so you know, you still do have a lot of time in your life to be a mother if that's something you want to do, and the ability to prepare for that in your life. I hope you realize that having terminated one pregnancy doesn't close that door to you.

Does any of that provide a direction towards things you want to talk about? or are there perhaps other issues I didn't touch on you'd like to discuss?

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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forgetregretxox
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the counselor at the clinic sort of tried to see where my mind was at i guess. she asked me if i was sure a million times but never when my mom wasnt in the room so i didnt feel like i could be honest...
i usually have a really hard time talking to my mother. she works out of town alot and shes really set on me being perfect and every time something doesnt go the way she wants it she basically makes sure she makes it go how she wants? i cant really explain it. i feel like i didnt even have time to grasp the fact that i was pregnant and she already telling me that abortion was the only way and she made the appointment for me the same day i told her. :S i just wish i would have had more time to be able to figure things out and actually think about it with her like...forcing me into something that im pretty sure i wouldnt have done otherwise...
i know that i have a lot of time to become a mother but now that i sort of considered the fact that it could have happened soon it makes me want it sooner rather than later i guess.
im really sorry if it sounds like im whining. :S i just have a lot going through my mind...

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Heather
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They should have counseled you WITHOUT another person in the room, especially a parent. It truly stinks that they didn't and I'm sorry for you that they didn't. One big reason that's not advised, and why that is not the practice in many clinics, is exactly this: another person in the room can easily be coercing a client. [Frown]

I wish you could have had more time, too, and I wish that your mother had allowed you to make your own best choice. I'm so sorry that isn't what happened for you.

It doesn't sound like you're whining. No matter what choice a woman makes with a pregnancy, they are all loaded, all hard, and all a very big deal. It's also okay and totally understandable that you feel like something was taken from you which you want back, or feel like parenting is something you'd want to do sooner.

For obvious reasons, given the issues with your Mom, I think it's probably best, though, to put that off at least until you are out on your own, and financially and otherwise independent so you can not only make your own reproductive choices without pressure, but all your life choices.

Do you think you'd feel better if you could address how this has made you feel, and how unable you felt to make your own choice, with your mother in some way? If not in person, like with a letter perhaps? Even if you just write one to her and never give it to her, or give it to her years from now, just writing it may help you feel a bit better.

[ 07-07-2008, 10:07 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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I just want to make sure, too, that your counselor talked to you about that when a pregnancy ends for any reason, be it through birth, miscarriage or termination, that chemical depression is something many women have to deal with?

I'm not at all suggesting that's the only reason you're feeling this way -- clearly, you have a number of things which validly have you upset. rather, I just want to be sure you know that that, on top of all of this, is likely an extra thing to deal with, and an extra reason you're feeling so down. That will usually pass, but if it doesn't in a few months, just like with women who give birth and experience it, you may want to talk with your doctor about it.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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forgetregretxox
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i keep thinking like what if i had decided to keep the baby and stuff and i really wish i hadnt told my mom right away. :S
i know that i should wait to have a baby but i was sort of excited when i found out i was pregnant and i really liked the idea of being a mom and meh.
i could write a letter to my mom. maybe that would help...i would never be able to give it to her but i could write it i think.
the councelor definitely didnt mention that ill make sure i keep that in mind...

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Heather
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reflecting on the what-ifs is really normal. It might help you to know that women who make different reproductive choices often do the same thing. Women who decided to parent wonder a lot about what if they had terminated or given a child up for adoption, women who gave children up for adoption wonder about the what-ifs had they parented or terminated. Again, reproductive choices are such a huge deal (as well as things we can't really take back), and often life-changers, so it's typical for us to wonder about how different our lives might have been.

We just have to be careful not to get stuck in that, since we can't unring a bell, and whatever was done was done. I know that can be really hard in some situations -- and again, when a woman is forced into any choice, rather than really making her own, it is always much, much harder -- but it usually is best to try and move past that.

I'd suggest trying that letter. Like I said, much of the value is in writing it, but who knows, you may be able to give it to her sooner or later, as well.

Sounds to me like you weren't counseled very well, so if you have any other questions in general about some of this, feel free to toss them at me. I've made doing abortion counseling very thoroughly and specific for my clients a point of pride, so I'm happy to fill you in on anything else that may not have been covered, or where you were left with questions.

As a side note, if you want to, you might also consider writing a letter to the clinic you went to about what happened and express that they make a point to not have parents in counseling rooms with minors to keep this from happening to anyone else. You wouldn't even have to put your name on the letter if you didn't want to. Heck, if you want to email me the name of the clinic, I'd be glad to write them a letter myself.

[ 07-08-2008, 10:52 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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I just thought of something else. Maybe to let go of the what-ifs, you should do an exercise where you really do take the time to consider all the issues and "make" a choice for yourself? In other words, do a walk-through of making that choice to have a better sense of what you really would have made for yourself and a potential child (since it's always bigger than us: just wanting to be a Mom doesn't mean we'd make for good parents at a given time) without pressure?

When I options counsel (which is what I would have done with you, solo, were you my client), I like to send women home with this workbook before we have our hour-long session: http://www.pregnancyoptions.info/pregnant.htm

That usually helps them go through all the issues and possibilities -- especially for women who haven't been pregnant before or parented before -- so that once we're in my office, they have a better idea of what they think will be best for them and what areas they want to talk about.

You might go through it yourself just to see. Even if the answer winds up being that you'd have chosen to parent, kind of playacting making that choice yourself might help you through some of this.

[ 07-08-2008, 11:11 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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forgetregretxox
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I know that I cant change it but I don’t know…my minds going crazy wondering how different I would be feeling right now…
I started writing her a letter earlier but I cant really finish it…im not sure why but Im pretty sure I will finish it in the next few dayss.
I really didn’t understand a lot of things that they were telling me after mostly…like the not lifting stuff and no baths or swimming and no sex. I don’t know…that’s basically the only stuff I never understood and when I asked they just sort of said it was medical reasons and left it at that?
I think that I will write a letter to the clinic. I really hate the idea of other girls my age or older or younger or whatever having to feel like ive been feeling because they were forced into it…
Right after this im going to take a look at the link to that workbook. It seems like it could be helpful or at least sort of closing in a way I guess.

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Heather
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In terms of what they told you with avoiding heavy lifting, that's because heavy lifting can cause you to bleed more heavily, which could make it take longer for you to heal or cause damage to yourself. Avoiding things like sex, swimming and douching is because those things could create an infection which could endanger you. They should have given you that detail, not been vague about "medical reasons," but not all clinics are client-centered or women-centered unfortunately. If you had your procedure done in a hospital, as is sometimes the case in Canada, they may have been even less oriented in this way when it comes to emotional issues, minors and coercion.

(I also don't know the specifics about minors and abortion in Canada in detail, but from everything I know, as in the states, a parent is by no means required to be with you in counseling.)

I do think walking through the workbook as if you were still about to make this choice might be a helpful exercise for you. Know, too, that even though you're right, you can't change anything now, it really is normal and understandable to be fixated on the what-ifs for a little while, again, particularly since your parent really didn't allow you to make your own choice. Again, I'm so sorry that clinic did not ask her to leave the room: before the clinic I work for had that as a rule, I always asked parents to leave the room and then worked to make it a hard and fast rule that counseling just plain happened alone, and if a client wanted someone else to be talked to as well, they could bring them in after they got their own counseling. I think writing a letter to whatever clinic this was might make you feel a lot better, and the complaint you have is a very valid one. Women are forced or coerced into every reproductive choice by parents, partners, spouses, friends, communities, you name it, all the time, but providers need to know and be sensitive to that and assure they are doing all they can to be certain the choice a woman is making, no matter what it is, is really her own.

One more resource I want to send your way is this page from NAF, which I think can be very helpful: http://www.prochoice.org/pregnant/after/care.html

I hope the process of writing that letter is also proving to be helpful for you as well.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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LilBlueSmurf
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forgetregretxox,

I am also from Ontario. If you'd like to give me your city, i can try to find resources in your area, if you'd like.

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forgetregretxox
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i basically figured that wwas the reason but i wanted to make sure it wasnt anything worse i guess?
i went through the whole workbook. [Smile]
i definitely will be writing a letter to the clinic.
i looked at that website and it has some pretty good advice. [Smile]

i live near sudbury.

[ 07-10-2008, 11:09 AM: Message edited by: forgetregretxox ]

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Heather
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How are you feeling today, forgetregret?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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forgetregretxox
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meh. not very good.
my "friend" played the 'abprtion is murder' card on me last night so idk...im feeling alot more guilty than i was. meh. [Frown]

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Heather
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That's terrible. Unfortunately, there's a level of maturity not everyone has when it comes to respecting that reproductive choices are very personal choices. As well, so many people are very uninformed.

You know, more than half of all women who get abortions already have children, and usually children they love. They know what it would mean to the children they have to live with less resources with another draining them, they know how any child suffers when a parent can't take care of them well, financially or emotionally. Many of those women choose to terminate in order to spare their children distress and to assure that they are able to survive: to be fed as they need to in order to be healthy, to get vital medical care, to have a roof over their heads. I can assure you that those women do not think abortion is murder, but they do know that having children you don't care for can do great harm to children. Even for those who are conflicted, they usually see making that choice as the best one they can make to assure whatever children they have don't suffer when they do not have to.

It might be a good idea to perhaps choose for now to only talk to your friends who can be supportive and in talking to you, have your best interest at heart.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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forgetregretxox
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so its been a few days since i posted and ive been doing a lot of thinking..i cant help but feel more and more guilty about getting an abortion...im just wondering how long its normal to feel guilty for i guess...
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Heather
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It's such an individual thing, and it really depends on the woman and her unique situation and set of circumstances.

Again, this is a tricky thing to talk about in your case since it sounds like, for the most part, it wasn't your choice. Do you feel like any of it WAS your choice? If so, and you're not dealing with you making a choice too, but only focusing on being pushed by your Mom, that might be some of why the guilt feels so sticky.

I don't know if this will help, but I've seen and known (and to some degree, been one myself) kids born to really unprepared parents in nonsupportive families. My own mother was basically put out to pasture by her family (she didn't have a choice: abortion or reliable birth control wasn't legal then, and adoption then was a whole different ball of wax, so the law effectively made her choice to stay pregnant for her) and I got to be treated like dirt by her parents until they died. I also spent a lot of time in my childhood and teen years in want of a lot of basics and it was unnecessarily hard: had my mother been able to make a choice, she would have waited until things like that were taken care of first. She also would have been way better able to take care of herself: my being born at that time when they were so young seriously made both of my parents lives very different, and I will honestly say, not for the better.

You might consider calling one of those hotlines now, if you still need some more support and are still just finding this hard. I'm glad to talk with you, but sometimes, someone else's approach winds up being the better one, so there's no sense not to try and see.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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