My experience of deep loss, rebirth and finding my body again.
I felt compelled to write about this because I had a duty to share my experience. I know there are other women out there who feel the same way I do. Nothing prepares you for this. No one can tell you how it will feel. No one can teach you how to deal with the loss and how to fight to find yourself again. No one can prepare you for the utter emptiness you feel inside. No one can tell you it will be OK.
I never thought I would have to ever face this alone. I felt helpless, and still feel something missing that will never be replaced. I know women in my family who underwent six, or seven abortions just because it was a form of contraception for them.
I was horrified at the fact that the body can go through so much change and preparation only to then be void, useless, unproductive and scarred. I felt abandoned and alone. My partner who had left me 3 weeks prior, was unresponsive, abusive, or declined any reply to my pleas for assistance, or support. At every attempt to communicate, I was met with disbelief, accusations and threats. That betrayal felt far worse than the realization that I had to undertake this procedure all on my own.
I told my mother, two weeks before I booked my appointment with the clinic. She was my hero and my support the whole time before during and after the abortion. She understood me even without saying a word, she felt compelled to be there even though this was something she wasn’t prepared for either. She was a calm force beside me and quite honestly, I could never have done this without her. I was falling apart. She was there for me every step of the way. She stayed at the clinic when I got my final blood tests, waited patiently as we drove the 30 minutes from the house to the clinic, she stayed in the waiting room as I got my final ultrasound, and took me to the home after all was done. I barely ate, or slept before that day, and for weeks after. I saw nightmares and dreams of death, and the only thing that kept me sane was my yoga practice and my daily meditation.
“the body can go through so much change and preparation only to then be void, useless, unproductive and scarred”
I was devastated at all this loss. The loss of my partner’s support who refused to believe I was pregnant, demanded proof, and called me a liar, and a nut job, who instead sent me abusive, threatening messages, and lent me no support in my decision to terminate the pregnancy. The loss of my body and my ability to fathom ever recovering from this, and the loss of my faith in a person who I loved dearly and wanted to share this scary life changing experience with, who showed no understanding or care for what I was going though.
Yet with all this pain and insanity, came the people who surrounded me with so much love, care and support from every part of my life, that I felt it embracing me like no other time. The clinic was incredibly supportive before, during and after the procedure. My closest friend in New York, called me every day, my friends in Greece sent constant messages, acquaintances reached out and assured me that everything I was feeling was normal. Women I only had a recent connection with spoke to me, walked me through it and reassured me that everything however uncomfortable was normal….
I felt far from normal, and nothing was normal.
Upon arriving for my appointment, I was met with the kindness and understanding that is so vital when going through something so incredibly difficult and life altering. There were no protesters, there was no harassment and above all there was no moment where I was made to feel guilty because of my decision. I chose to go to Massachusetts at a women’s clinic that was not only incredible in their services, but beyond the call of duty in their emotional and physical support during the whole process. Going through this alone in New York felt like a fight I was not prepared for.
I felt the after effects for days, and weeks after the abortion. My body felt numb, dizzy, and nauseous. I felt faint and weak and could barely function for the first few days after the procedure. I felt absolutely torn from myself, devastated at not being with the person I loved so much during this difficult part of my life, and incapable or feeling anything at all but waves of shame, remorse and regret. I was at my lowest point when I reached out to a trusted confidant who directed me to an incredible organization based in New York called Avail. I had to talk to someone who knew exactly how I felt, who knew exactly what my body was going through and who needed no explanations.
Avail proved to be so much more than a recovery center. It has been a safe haven for me to let go of all the feelings connected to my pregnancy, my abortion and how I didn’t think I could move on from my sadness. Their counselors and group support staff have been incredibly supportive in guiding me towards, recovery in my body and finding some joy again in everyday life. This is a service that is available to all women for free, and offer group as well as individual counseling that has brought me to a place of some acceptance that I could never have achieved on my own. It has given me the resolve to talk about my experience and share my grief in a way that would not be possible otherwise.
“I felt the after effects for days, and weeks after the abortion. My body felt numb, dizzy, and nauseous”
This experience however difficult, deeply sobering and saddening has given me the strength to educate others on what they can do to heal their bodies, focus on those who will care and support them and become stronger through their adversity, as did I. It’s been over a month and although I’ve had some very dark days, feeling a sadness that can’t be described, and I still battle with nightmares and hormonal changes that I can’t control, I am slowly making peace now with the choice I made, and my body is slowly coming back to life.
If anyone in your life needs support help each other, women need other women to listen, comfort and surround themselves with positive understanding people through this very daunting time in their lives. In my darkest hour, women reached out to me in ways I could never have imagined. This journey hard as it was has taught me that nothing is more valuable than the knowledge that we are all stronger together.
Please know that you are never alone and even if it takes months or years it will be OK.
For further information on Avail please check the link below: