There was absolutely no safe place for me to share about the grief I was feeling. I knew I couldn’t go to my church and receive anything but condemnation. The nightmares continued as did the episodes of waking up at night crying. I made an appointment with a professional counselor in a city 180 miles from my home to seek help.
Go Home and Get Over It!
When confiding with the counselor, I asked him if he thought the abortion I had as a college student could be affecting me. The counselor assured me that abortion was a safe, legal, choice. I needed to “just get over it, put it behind me, and get on with my life!” he told me. I went home, but I didn’t get over it. The grief I was feeling over my loss refused to be pushed down any longer.
It’s been said that if you don’t grieve your losses you will just manage your sorrow the rest of your days. I’ll admit there were times I was did not manage my sorrow very well. At the strangest moments, the tears found excuses to be released. Unconnected events triggered reasons for me to cry, like seeing a youngster sitting in the grocery cart or walking through the baby section in the department store.
When I finally attended a post-abortion support group I went though the grieving process and began to understand how all those tears I’d never cried were affecting me in other ways…anger, depression and my relationships with others.
Getting on With My Life
I was then truly able to “get on with my life” which included going back to college and completing the training to become a licensed professional therapist. My passion to help other women motivated me to survive the 12 years of schooling, studying nights and weekends while working full time. Sometimes this included counseling women pro bono during my lunch hour.
“When a woman chooses the pathway of abortion choices,” Trudy Johnson says, “it moves out of the political realm and becomes her own personal journey she must walk, probably alone and in the quiet places of her heart. With over 30 years of legalized abortion in our nation, our culture simply must understand that women should have a safe place to share their stories about their choices…and they should be allowed to cry about their loss.”
Tears in a Bottle
A wise prophet once said, ‘You have taken account of my wanderings, put my tears in your bottle.’ ( Psalm 56:8) “Being a safe place for a woman to share her pain and grief over a tough choice makes all the effort I’ve put into my 12 years of becoming a professional therapist worth it. It’s an awesome privilege to help grieving women find comfort, peace and closure. Everyone needs someone else to hold ‘their bottle of tears,’ ” says Ms. Johnson.