Motherhood is everywhere this time of year; learn how to cope with the feelings of loss.
For women who once made the decision to terminate a pregnancy, Mother's Day can be an emotional and difficult day. Particularly, if you never told those closest to you about your abortion.
In such cases, you may feel like you have no one to talk to about your sadness because you are afraid of condemnation. Despite the fact that an abortion can weigh heavily on your emotional health, our culture does not permit you to grieve in an open and honest way.
And even if you have a general feeling of relief about an abortion decision, the reality of motherhood and all that it involves may hit you hard on Mother's Day. You are confronted by the greeting card version of what it means to be a mother, and you have to face the truth that you voluntarily chose not to have this day in your life.
- Know you are not alone! First of all, please know that many women struggle on this day just like you. Women from all walks of life sit in silence over the disenfranchised or culturally unrecognized grief that lives in their hearts. Take comfort knowing that these women are feeling the same things as you.
- Take pause. Give yourself permission to feel the sadness about what might have been. Let yourself go to the pain, knowing that unless you give yourself permission to grieve this loss, you will spend the rest of your days harboring the secret sorrow in your heart. You can even buy yourself a flower or some other sort of memorial type item.
- Talk to someone. Talk with a safe person about the sadness you feel. While it might be difficult to find this safe person, know there are professional and caring persons out there who will listen with compassion and understanding over the sorrow you are feeling.
- Realize this issue might need further exploration. If Mother's Day is a trigger for you, know that the grief inside needs processing. You might not even be connecting the sadness that overwhelms you with your abortion. This might be an indication that your heart wants to address this loss. Go to a therapist where discussions can be completely confidential. Let them walk this journey of resolution with you.
There are a lot of resources available. You can Google 'grief after abortion' and find several very helpful programs. If you want to start the journey in the safety of your own home you can try the self-help plan I created so that you would not be alone and have tools to guide you through the process. All materials from my program are non-judgmental and non-political or religious in nature. Additionally, download a free brochure I created to educate yourself or others about voluntary pregnancy termination and disenfranchised grief. You can always make an appointment to talk to me! I understand your sadness. You are not alone!