Is It OK To Be Angry After My Abortion?

Bloggers note:  I often use the term "vpt" or voluntary pregnancy termination for the word abortion.  I believe this takes the political argument out of the heart issue of abortion.

A common response for women who have chosen abortion is that they are “so angry.” This emotion of anger seems to blind-side a person who has voluntarily terminated a pregnancy. This can also be confusing for your partner.  He "thought" this is what you wanted.  Well, maybe so did you!

What are the components of anger after abortion?

1) Anger is a Natural Part of Grieving Loss In an effort to get out of crisis mode,
most women don’t take time to realize that every abortion choice involves loss. A natural reaction to loss is anger. Many women believe the abortion will solve the problem of the moment, yet are surprised to find they are in the middle of an intense grieving process after the fact.

While the choice does bring feelings of relief to be out of the situation, when the dust clears and the crisis is over…oops! A clearly identifiable feeling of loss of the pregnancy comes bubbling to the surface.

2) Are there people involved in the decision making process that I’m angry at?
Maybe there was pressure from important people involved. Do I feel like I listened to them instead of my own heart? Maybe I listened to my own heart, instead of them? Either way, there can be anger directed at others or at self.

3) Am I angry at my circumstances? All the “what-if’s” of a different time, a
different place can cause a lot of anger. Maybe there were financial or medical uncertainties that played into the decision. Analyzing the situational components of a “vpt” can cause a lot of anger.

Anger is a natural response to hurt and or unmet needs or expectations. This is where the actual emotional aspects of anger as related to a voluntary pregnancy termination come into play. Perhaps, there wasn’t an expectation of pregnancy or even an expectation that voluntary termination would be the best answer. All in all, it hurts to realize there was a pregnancy and now it is gone. There could be feelings of betrayal or lack of support from a boyfriend. Or even more common, feelings that by choosing you have betrayed a husband, a boyfriend, a parent, yourself and ultimately a child.

What do you do with all the emotions of anger in a “vpt” situation?

1) Don’t stuff the emotion. Stuffed emotions don’t die. They just get stuffed into other parts of your body. Eventually there can be physical ramifications of not allowing emotions. Clamming up only pushes the emotion down causing further harm like resentment, bitterness and even depression. Let yourself cry. You can write or journal your anger. Write letters expressing your true thoughts to important people involved, including yourself.

2) Don’t stay a victim by blaming others. Throwing your anger out onto others by blaming them, being sarcastic, or even blowing up on them is a non-productive way to express your anger about your vpt. This only keeps you unhappy and hurts others.

3) Take responsibility for your actions. Ultimately, you can release a lot of the anger by working through the anger and recognizing that this decision was an important one in your life. Much of the anger and the emotions you feel are all part of the grieving process.

Resolving and processing a voluntarily pregnancy termination can take time and should be done in a safe environment. There are helpful resources available. There are safe people to talk to who will be supportive and non-judgmental. You can go on the internet and on and find resources by typing in “help after abortion.”

Just know you are not alone. There are always answers. Going through the pain of the grieving process will help release you from the anger you feel.

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This article was originally published at Missing Pieces . Reprinted with permission from the author.