Nadine, 28, opted for an abortion initially lightly. But then the guilt struck with full force.
Themselves to blame!
Who was the woman in the mirror? I could not smile at her. What should she wear? No frills or colors. Dear black. That’s how I felt. In my head, two words roared in an endless loop: blame yourself. Even. Fault. Why had I believed my younger on-off friend when he whispered in my ear that night: No condom, please. I’m not coming, I promise you. I was too weak and got pregnant. Despite pill after that. I knew immediately: I can not do that.
That was two years ago. Then as now I find: Every woman has the right to decide if she can carry a pregnancy . She has to add both the body and the whole life! I did not have any roots myself, in my studies, without income. My friend stood in front of my door with his mother: we want the child. We? I could not imagine being connected to the 22-year-old – and his mother – for the rest of my life.
I despised my body, neglected friendships and study
After the procedure, I was relieved. But not for long. I could not pick up the thread of my life again. Why had not I taken care of myself at the crucial moment? I was angry with myself. Fell into a deep hole. Everything seemed gray to me. The marketing exam in the summer semester I just passed with a four plus, I was not really present. How did people do that carving themselves? Would it have been a relief to see blood flow? I would have liked to cut out my fertility. I despised my body, which had reacted so feminine.
Terrifying thoughts that I did not know about me. And again and again this accusing endless loop in my head: blame yourself. I pulled myself out of everything, neglected friendships as well as my studies, nothing seemed to make sense anymore.
Finally, my sister handed me a note with the number of a therapist in my hand: Report there, otherwise I’ll do it. But I would not have found the way. Finally, there was a place where I could leave my self-doubt. The experiences with my body. With the gynecologist who gave me the demolition drug after an hour again – she was not fast enough.
The most healing moment came in a conversation with my grandmother
An important phrase from the therapist was: “You too have a right to grief.” People are fallible and this is not easy to accept in our perfectionist world. I had to forgive myself, give way to the pain. I found a farewell ritual for the soul that I could not give home – because I had to find it first for myself.
The fact that I had been weak in bed at that moment crystallized into a life theme for me: how does that work, better stand up for me, take care of myself? Long corridors through the forest gave me back ground under my feet, my eyes lifted. I started my life again, understood my studies again as an opportunity, saw land. But the most healing moment came in a conversation with my grandmother. She said suddenly: You know, I have experienced that too. Early sixties. The man was married, from the same village, it would have been a scandal. At that time she drove to Holland alone to break off. We lay in our arms howling and felt each other as close as never before.
When I meet people at parties today who are judging about abortions , with sentences like: “How can this happen today?”, It constricts my neck. Life is not that easy. Perhaps that was the most important lesson of this difficult time: being compassionate to oneself and others. Do not judge rashly, about others and about yourself.