What Is Wrong With Me?
Abortion is a traumatic experience to the physical body. You may have been informed of possible physical side effects from “safe” procedures. Perforated uterus, infection, and scarring are just a few of those possible side effects.1 However, few abortion clinicians will explain possible emotional trauma associated with abortion to their potential clients. The truth is whether emotional side effects occur immediately or sometime in the distant future, there is emotional trauma.
Below are a few symptoms women have reported following an abortion. Circle any that you are currently experiencing or have experienced since your abortion(s).
Crying spells (sometimes uncontrollable)
Fear of men
Fear of future pregnancy
Strong desire to become pregnant soon after abortion
Fear of being found out
Separation/Isolation (from God, Husband, Boyfriend, Friends, Family, Babies, Others)
Sleeping problems (Nightmares, Night terrors, Insomnia)
Not bonding with own children
Mental blocks of abortion
Lowered self esteem
Avoid thoughts/discussions of abortion
“I aborted my child in December 1990. I was fully in-formed of all the possible physical repercussions of my decision. Not at any time did anyone mention that I would have emotional challenges. In the case of abortion, ignorance is not bliss. Would knowing the emotional effects have changed my mind? I doubt it. But it would have spared me the period of my life where I was certain I was going insane. ” Joneen
You may be asking yourself why am I behaving or thinking this way? Perhaps you’ve asked; “What is wrong with me?” The answer to this question is: nothing! There is nothing wrong with you and you are not alone in your experiences. The symptoms you’ve identified are to let you know that you are not losing your mind! There is hope.
In my personal experience, I had symptoms such as rage, promiscuity, low self esteem, alcohol abuse, psychosomatic pregnancies, night terrors and insomnia that began immediately following the abortion.
I was a few months from being a college graduate and assumed my emotional behavior was my way of processing the uncertainties of transitioning from a student to a career person.
The years following the abortion, I had extremely low self-esteem and was wary of making decisions. I recall an instance when my mother and I were going to run some errands. I asked her; “what should I wear?” She replied; “just put on some jeans or something.” I stood in the hallway with tears in my eyes and said; “just tell me what to put on.” Every decision I would make for the next three years I would ask others opinion. This behavior was atypical for me and because I did not know these were possible side effects, I never considered my personality change was due to the abortion I had had. I sought sex and alcohol to fix what was wrong with me – to no avail.
1 2007. Possible Physical Side Effects. American Pregnancy Association. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/unplannedpregnancy/possiblesideeffects.html.