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Rachel Weeping

Demetrius:  You talked to Peter, didn’t you?
What did you tell him about me?
Glycon:  I don’t discuss your affairs with anyone, sir.
You freed me and I am grateful.
Demetrius:  You must have told him something.
Glycon:  I asked him if one who’d killed
30 men in the arena, as I have,…
…could ever hope to sleep at night.

Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)

 

 

Ally Bowin, national programs coordinator of Students for Life of America writes about her grief over her own abortion at the Washington Examiner:

 

 

This denial continues after an abortion is completed. Denial of grief because she doesn’t want to admit to herself there was actually a life lost. Post-abortive women will bury those thoughts with whatever they can. Data on post-abortive women demonstrate that substance abuse, depression, suicide, and a host of other problems often follow an abortion.

Due in part to well-funded marketing campaigns such as #AbortionPositive, it is common for post-abortive women to be silenced when heavy emotions arise or to have their pain covered with platitudes. I recall the nurses reassuring me with phrases like, “It’s only a 10-minute procedure,” and, “This will not affect your ability to have children later.” I remember telling myself: “Now I can be successful,” “Now I can finish college,” “Now I won’t have the burden of another life to look after.”

I fought my emotions with these platitudes for a long time. I would immediately stop myself from crying anytime memories of that day would creep in, telling myself it’s not something to cry over; I’m better off. But I couldn’t cover it up for long. My fuse was short and I was quick to anger and that anger went to rage. I remember having a couple of panic attacks one weekend because I couldn’t find any friends to go out to the Dallas nightlife and drink with me. I couldn’t handle being alone; it left room for me to think, to feel, to remember.

When I first sought counseling, it was not as helpful as it could have been, because we never once dove into my abortion being the cause of my anxiety, anger, or depression. Yet Post Abortion Stress Syndrome, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a common problem among post-abortive women. I had vivid flashbacks, memories of the day of my abortion replayed for years, at any given moment. Still to this day, six years later, I can tell you the color of the wallpaper in the clinic, the color of the chairs, even the color of the nurse’s scrubs.

Last year, I had the gift of receiving loving, compassionate post-abortive healing. Post-abortive healing was probably the hardest 12 weeks I’ve had to endure in my 27 years. But, compared to a lifetime of suppressed grief and heartache, I would go through it many, many more times. I learned that feeling intense pain post-abortion is normal, feeling regret is normal. And that there is hope past that regret; there is love on the other side of that pain.

To the people who want to deny the pain and trauma of abortion for women, I ask: Why is it acceptable for women to grieve a miscarriage, but not an abortion? Wouldn’t the primal grief of losing a child be all the more devastating if the woman played a role in her loss? The facts certainly seem to suggest that many women feel unbearable grief after their abortion. If it truly had no effect psychologically, why does the suicide rate increase for women after they’ve had an abortion?

Even after going through post-abortive recovery more than a year ago, I still fight the demons of guilt and regret daily. Yet finding post-abortion recovery changed me for the better — giving me peace and the chance to feel pure joy again.

To post-abortive women, I say this: Don’t feel pressured to see your abortion as positive. There are people out there to listen to your story. There are people out there to hear about your grief. Let them in and let them help.

 

Go here to read the rest.  A funny thing about good and evil is that we can expend quite a bit of energy to claim that something evil is really good.  The one person we usually are unable to convince by such mendacity is ourselves.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

13 Comments

  1. Wow, that was very powerful to read. If only this message was allowed to be spread to those many women out of here who are battling denial or suffering in silence. I liked your last line Donald- it’s true we can only lie to ourselves for so long.

  2. The hate that sidewalk prayer warriors see and hear spring from various reasons I’m sure, but this article makes me wonder if the men who are flipping me off as I pray outside the abortion mill are ones who pushed for their girlfriends to have the abortion. Maybe funded the killing themselves. The screaming counter protesters at our rallies are probably women who can’t stand to see us because it’s brutal truth conflicting with the layers of lies they’ve covered themselves in.

    As it was said so perfectly from a seasoned Pro-Life advocate; “Procuring an abortion doesn’t only end the life of the unborn. It ends the life of all those who participated in that procurement.”

    Good fruit from the vineyard;
    http://www.racheltx.org/site/mobile?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.racheltx.org%2FTestimonials.php#3055

  3. They might be the ones whose girlfriend only told them about the child after the baby was dead– and if they admit that it’s not just scraping out tissue, then they have to face that they couldn’t protect their baby from his own mother.

    Same way that if women admit that it’s their baby, they have to face what was involved…even though they were lied to.

    It’s heart-rending.

  4. Foxfier.

    Broken hearts and spirit crushed in your example. How does he forgive her? How does God forgive her, might be her painful perpetual sleepless night.

    It’s all the more reason we need to be that consoling agent. An introduction to Jesus, The King of Mercy.

    We have to work with God to be blessings to these souls unforgiven. That is Rachel’s Vineyard.

  5. I do not talk about this and haven’t except to a priest, so you may be surprised at what I write below. But there are other men similarly affected. They must know they aren’t the only ones.

    There was a woman civilly married to a man who became pregnant at a time and place inconvenient to her. He however knew in his heart abortion was wrong but he told her that whatever decision she made, he would stick by her. She made the decision convenient for herself, and he drove her to that place of infamy. The first time she chickened out and great was his relief. The second time she went through the dastardly deed, and it was as though a piece of his heart had been ripped out. The marriage lasted a few more years before the inevitable happened, and she took the kids and left him in a snow storm. Decades have passed since that crime of murder was committed. The man repented of his complicity but the woman to this day is adamant that abortion is an inherent reproductive right. No repentance for her. Die hard atheist.

    I think about this all the time. All the time. Every day. There is no penance that can undo this crime. The only thing that any of us can offer up to God the Father is what that Divine Mercy prayer says, “Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”

    This is complicated. Second marriage, the first must be annulled, not receiving Holy Communion because of the questionable state of things, and estrangement from the two children. But I despise Jorge Bergoglio playing fast and loose with the rules. I don’t want a free pass. TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. And I absolutely oppose that heretical piece of putrid foul excrement called Amoris Laetitia.

    I want things right. Judgement Day is coming. We all better remember that. It’s certainly on my mind. That baby will have to be faced one day. And it was done in sobriety to boot. My priest and psychologist said it’s a wonder I didn’t drink again. My sponsor just said, “Keep coming to meetings.” That’s why I always say I damn well know what I deserve and don’t get.

    Ok, enough out of me. I probably will regret posting this, but maybe it’ll help someone else to avoid the damn fool mistakes I made.

  6. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

    You are our brother. Christ is our brother par excellence as well as our Savior and Redeemer.
    Your humility and charity in hoping to help another soul by sharing your experience is in union with that of the good thief. I believe you too will hear the words; “Amen amen I say to you, this day you shall be with me in Paradise.”
    Peace and blessings from God to you Lucius.
    My past is akin to that of the prodigal sons.
    Your not alone in your past sins.
    Thanks be to God for our conversions.

  7. LQC, I do not stand in judgment of you. The Church tells us that any sin can be forgiven if confessed with a contrite heart and absolution is validly given.

    The one who demanded and obtained the abortion is guilty of the greater sin. Atheists will cease being atheists immediately after death. By then it will be too late.

  8. That hardness and viciousness that sometimes pours out of people—not just women, but also men—I have found often stems from suppression of their participation in an abortion. That Restless Spirit will not quiet.

  9. I want to thank you, LQC, for your comment.

    I know that the Sacred Heart of Jesus is infinite in mercy and forgiveness.

    Nothing else matters.

  10. LQC,

    –That baby will have to be faced one day.

    Mine, too. One I didn’t believe was anything but cells until days later, and then for years, the panic and guilt and crushing self loathing. And in that place, He saved me, claimed me for himself. The Lord took me back from the abyss, literally, as I tried to die.

    His Mercy is infinite. Even when our suffering of our own making, He does not leave us in it. There is nothing so terrible He will not forgive.

    That child and you will feel love and God’s mercy pour out of each other toward each other. There will be no tears then. Only radiance. I look forward to that day.

    God forgives. God forgives and we must too. We must forgive ourselves knowing how terrible we are, we were, we could be again.
    And we must forgive each other, and pray for each other to be healed.

    He saved you, and saves you, so that we will be United in our joy with Him. Perhaps I will meet you there, too.

  11. LQC,
    Don’t regret writing and posting your story.
    You have true courage and this only comes from the Grace of God. But you already know this.

    God will never abandon you. And you must move forward knowing God has forgiven you. And if God has forgiven you then your unborn child has also forgiven you. For no one is greater than God or His mercy. This should be enough for you to forgive yourself- Daily. You must forgive yourself. Daily.

    And the greatest thing you can ever do is pray for those children whom you do not see. And for their mother, that one day they will come to know their Creator who loves them unconditionally, as He loves you unconditionally and loves us all unconditionally.

    And allow yourself to be happy in your life at this present moment. And receive Him at Mass if you have confessed properly to the Priest. You need the Grace which only comes from receiving Him at Communion. It’s a lonely road otherwise, and you don’t have to take that road.

    You pray and discern and leave it in Gods hands.

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