I had termination when I was younger – there, I said it out loud, and my god does it feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulders.
I’ve been harbouring that secret for years – too many years to remember. Nobody knows, not my family or friends.
I can still remember that day as if it was yesterday, heading into the clinic with protesters outside screaming obscenities at me while tears flowed, and my nerves unravelled.
A young girl feeling completely lost, who felt she had no other option.
It was the hardest decision of my life. I look at my older self now, confident and secure, and wish I could have held that young girl’s hand and told her, ‘It’s going to be okay’.
Because the younger me grew up; she became a woman who knows her own mind and believed she really could do anything.
I am a child of the 70’s. We weren’t told ‘You can do anything you want’, what I was told is ‘If you get pregnant it will ruin your life, and don’t come to us for support’.
In my naive mind, I really thought what I was doing was the right thing.
Even now I often think we should spare a thought for those who aren’t coping; those are the unfortunate souls for whom pregnancy installs the greatest fear of all.
Not everyone was made to be a mum, not everyone is mentally capable of becoming a mum, and some just don’t want to be a mum – and that’s okay.
Everyone’s story is different, but most people feel the same pain.
Did having a termination make a massive impact on my life? Yes.
Do I bear the pain, grief and shame every single day? Yes.
Do I wish I was strong enough to tough it out and allow myself to become the best mum I could? Yes.
But I didn’t and at that stage in my life, I couldn’t. I have to live with that, so please, don’t judge me because I am the one living with my decision, and I judge myself every single day.
Do I forgive that child 20 years ago, making the hardest decision of her life? Yes.
- Written by: “A woman who has learnt to forgive herself”