… So I’ve been sort of laying low for a bit because I didn’t know how my post below would be received. Writing it was, ironically, a bit like giving birth. The labor was long – 6 whole months! – and so much emotional energy and physical exertion was poured into writing it that I needed some recovery time afterwards. So I hit publish, turn off my laptop, and took a nap.
Oh, and I also went to the ER yesterday morning. I was bitten by a spider three days ago while working in my garden and it got infected. I had a nasty case of erysipelas, aka Holy Fire. More ironies. But I’m OK now. I got a steroid shot so I won’t be playing pro sports any time soon. I was home resting all day yesterday after that and am now just reading through some 275+ comments, Facebook messages, and private emails. Wow. And I mean wow.
I originally wrote that post in January just hours before the DC March For Life. I woke up with a start and raced to find internet access, madly typing it all down before it was gone. It proved to be too personal for publication in a certain news outlet where it was set to be published. I felt rejected having poured my heart only to be told it wasn’t feel good enough – no happy ending and neat resolution. What can I say, there is no happy ending to abortion. However, to say I was also relieved was an understatement. At that point I still hadn’t told my family. It would have been wrong for them to find out that way. God was looking out for me and saved me from my own impetuousness.
But that post really started the night after my Rachel’s Vineyard retreat two years ago. It’s been there saved as a Word document on my PC that long; revised and edited more times than I can count. Lots of you left comments about Rachel’s Vineyard and I wanted you to know that organization and retreat saved my sanity and possibly my life after a particularly nasty event involving the Face the Truth people but that’s another very long post. Let’s just say it is the reason behind this, this, and this post.
Not having the post originally published in January was a good thing. It gave me time to pray about it some more and seek the counsel of some very wise people, one being my priest. I had to be sure I was going public with my past for all the right reasons. I didn’t want to make the public announcement out of fear of exposure because for years now the only other person who knew about my past isn’t very fond of me anymore and at any minute could have exposed me as a fraud. So yeah, there was that. And yes, I felt like a fraud.
More importantly; however, I had to consider what the impact would be on family and evaluate if I was prepared to tell my son when he is older. Then there was the embarrassing vain fears. Fear that I would not be liked or cause a scandal. Fear that some nice Catholic man [crush included] would read this and know for certain I was not a nice Catholic girl. Which I’m not. But I try. Which is why I only date practicing Catholics. Though I’m not dating anymore. Because… you know, I desire Heaven more than I desire a spouse.
Let’s just say I truly felt I had a lot to lose by coming clean. I suppose that is why I wrote my post with an underlying defensive tone. I was fully prepared to be called a hypocrite. I even felt being called that was justifiable.
But than the comments, and emails, and private messages poured in and it proved that the vast majority of you are kind, compassionate, and supportive beyond words. You guys certainly make it increasingly difficult to maintain my cynical world views and steely, stoic facade.
You all have proven, in your comments, that the pro-life advocates are a very caring and forgiving community of people. The few negative comments I did receive were from a self professed feminazi and some random pro-abortion advocates, and they were so far in the minority they had no impact. Naturally all the usual suspects were present in their comments; sex abuse scandals and Hitler, blah blah blah.
To borrow Leah’s Kitler…
Again, I want to sincerely thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. So many of you contacted me in private with your own stories and I will be personally responding to each. It will take awhile. Forgive me.
A lot of you applauded my courage for coming forward and many expressed the desire to do the same. Please know, I don’t want to guilt anyone or make them feel they need to come forward before they are ready. As I said, this was several years in the making. It involved more prayer and tears I thought I was capable of. There was “the talk” with family and a few close friends and private communications with a priest. There was therapy and a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat. There were a hundred things to consider and even more things to do in preparation. So, if you feel compelled to share your own stories but aren’t quite ready I understand. Take the time you need to heal a bit first and search your heart for the right words and spiritual guidance.
And for those still silently suffering… please look into Rachel’s Vineyard. If money is a problem they will even waive the cost. They truly desire everyone who needs healing to receive it.
Some other great resources are:
Lastly, some of the most heartbreaking replies I received were from post-abortive men. Men are so ignored in the life debates with the emphasis being on the woman and her choice. Sadly, the only time men are discussed in the debate is to highlight coercion and forced abortions. But abortion hurts men too and they are victims in need of sympathy and healing as well. A lot of men I’ve met and spoken too all felt helpless to stop the abortion from happening and live with half a manhood, incapable of making important decisions and doubting their judgement for years to come.
Again and again, I want to thank you all for your kindness and understanding. I appreciate and welcome the prayers. All I would ask of you at this point is your continued prayers, not for me, but all post-abortive men and women still silently suffering.