CALL (or TEXT 8am - 6pm CST): (608) 755-9739VISIT: 21 S. Jackson St., Suite C, Janesville, WI 53548
Hi! I’m so glad you reached out to ask about the struggles you are experiencing since your abortion.
Reaching out to understand what is happening to you is the first step toward real healing. Getting information, acknowledging what has happened in the past, understanding what is happening now, and allowing yourself to sort out confusing feelings will all help you to process through the trauma you may be going through right now.
Your struggle has a name. It is called Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome. Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome is mainly about grieving. Even if you do not feel sadness or sorrow at present, the body, mind, and spirit grieve with every loss that is experienced, and everyone responds in various ways in this grieving process. Not every woman is affected in the same manner, or with the same intensity of feelings, but there are always areas of hurt, pain, anger, and grief to resolve. Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome can begin at any time following an abortion; it may begin only weeks afterward, or it may not surface until many years later. It all depends on how deeply the experience has been buried or “stuffed.”
As Post-Abortion Syndrome begins to manifest itself, there may be actual physical discomfort such as stomachaches, backaches, fatigue, or anxiety. There may be significant weight gain or weight loss and increased stress in your daily life. Emotional struggles that surface may include such things as depression, sorrow, guilt, shame, self-condemnation, anger, fears, nightmares, emotional numbness, lowering self-esteem, and any number of sexual problems. Suicidal thoughts in the post-abortive woman are more common than was first recognized.
In my years of counseling post-abortive women, I have seen that the percentage of relational problems is high as well in the aftermath of abortion. Women tend to keep an emotional distance with others. It becomes very difficult to trust other people when there has been a deep hurt and broken intimate relationships. Those who struggle in relational areas try to keep themselves “safe” from further hurt of this magnitude. Abortion trauma affects even the best of marriages. Seventy percent of couples break up within months of an abortion. No little matter!
Last, but certainly not least, most post-abortive women struggle with spiritual issues….i.e. “Can I be forgiven?” “Can God ever love me?” “Can others I am close to really forgive me?” “Can I forgive those who have hurt me so much?” “Can I ever forgive myself?” “Am I loveable after what I have done?” “How will I ever get back to church and the God I once knew……or I never knew God, but I sure would like to know if He can forgive me and if I can get to heaven someday.” These are all questions that have been asked of me during counseling sessions. Perhaps you have struggled with some of these questions as well.
If you recognize some or many of these signs that are now surfacing in your life, I want you to know that healing follows understanding and working through the upsets, hurt, anger and grief. God has a way of bringing past traumas to your mind, emotions, and spirit when he knows you are strong enough and are ready to handle the issues that surface. If you recognize these areas of struggle now, then now is the time to begin to let these issues surface and to work them through.
Post-abortion healing is a process. You can proceed at your own pace. I commend you on the courage it took to begin to seek some understanding. If I can be of further help to you as you proceed through these articles, please feel free to email me at my address below. Every little step you take will help bring you through your grief to the healing side.
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