Thursday, December 23, 2004

Dear Wounded Soul

Dear Exoneree,

I read your blog today, and oh, how I wish I could have spoken to you before you went through with it, that choice of yours to abort your child. But now you are a member of the club. I would welcome you, but I didn’t want you here. I don’t want to be here myself.

I wish you could hear what I hear in your voice today, knowing as I do what you are going to experience from this point forward. Your response to the abortion has left you puzzled by your own behavior, but I understand it all too well. When you were lying on the table you were afraid, of course. But why did you look for comfort in the eyes of strangers? “Mr. Anesthetist,” as you call him, made you feel like a little girl, and you don’t know why you were so grateful to him. But you seem to blame yourself for needing to seek comfort in the first place.

Why did your IV tube bother you so much? It’s a small pain, really. Was it really that which made you cry? And again, you looked for comfort from the White Knight Anesthesiologist, the one who made you sleep through it, the one who gave you medication for your physical pain. If he was so concerned about your suffering, would he have helped you do this deed, for which you now say you don’t feel guilty? Why, dear Exoneree, do you have to deny guilt for this if it is perfectly reasonable for you to have done it?

Remember, I have been where you are. I made the same choice, and probably for many of the same reasons, chief among them, fear: fear for my personal safety and comfort; fear of permanently changing the plans that were set for my future; fear of being the girl who was too stupid to keep from getting pregnant in the first place. But we rarely make good choices while we are in the grip of fear. We forget that, those of us who think we have it all planned, and explained, and justified.

Did you catch any glimpse of the surgical instruments at all? Why were you hiding them from yourself in the first place? You need to ask yourself these questions, hard as it is to admit that you have done wrong. Burying the answers will only cause you more grief, because you won’t be able to explain yourself anymore. When we pile garbage on top of our guilt to hide it, we end up with a trash heap for brains.

Whose blood was it on the bathroom floor, where they left you alone to bleed and faint, and suffer? Was it really all your own? Did a small voice in your mind whisper to you whose blood had been spilled? Yes, I know that it did. This is exactly why we cannot live with the truth of what we have done, and why so many women insist it had to be right. If it’s not okay, then estimates say 43% of us women of reproductive age have murdered. But of course, it’s not okay. You know in your heart that it was not okay, it wasn’t anything near okay, for heaven’s sake, it was a child. He, or she, was your child, and it was brutally destroyed. We do not allow people to treat animals with such cruelty, but we ignore what we are doing to human beings thousands of times every day. These thoughts will cross your mind, try as you might to stuff them away.

Do you think that now you could see pictures of children who have been aborted without thinking of your own child, your own choice? Wait a little while, until even the pictures of smiling, happy, living infants make you want to wail, and turn away. Can you hear a description of the procedure they performed on you, the way in which they killed the child in your womb, without wanting to cry out with sympathetic pain? You can’t. It wasn’t a tumor or a piece of tissue, which you knew in your heart the moment you knew you were pregnant. Tell me, since I don’t have the heart to read it right now, did you imagine the child in your arms? Did you wonder if it was a boy or a girl, and what you would name it? Yes, you did, even if you would deny it now. You couldn’t help it, because as women, we know the child is not an extension of ourselves, but someone brand new in the world, a unique human being who would grow, and grow, and with God’s blessing come to adulthood to have children of his or her own. We can’t deny the mother-child bond, and you will feel the pain of your empty and ravaged womb for a very long time.

I wish I could say something to spare you the grief, but the choice was made, and now you are like me. You didn’t love yourself very much to start with, or you would have treasured the life you helped create, the life which a woman’s body is designed to protect for a short time. Now you will bear the burden of secret shame for much longer than nine months. You may abuse the very body that should have nurtured the child. You may be more casual about sharing it with others because it has lost its value to you. You will have trouble in your relationships, even beyond what you’ve experienced so far. Your current relationship is unlikely to survive your decision to destroy its fruits. You will hate the man who helped make this choice possible, who helped you join the club of women who have killed their children but walk free on our streets. You may abort again, and again, struggling to find peace with your former decisions each time, and not understanding why you do the things you do.

Perhaps you will find yourself craving another child. If so, you will conceive again, and you may let this child live. But your love for this child will always be tainted by your inability to love your lost one. A part of you has died with the child, and it will be as difficult for you to feel joy as it will be for you to remember the depth of sorrow. Like so many other women who have aborted, you will find it is easier to let go of people. Too easy – you will reject those you love most because you have done it before.

Your life has been made harder, much harder than it would have been if you had carried the child. Eventually, time may make that clear to you, if you are fortunate enough to figure out what is wrong in your life. Right now the wound is fresh, and you need warm blankets, and loving arms, and I do wish I could give you those. But it may be a very long time before you will be able to accept them from anyone again.

I have bookmarked your blog, because I want to “be” with you on this dark road. There is light, as the kindest people keep telling me. I pray you find it. I do not have it, not yet. I know it is there, because sometimes I touch on it. I walk up to the edges of this great light, and the peace and joy that come with it. I stand in awe of the power of mercy, and gaze upon it like a window shopper standing on the sidewalk in the cold. It looks so nice, and yes, it would feel warm and wonderful to have it, but I just can’t afford it. I hear the beautiful women speak of their lost children’s love, and how they feel enveloped by it now that they have remembered forgiveness. I do not doubt what they feel, or that they are entitled to it, or that it is real. I only know that I cannot picture my dead child smiling down at me for any reason whatsoever. He would take after his mother in this, and at the very least, he is wagging his finger at me for being such a fool, and for taking away his choices.


At 1:40 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Wow. I'm so glad you have decided to share your very powerful and eloquent voice.

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Wandering Pilgrim said...

I'm reading Exoneree's blog too, for the same reasons. "Silent Raindrops" is also a great site, and thanks for creating it.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger ashli said...

exoneree, site is tragic. she demands so many things that she is not herself willing to offer the world. she despises in others the very things that she IS offering.

oh you can see the time stretch out before her... she is on a black path with much to suffer before being able to connect with that first chance ray of light.


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