Thursday, January 13, 2005

Of All The Things I've Lost...

Of all the things I’ve lost, it’s my mind I miss the most.

I have been trying to remember all of the events surrounding my abortion with little success. Last night, I had a snippet of recovered memory. The first time I told the story of what happened in that clinic was to a Franciscan priest. (Thank God for the Franciscans!) Now I can clearly recall telling him these words, “I saw my baby,” an admission moaned in horror as I was crumpled on the floor, rocking myself and holding my hands on my belly without realizing it. I remember saying the words, but I cannot now remember what I actually saw. I know I saw more than just the blood and gore-filled jars when I sat up “too soon.” The nurse was busy at the cart with her back to me. I can guess from what I have learned about abortion procedures that she was probably going through the shredded remains of my child, making sure they removed every part of his tiny body from my womb, which I had unthinkingly clutched in remembered pain while reliving the telling of his death.

I read that many women suffer on the anniversaries of their abortions or near what would have been their children’s due dates. I cannot even remember the month in which I had the abortion. I didn’t go back to school afterward, but school had been in session when I learned I was pregnant. So it must have been May or June. But my mother’s birthday is at the end of May, so I should remember if it was near that date. I don’t, and at this moment, nothing bothers me more than that.

I am desperate to find words to write this week that aren’t hateful, angry, accusing, and despairing, but I cannot even remember the date my child died. So I offer you the words of other women that ring with truth in my own life. I included an excerpt of my own testimony, which startles me every time I re-read it. It is both unfamiliar and indelibly written on my soul.

Overcome with heartache, Gina began to moan. Bent over holding her womb, she couldn't believe she had actually had an abortion.

At the abortion clinic, I wore new house shoes that my mother had bought me. They had blood on them from my walk from the bathroom to the bed. After I returned home, I wrapped them up in a towel because I couldn't wash off the blood and hid them under long dresses in the back of my closet. Every time I moved between dorm rooms and apartments after college, I moved them and hid them at the back of my new closet. After several years, I washed them but still couldn't look at them because [I] could still see the blood. Finally, it came to me that I could throw them away.

I dreamed that I was contentedly floating in a beautiful pool, enjoying the clear sky. It was very peaceful. But then I noticed that my legs were becoming entangled in the hose of one of those vacuums they use to clean a pool. At first I was just annoyed to have my peaceful swim disturbed. Then the pain struck. I was trapped by the suction of the hose. It began pulling me apart, piece by piece. I cried and pleaded for someone to stop it, but there was no stopping it. Piece by piece I watched myself being pulled apart, thinking how unfair it was that I was being denied the joy I had known only a few minutes before. When it was over I was just aware of floating through the darkness of the tube, and then there was a sharp slapping on my thigh and a rude voice shouting "Get up." The nurse at the abortion clinic was waking me. The dream was over but I couldn't get it out of my mind.

I began sabotaging everything that played into my decision to have an abortion.

I became overwhelmed with grief, I did not know that is what it was at the time. I just knew I was very, very sad.

looking back now its hard to even believe this all does not even seem real....
once he was done his work...he gave me a pad..told me to clean myself up and to leave....

I thought of iced tea in big jars. Sun tea. We made sun tea at the restaurant in glass gallon pickle jars. That’s what they looked like, but that wasn’t iced tea. No, not iced tea. It was a blood bath. It wasn’t entirely liquid. I was drugged, but I remember thinking, "there’s so much blood….someone has to be dead." There was a hose, like a vacuum cleaner attachment, and some metal instruments, all clotted with blood, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the jars: two of them, over half-filled. Blood isn’t just red, and it wasn’t all just blood. Blood is bright, and compellingly deep, like a ruby, I suppose, but I wasn’t reminded of gemstones then. Is there a biological hardwire for recognition of real blood? It was an obscenity. My heart races just in recalling the evidence of violence all over that cart, and all over me, the blood was also on me: on me, and in me. Here was the pain my mother had promised, and the death she hadn’t wanted to consider. The death was in the jars, and now it was in my soul, where it has stayed.

I tried to kill myself. I couldn't even look at a newborn for years. I still have trouble with it today (10 years later). I cry for my child. I love her and want her. I'm angry about the lies that were told to me. I'm angry with the government that continues to promote and protect these lies.


At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sweet Julie, I am so very sorry to read of the pain that you are suffering. My heart truly goes out to you.

I pray that God will help you to remember the date of your abortion (it was a hard word for me to even type)so that you can know when your son went home to our Father in Heaven.

And in the knowing, may God provide you with His boundless Mercy and Peace.

With love and prayers~Someone who truly cares.

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Julie,

The "afterabortion" links to the stories are not working. I think the address is

(dot-com, not dot-org)

At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a beautiful blog. I figured out how to make the links work. Yes, that the addresses of the stories are indeed correct, however you need to leave out the "www" part of the address. The correct addresses are the following:
Best Regards,

At 7:13 AM, Blogger Silent Rain Drops said...

Thank you for the heads-up on my links. They are working now. In future I'll remember to test, test, test.....


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