Monday, April 2, 2012

After the Stick Turned Blue

I am 30 years old.  Dear God, I am pregnant.  My daughter is six years old and in my scarred womb lies a beautiful soul who will be my ruin.  I have been a fool, inviting a new life and now I know that I must send it back.  The memory of my daughter's birth haunts me by the second as I envision this tiny dot becoming a screaming, flailing life. The guilt I feel over having invited this upon myself and my family is  crushing because I know I cannot carry it through. 

My husband and I have already told our families that we are expecting.  When the test came out positive, I became a robot.  I exited the bathroom, called my husband who rejoiced and foolishly, we spread the news.  Everyone is over the moon.  But by nightfall, a familiar beast is creeping in- one that no one else can detect but me.  Just as suddenly as my mind snapped when my daughter arrived, it has tuned out all reason now.  I am going crazy again, just when I have gotten back on my feet.

I tell my husband, in the dark of night, as I sit on the couch trying to speak above the voices in my head, that I cannot imagine how I will possibly live through another bout of Post-partum Psychosis.  I hadn't thought it would happen again, but as my hormones fertilize the new sprout of insanity, I realize I have been ignorant. My step father's voice is already coming through in waves, like a radio frequency almost dialed in.

There is nothing more in the world that I want more than to get this over with- to make his voice go.  I need my body to myself. I need my mind back. I had no idea it would go this fast.  I need to get this done so I can pretend like it never happened.  I need to draw pictures with my daughter, take walks and smile.  I cannot do that until I am gutted.  I am so sorry.  I have never been so sorry in all of my life.

I beg the practitioner to see me immediately.  She says there is an appointment as soon as next week.  I am flushed with panic.  A week will see me to the loony bin.  I can't allow time to make this real.  This has to happen today, tomorrow at the latest.  My voice must be convincing because she puts me on hold to see what she can do.

I can come in tomorrow.  I thank her profusely.  I stand outside of myself and take notice of the perversity of this transaction.  I am thanking her for helping me to kill my child in a timely manner.  I hate me.  She must be disgusted with me, even though it's her job not to judge.  My husband is grieving and I can't look at him, my shame is infinite.  Our families are kind, not wanting to see me fail and knowing that either way, I did.  My unborn child will look down upon me as it ascends in its ethereal body and cry out for me.  I will here its cries every day for the rest of my life. 

All of this I know, but what I know with everything that I am and everything that I have been is that if I carry on with this pregnancy, I will die and leave my six year old child motherless.  If only I had known this before the stick turned blue.

I shared this- my deepest guilt and sadness, because it is another experience woven into my tapestry of abuse stories that I think is important to acknowledge. Hard things are important to acknowledge. It brings important issues to light. 

We all have our opinions about abortion. We all have something to answer to within our morality. Every woman who has ever had an abortion has had to face doing something unmentionable. But, please, let us not judge, lest we be judged. I do not believe it is my job to judge and damn others. I cannot imagine pretending to know what is behind other peoples' actions. I can feel sad or angry, but I try hard to feel these things with an open mind and heart. I guess it is time for me to feel these things for myself.

Here is a link for anyone who has or is suffering from Post Abortion Stress Syndrome:


  1. Oh my gosh.. I'm crying for you. I cannot imagine the fear, the anguish this has caused you. I understand why you came to that decision. I hope you feel every electrical charge of love I am pouring into this message. Know that you are forgivin. Please know that you are not at fault. This is the doings of that bastard who raised you.
    I love you Cairn, I truly do.

    1. Thank you. I take responsibility for my doings. I know that I made a decision based on what i knew to be right at the time and I am thankful for that now. But yes, at the time, it was hell. So there is a bittersweet mix of thoughts and emotions. The point of writing it here is to let others see the devastation of abuse, even long after. So, thank you for reading and for your beautiful compassion. I wish the whole world could have such a big heart.

  2. I don't even have to open the link to know that one of the biggest causes of post-abortion stress is the fear of judgment for the action you took. The procedure is so politically/religiously/emotionally charged, but it shouldn't be a lifelong source of guilt & shame. Your circumstances did not allow you to bear and care for another child - you know in your heart that you did the best thing for *everyone* in the picture. And I believe in your capacity to make the right decision.

    1. I think it is interesting that there is an actual label- Post Abortion Stress Syndrome. Obviously this is an issue that brings shame. I try to step outside of the box on most everything, as you know. So, it is my own thinking that has brought me to a place of sadness so many years after the fact. It is still important to tell the story, because it indicates how far reaching abuse is.
      Thank you for believing in me even after this. In retrospect it was the best decision I could make. Everyone is doing well. But I do wonder about that little soul...

  3. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. Cairn, how brave you are, both to go through this awful decision and then to share it. I really feel for you.

  5. What everyone above has said...every word. I can't imagine how you've coped. Anyone in their right mind should never,ever blame you for having to make such a torturous decision. The last paragraph is exactly how I feel and those are the only people I want to be surrounded by anymore. You have the strength of an army!!

    1. Thank you, Erin. You are such an amazing support. <3

  6. Cairn,

    Words cannot adequately express how much respect I have for you and how you handled this situation. Even more since you were able to express your feelings in such a way. I sit here and read your articles and are amazed at your ability to cope.

    I hope someday to be as strong as you, even though my issues are insignificant compared to yours. You give me courage and hope.

    God bless you and Roger
    Richard Wilson

    1. Dear Richard,
      Cope we must. What other choice is there> When we walk forward in our path, we find bliss.

      You are strong. Your issues are as significant.We are all one and what effect me, is your and vice-versa. Perhaps I will write an entry about that. I truly believe that all people suffer and survive in their own time in in their own ways. It is all tragic until we decide not to let it be anymore. Please believe in that and in yourself. I do.
      :) Cairn