As I sifted through the contents of old folders, I stumbled upon a letter—a silent witness to the journey I've embarked on over the past five years. A journey marked by ups and downs, despair, resilience and growth.
This year stands out as a testament to my resilience. For the first time in five years, I navigated the months of November, December & January without succumbing to a deep depression that consumed me. In 2019, I was lost & unable to move beyond the pain of loss and the shame that I caused it. With time, I learned to accept & allow the complexities of my emotions. Tho, year 3 & 4, I would still find myself depressed and morning. A dear friend had to remind me of what time of year it was. Proof that the body remembers what the mind often forgets.
As I carved a path through the grief, shame and judgment I found moments of safety with other women who shared their stories with me. I learned I was not alone. In sharing my journey now, I hope to offer reassurance to those who may be walking a similar path. For in our shared experiences, we find strength, and in our vulnerability, we find courage.
Written in January 2020 - not published as I was still too vulnerable to share at the time - unedited
I wasn’t sure about writing this but as the days lingered I realized that sharing my story was going to be a big part of my journey and others. So, please forgive me if I fumble a bit. I am not used to sharing such personal experiences. Also, I have not shared this experience with certain people due to fear of judgment. Please have an open heart as I have to let that go now.
Last year at this time I was pregnant. The morning I found out was the happiest moment of my life. I remember looking at my reflection in the mirror with so much joy and purpose. Thinking “you are going to be a mom”. It was like nothing I had ever felt before. It was better than ecstasy. It was right. It was some of the best joy I had ever felt in my body.
It didn’t take long for my dream to come crashing down. The other person in this tripod did not feel the same joy. He felt the opposite. In his thoughts it was the worst thing that could happen to him and it was going to “tear” down his life. He said he wanted me to get an abortion. I have never cried with so much anger and pain.
Over the following weeks I went through many phases. First, I stood strong and got angry. I walked away from what I thought was a person I would spend my life with. I told him fine, don’t be a part. I’m going to give this child the best possible, loving life without you.
I considered jumping in front of a train and killing us both. “This life is not worth living, I can’t make this choice”.
I wavered as I talked with my best friends. Did I really want to bring a child into this world without a father? Even if i didn’t tell him (the child) he would grow up with that energy that his father didn't want him. I’ve seen this in many of my friends. No matter how much love is there from one parent or other family and community. It's just not the same.
So many thoughts. Could I really do this? What was best for this little being? This is not just my choice. I was overwhelmed.
I caved, and talked to him. Decided that he did deserve to be a part of this choice. Not to blame him - but, there was a lot of guild laid. He was in fear and willing to say anything to show me his fear. I felt weak and alone.
I felt there was a choice to be made between my selfish desires, his unreasonable fear, and an innocent bystander.
January 5th will mark the one year anniversary of the day I took a few pills and killed the child growing inside of me. As I write those words I cry. It took everything in me that day to not run out of the doctors office. Most days I still wish I had. This was truly the hardest choice I've ever had to make. It’s been the hardest year of my life.
I'm writing this now to share how I am feeling a year after. The fact is I'm still mourning. No one talks about this. No one says having an abortion might feel like having a miscarage. At least the story in my head was that “you chose this, so stop crying”. Nobody talks about the sadness that lives inside you after. Nobody talks about how your body continues to think it's pregnant long after the food cravings stop. It was months before I had a regular period. My breasts lactated and still don’t feel the same. Last week I was diagnosed with low progesterone and told my body still hasn’t leveled out after the abortion. Every month has brought new emotions to understand and process.
Three friends this year (both who I have not told) had miscarriages. This is where the negative thoughts come in. How could I have done this when so many good people in the world were trying to conceive and couldn’t. How could I feel bad about it when I made the choice? How! How could this have happened?
So many judgments came from my own head. Thoughts I would never feel about anyone else.
I made this decision for the other 2 being involved, not for me. I have to fight my thoughts each day to remind myself that I made the right choice. Did I really want to be a single parent raising a kid whose father didn’t want him? Did I really want to bring another person into this world at the state it's in? Save this child from the shit hole of life!
I found out what depression is this year. It's weird to see the beauty in the world but not know how to interact with it. Or feel too heartbroken to enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong. This year was full of good times too. Being with friends that remind you life is worth living. You just gotta keep going. It's true. And then, learn to allow the days when you wake up and can’t move. When you just need to cry and let out all the pain.
I’ve gone through waves. Truly the ups and downs. I’ve been doing the work as they say. The good months have been filled with therapy, healing past family drama, getting in touch with the female ancestors and healing the deep rooted female abuse that has happened in this world. Every woman on my mothers side for generations has been raped. What the Fuck!
I learned to be more vulnerable. When you are present with so much pain inside you, you can’t hide it. I’ve learned to share my story as it helps others and heals. I learned to refocus my creative energy.
I’ve had many moments of thinking, it's passed, and I'm healed! I can live again! And I've had many moments of Why has this feeling not passed. Will I ever be happy again?
I’ve learned that everything is waves. Everything will pass, come back and pass again until it is dispersed through time. I can’t say each day gets better or each wave gets calmer. It’s like the ocean. Some days are calm and you want to jump in and play, and some days there is a storm and you need to hide under cover. I’m learning to be ok with both days as they are both full of life.
2024 - Continuing the healing Journey
Over the passing of time, I've found myself increasingly capable of discussing the events that unfolded and the emotions they stirred within me. This newfound ability isn't solely a result of shedding the shame; it's also rooted in my own journey towards acceptance. It's a journey fraught with conflicts, where one grapples with monumental decisions while feeling vulnerable, isolated, and ill-prepared.
It's disheartening to observe how easily society overlooks this aspect of life when passing judgment—both on others and ourselves. We often fail to acknowledge the full spectrum of emotions or the intricate circumstances surrounding a decision.
For my own personal journey I frame my experience as an unwanted abortion, placing myself in the same category as women who have suffered early pregnancy loss. Regardless of one's desires, the impact of even a month of pregnancy on the body, emotions, and hormones is profound and undeniable.
My decision to share my story is fueled by a desire to offer solace to those traversing similar paths. For those who have not encountered such trials, I hope my narrative fosters greater understanding and compassion.
As I continue to navigate the unpredictable twists and turns of life, I do so with a sense of gratitude for how far I've come.
It's really hard to sum life up in one neat little quote. So, here are 3 I came up with.
- I have taken my lemons, added some seeds & herbs of the earth and made a damn good tahini dressing to put on the salad of life
- You might never consider the option you will take once the situation is in front of you.
- No matter what hurts you, you are allowed to hurt.
byKariBell - Personal Development Coach & Ceremonial Guide Live a healthy balanced life.
Kari Bell is a Personal Development Coach & Plant Ceremony Guide