Peace After Abortion: a self-help book for women & men
Ava Torre-Bueno, LCSW
Related Life Events
Many women have difficulty after an abortion because the anxiety from the abortion has stirred up emotions they have suppressed from an earlier event. They may have suppressed these feelings for years. They inaccurately believe these feelings are just about the abortion. Further exploration often uncovers old losses, psychological injuries, and other painful experiences which need to be revisited to resolve the emotions they have awakened. Peace After Abortion is about discovering the previous life events that may be disturbing you now.
Some women, who are sure they feel fine after an abortion, may be surprised suddenly months or years later by a rush of difficult feelings after an event or situation that reminds them of the abortion.
Another group of women experience difficult feelings long after an abortion, but have not been carrying these feelings hidden from themselves for years. These are women for whom life's circumstances since the abortion have changed the meaning of that decision. A woman who felt sure and content with her decision when she was twenty, might feel differently when she approaches forty and it's clear to her she will never have a baby. The abortion then becomes a "mistake" in retrospect, and she may have new feelings of regret and grief.
Althea's intense feelings of shame and stigma reflected a lifetime of experiences of being black in a white world. Leah had suffered previous ungrieved losses, and had learned to suppress her anger in an abusive family. Rebecca, too, had experienced childhood losses she had been unable to resolve at the time.