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This is a moderated blog is a project of the Ruth Institute. Have a story to share? We're listening.
Posted on: Friday, March 17, 2017
I am a happily married woman and mother of three beautiful boys who regrets having an abortion.
It all happened about 24 years ago when my husband and I got engaged. We were, and are very much in love, which is the most disturbing part of this story. One would think that because of this strong love, once we found out that we were expecting it would have been the happiest thing. However, it was just the opposite. We were engaged at the time, due to be married in the next 2 years, and happily planning our future.
The first real issue was that we were having sexual intercourse, although I was on the birth control pill. So, we didn’t think anything would actually happen even though we knew that there was always a chance that the pill would not be 100% effective. Now, we are both Catholic and should not have even considered having sex out of marriage or using birth control, but we were products of this permissive society that almost expected us to be sexually active. We bought into the whole idea that you couldn’t possibly consider marrying someone without having “tried them on” so to speak.
Anyway, there we were, in love and getting ready for marriage when we discovered that I was pregnant. I remember crying and having panic attacks thinking how I/we could have this baby out of wedlock; it would be such a scandal. That’s the thing; I should have been thinking how we could abort this beautiful baby created out of our love in union with God’s obvious will for our lives. I felt pressure to hide this mess up, which is how I thought about the situation. I thought that I messed up and couldn’t possibly be capable of bringing a life into the world that was so unplanned.
I thought that I must terminate the pregnancy. My then finance supported me either way, and with regret now too, he drove me to the Planned Parenthood facility and the abortion was completed at around 7 weeks.
I remember the facility being very cold and non-human. I remember being told don’t worry this will all be over soon. I was never offered an ultrasound or any counseling as to other options. They just took my call, scheduled my abortion, and proceeded with it without any other words of advice.
I did have a lady I was working with at the time who tried to convince me to keep the baby, to give consideration to adoption, or get married sooner, but I was not listening. As a result, I’ve spent many years of emotional torture and regret. I long for that baby and still feel an incredible amount of pain and sorrow for having gone against God’s will and his commandments. I did end up going to confession for this and my sin was absolved. For that I am forever thankful that Our Lord showed so much mercy toward me and this horrible decision.
My deepest regret is that I bought the lie that society tells you. I bought the lie that says God only exists on Sunday… that it was ok to abort a precious gift from God because it was just a blob of tissue. Plus, it was legal to do, so why would it be wrong?
I pray that my story will help others choose life, choose to listen to God’s will and honor him by obeying no matter what the circumstance because if not…
you will end up in the dark world of regret, which is no place for a child of the light.
Posted on: Thursday, March 02, 2017
I took them off about 15 years ago when the grudge started.
The grudge was because I expected my husband to fulfill my every need. I had idolized him. I put him in the place of God.
My husband was my knight in shining armor when we got married, and I placed this insurmountable burden on him without even realizing.
The fact is that I was expecting him to fulfill the parts of me that only God can fulfill. I had placed my husband above God. And because he couldn't fulfill the God shaped hole in my heart, I unconsciously started to hold a very low level, almost unnoticeable grudge. Subconsciously I must have always been thinking "What am I getting out of this?" rather than ""What can I give to this marriage?"
Over the next 15 years this grudge effected my relationship with God because, without realizing, I was not putting Him in the first place in my life. I was not recognizing God as provider. I always felt this terrible separation from God, but I didn't know why.
When my husband became ill 3 years ago, my earthly provider stopped being able to provide. And because I had put him in the place of God, I had no where to turn.
The fear I felt in those years is something only an atheist would understand. I couldn't feel God near me, and I had no idea it was my own doing.
A few weeks ago it reached crunch point. I had already reconciled that I couldn't leave, but I felt I couldn't stay either. Who would provide for me?
It was after reading the 'Healing of Families' book that I realized I had been harboring this grudge, and that my relationship with my husband and with God was out of sync. I took all that to confession, along with a few other things.
I felt the fear lift. I felt the grudge go. I felt my relationship with God fall back into place. And I felt free to love my husband - agape Love, unconditional love, for the first time ever in our marriage.
He asked me "Why have you decided to do this now? I can't provide anything for you right now."
I told him "This is the perfect time, the FIRST time I have ever been able to love you unconditionally." 😊
I now recognize God as provider, and the love in my relationship with God, and with my husband has grown immensely. I am now free to love. And my husband is free from the burden of being put in the place of God.
Submitted by C. C.
Posted on: Thursday, March 02, 2017
My dad divorced my mom after 26 years and eight kids. He subsequently married three more times. I was out of college when my parents divorced and so was
least affected. I've heard that divorce is the suicide of the family. I have to agree. I'm 50 and not married. I'm a marginal Catholic. My youngest
sister became a Marxist in college. She has two kids from different men and will likely continue this trend. She was four at the time of my parent's
divorce. My youngest brother was nine. He still lives rent free with my mom and verbally abuses her. My sister says he is a heroin addict. These two
were so beautiful and innocent before. Watching home videos of them before the divorce is heartbreaking.
Submitted by B. B.
Posted on: Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Without the societal climate that has been created by contraception and free sex, I don’t think it would have happened to me so easily. The Sexual Revolution is foundational in the situation. I wouldn’t be dealing with this trauma and the resulting emotional injuries. My pastor, a Catholic priest who has taken vows of chaste celibacy, tried to seduce me. He has ongoing affairs with other women. Despite being good friends with my husband and children, he wanted to add me to his collection of paramours. Raising a red flag on a priest’s sexual impropriety is a dicey situation. He is a designated and ordained moral leader, and, in my case, well-loved. Nobody wants to displease him.
In our sexually-porous and unrestrained cultural climate, people are not as alarmed as they should be when they hear of sexual improprieties—even from a priest. I have experienced a crass, blind tolerance and dismissal of the problem from his superior and other members of his religious community. One of Father’s paramours is a woman he “helped” through a divorce. Everybody knows! “Oh, Father is just like that. There is nothing you can do about it.” He could have destroyed my marriage and he has a serial problem with it. My husband and I have a large family, including a grandchild. It would have affected all of us, for generations. Father was our friend and our confessor. We’ve known him over ten years and he used to come for dinner and to spend time with the family. We loved him and he betrayed us. I remember thinking, as I sought emotional support and help from those closest to me, This is how it happens to the children who are sexually abused. He has everybody groomed to accept or ignore it. It’s like “The Emporer’s New Clothes.” Everyone knows, but no one wants to be the one to speak up first.
Because we live in a culture that doesn’t recognize the importance of family and the sacredness of sex, this situation is going basically unaddressed. His superior told me, “Yes, he gets himself into situations that might look bad. But I’ve known him a long time. He needs to be with people and have lots of friends. He likes to be with families. That’s just the way he is.” Well, that’s just the way a predator is, too.
One of the ironies of this situation is that if he pursued minors and not vulnerable women, the Church would be all over this to the point of paranoia. I’m not suggesting that’s an appropriate response. But is accountability so unreasonable? Is asking him pointed questions about his behavior unreasonable? Is expecting him to not regularly have woman alone with him in the rectory unreasonable? That’s how he was grooming me, using the rectory. Aren’t vulnerable women worth protecting? Our culture says no. Put them on carcinogenic contraception, kill their babies by abortion and tell them to shut up. That attitude has pervaded the Church, too, and my situation is fallout.
After Father’s religious superior politely dismissed me, I reached out to my friend in a Catholic abuse survivor’s network. My friend put me in touch with a canon lawyer who deals with these kinds of situations. Finally, someone to help! On his suggestion, I wrote the bishop of our diocese. I was called in for an interview and they asked me lots of questions. It was respectful and neutral to both parties involved. I haven’t gotten any further follow up and don’t necessarily expect any, but it’s documented now. If anyone else reports Father, my testimony will corroborate theirs.
Raising kids and living a lifestyle of marital chastity without contraception is a militant struggle in our hostile culture. It’s so sad that not even
the Church can be a safe haven for marriage. My pastor has been moved to a nearby parish, in accordance with the “How to Enable an Abusive Priest”
playbook. The new pastor is great, but I’m afraid to tell him. I’m afraid that, even with him, conforming to norms so things running smoothly in the
parish will be more important than my marriage and family.
Submitted by T. K.
Posted on: Monday, January 16, 2017
It all probably started in high school when I became bulimic. I thought I was the only one in the world with this terrible compulsion. Now I know that 4 of the 6 daughters of my family engaged in bulimia during their teens. I also now know that my father was engaged in porn and put enormous pressure on us to look slim and perfect.
Later at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1971, I had a nervous breakdown at the end of my sophomore year and sought psychiatric care. The psychiatrist told me "the problem is that you are still a virgin." Until then, I had resisted the sexual revolution because of my morals and belief in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Suddenly I rationalized that since I was suicidal for so long, I was obligated to try anything to try to save my life.
Three months later I had slept with 4 different guys. I was headed to a life of promiscuity. I convinced a guy from my old high school that we should live together and then that we should sleep together. In 1973, this man became my husband, two months before our first son was born, and fathered 5 children with me. We divorced after 29 years.
He was unfaithful most of the marriage, perhaps because I had been promiscuous before marriage. I was faithful to him though. I was too busy and too blind to see. I still blame myself for seducing him in the first place.
I came to see that I had been wrong, because I was using men to lift me out of a suicidal depression. Sure sex can distract you from the pain, but not cure the underlying dysfunction. It has taken me 45 years of growing self awareness to appreciate that I survived and have been active in the prolife group ever since Roe vs. Wade, January 22, 1973.
In 1973, before my ex and I got married, I went for a pregnancy test at the Blue Bus free health clinic in Madison, WI. They gave me the positive results with a list of 5 doctors that would do my abortion. They knew I was single and poor. I quickly ran out of the bus and hid from the pro abortion atmosphere in Madison my entire 9 months. I felt like a spy for the prolife movement.
Every year though, I was able to become more vocal and active until I stopped hiding. I have been to two March for Life events both in D.C. with 3 kids and in Chicago with a grandchild. Now I am happy and God has just blessed me with Grandchildren #12 and 13. My family is prolife and good Catholics. My 3 sons have wonderful Catholic wives and are leaders in their churches. I am grateful that I didn't abort. I am grateful that I forgave myself and my ex and can love my whole family now.
Submitted by J. B.
Posted on: Thursday, January 05, 2017
When I think of Robin, my heart is broken, both for her and the wrong I did to her.
I met Robin at a party when I was eighteen. When she walked in the door, I was immediately taken by her. She was one of the prettiest girls I had ever seen. I made a comment about the dress she was wearing and she sat down next to me and began talking with me. By the end of the night we were deeply attracted to each other and began spending time together.
Before I go on, I think it would be helpful to give some back story regarding myself. In my very early years, I became sexualized. Having read publications on this matter, I think I was molested. From the age of eight, I experimented with my body and with the bodies of other children who were willing to let me undress them and play around with them. When the so-called “Sexual Revolution” of the 1960's hit in full force, I found many outlets for what had now become a raging sexuality demanding daily gratification of some sort.
Yet despite having the availability of pornography, the “free-love” of the Hippie Movement, and my own self-gratification, I was deeply lonely inside. I think that sexual gratification gave me that false sense of worth and fleeting happiness which books on addiction speak about, for I was truly addicted. Sexuality made me feel good, and the society which developed in the 1960's told me that it was okay to be this way. It took 40 years to realize that God knows much better than we what is good for us.
It was this sad and searching man who met Robin at the party. We spent a summer in love and only expressing that love by kissing. For the first time, I had someone in my life who made a fuss over me, who couldn’t wait to be with me, and who easily talked with me. I’m sure I ruined all that the day I had sex with her. Not long after, another man decided he wanted Robin and told her that I was sleeping with her best friend. From that point on, the relationship went downhill. I guess it was easy for Robin to believe that if I would have sex with her instead of waiting for marriage, I would be open to any woman who came by.
Somehow Robin and I got back together again later. She looked awful. There was no longer any joy in her face and she had lost weight, a mere shadow of herself. I am ashamed to say that she let me have sex with her that day. I asked her to marry me, but she said no. I look back on that day and see a young man so selfish that he didn’t even ask her in concern what had happened and why she looked so bad. Did she get pregnant and have an abortion? Did this other guy use her for sex and leave her feeling used and disrespected?
Dear Robin, wherever you are, please forgive me. This is what the Sexual Revolution did to me, but the story does not end there.
A while later I got another woman pregnant. I told her to have an abortion, but she refused. I would see the baby and long to be part of his life, but somehow I couldn’t actually propose to this woman. Playboy magazine had sold me a pack of airbrushed lies. The idea that Playboy promoted was that there is somewhere this perfect woman with a perfect body with whom you want to spend your days. Somehow, having a perfect body in bed with me would be what I needed and wanted to have ultimate happiness. I bought the lie, as did so many millions of men. Our search was for that perfect sexual experience because we were sure this was what would fulfill our lives. How many divorces have there been because men like me were expecting sex to deliver much more than it was ever intended to deliver?
Karen was not that perfect body. She went back home with her son and I kept looking for the next woman who might be that Promised One who would complete my life. But something I wasn’t expecting happened. I wound up at a Bible study. I honestly believe that I had a demon expelled from me that night, for after that night and my fervent prayer for God’s mercy, everything slowly started to change for me. I wish I could say I went from being a sex-crazed deviant to being the loving person God intended me to be, but that is not how life is.
The powerful issues that had driven me for much of my life continued to plague me, even though I was now, with the preaching of the Bible study leader to encourage me, abstaining from sex outside marriage. A year after I started attending those Bible studies regularly, I called Karen and asked her to see me. I felt a need to be a father to the son to whom she and I had given life. She accepted my proposal and we were married. We spent the next 34 years together until she passed away. I wish I could say that they were wonderful years, but they were tough. The same lack of intimacy which caused me to seek out solace in pornography continued to dog me. Neither Karen nor I knew how to be really intimate with each other. To this day I realize that I could have done so much more in little ways to express love to her.
In 2001 I converted to the Catholic faith and a few years later I discovered Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. This was the teaching that the world needed in the 1960's. We needed to hear that true love is an act not of taking for one’s self, as in sexual conquest, but of sacrificial giving. How I wish I had known that when I met Robin. How I wish I had heard that in time to live it out with Karen. The ramifications of my sexually-fueled selfishness are still with me. There are people I have hurt, relationships I have either lost or not been able to fully enjoy, such as with my children, because I have trouble with intimacy.
Promiscuity increases the problem of selfishness, loneliness, and inability to connect on a deeper level with people. Promiscuity and pornography turn a person in on themselves. True love turns a person outward to serve others first. If I love others, I use my body not to gratify the demands of my passions, but to do good in loving service to others. This is the message we need to share. I have since found in the Church many opportunities to serve others, but I’ll die in regret of the numerous times I hurt people when I didn’t know what true love is.
Submitted by E. H.
Posted on: Thursday, November 03, 2016
The expression, "I've been to hell and back," is a perfect description of my life, and the hell was mostly self-inflicted through my abuse of alcohol.
Even though I came from a loving, supportive, Christian family, I always felt like an outsider and “less than.” That all changed when I discovered alcohol. As a well-known A.A. Speaker once said, “I was a duck until I took a drink and then turned into an eagle.”
Alcohol took away my moral compass, and everything I learned growing up disappeared into the deep recesses of my mind. It also gave me a sense of indestructibility, which turned into carelessness and made me extremely vulnerable. I ended up being gang raped after one night of partying. (Feeling I deserved it, I didn't call the police).
My promiscuity resulted in three pregnancies. One pregnancy ended in miscarriage but the two others I terminated by abortion. After the rape and abortions, my drinking and promiscuity escalated. I acquired a nickname, “Pass Around Patti." I tried settling down thinking that would help but ended up with two failed marriages. It was at the end of my second marriage that I hit bottom. At around six o'clock in the morning, I called in sick to work because there was still beer in the fridge. After downing a few, I was hit with an indescribable feeling of self-loathing and despair. I went to the bathroom and got a bottle of prescription medication, grabbed another beer and sat at the dining room table. I had pills in one hand and a beer to wash them down in the other when “something” compelled me to call for help. As I was being admitted to a psychiatric hospital, the psychiatrist asked me why I wanted to die. I told him I was already dead inside and just wanted to finish the job.
After I was determined no longer a danger to myself, I was transferred to alcohol rehab. It was through A.A. meetings at rehab that I was reintroduced to God. It took some time but I eventually realized He did the intervention at the kitchen table. He wanted me to heal and to clean up the mess I had made of my life. It wasn't easy. In fact, coming to terms and making amends for the damage I had caused myself, family and friends was excruciating. My family and some of my friends forgave me but it took time to rebuild the trust. Forgiving myself was another story.
Although I had reestablished a relationship with God, it wasn't that strong, and I still carried feelings of unworthiness and self-loathing. A few years ago, He once again intervened and guided me to a healing retreat for post-abortive women. He knew I had finally reached the point of emotional and spiritual readiness to face my past and fully accept not only His love, mercy and forgiveness, but my own as well. I also learned that even though I turned away from Him, He never turned away from me. He was there all along, but I was too blinded by self-will to see.
Some have said, “It's a shame you wasted so much of your life,” and before that retreat I would have agreed, but now I consider those dark days a blessing.
If it weren't for the darkness, I would have never seen the light of His love and mercy. If it weren't for the darkness, I would not be able to share
the light of hope with others.
Submitted by P.S.
Posted on: Friday, October 28, 2016
In the film, Demolition Man, the year is 2032. The characters of John Spartan (played by Silvester Stallone) and Lenina Huxley (played by Sandra Bullock) are about to have sex having known each other less than a few days. John Spartan in fact is only a day or two living in this “brave new world” having been cryogenically frozen as punishment for manslaughter, back in 1996.
To the confusion of Spartan, Huxley asks him to put on a Virtual Reality headset. Spartan is unaware he is about to have “sex”. As both begin to reach orgasm, Spartan pulls off the headset and begins a rant that what they were doing was not real sex. In this version of the future, to keep STDs at bay, sex is done exclusively by V-R except for the rejects of society who live in the city sewers.
Rewind to 2002 and the real world, a male Catholic called Richard, played by me, is trying his best to act out the role of a secular atheist male with no Catholic or family history. He sees himself as liberated from the truth and love offered him by his family and Church.
Richard is in a worse state than the “Prodigal Son” when in his rebellion, since the latter we are told used his own inheritance. Whereas Richard finances this life through the State, using the student loan the UK government has given him to study 100 miles from home. This is where he meets “Anne.”
Within a few days Anne tells Richard she loves him and a year-long relationship ensues that is eventually ended by Anne. Pre-marital sex begins almost immediately but the inner life of Richard is beginning to already experience difficulties regarding this.
It is clear he has what has been looking for: Anne is a talented student, funny, caring, chatty and down to earth. She “ticks most boxes” and yet an inner struggle is present straight away, with Richard’s body, mind and soul altered forever.
Condoms are used each time. The most sensitive area on the male body is being wrapped in a man-made rubber fibre. For the duration of being sexually active and afterwards, the genital and lower-abdomen area feel tight and uncomfortable. The lack of scientific research means this is more a “hunch” but Richard feels a chemical imbalance has entered his body.
Richard notices too, that in the act of having sex, he can smell the rubber. Every time he smells it his lower abdomen pulls tight. Wearing rubber gloves brings him out in rashes too. Would it not be reasonable to think, that were he rubbing man-made fibres vigorously on sensitive parts such as the mouth or nose or eyes, that toxins would enter and create imbalances?
There is a change in mental health too. Although mental health issues were present already since eating marijuana as a 16 years old, a gulf exists between Richard’s inner longing for romantic love and lots of children, and this secular model he is playing out. This despite being in a loving relationship.
This realisation properly surfaces when playing a love song by Nick Drake called “Thoughts of Mary-Jane.” A deeply idealistic and romantic soul though Richard has, he cannot stop the tears as he listens, since his innocence and idealism has been exchanged for a lie. But it is the accompanying confusion that perpetuates this, since this is everything that had been proposed by Hollywood and the romantic poetry Richard had consumed since a pre-pubescent as the way of achieving inner-happiness.
Later reading of St John Paul II’s theology of the body, albeit a superficial reading, gives some confirmation to these feelings. As with the characters in the novel “Brave New World,” Richard has been prioritising sex over love. The model of love proposed in the media is a version that is rooted first and foremost in sexual pleasure and has no roots in Truth.
As the relationship comes to an end in, Richard is desperate to re-enter the Catholic Church. He goes to a priest for Confession who has a reputation as a very strict Confessor. The priest listens as Richard recounts his relationship and the lack of love he feels in his heart. The priest is gentle.
The priest asks Richard if he received the Eucharist at all whilst in this relationship. Not knowing Church teaching, the answer is yes. The priest bends over as though in pain, like he has just been stabbed in the stomach and asks that if Richard decides to have sexual relationships outside marriage, that he refrain from having the Eucharist. I get absolution and begin a new life in Christ.
It remains the mission of the Church to posit a positive view of marriage and family and the pro-life movement, that will attract others. For example in the March for Life rally in Birmingham, England, in 2015, a young woman seeing the joy and happiness of the people on the march, decided to cancel her forthcoming abortion. She brought her baby to the rally the year after, thanks be to God in Christ Jesus.
Submitted by R. F., England
Posted on: Tuesday, October 25, 2016
First person testimony from a survivor of the late term abortion experience. Please note: this author did NOT actually have an abortion. Her baby had already died, and needed to be removed from her uterus. In the Mother of All Insensitivities (in my opinion) her doctor sent her to an abortion clinic where they specialize in evacuating the uterus. As a pro-life mother of 4, who was grieving the involuntary loss of her baby, without having a guilty conscience over being the cause of her child's demist, this author's perspective is invaluable.
Highly recommended for those struggling with the aftermath of abortion.
Posted on: Saturday, September 24, 2016
I am a survivor of the sexual revolution. I wasted my entire child bearing years on sex. It started in the early 70’s when I was 16 and lost my virginity to a 22-year-old. I got high and gave away my heart and wept. It started a whirlwind of relationships. Sex was powerful! I was exposed to porn. I was literally looking for love in all the wrong places and lost count of the bodies. I got pregnant at 18. We lived together to my angst. I wanted to be married, but he said it was just a piece of paper. I felt that he was rejecting me and our son and had a shameful whirlwind affair with a married man who divorced his wife to be with me.
I ran away within weeks of the whole mess. My son's father came back, but still no marriage commitment, no trust, but why should there be? I had another sexual relationship. My son's father’s last word to me was “Whore!” as he threw all of my son’s belongings on the front porch of my mother’s house and his stroller through the front door.
Sometime during then, my early 20’s, I realized that my body was beautifully and wonderfully made. I heard the Lord call me. I was a beautiful creation, but to my great sorrow, knew in my heart that I had aborted my future children with birth control. My mother backed me up when I was pregnant. She wouldn’t let me be shamed like she was when she had me out of wedlock. I cherished the life within me more than myself. My mother had a very unfulfilled marriage, but was open to having a grandchild, but we had fights. When I tried to voice my feelings, she said “you just need to get laid!”
I wanted to give him up for adoption to a man/woman who could get him what he needed to get to heaven. She thought I was trying to keep him away from her. I just wanted him to get to heaven. Someone showed me a picture of Jesus of Divine Mercy. I called on the Lord to forgive me and He did. I could see the Father and his love for me, the prodigal child, but it was just starting. The war raged on. I ended up in a psych ward and suicidal. It was hell on everyone around me. I was back living with my parents and son. I had terrible shouting matches with my mother. I had no control over anything and was in a corner alone. I just kept crying “I have no control over him!”
I was back to zero self-worth and had other affairs. I was worthless now. What difference could it make? My life was shattered all around me. I had been sexually “off the rails” since I was a teen and it spiraled to the destruction of me. My son was cutting himself and using drugs/drinking, and I lost my 1st grandchild to abortion when he was 16. He was so confused and angry and had no compass, no male figure to guide him, except for my dad, who became his surrogate. I will always blame myself for his eternal welfare. He was never baptized, but I gave him to God in my heart. I ask for mercy all the time and pray for him/us. I don’t know what else to do. I have two beautiful grandchildren now. Maybe God works with crooked lines and it will be okay.
Women’s lib is a lie. You can’t have it all. We are sold lies, and I devoured them. I was so angry once I knew the truth, but learning/hoping/asking/wanting mercy. It’s all any of us have. Thank you.
Submitted by C.L.