We all received the news that the supreme court overturned Roe v. Wade which means there is no longer a federal right to reproductive choice. It is now up to the states to decide how they would like to support this issue. I am not here to share my opinion on everything that is occurring, but I am here to be open and vulnerable about a story, my abortion story.
I get the delightful opportunity to work with a narrative therapist who often reminds me that stories shape who we are and what we believe. I hope that being a witness to more stories about choosing abortion will help expand perceptions that inform decisions on this issue, whatever those decisions may be.
So back to me :). When I was 18, I got a palm reading and part of that reading was a warning message. The palm reader cautioned me that I would become pregnant by someone who was not my soul mate. GASP! In context, my 18-year-old self was there trying to discover if her first boyfriend was “the one.” She sent me on my way with a love potion which failed, but a few years later, I did miss my period and after consulting with Clear Blue Digital, I was pregnant.
At first judgment, some could say that I was being careless, and you could stop there. Some do stop there. Heck, I did for a few days. However, if you would like to get to know that younger part of me, then you would come to find out that there is more to her story. During that time she was not only pregnant. She was also dealing with depression and anxiety which made healthy functioning quite difficult. She battled with low self-esteem and negative beliefs about herself that disconnected her from options in life that would nurture her. She also carried an anxious attachment style that created unhealthy relationships based on insecurity and fear of abandonment. She had wounds and was internally (metaphorically) bleeding.
Some may be more open to abortion as an option if someone has visible wounds that are severe enough that the person’s body might not support a pregnancy. However, some injuries are internal and are hard to see. Despite their elusiveness, they are still wounds that in some cases, make it hard to support a pregnancy. They can also be passed onto the child in what we know as transgenerational trauma.
As of today, I am 31 and living a life that I do not take for granted. I am so appreciative that I had a choice. I have gratitude for who I got to be because of my choice. Some may not agree or judge my decision and that’s ok. I can live with judgment and disagreement but I don’t know how I would have gotten to live if I didn’t have a choice.
If you made it to the end of this post, thank you for your time and for being open to hearing my story. Often, these stories are hidden due to shame, fear or judgment, or other internal/external factors. There are many stories out there about choice and I am kindly suggesting that we try to be curious, compassionate, and listen. If you are someone who has made a choice like me or someone currently contemplating a choice, then I want to send you strength and love because I know firsthand how much this decision can impact the individual and their lived experience.
This post was written by our very own clinician, Mandy Null. Mandy is an LPC-A with a Master’s in marriage, couples, and family counseling from the University of South Carolina. As a mental health agency we recognize the importance of personal stories like Mandy’s. All of our therapists at Carolina Assessment Services are human just like any client that walks in our door. Experiences like Mandy’s remind us that humility, empathy and understanding is important, especially in times like these. If we can value our very own clinicians stories and understand their significance, we can do the same for our own clients.