How do you forgive yourself? (Anonymous)

2 pregnancies 1 birth
Age 6 boy
4 years postpartum
I am 24 years old

I was 17 when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. More excited then ever, I told the father right away but knew deep down my parents would not be happy so I hid it from them. It wasn’t until one evening that my brother and I had gotten into a confrontation that I was forced to tell my parents. My mother took the news well but my father not so well, he disowned me at the age of 17. I graduated high-school and continued my education, had my son in October :) and he was the highlight of my life. soon after a few year later becoming pregnant again but at that point the father left me. I didn’t think I could do things on my own. Taking care of one child, managing school, and work was hard enough. Having another one I thought would only make it harder. Being a young single mother with no help except what I expected at the age of 20. So I had an terminated the pregnancy. And to this day I regret it. Before I got pregnant with either child I was about 100 lbs. With my son I gained 18 lbs and lost it all right away, with my second by the time I had the abortion I had already gained 15 lbs, and after I fell into post postpartum depression. I now weigh 135 lbs. I dont know if I will ever forgive myself for what I did, I know I was not financially stable but its hard.

26 thoughts on “How do you forgive yourself? (Anonymous)

  • Friday, April 22, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I don’t really know what to say. It is good that it is something you regret, however, everyone makes mistakes. Try to forgive yourself. I know some great mothers who have also had abortions…you know that you are sorry, so now you just have to move on. God forgives you, now forgive yourself.

  • Friday, April 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I’m so sorry you went through this. I can’t imagine what a hard choice that was. You will always remember. It is good and healthy to grieve at stopping the beginning of a life, but don’t let it ruin the rest of your life. You and your child need to LIVE. Jesus died to take the penalty for this – put your trust in him and God will forgive you and you can be completely free from guilt forever. He loves you in a way you can’t imagine, even through something as hard as this. Praying for you.

  • Friday, April 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    We all have hard choices to make in life, and you did what you felt was best. You may be sorry, which is a good thing, but you should be proud you made the decision you felt was best for you and your other baby. Forgive yourself and move on, you child needs you to be happy. Take care

  • Friday, April 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    i don’t think you should feel guilty about this, whether or not you’re religious. if you ARE religious, then you should know God will forgive you making a difficult decision during a difficult, confusing time and that your unborn baby is in heaven.
    if you are not religious, then you made a difficult decision during a difficult, confusing time. you weighed the pros and cons of the life you could offer a second child.
    I believe it is a woman’s right to choose, as long as they have weighed their decision with their own set of morals/values (not others’) and make that decision with good reason. I considered getting an abortion because i ddn’t feel ready to have a child– i was unprepared at 22yrs, and didn’t want to be a mother because i was scared. my husband asked me, “if you terminate this time and get pregnant again in two or three years, would you carry it then? or are you just wanting to avoid this whole pregnancy thing in general because you’re scared of the unknown?”
    we were finacially capable of caring for a child, my husband had a steady secure job, i could quit my own job and learn to be a mother…. i did not feel it was a good idea to have an abortion soley out of fear.
    it is not an easy decision, one way or the other: choosing to terminate, or choosing to be a mother. the people who say it’s easy are letting their religion dictate their choices. you do sacrifice a lot with becoming a mother– and some things are not always yours to sacrifice (attention given to spouse/other children).
    You shoud be focusing on what you should do to come to terms with the decision you made. you don’t deserve to make yourself an emotional martyr by listening to people tell you that you deserve to feel like crap. it is a very personal journey, one that is between you and whatever god you answer to. life is full of all kinds of regrets.

  • Friday, April 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. We all make mistakes. I don’t know if you believe in God. But if you ask him for forgiveness you will be forgiven! And knowing that, it might be easier to forgive yourself. :)

  • Friday, April 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I am not Roman Catholic, but i know the Catholic church (and some protestant ones) run something called “Project Rachel” which is an emotional healing program for women who regret their abortion.

    I know some of the women who work at this, and they are so caring and tender.

    I hope you find forgiveness and peace…

    much love

  • Friday, April 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    As a teen mom, i know how hard it is to support yourself and your child without the help of a father. I too had a second pregnancy scare (luckily it was just a scare) but it forced me to think about what i would do if i had another unplanned pregnancy without the support. It’s a really hard decision to make, but i think i probably would have done the same thing as you. You made the decision because you knew you wouldn’t be able to provide for your son in the way that he needed you to if you were stretching yourself even thinner caring for another child. Abortion is never a decision that should be lightly, but you made your choice out of the love you had for your son, which is extremely unselfish and i respect that. Forgive yourself and live your life. You have a beautiful boy who is so lucky to have a strong mother like you to take care of him.

  • Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    You exercised your right to choose. It is your body. I worked as a counselor for years at women’s health clinics (not the “pregnancy crisis centers” which are run by pro life people) and what you are going through, while not typical, is in fact normal. You’ve been though a lot. If you feel like you need to forgive yourself, then do it and move on and keeping loving and supporting your son. Do not beat yourself up, do not hate yourself. If you need to talk to someone, talk to an independent therapist who is unbiased and can listen to you and help you sort out all the emotions you are felling. Take good care of yourself.

  • Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 5:35 am

    I know it was a hard decision and even harder to live with. But you made the choice that was best for you and your current child. I work with at risk kids whose parents didn’t make a good choice and it hurts me to see them how they are. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

  • Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I’m so sorry. I have never been in your place and I can’t imagine how much you hurt. Just know that God forgives you and that is most important. Self-forgiveness may come with time, huh, but it’ll come. Can I give you a hug now?

  • Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I know exactly how you feel. I had an abortion 10 yrs ago and it is something I still think about today. I regretted my decision immediately after it happened and that regret has not gone away but I will tell you that the pain does heal over time. I spiraled into a huge depression after my abortion and I think what makes it so difficult is that it is a silent grief. It’s a loss that I cant explain to others or myself really. It’s a loss of someone that I never met but certainly felt. It’s a loss that I caused myself. I think these things make it hard to grieve. It’s like we have no one to share that grief with. No one understands. Some people think the pregnancy just went away but it’s soo much more than that. About a year after my abortion I realized I needed to let go. My pain was too great. I decided that in order to grieve that loss I had to identify it. I gave my baby a name and I wrote my baby a letter telling her how sorry I was. I found a peaceful secluded creek and I lovingly placed that letter into the water and watched it float down the creek until I couldnt see it anymore. I cried so hard but I also felt peace for the first time. I was finally able to grieve and that was the first step towards me moving on. It wasnt a cure all but it did get better after that. I still think about my abortion occasionally but the pain is gone. I really encourage you to do what you need to do to grieve the loss. Ive been in your shoes, Ive walked where youve walked and I know that it will get better for you. You are beautiful and you have a little boy that needs you and loves you with all his heart. Scoop him up and love on him as much as you can and love yourself too. This too shall pass
    Big hugs

  • Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I am so sorry that you have to deal with the pain and regret, but I firmly believe that a woman knows what is best for her and her family. Have no shame, you made a choice for the right reasons. Hold your head high and love yourself always. I send all my love and respect to you and your journey.

  • Friday, April 29, 2011 at 4:46 am

    Having an abortion is the hardest choice a woman can make, but you did the right thing for your child and yourself. Bringing another child into the world when you cant afford to properly care for it is irresponsible, and in some ways immoral, as it would hurt the child you already have.
    Guilt is completely understandable but you shouldnt feel you “deserve” to feel that way. You did the best you could with what you had and you cant ask for more than that.
    Good luck, and god bless.

  • Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I am sorry that you had to make that decision. There are many of us out there, but most are too ashamed to speak of it. Forgive yourself, because God will forgive you. Do you best raising the child you have and good luck with everything!

  • Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I am so sorry you went through this and that you’re still hurting. Ask the Lord to forgive you and then forgive yourself. I know it must hurt so badly. I am so very sorry. Take care of yourself and your little man.
    God bless you, sweetie.

  • Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 12:22 am

    you did the best you could for your first baby…its a really hard choice to make. you’re a good mom. and by the way my belly looks just like yours, its crazy!

  • Friday, May 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    i had an abortion with my second pregnancy, i was 21 , had my first son when i was 18 and i was going threw a divorce with my sons father, he was using drugs and i didnt feel it was right to bring another child in my world so i did what i thought was best , a few years later i had my 2nd child , the whole pregnancy i felt like i did not deserve to have my child because i had aborted the last one , it was very hard for me to get over and stop blaming my self for. But eventually you do find the forgiveness and move forward , you did what was best for you and both of those children. imagie how bad you would feel if you had keep the child and then was unable to provide for them and put ur other child more at risk . And it wouldnt have been fair to either child to have not aborted ,, i send to you love light and healing , you made the right choice , dont forget that

  • Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 7:32 am

    First of all, abortion is such a personal decision that no one can judge. they say most women feel relieved after having an abortion…. but, i can tell you that i only felt regret. I too had an abortion. I had mine in 2009, it would’ve been my 3rd child. i spiraled into a horrible depression and hated myself every day. the worst part of it was that i didn’t want to have the abortion.
    abortion is such a silent grief. you mourn for something that people told you wasn’t really a “baby” but to you it was. after my abortion, i had to go home to my 2 sons and looking at their faces made me feel like a horrible mother. i thought to myself…. how could i “kill” my baby and be a good mom to the 2 children i already have.
    the pain has lessened some. but it does get harder for me around the holidays. next month, i would have a one year old baby if i wouldn’t have aborted it. i deal with it every day too.
    i think that you made the choice that was right for you, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
    and i think Jenna above me has a really good idea with writing a letter to the baby. I may try that as well!
    good luck to you and I hope that all of us women dealing with this will find acceptance and peace with our decision!

  • Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Hi, I wanted to say that I come from a very different perspective than some of the commenters here and that as an atheist, I see no reason why you cannot forgive yourself. You made a tough decision but it was in the best interest of yourself and your child. No one should have to carry a pregnancy to term for fear of a supernatural being that is going to “punish them”. I do not think abortion should be taken lightly but it should absolutely be an option for any woman. I had one at 19, and at the time was very religious. I was shocked at how I never felt remorse (more like relief) for terminating a pregnancy I knew I could not handle. The father was abusive and I could not see myself being stuck with him for life. You did the right thing. There is no “god” that needs to forgive you and I honestly do not see how you did anything wrong. Please forgive yourself!

  • Monday, June 6, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Try to forgive yourself. You’ve made the right decision for you and your son. We women tend to be too critical towards ourselves. We should remember that it is two people that start a baby. The father is not held accountable, he can walk away (like your boyfriend did) and we women are made to feel guilty about our decisions. I think it is wise to bring as many kids in the world as we can raise. If the father is not around, much of the blame should rest with him, not with the woman. You would have made a different decision if the boyfriend would have been by your side, helping you.
    Live your life and enjoy spending time with your son – kids grow up so fast!

  • Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Thank-you all for your kind words, I think that finally being able to talk about it and say it out loud lifted a give weight off my chest. I have actually taken some of your advice! I started seeing a therapist to talk about this, and also have decided I’m going to name the baby. Hopefully all of this will finally bring me some peace. :)

  • Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I”ve also been through it and I havent forgiven myself because I was really selfish. I did it because I didnt want my parents to disown me, it just felt like I wouldnt be able to live without my parents. I told myself I’d hate my baby if I lost my parents because of him/her. The first time I fell pregnant I was in grade12, I promised myself that I wouldnt do it again but I did. It didnt get any easier and whenever I look at pics that I took before all these things happen I always say “that’s when I was beautiful and when I loved myself but now I’m ugly because of the bad things I’ve done to my own flesh and blood”. I hate myself for what Ive done and I dont deserve anyone’s forgiveness. I was a coward…I kill my babies for all the wrong reasons. I do regret it but its done now. I want so badly to forgive myself but I cant. Ive also decided never to have kids. God gave me a beautiful gift and I threw it back in his face so I dont deserve to be called mommy!!!

  • Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Shirley, have you talked to a therapist about this? Because you DO deserve forgiveness. God is so much bigger than humans could ever comprehend, of course he forgives you. YOu are a beautiful soul, please find someone to support you through this.

  • Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I just had abortion last tuesday and I’m not healed don’t think I will ever heal was 2mnths pregnant n I hv 2kids same dad,and this was a 3rd one diferent father and I’m only 26yrs a student have a sister with no parents and I agree wt the father 2 abort cz he also hv 2 second one is an infant of 5mnths n I hate myslf 4 taking that decision cz he’s the reason I terminated my bby n with our complication relationship I ddnt even want 2listen 2his lies and I hate myself 4 ending the life of an innocent soul regardless any challenges I faced with was unplanned baby and it was gonna influence my studies and please advice me how do I pick up the pieces n move on I even lost appetite

  • Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 12:36 am

    I’ve been there too, several times. The grief and regret nearly killed me. So sorry to hear so many others’ painful stories too. Yes, there is our responsibility, and let’s not forget the collective responsibility of the society we are born into. We’re told by health experts that “it will be Ok.” It is a conveyer belt industry. I made the ‘worst of decisions’ through abortion, but then I made the best of decisions in being baptised into the LDS church. I felt God’s instant forgiveness in a miraculous way and that is leading me to self-forgiveness. The journey is long and I’m still, 18 years later, on that road, but shedding the grief and regret piece by piece. The scarlet scars are being converted to snow. The pain is being converted to peace. Go gentle on yourselves dear women. Forgive and then you can forget. God remembers no more.

  • Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    I too terminated my pregnancy. It was my first child and I would have had her when I was 24. Even though I had 3 other children since and it’s been 34 years I still grieve for my first child and feel I can never be happy because of this loss. I did not want to terminate my pregnancy but because of the actions of the father and my confusion I made a bad choice and regretted it immediately. I found out I was pregnant when I was 6 or 7 weeks weeks and was told I had to make the decision quickly or it would be too late to terminate. I felt at peace when they put me under anesthesia and woke up to tell them I didn’t want to go through it but was told it was too late. All you can do is ask God and your child to forgive you and then try to forgive yourself. I still greive and get depressed around the time of year I carried my child for 10 weeks. Its a hard and final choice but we have to forgive ourselves for our mistakes and try not to repeat them. My other children’s father were not in their lives but I was determined not to end another pregnancy even though I became pregnant after a acquaintance took advantage of me after drugging me that I regretted and wanted nothing to do with the father. Even though I didnt feel like I wanted to go through the pregnancy, I felt I could not make that decision again.

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