Okay, you're having a difficult time....
And maybe this is an understatement? :) You've had an abortion; either a week ago, a month ago, a year ago, maybe 20 years ago or more! And you have come to realize that you have problems dealing with your life because of it. What do you do?? First of all, take a deep breath! You will get through this, and be okay! You're not alone, and there are other women here who have been through this, and can help you.
You don't have to worry about justifying your decision to anyone here, or explaining why you did it, or worry about feeling guilty or ashamed. No one will judge you, or criticize you for your decision. Every woman who participates here on the support boards have had abortions themselves, or are the friends or relatives of a woman who's had an abortion, and they understand what you are going through. You don't have to worry about examining whether you think abortion should 'remain legal or not' as part of your recovery - the legality status of abortion is a different issue, for discussion at a different time, and at other websites. It's counter-productive to worry about the larger legal and social issues, when you are trying to heal. First you must take care of yourself, and do what you need to feel better. Then once you are healed, you can decide if and when you want to discuss other issues surrounding abortion. What you can do here is talk, share, and express the real feelings, challenges and emotions you are experiencing in regards to recovery, and find ways to heal.
We also have an online structured recovery program, that you can either do on your own as an individual, or with an online group of other women. If your abortion is fairly recent, like within the last 3-6 months, you may not need this program. The structured group is helpful for women who are having serious problems with sadness, grief, guilt and loss, and who have not managed to return their lives back to 'normal' after an abortion. It's also helpful if you are suffering from PASS problems like the ones in the "Do I have PASS?" Quiz. For the first few weeks and months after an abortion it is normal to feel stressed, upset, have some crying times and be sad. You have to recover physically and emotionally, and it is not always as easy as clinics portray it. The best help for recovery in the first few months is simply 'peer support' recovery, and you can have that by talking about your feelings and emotions at the messages boards. You can also find peer support at the chats. This talking with other women who understand, and sharing about your feelings and your emotions is a big help in recovery. If you feel like you need more help, or a more thorough and structured type of recovery, then you are invited to participate in the free structured recovery programs. And of course it's always helpful to find a private counselor that you can work with, too.
How do you Heal?
Okay, if you have PASS, what do you do? How do you heal? Here are the best ways to heal:
- Peer Support! - Visit the message boards at the site, join the email support groups and come to the chats. Having a chance to talk and interact with women who understand what you are going through is very helpful. Just being with other women who know and understand our feelings, without the need to explain or justify ourselves is very comforting. You can start communicating with other women who understand right away. The message boards are the central 'healing place' of the site - that's where most of the women gather, and talk about what is going on in their lives, and share ideas and thoughts about how to recover and heal from PASS.
- A link to the chat rooms is at the top of each message board - you can go to the chat rooms and "real time" talk with others who understand. People are usually there in the evening hours. Check the moderator's schedule for when they will be in the rooms. If you are in crisis ( feeling suicidal, like you can't cope anymore, ect) Then go to the Crisis Help Page to find phone numbers for hotlines in your state to call for someone to talk to right away.
- If you have insurance, or if you can afford to pay yourself, finding a professional counselor that understands PASS is another great way to start. For more info on how to find a counselor visit the Counseling Info. Page
- Be aware of the "Cleaning House Phenomenon"
- We run online Structured Recovery Groups on a private area of the site. Check out the information page on the recovery groups, to see if you would be interested in healing that way.
- Check out the section on protecting your privacy online
- We also have Individual Recovery Steps - for women interested in doing a healing program offline and by themselves.
- After that, start exploring the sections in the 'navigation bar' that is at the top of each page. For site info., new section information, and to keep up to date on what's going on here, join the About_PASS email list
- If you feel a sense of loss for the potential baby, what can you do to help that? How can you do things that will help you feel better, and help remember your loss? Go here for some Remembrance Ideas
- If your abortion was recent, look at the Physical Recovery Instructions for signs and symptoms of what to watch for during your recovery days and weeks after an abortion.
- There's lots of emotions that go along with healing from PASS, like sadness, anger, depression, suicidal feelings and grief. I have identified the common stages of PASS. Click Here to read them if you are interested. The symptoms are also outlined pretty well in the "Do you have PASS?" Quiz.
- What are helpful things to do, and helpful things to avoid, as you recover? Check out this section, How to 'take care' of yourself while you recover
- If you find yourself feeling upset as you consider your past experiences, and especially if you feel hopeless, or are considering suicide, seek professional help immediately. To speak with a crisis counselor right away, go to the Crisis Intervention Help Page
- Sensitive Issues - As a natural part of recovery, women will sometimes think in detail about the fetus, and wonder what it "looked like", and wonder if it 'felt pain', or was 'aware'. These issues are very sensitive ones, and can be very upsetting for women to consider. In this section I provide information about these sensitive issues.
- For a little 'comic relief', read my take on how some scenes would go in 'Romantic Hollywood Movies' if they were written like they happen in Real Life!
- Anger at the male involved is very common. It's helpful to write a letter to the man, expressing what you feel, even if you never send it. To see some examples, go here - Letters to Men examples
- If you are interested in finding a "Chat Buddy"or a "Pen Pal" or being a "Chat Buddy" or "Pen Pal", please visit the Pen Pals & Chat Buddies message board in the Misc. section of the Message Board Index
- Do spirits exist before birth? can they communicate? Do they return to heaven if they are not born? Check out Elisabeth Hallet's Pre-Birth Communication Site, and see if you agree with her research!
- What 'causes' PASS? What indicates beforehand that a woman may suffer from PASS? Read The Four F's to find out.
- Information about Abortion after Maternal Health Complications
- Information about Abortion after Poor Prenatal Diagnosis