Wednesday, March 22, 2017

PTSD/PASS - Pain after abortion

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be experienced in women post abortion especially if they have kept their story silent. There is even a more specific name for this syndrome - Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS).

Some of the symptoms are:
  • Guilt which may be centered on the woman feeling she made a morally wrong choice or just fear of what others might think. This guilt can lead the woman into thinking the bad things that happen to her are just punishments for the mistake she made.
  • Anxiety in general or focused on fertility and whether or not she will be able to get pregnant again. 
  • If the woman does get pregnant again, it may be to "replace" the lost child or the pregnancy may be anxiety filled with fear of losing the child in or out of the womb. She then may experience problems bonding with the child post birth.
  • The woman struggles to relax and feels tense or has issues with dizziness, rapid/pounding heart beat, upset stomach, headaches, constant worrying, or sleep issues.
  • Avoiding children or pregnant women to avoid thinking of babies, pregnancy, or facing the emotions that may be stirred up by seeing or being around children. Related to this, is not being able to hear anything related to abortion or even being able to say the word "abortion".
  • Numbness and/or depression where feelings and emotions are suppressed to the point that the woman really doesn't feel/express joy anymore. The woman may shy away from others and fail to establish strong friendships. She may even turn to alcohol or drugs to numb her emotions.
  • Flashbacks to the time of the abortion or nightmares of the abortion and/or of children being harmed.
  • Suicidal thoughts or just feeling that her life would be better if she just died. 
If you are experiencing some of the symptoms above, please seek help. You are not alone.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Do you Hear?

Do you hear
my crying in the night
my heart grieves

Mourning my child
that once lived within me
gone now forever

I am lost
I am wandering all alone
who am I

I question myself
and all the choices I make
I lost trust

Help me God
I do not know how
to forgive myself

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Pain Within

My heart aches
My chest heavy with grief
My soul aches

My mind races
My focus comes and goes
My body heavy

My motivation wanes
My purpose in life vague
My hope wanes

My heart aches
My chest heavy with grief
My hidden pain

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Forgiven but not yet healed

The past six months or so have been a struggle. I honestly believe that my public testimonies in October and January tore at wounds and scars not fully healed. You can read about and hear my October testimony HERE and my January testimony will be posted soon.

But today I want to share a different story, a new story, the story of me figuring out that I am not as healed as I thought I was. In the past months I feel I have been falling down the dark rabbit hole into a deep depression. I was feeling hopeless, discouraged, afraid, lonely, and unmotivated. I was on edge, irritable, and honestly was beginning to annoy myself.

I reached out for help but didn't think I needed the help per se. I thought I just needed help with my struggling marriage. Coping mechanisms to deal with disappointment, frustration, and the worries of living paycheck to paycheck. I waited over a month to see the therapist and as soon as she asked, "What's up?" I broke down into tears and our discussion veered in a completely different direction.

I have no motivation to run. I can't sleep. I am having nightmares. I think of my baby every single day. My marriage is a struggle. I feel like a failure. I don't like myself. Correction, I hate myself at times.

As we discussed things deeper it came to her mind that I am still hurting. That I am stuck. That I am suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and need help. As soon as she said this, I agreed. I know that women who have had an abortion may experience PTSD. I always thought I kinda did but I also thought, I have it all under control. I went to a healing retreat. I am taking on an activist role. I can say the word "abortion" now and can hold a baby again. I am healed. Right? Nope. Not right.

My intense nightmares are a clue and there are so many more symptoms and the feeling that I have had in me for a very long time.

I never wanted to leave Rachel's Vineyard nearly two years ago if I remember right. Time is such a blur to me. I always felt pulled to go back. I have yearned and wished it was on island so I was closer to it and the people involved. I thought I was just trying to run and hide or to just be close to somewhere I felt safe and understood but I am getting a bigger understanding. I wanted to go back because I NEED to go back. I am not fully healed.

My protective walls and determination to move forward are holding me back....better yet, were holding me back. I didn't want all those walls to fall down. I feared and still fear what is behind them. After a prayer one day I felt God telling me that things are going to get harder for me but to have faith. That through that all will be good. I am beginning to see what the harder may be. My therapy is going to be hard. My therapist warned me and on March 13 I take the next step and get deep into my PTSD therapy. I am scared but hopeful.

It is still hard to run and I am logging many just a mile days to keep my running streak alive because I refuse to let depression, regret, etc break my running streak. I know I need to work out to keep as  many happy vibes going in my body as possible and thank you God for Beachbody and their programs that I can stream and shakes. Those are literally my life savers of fun workouts and good solid nutrition to help me through this hurdle.

I pray in the coming weeks and months that I will find the courage and strength (and words) to share on this blog and continue to speak out on the devastation abortion causes and how choosing life really matters.

Dear God,

Thank you for guiding me to Beachbody and therapy. I put my trust in you. Show me the way today to do your will, to help others who are hurting, and to grow stronger so that I may be your servant.

In Jesus' name I pray,
Amen

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SB501 - Malama Pregnancy Center needs your help

Today's post is from the Life Matters newsletter. To be on the email list, sign up via the link on the right hand column of this blog.

Today's email:

Due to the urgency of this matter, I am going to just send you the direct message from Joy Wright, Executive Director of the Malama Pregnancy Center. Please prayfully consider helping.

Here is her message and call to action:
Please help...there are two pieces of legislature (HB 663 and SB 501) set to be passed in the state of Hawaii that require non-profit pregnancy centers to refer clients to government funded agencies for state funded abortions.  If pregnancy centers do not comply they will be fined and may even face legal action.  Please become informed regarding these critical bills at Hawaii State Legislature.  
The state is about to pass a law that tells faith based non-profit pregnancy centers to violate their basic principles and religious beliefs.  The government is prohibited from compelling a faith based organization to give a message which is in direct opposition and violation of its fundamental principles. This law will  infringe on their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  This is a blatant violation of the separation of church and state.  It is a targeted attack on faith based life-affirming pregnancy centers.  Similar laws have passed in California and Illinois recently setting precedence. 
Pregnancy Centers do not take away a women's right to choose, their mission is to provide more than one choice. Women are smart and deserve the opportunity to be informed regarding pregnancy decisions including the choice carry the preborn to term and to parent.  Pregnancy centers do not charge for their services and clearly relay that they do not perform or refer clients for abortions.  Thus, the client is not mislead regarding services offered.  Pregnancy centers love and care for the client no matter what her decision may be.  Pregnancy centers are nonprofit life-affirming faith based ministries that care about women holistically, the preborn, men, and the family unit.  Pregnancy centers should be afforded their First Amendment rights per the United States Constitution.  
Please help!  Read below to find out how...
Please prayerfully read the attached written testimony in opposition.  If you would like to submit this written testimony in opposition or your own testimony, you may do so by 8:00AM on Thursday, February 23rd.  Please log into the  Hawaii State Legislature website and search Bill SB 501. Next, you follow the submit testimony link to submit your name, city you reside in, and your testimony.
Written testimony will only be accepted until Thursday, February 23rd at 8:00AM. 
We would like to ask for 10 people to reply that you are willing to:
1.  Call, email, or write a legislature regarding these bills.
2.  Ask 5 of your friends to do the same.

Sample Testimony Letter:
Re: Senate Bill No. 501
Relating to Health

Thank you for the opportunity to testify IN OPPOSITION to SB501

Pregnancy Resource Centers are a tremendous value to our local community in Hawaii. They are pro-woman and provide safe, confidential places to those facing an unplanned pregnancy. Since all their services are free, they do not benefit financially from a woman's reproductive choice as other agencies may. They empower the women of Hawaii to make informed choices. Many women in unplanned pregnancies will tell you that they feel an abortion is their only choice. Whether you consider yourself pro-life or pro-choice, that should never be. Pregnancy Resource Centers provide, for free, needed support, services, material assistance and medical screenings so no woman needs to ever feel that abortion is the only choice. The abortion lobby is wrongfully attacking Pregnancy Centers with SB501

We feel that SB501 is a one sided bill clearly targeting pregnancy resource centers for their deeply held religious views of the sanctity of life by forcing them to promote abortion by posting or handing out the government’s favored view. Forcing pregnancy resource centers to refer for abortion in any manner violates their First Amendment rights of the freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

The additional regulations this bill creates will have to be monitored and enforced. This will create a cost to the state. This cost will, in essence, be created to regulate five private religious non-profit organizations that offer all services at no cost to clients and receive no federal or state funding.

Given its obvious disregard for the First Amendment rights of the religious organizations affected, we can only assume they will fight this law to the highest court. Due to the cost of having to defend this unconstitutional bill, we oppose the State of Hawaii using taxpayers dollars to defend it in the courts solely to regulate a handful of religious organizations doing no harm to society.

The state should not infringe their view on religious organizations and violate their First Amendment rights. Nor should the state waste tax payer dollars to defend unnecessary legislation.
For these reasons, we urge you to OPPOSE SB501.
 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Breaking through the Chains

Come, Holy Spirit, I need you
Come, sweet Spirit, I pray
Come in your strength and your power
Come in your own gentle way 
           ~ Heritage Singers, Come Holy Spirit Lyrics 1st verse

What a beautiful song this is. What a beautiful prayer. And as the time approached for me to share my testimony for the first time publicly speaking to the crowd all I could do was focus on God. Ask for His help and strength. Ask for Him to use me to do His work. And ask the Holy Spirit to come to me.

The O'ahu 40 Days for Life rally was amazing in so many ways but even with the wonderful support on that sidewalk, I was still more nervous than anything to speak. I had my speech ready. I practiced it and cried every time. I didn't want to fall apart. I wanted to share my story with the hope that maybe one day, one person will be saved in one way or another. I may never see the fruits of my labor and that is okay. I will still persevere and push forward for God.

I was one of the final speakers at the rally and headed up to tell my story. I had to take a deep breath and center myself. I introduced myself and began reading my speech and then it moved to the hard part. My story. I quickly lost my place on the paper as my hand shook and reading in the dim evening light is tough but the thing is, I knew my story. It is my story.

I crumbled the paper in my hand and continued forth telling my story. It wasn't exactly as I wrote it or prepared but it was my story. It was probably one of the hardest things I had to do in my life but it was also one of the most amazing. To be able to tell my story and make it to the end without crumbling down. To do the scariest thing ever. To be so vulnerable full of fear and to look out and see a sea of eyes of compassion and love with a swirl of some understanding.

I messed up my final line but my 8 year old daughter assured me, everyone knew exactly what I meant. I REFUSE to be silent. I will be silent no more.

God blessed me that night. He blessed me with my family being with me along with friends. He blessed me with beautiful hugs of support and encouragement to keep on talking. He reinforced that I am to tell my story and he helped me break through the next layer of chains that have been holding me back. I felt another load of bricks come off my shoulders and trust me, that is wonderful. Finding your voice is wonderful. Public testimony is wonderful. Healing and forgivenes is real and is there for all those who need it. And if you need help or someone to talk to you, I am here for you.

And here's my speech and please be kind and understanding, my 8 year old taped it and her arms were getting tired.


Friday, August 5, 2016

An open letter to those who say abortion is a woman's choice

After listening to Immaculate Heart Radio and a caller on Right Here, Right Now I was compelled to draft this response to those who argue that abortion is a woman's choice even when they state they are personally against abortion. I shared my response with the show's host, Chris Aubert, who unfortunately is moving on to a new ministry in life. I wish him the best of luck and God bless!


To those who say abortion is a woman's choice,

To say it is a woman's choice and they will have to face God for their choice seems to be a cop out for taking a stand and doing what is right. Many of those women, like myself were/are stuck in a crisis moment feeling helpless, hopeless, afraid, terrified, and perhaps, like me, being told by the baby's father that this is what I MUST do.

In that terror I felt compelled to confide in two others what I was being told to do, forced to do. Maybe I was hoping someone would stop me. Who knows but I can tell you this -- all I heard was the propaganda that it is my choice, best for me, best for the baby. It is just a clump of cells, a tumor.

It was all lies. Definitely not best for the baby. Not best for me. I can't even begin to express the hate I have felt for myself, the disgust, the disappointment that I was too weak. Too stupid.

If only someone would have said NO and took the time to listen to me, my irrational fears, and give options that were really better for all. If only someone LOVED me enough to say STOP, choose life.

You see, when a woman is in that moment of crisis and fear there is no way she can make a rational decision. She needs help. So I will continue to tell my story hoping that it saves at least one life, stops one woman in her moment of fear, or encourages one person to stop saying it is a choice but to say it is wrong. Let me help you.

A great analogy is would you let your friend jump off a building in a moment of fear when she feeks helpless? Is it her choice? Wouldn't you do something to stop her? I hope the answer is yes.