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my view from the prison of a SICLE (Self-Imposed Child Loss Experience) due to debilitating maternal disease
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:: Friday, March 28, 2003 ::

This from the latest issue of "Habitat World" (a Habitat for Humanity publication): More children live in poverty today than did 30 years ago.

Thirty years ago... Hmmmm.... Now, lessee... What could have happened 30 years ago to affect the poverty level today? Hmmm... 1973... Anything come to mind?

After the abortion of my child I lost my teaching job. Parents were calling me encouraging me to sue. Some parents wanted to argue abortion rights with the school (apparently it had been an issue at somewhat clandestine meetings). I didn't want to argue at all. Truth be told, I was relieved. In the school's defense, I had been terribly ill with HG for more than six weeks. Because of the disease I was unable to adequately perform my duties (or eat or drink or anything else). They had to call subs in left and right. After I lost my child in an abortion I was an emotional wreck debating on whether or not I would kill myself. I could barely pretend everything was OK around the children, but whenever they would leave for special area I would dissolve into tears. I didn't care about life anymore much less blending or borrowing. And I was driven to despair over their tiny hands and lovely ways. A month of this and I informed my principal that I needed a leave of absence. He granted my request but secretly fired me and sent out letters to parents. It was shady, but I didn't care.

My kids hated the new teacher and a few parents wanted to fight to get me back, but I was suffering so much trauma from the abortion-related loss that I really couldn't do anything but lay on the couch and cry for literal days - and that's if I even made it to the couch. There were days I didn't get out of bed until 6 PM.

When my body had been sick with HG at least I was working towards something; the suffering had purpose. This new suffering, this heart sickness... it had no purpose; there was absolutely nothing to work for. This suffering was completely meaningless and would never come to any real end. Oh my shock at experiencing something worse than HG when I thought there could be nothing worse! Work? I didn't care.

When the HG was gone and I had the actual ability to get out of bed to bathe and eat and work, I didn't care to do any of those things. I just wanted my baby back, and my sorrow was all I could handle. People were really worried for me. My husband hid the gun. I saw mental health professionals several times a week and was "this close" to being forcibly admitted, but the HMO was finally working in my favor. As usual they wouldn't pay for treatment, and I didn't have a job, so I could go home and blow my brains out for all they (and I) cared.

A few months later I was still in the thick of it. I didn't move from the bed or the couch even to eat or bathe or go outside. There was nothing to say or do to remedy anything. It was over. People got sick of it. My mother-in-law suspected my emotional state was for the benefit of the family. One day when I was crying she turned to me and said, "You know, you don't have to do this to prove to us you're sorry. We believe you already." I had paid a high price to be better and according to them, by God, I needed to be better. It was, they felt, my duty. Plus, they just couldn't take it anymore.

I was needled (by my husband) into taking antidepressants, which was something I didn't want to do as I still had shellshock from all the medication trials in the pregnancy. I relented though, and when antidepressants didn't "cure" my grief, they switched meds. And when that didn't work they switched meds. And when that didn't work they switched meds. Finally I told them all what to do with their meds.

I tried several "post-abortion" counseling programs, but they didn't work. I tried envisioning my child as a radiant spirit, but that didn't work. Others prayed for me, but that didn't work. I tried symbolism and ceremony, but that didn't work. I tried going to the PASS site and talking to others, but that certainly didn't work. Nothing upon nothing patched me up. Where was my quick fix?

Everyone told me to get a job. That was the key. Get back into the normal swing of things. Act my way into thinking. So some fool hired me and I started life in a cubical. After all my hopes, dreams and aspirations as a hardworking (nearly 4.0) Elementary Ed. student at FSU, after years of student-teaching and subbing in the school system, after landing my first professional career and teaching for a year and a half, there I sat answering phones for plumbing and sewage for the state. Talk about taking your booger ice cream cone and rolling it in turd sprinkles. I planned my demise. The job lasted a month. I quit and went back to crying on the sofa (instead of gulping down the sobs in a cubical).

I haven't worked since. I have thought about it, but I'm terrified. I will never teach again, that much I know. That dream, that world, that girl is gone. Before, I could do anything but was inclined to teach. Now, I'm limited. I have thought about getting a life ethics degree and counseling or getting a nursing degree and running the sonogram machine for young women considering abortion. Those things I could do, those things would be satisfying and worthwhile. I could also finish my funeral director's license and work in that field. At least I wouldn't have to pretend to be cheery. My somber approach to death would even be deemed sensitive and appropriate. But honestly, I don't know if I'll ever go back to work. And luckily I have that option.

If it wasn't for my loyal, diligent husband, I can tell you with 100% certainty, I would have been out on the street and not even cared. I would have slept at the shelter or one of the shanties pictured in "Habitat World", and eventually I would have become one of these beyond-wounded people who walk around pushing shopping carts and talking to Elvis all day. They would have found me dead under an overpass like the body donations we used to get for embalming lab in funeral college. Abortion screwed me that much. It wasn't the HG, it wasn't my childhood, it wasn't even the cruel and lingering deaths of my parents.


What happened 30 years ago to add to the poverty (and emotional pathology) level today? The same thing that happened 6 years ago: horrible, terrible, legal abortion.


:: ashli 9:25 AM # ::

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