As a young woman, my early years were difficult and emotionally traumatic. During this time, I struggled with lack of self-worth, depression, anxiety and was prescribed antidepressants by my GP. I also used alcohol, resulting in many unhappy relationships with the opposite sex. I was 17 years old at the time.
On return from a holiday romance in 1988, I realised I was pregnant. This was confirmed by my GP who referred me for an abortion, saying "mentally I would be an unfit mother" because of my prior anxiety and depression. I signed the consent form believing I had no other choice, as there was no support from either family or friends.
My immediate reaction of relief was short-lived. It was replaced by shame, guilt, self-condemnation, darkness, depression, fear and terror. It felt as if my life was over.
I couldn't stand these feelings. They were so painful. I felt alone, isolated and ostracised. I went out drinking the night of my abortion and had a one-night stand. I was searching for something I had lost. I didn't know where my baby had gone, I sadly thought I'd find my baby somewhere out there. I couldn't face what I had done; my baby was dead and I hated myself.
To anaesthetise the pain, I abused alcohol and had many abusive relationships. I was addicted to alcohol for 17 years. I cried silent tears. I often had nightmares of seeing dead babies in chains. I couldn't keep a job, made many bad choices and was promiscuous for a time.
'I COULDN'T STAND THESE FEELINGS.
THEY WERE SO PAINFUL.
I FELT ALONE, ISOLATED, AND OSTRACISED.'