For so many years I have had a deep wound in my heart about having an abortion when I was 16, or at least that is how I have framed it. In reality we were tricked into it, or perhaps deceived into it would be more accurate. We went to a clinic to have the pregnancy confirmed, but it was supposed to be just that. When the people at the clinic were unsuccessful in their attempts to persuade us to have an abortion, they told us we were not pregnant. Then, in a off-handed way, they gave us a pill which they told us would start our period. In reality what they did was cause us to hemorrhage and lose the baby. It was one of the most traumatic experiences we have ever had.
It’s a topic that we have talked much about in therapy. Each time we referred to it as “the abortion we had”, but recently we have been challenged to re-frame it to reflect the fact that it was not our choice, and for that reason it was not our fault. Earlier today when we were talking with our dear friend about it, she put it in yet a different frame of reference. She said it would actually be more true to the matter to say our baby was stolen from us. Immediately that struck a positive chord.
You might wonder what difference it makes how it is stated, but the implications and impact are very different. It’s critical to the healing process to accurately state the truth. If I am grieved over “getting an abortion”, I am dealing with guilt and self-rejection. However, if I am grieving because my baby was stolen from me, then I must deal with anger and betrayal. If I don’t keep it in the proper frame of reference, the wound isn’t healed because the underlying issues are not being addressed. So you see, getting the right picture is critical to being able to heal.