Reactions to loss after abortion
After our abortion, we can feel no loss at all, only shock waves:
“ I can’t manage these strong feelings. I think they will break me”
We go into shock because it is a natural reaction to loss.
After the initial shock or numbness, we move into the stage of denial.
A wall of denial: “If I ignore it, and do something good, the feelings will go away”
Keeping up a wall of denial takes a lot of mental energy.
Anger: “I need to prevent this happening again.”
Anger has an energy that drives us. We can find ourselves engaging in intense activity in the community, directing anger at ourselves or towards the ones we love.
Guilt: A flood of negative thoughts come into our minds, which may be followed by self-punishing behaviour.
What could I have done to prevent it happening? Why did I allow this to happen? For some of us, the thoughts go around our heads all the time from the moment we wake until the moment we sleep, if we do sleep.
Bargaining: ” If I get pregnant again, it will make the pain less” “ I want my power back!”
With every effort to replace the loss, there is a risk of losing again. However, bargaining has an energy that can be harnessed for good. See the article below from Emotional Logic.
Depression: “ I feel empty and hopeless”. “ I can’t change this”
Our maternal desire to have children might only just have been awakened by the pregnancy itself, and now we are impacted by the fact that we do not carry a child any longer.
Acceptance; “ I cannot change what happened but I am working out ways to go forward in my life and do some things differently”