Looking for suggestions...counseling post-abortive woman


#1

I’ve posted several times over the past year, since I started working with a woman suffering from an abortion. She’s had her ups and downs and unique incidents, but is far from healing.

She’s taken to talking to me about her experiences, feelings, overall “status” so to say. I’ve encouraged her numerous times to seek professional assistance, and I’ve also encouraged attendance at meetings such as Rachael’s vineyard. She is still working through a lot (I think she is in the actual durational time situation/trauma still occurring.)

Anyways, I don’t overly or dependently involve myself in her life or befriend her outside of work, but I also don’t want to cut her off as she claims I am the only person she has to talk to. (Divorced parents both separated from her, no siblings, abusive boyfriend w/ a restraining order…this girl has no support system).

I’m looking for some simple, slow and kind ways to delve a little deeper into the issue. She talks to me about things and although often times she is happy just to have a listener, sometimes she wants more engagement from me, such as giving advice or talking about the issue.

For example, she has been suffering from nightmares (which I am considering PTSD flashbacks) and also very vivid dreams. She talked about one in which she dreamed she put the baby up for adoption instead of aborting. It really has her torn up inside. She paused after talking and wanted me to say something, but I just don’t know what to say. As I understand it, she is living several different realities…

On the one hand, she is Christian and feels the immorality of it from a purely religious view. On the other hand, she is spinning towards the sin of despair, believing she can’t be forgiven.

She constantly tries to gain control of the trauma by claiming it was her choice and that it was the best choice. (She was coerced by her ex bf). Yet she can’t help recognizing that she could have afforded to have the baby and that everything would have worked out okay.

She is grappling with the inconsistencies from her mother, who commanded her to have an abortion and claimed her life would be over with a baby. Yet then the mother is completely ashamed of her and refuses to talk to her.

I guess I’m just rambling on here to see if others have a perspective. One thing that I really admire is her desire to talk about it and share it. She condemns herself, and yet at the same time it allows her to open up about it. I suspect her desire to wear it on her sleeve is a cry for help.


#2

Best place for help…rachelsvineyard.org/

Cannot say enough about this very needed ministry for those suffering post-abortion depression, stress…guilt. You name it, they can offer great resources to help heal a person.:thumbsup:


#3

I agree it is a wonderful resource. She has not been very receptive to it. I credit the website for opening her up to talking about it, for helping her to see the reality of it, but she is (I think) afraid to attend a meeting or get more resources.

It is all very sad. Her ex bf, who had done just crazy and absolutely horrible things, has started to attend the meetings alone. He is dealing with some tough issues as well, because he is coming to grips with a realization of being the perpetrator of all of this. He was hospitalized for attempted suicide and is choosing to receiving professional help.

For all the euphemisms, arguments and protesting that I have seen, being up close and personal with real people in this tragedy has been such an eye opener. It is unbelievable how anyone could encourage a woman to abort. The pain affects so many people! Everyone in her life and his life is affected. Even bystanders are affected. :frowning:


#4

feministsforlife.org/

This is a great resource from a non-religious POV.


#5

Confessing her sin to a Priest will be the beginning of the healing process for her. To go through the act of grievance for the lost child, feeling the remorse and repenting, will help restore her ability to truly feel forgiveness. The act of confessing and having to put the act into words at the feet of God through a confession before a Priest is powerful; and difficult. Help her understand that feeling remorseful is a good thing (it keeps us from repeating our sinful behavior) and can easily be confused with the feeling of unforgiveness. It is not the same as not having been forgiven by God. Forgiving herself may take a bit longer because of the shame that lingers. She should pray to be released from this lie imposed by the devil to keep her in bondage to her sin.

Any chance you could encourage her to make a heart felt confession and speak with a Priest? A Priest who is blessed with the gift of mercy and compassion is essential to aide her in healing. Being harsh could make her feel condemned rather then forgiven. We must be careful to always leave people with hope and love. We must remember to always be respectful of the fact they are a child of God the same as we are, and we are obligated to treat them as He has commanded us “Love them as I have loved you”.

Thank you for being there for her as the hand of God.

May God Bless and guide you through this journey. I certain there is a lesson in this for you as well.

God Bless,
Deborah


#6

Most crisis pregnancy centers also offer post-abortion counseling these days-- or know of local groups that do this type of counseling.

If she isn’t up for a retreat like Rachel’s Vineyard perhaps talking with a trained counselor would be an alternative. Also, the CPC will know of any post-abortion support groups in your local area.


#7

Hi Deborah,

For her to accept forgiveness is not something she will permit at this time. Besides grappling with the traumatic death of her child, she has blaced the blame solely on herself. This shields her from accepting that her family, boyfriend, religious group, friends, etc all are at fault for coercing and threatening her to do it.

She is really showing similar signs to that of someone who was raped and blames it on herself.

Also, she is Baptist and is vehemently anti-Catholic. Confession is a dirty word to her. :stuck_out_tongue:


#8

God bless you for being there for this woman.

I am a volunteer counselor at a local crisis pregnancy center and deal with this first hand. It is a little late for me right now to write too much, but the first thing that came to my mind is a wonderful video called Dear Children. This is one of the videos we show our post abortive women. I don’t know all the details, maybe didn’t read close enough, like how long ago was her abortion, does she have other children, any miscarriages if you want you can private message me, or if not lets keep communicating on this thread, the information that we share may be really helpful to others.

I tell you, the one thing I have learned most of all from volunteering, is compassion for these women. When I started, I had more anger, I have seen the lie that Satan has sold us, and we need to educate and bring the light and truth to these souls. I really am looking forward to communicating more with you on this and would love to help you in any way possible.

God Bless


#9

I was going to say for her to confess to a priest and her sin would be forgiven forever. But it also looks like even if God forgave her she would still be beating up on herself. She seems to have a need to punish herself. That is beyond your advise unless you are a professional therapist.

She must seek professional help. I have had co-workers who I feel I did a great job of making them feel better about themselves and then they continued leaning on me as if I was their therapist. She said to me “You are my friend and you should listen to me and my problems”. I said, I have listened to you and gave you advise over and over and now it is time for you to see a therapist.

Some people have tormented souls and need therapy. It is not fair for her to keep leaning on you if she doesn’t seek help. If she seeks help then you can be there for her. Otherwise, she will burn you out with her stand-still sadness and not grow out of her sorrow. We all have limits on how far we can go in helping someone. It doesn’t feel good to have to let go of someone when you feel you have done all you can and yet they cry for your help. This is a tough case. It is like you feel sorry for the person but at the same time you feel helpless to help that person. I don’t like the feeling of being unable to help when I reach my limit of helpfulness.
It feels like going in a circle and there is no way out until that person decides to do something about it.


#10

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