Sister's abortion


#1

My sister and I had a blow up a few months ago. In the context of her telling me everything she disagreed with in the Catholic church, she told me that she had an abortion. She told me to hurt me. And she did. She has had problems her whole life… drug abuse, suicidal ideations, prostitution, you name it. I have always tried to love her unconditionally because she is clearly a hurting person. I tried to gently tell her that the abortion could be contributing to her suicidal feelings and she adamantly denied it… to her the suicidal feelings are only from what other people have done to her. Granted, she has had some horrific things happen to her, but she has also inflicted a great deal of pain on other people, particularly her family. She refuses to believe the abortion was wrong or could be causing her any pain. She believes it was ok because it was an early term abortion. When she first told me about the abortion we were not arguing, but the conversation devolved into the biggest blow up we have ever had. My question is this… how do I behave toward her? We haven’t spoken since and my parents want me to apologize and move on for the sake of family unity. Apologize for what? I could apologize for yelling at her. But she says she is hurt because I said that abortion is murder. Well, it is. What do I do? I know that not speaking to her is not an option. But I am hurt. I think of that little baby and all of the lost potential. It is like a black hole in the universe… this was my niece (I had a vision the baby was a girl), my children’s cousin. How do I approach my sister? How do I repair my relationship without “apologizing” to her as my parents want me to do. They are hurt by the abortion, but they have always excused everything she has done because of their guilt.


#2

Dear “mom”. First of all, I want to tell you how sorry I am for the pain that this situation has caused to you, personally. :console: I will keep you in my prayers.

My humble opinion, is that you should not apologize to your sister… for speaking the truth. :nope: She is wrong. And you are right. Abortion is murder. :sad_yes:

However, you might try… to attempt another dialogue with your sister, by telling her that you’re sorry for losing your temper (or yelling, or whatever it was). Tell her that you love her and that you care about her. But make it clear that your stance on abortion has not changed and will not change. :frowning: Whether she chooses to proceed with your relationship, or not… is then her option. At that point… you’ve done all you can do to “mend” the rift between you and your sister.

You might have a heart to heart with your parents, as well; and explain to them that you will not apologize for speaking the truth. But reassure them, at the same time that you love your sister.

It sounds like your sister is in denial, about the aftermath of her abortion. I don’t know if it would do any good, then… to suggest “Rachel’s Vineyard” (or similar) to her. If she doesn’t admit there’s a problem, she probably won’t go for help.

But you might try suggesting it to her, “mom”. I’m so sorry for the pain of all of this. Your family are extremely blessed to have you, as a member. Someone who will stand up for the truth. And I’m sure the Little One in Heaven, is praying for all of you.

God bless.


#3

I heard from a priest once that it takes an average of 7 years from the abortion for the woman to finally come to terms with what she really did and to seek help. How long ago did this happen?

(PS… never apologize for telling the truth. Only apologize if you told it in less than a kind way.)


#4

If you blew up and spoke uncharitably, you can apologize for that. “I’m sorry I yelled at you,” is not the same as, “I’m sorry I called abortion murder.” I’d leave it at that and not reiterate your stance on abortion. I’m sure she’s clear on that!

If she is as messed up as you say, she may not be thinking rationally. I’m not sure we can have “normal” relationships with people like that. (I have a SIL who has issues and my mom will say things like, “What is she thinking?” My answer is usually, “Mom, she isn’t thinking the way we do.”)

God loves her soul infinitely even though he hates abortion. Try to be loving towards her w/o condoning her actions. Stay clear of the whole abortion issue. You both know where you stand; no point in starting something every time you’re together. If she brings it up, change the subject w/o commenting. If she is not thinking logically, you will get into it every time. Don’t go there.


#5

I wouldn’t apologize either. She needs to take care of her substance abuse problem, which is the cause of all her misery. All substance abusers need a program of recovery and if she is in one…she either very new or isn’t working it very well. All substance abusers perceive themselves as “victims” only when we work a program of recovery can we take responsibility for our actions and see the damage we caused to others & ourselves. Do not let her manipulate you. It sounds like your parents are co-dependents you don’t have to be one. Take it from one who knows.


#6

Dear Mom,

I am a post-abortive woman. Check out Rachel’s vineyard. It took me a while to come to terms with the terrible license that I took. I still haven’t fully. My greatest advice, is to pray the rosary for your sister in front of the blessed sacrament. Take your strife to Christ. He’ll tell you what to do. God permits evil to bring about a greater good. My prayers are with you and your sister.

Your sister in Christ,
Maura


#7

One question that struck me as I read your post–how do you know she told you to hurt you? And even if she did tell you to hurt you, now that you know you can pray for her more specifically since she shared this information.

I don’t know your sister, but I think many people have a deep desire to confess their sins–even sometimes when they won’t admit those actions are sins. If she can tell you, (knowing that you oppose abortion), maybe she’ll one day be able to confess to a priest, (knowing the Church opposes abortion).

Prayers for you and your sister (and your neice or nephew.)


#8

Well, its hard to explain… because I know her and because of the context of the conversation. She told my mother in a similarly hurtful manner. She was on a diatribe about all of the things she disagrees with in Catholic teaching. Telling me about the abortion was like the final zinger in her diatribe. I felt the admission coming and I didn’t want to hear it. I tried to steer the conversation in a different direction, but she made sure to get it out. I wish I could describe it better. It was also very self-righteous… she was basically saying that she had an abortion and it was great for her. So the Catholic Church must be wrong, because her feelings are the ultimate barometer for right and wrong.

If you blew up and spoke uncharitably, you can apologize for that.

Yes, I will do that. And the yelling wasn’t actually about the abortion. I was calm when we were talking about the abortion. Apparently she isn’t mad at me about the yelling, but about my comments about abortion.

I heard from a priest once that it takes an average of 7 years from the abortion for the woman to finally come to terms with what she really did and to seek help. How long ago did this happen?

2-3 years ago. I’m not sure she will ever accept responsibility. I think she is a narcissist.

This is so hard for me. I feel like this is my biggest test in charity and forgiveness I have ever had to face. I know I should forgive… but I just don’t know how to act toward her. Forgiveness is very hard when the person doesn’t want it. I have tried to remain compassionate toward her through the years but I feel that I am growing cold. I am burned out. Isn’t that sad to feel that way toward your sister?


#9

The apostles asked Jesus how much we were to forgive - Jesus said 70 times 7, many teachers say that figure of speech meant infinity to the people at that time.

It sounds trite, but, what would Jesus do? Until you can see the face of Jesus in the person you like the least, you cannot fully love Him.


#10

Judge not lest ye be judged.

I watched an interesting movie callled “Doubt” the other day and the priest in it did a homily on gossip and slander. He said the woman who had confessed to gossiping was told by her priest to go up to the roof and cut a pillow open. She did and then went back to her confessor. He then told her to go gather up all the feathers. She said, ‘but father, I can’t do that, the wind has carried them off and I wouldn’t even be able to find them all’. The Father told her, ‘that’s what gossip is.’

All I got from your post is that you have terrible things to say about your sister and clearly you harbor a lot of hate for her in your heart. Your post doesn’t tell me anything about your sister, but it does tell me something about you.

You can’t control what another person does or doesn’t do and I wouldn’t presume any of what you posted was true simply because it’s obvious you are rageful at someone. But you can control what you do.

I suggest you confess and try to control your own behavior and worry less about hers.


#11

Yes, I know I need to forgive her. I’m trying and this is tearing me up. I’ve posted this because I’m having a hard time forgiving someone who doesn’t want to be forgiven.

Judge not lest ye be judged.

I’m sorry, did you miss the part where I said that my sister killed my niece and my children’s cousin? That is the thing about abortion. It is not just about a woman and her own body… it involves an entire family. Yes, I am judging her. She killed a baby. I judge that to be wrong. I am grieving and I am trying to figure out how to forgive her even though she sees no need to be forgiven. I’ve always been able to forgive her and go on being the older, wiser sister who gives her a listening ear. She has engaged in a lot of self destructive behavior and I’ve always had compassion for her. This time she has turned the destructive behavior on someone else and destroyed another life. Gone. Never to exist on this earth except for the brief, silent period in her mother’s womb.

‘that’s what gossip is.’

I am not gossiping. This is an anonymous forum and I have nobody to talk to about this. Most people don’t think abortion is wrong and this hurt me very deeply. I want to love and forgive my sister, but I am human and I am having a hard time moving forward.

All I got from your post is that you have terrible things to say about your sister and clearly you harbor a lot of hate for her in your heart.

Don’t tell me I hate my sister. You don’t know anything more than the couple of paragraphs I’ve written about a specific situation. You don’t have the 34 years of context do you? The things I wrote about her past behaviors were to add some context. I mentioned the drug abuse, prostitution, etc. to illustrate that she is a very hurting person. Those things don’t make me hate her, they make me feel sorry for her. When I found out about the abortion and her lack of remorse, that was the first time I didn’t know how to move on in my relationship with her. As far as calling her a narcissist, I believe she is. That is a clinical personality disorder. I am not judging her. I am making a statement of fact. I wonder if you have ever dealt with someone with such a personality disorder?

I suggest you confess and try to control your own behavior and worry less about hers.

How do you know I haven’t? You are as judgmental as you accuse me of being… at least that is how your post comes off. I am here struggling as a human being. Cut me some slack.


#12

Someday the weight of what she has done to her unborn child may pile down on her like a ton of bricks and she may be ready to atone to God for what she had done. All you can do is wait and be ready to comfort her and lift her up when that time comes.
You cannot apologize for telling her the truth, that she has in fact murdered her child. Abortion is truly evil, so for her to have partaken in one tells you how truly oppressed her soul is right now. You can fight back with prayer. Pray for her. Pray for her to see what she has done, because though the sin is grave it is not heavier than God’s mercy.


#13

I’ll just be blunt: you state in your opening post:

*She refuses to believe the abortion was wrong or could be causing her any pain. *

I mean, I hate to drop a bombshell here, but there are plenty of women who really *don’t * think it’s wrong, and don’t let it weigh on their hearts. Truly. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. I shared an office with one such woman. We had a co-worker who took a leave of absence, she had gotten pregnant with another co-worker’s child- she was married to someone else. A rumor fluttered around that she had miscarried. My co-worker rolled her eyes and said she didn’t understand who the co-worker wasn’t just honest about the fact that she had an abortion.

I leaned back in my chair to make eye contact with her, and arched an eyebrow at her. She scoffed and said, “really. I have had an abortion. It’s really no big deal. Nobody cares. Happens all the time. It’s not like it’s a scandal or something.”

Well, needless to stay, I just sorta sat there, mum. I was pretty shocked. By the time I came to my senses, I figured this was probably not something that should be discussed in our office anyway.

But it helped me to understand just how far apart people can be on this subject. If your sister is around likeminded people, that furthers the feeling of it not being wrong.

You would be well advised, I think, to tell your sister you love her, you always will, but that it is probably best for you two to give each other a little space. She needs to understand the hurt she’s inflicted; but you need to cool off, too. I absolutely believe there is nothing wrong with “taking a break” from family members, especially when things continually go poorly (this would be my own relationship with my sister; if we had daily communications goodness knows I would probably be weeping on here daily).

I think whoever suggested you pray the rosary for her made a great suggestion, too. And we don’t know each other’s hearts…what the source of hurt is, where the pain comes from, why people lash out at those who care the most. All we can do is what Jesus asks of us. It sounds trite, but is true.


#14

This is very sad. I am sad for you. I realize that her abortion destroyed your neice or nephew and your children’s cousins. The whole idea that abortion is a “private act” is such a lie. It affects the family. There is counseling available now for fathers of aborted children, but I know of none for other family members.

Yet… I still don’t neccesarily see her telling you as being something she did to hurt you. She hurt her child, she hurt her family, but ultimately, she may have hurt herself the most. She wanted to share with you something that happened a few years ago that affected her most of the whole family. You didn’t want to hear it. I don’t blame you for not wanting to hear it, but whether you heard about it or not, it was done. Keeping that information to herself may have been tearing her apart inside. As I wrote, I think many people want to confess their sins, even if they claim that they don’t consider them to be sins.

Besides her abortion, you wrote a number of things she’s done, like prostitution and drug addiction, that point to seriously less-than-healthy behaviors. The abortion seems like one more step down the path that leads her further away from God. Yet she shared with you. She gave you a chance to intercede for her and help her realize that no matter how far away she goes, God wants her to return home to Him.

I know you didn’t want to hear it. Hearing about it doesn’t change anything about her past, but it might change something about her future. I strongly suggest that you take this to confession in order to start the healing process that your family needs. Let the priest know your struggle to forgive her. God’s grace is greatly needed in order to heal your family.


#15

Thank you Mercy Mia and Spaceneedle. Your replies were helpful and productive. Yes, Mercy Mia, her worldview is definitely different than mine. One thing I’ve taken from this thread is that I absolutely need to pray for her. Honestly, I’m not doing that. And I think forgiveness is only possible with prayer. I will pray the rosary for her.

She moved into a new apartment. I was thinking of sending a house warming present and card saying I love you and congratulations on the new home… but not really addressing the heart of that argument. What do you guys think of that?

One of the reasons I was so shocked and hurt by her admission is because of how much she loves my little boys. My oldest was born out of wedlock. His biological dad is not a very nice man. One of the reasons she said she had the abortion was because the father was a jerk. Yet, she dearly loves my son and sees that good can come out of a bad situation. Also, during her periods of deep depression she has told me that thinking of my children has given her the strength to go on. I just don’t understand how she can love my children so much and yet chose to abort her own.


#16

You’ll have to trust me on this one. In the context of our discussion at the moment it was meant to be hurtful. But perhaps you are also right… deep down inside there may have been a need to say it. It doesn’t really matter to me what her motivation for telling me was. And, yes, I have taken this to confession. But human emotions are complex and certain things are hard to move on from.

My main struggle is knowing how to move on and how to act toward her. Do I address the argument or do I just try to move on in other ways? Our conversation devolved into yelling about things other than the abortion… I can apologize for that, no problem. Yelling at her was wrong. But the reason she is holding a grudge against me is because I said that abortion is murder (this is what my dad told me she said). When I said that, we were having a rational, calm conversation. I just want to be clear that I didn’t yell at her about the abortion and I was speaking charitably, but truthfully when that was the topic of conversation.


#17

I have been in the same situation. I will give you advice from my prospective, after the dust has settled.

My sister, who has had several abortions, and like your sister has had a rough life, mostly self inflected but non the less rough.

When she was having her second abortions I was miscarrying my second child. My grief was so great for my lost baby that I turned on my sister for murdering her child. At the time she saved face by acting like the abortion was not a big deal. I was so angry with her that we did not speak to each other for three years. And even after that my anger with her was eating me alive.

Now two more abortions behind her (with a total of four that I know of). I can see the broken women that is left behind. My heart aches to see her and the pain that she feels, but I personally feel that I may have ruined my chance to gently guide her to help. I am currently working on repairing this relationship and looking for the opportunity to give her the help she needs.

So I guess my advice to you is, go to your sister and apologize for the argument (not for stating the truth mind you, but for stating the truth in an uncharitable manner.) I know how hard it is to watch your sibling spiral out of control. But we most be Christ like and like St Francis once said preach the gospel often and sometimes use words. So go and comfort your sister and when the time arises direct her to call or contact Rachel’s Vineyard.


#18

I think that’s a super idea.

One of the reasons I was so shocked and hurt by her admission is because of how much she loves my little boys. My oldest was born out of wedlock. His biological dad is not a very nice man. One of the reasons she said she had the abortion was because the father was a jerk. Yet, she dearly loves my son and sees that good can come out of a bad situation. Also, during her periods of deep depression she has told me that thinking of my children has given her the strength to go on. I just don’t understand how she can love my children so much and yet chose to abort her own.

People who suffer from depression often don’t think they are “good enough” to be a parent. I think the best way to help these people is remind them how good they are with other people’s children, and that there would be a support network for her.

I can’t express how much I empathize with your situation; my relationship with my own sister currently consists of me occasionally dropping a meal/dessert by her apt, and a friendly text message here and there. Anything beyond that, though, because of how she’s chosen to live her life, just results in hurt and frustration. I am taking baby steps and keeping a small but safe distance. It’s working so far.


#19

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