Before I start with writing I wanted to say that this is a very personal post and focuses on a very female issue. It’s not the kind of thing I would normally write about, but I am discovering that it’s becoming more frightening by the day and pushing me closer to having to face many unresolved issues revolving around the trauma I experienced as a child and young adult. If you are not fond of thinking or knowing about women’s issues then this is not the post to read! Also, there may be references to child sexual abuse which may be upsetting or triggering. So please look after yourself.
So,…. Am working up the courage to put the words together…. Here goes…
Almost 9 years ago I had an abortion. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. We had a 9 year old, 3 year old and a 1 year old. Financially we were barely making ends meet and my pregnancies were horrific as I suffered with morning sickness from beginning to end, especially with the last baby. I was severely anemic and could barely eat by the time he was born.
I suspected I was pregnant because the signs were there with suddenly super strong sense of smell and the constant nausea. I could barely stand without feeling faint and gagging and being a full time mum with 3 kids to take care of it was going to be very tough. My husband didn’t want another child and i talked to my 9 year old who was horrified and said she didn’t want another sibling. I was so torn.
I wanted to keep the baby, but I had to also consider the long term effect it was going to have on those I also loved. I had to make the decision and quickly. So, eventually on the 21st May 2008 I went through with having an abortion. It was horrific. They did sedate me, but it didn’t seem to do anything because I felt absolutely everything. I sobbed throughout and hated myself for what I was doing. I felt like I was committing murder, and to all those pro-lifers that’s precisely what I had done.
To prevent any more pregnancies from happening I had a copper coil fitted at the same time. Taking the pill was a non starter for me for a number of medical reasons and this was the only option left aside from sterilisation which, at only 28 years old, seemed too much of a finite choice and one which neither of us was ready to do.
Fast forward to now, monthly cycles have been fairly regular. Some months have been heavy and horrid and others have barely been there. I could live with this, it beat being irregular and would mean no hard choices.
The copper coil can be left for 10-12 years so I have read, but it was recommended that this is done at around 5 years. At the 5 year point I was busy having a breakdown and whilst I had reminders about smear testing, I couldn’t go.
Four or so weeks ago I came on, but it was like it was teasing me. It was there but it wasn’t. Then it started and was really heavy and I had bad cramping. After a week and a little bit I was still bleeding. I felt some concern, but after 3 weeks I was really beginning to be frightened.
I looked up dear old Dr. Google to find out what the hell was going on. It came up with all those things that had been going around in my head. However, the most important thing it said was that I should make an appointment to see my doctor. Everything I read said the same thing.
Should be easier enough right?
I told my counsellor about this last week on the phone, and she said the same thing. But I can’t. This week I was still bleeding until today, but I am not convinced it’s over. Yesterday, I decided to be brave and check to see if the coil was still in place. This might not seem like a big deal, but anything like that I just can’t do. It makes me feel sick and dirty and like I am doing something abhorrently wrong. Anyway, i checked and found that I couldn’t feel the coil.
This means that I now really need to see the doctor. Just the mere thought of having to make an appointment for this makes me start panicking let alone having to be exposed and invaded. It frightens me so much. I just can’t do it. But I am also scared about why I have bled abnornally for such a long time. Sometimes there’s spotting after sex which disturbs me at times. I don’t remember the coil coming out. I think that it’s something I would have noticed. So I’m left feeling scared that something isn’t right with me in that region.
It is triggering bad memories from when I was a little girl and was first abused. I was 6 and I remember feeling embarrassed and so exposed. I wanted to cover myself up and feel safe, but my body was responding in a way which didn’t fit with my head. Over and over and over again for years I felt this same conflicting feeling.
I’ve only had two smear tests and they were humiliating but I had buried so much by drinking and drugs and whoring myself out that it was not as bad. I took stuff before I went. Having babies was incredibly tough going but I was too ashamed of my past I never told them and being in labour and feeling all that pain, you forget about all your fears and just get on with it. Once it’s all over there is just a relief that you won’t have to show anyone that part of you again.
But now, since my breakdown 4 years ago, this type of thing is terrifying. Having sex with my husband can terrify me. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want anyone prodding me, examining me. I want it to be private and remain so. I can’t make the call to make an appointment and I know that I will just cancel it again and again.
I’m scared about what’s happening to me but I am too scared to do anything about it. I feel pathetic and stupid for feeling so afraid, but I can’t help it. Just writing this post is terrifying me. My heart is racing and my breathing is shallow. I’m like this for just a blog post, imagine how much worse it will become if I make that call or actually make it to the appointment. My head is such a mess, conflicting thoughts and feelings… I don’t know what to do.