Although every survivor and their experience is unique, we have found there are lots of common issues, thoughts, emotions and questions among our population.
We’ll soon be including this in a checklist on our website, but thought this might be something survivors find insightful. Those “little things” that didn’t always make sense, may suddenly start to make sense as you see this list:
Every survivor is unique and every set of survival circumstances are different, but whether the abortion was legal or illegal, an attempt to self-induce an abortion at home or a chemical or surgical abortion, survivors have many common characteristics and experiences.
Have you had issues with trust, healthy relationships and boundaries?
• Many survivors report either building up a wall or lettingeveryone in, attempting to be loved.
• We deeply fear being rejected. Even when we’ve been deeply loved in our lives.
• We often act out in these ways before we even know the story of our survival, and finding out our survival story can exacerbate this.
Have you experienced high levels of anxiety and/or continuous bouts of depression?
• Survivors report significant levels of anxiety. It tends to be two-fold. Survivors have the physiological carrying of stress (as a result of being subjected to that stress in utero) that manifests as anxiety, as well as emotional anxiety, also.
• Bouts of depression are also commonly reported.
Have you had issues with concentration and focus, which appear to be like ADHD?
• The effects of trauma on the brain and body that lead to issues with concentration and focus, which look similar to ADHD, executive functioning issues which also include issues like managing tasks, are also commonly reported among survivors.
Have you faced issues with chronic fatigue, chronic pain, insomnia or immuno-deficiency issues?
• These are all commonly reported among the survivor population.
Have you ever struggled with feelings of survivor’s guilt?
•“Why me?” is a common question among survivors. “Why did I survive when tens of millions didn’t?” and “Why did this have to happen to me?” are both sides to that question.
• Some survivors feel guilt over not having significant health issues when other survivors they know do have them.
• Survivors with health issues understandably struggle with the question of why they have complications and other survivors don’t.
Have you ever felt like you must be the only who has survived an abortion? Like no one could ever understand the thoughts, emotions, and health issues you’ve experienced?
• Survivors often feel very alone in this experience, and often believe they must be the only one who has survived.
• Estimates decades ago in the U.S. by the CDC is that there were likely “400-500 abortion survivors a year.”
• Our culture, that frequently states that abortions don’t fail and survivors are a myth, perpetuates the problem for survivors. If this is what survivors see and hear in the media, on social media, it’s no wonder that it feels like a lonely, isolated experience.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Have you kept your story a secret? Are you afraid to open up to anyone, out of fear how they will respond? Have you been told by family, friends or colleagues not to talk about it? Have you ever felt like you couldn’t talk about it out of respect for your biological mother or family?
• Most survivors keep their survival story private. The Abortion Survivors Network supports survivors in their personal decisions about this.
• We never share stories without survivor permission nor do we force survivors to share their story.
We are always here for you.
We would be honored to get to know you.
We would be honored to walk alongside you in your journey.