Back in April my live-in girlfriend of over 2 years and I went through with an abortion. Consequently, we drifted apart until the beginning of September, when she said she couldn’t do it anymore. The whole summer we were pretty much doing our own thing, trying haphazardly to cope with what happened. I sank into a deep depression without even realizing it. I would numb my senses with alcohol and gambling on the daily. I didn’t tell a soul about anything. I didn’t care about anything – not even myself. I hated myself for a very long time. I sank deeper and deeper until she told me she was done sinking with me, that I’d never change. That was my breaking point. I opened up to a couple of people about what happened. I stopped the drinking and gambling and began to realize the gravity of the situation I had put myself in. I worked on myself for my own sake because I realized I had lost everything.
Her and I have had some contact since then. At first, I begged and pleaded with her to take me back to no avail. After that, we didn’t speak for a week or so until she contacted me and we started hanging out as friends. It seemed she was beginning to come around until she abruptly blocked my number. After a week, she calls me to talk which brings us to now. I still love the girl to death and she still loves me. The problem is that she doesn’t trust me. I let her down. I couldn’t be strong during that time. I had nearly 5 months to get my act together but when I finally decided to do so was when she finally decided I would never do so.
She’s still coping with what happened and she’s definitely not herself. She hasn’t broken the pattern of drugs and alcohol that she also fell into after what happened. I still see her mother regularly and she wants us back together too but she’s even being standoffish with her. Her mother told me she’s thinking about sending her to stay with out-of-state relatives for a while to get away from her current environment. At this point, I’m very worried about the girl. She’s not working or going to school. She needs to wake up and get her head right. (age 21, from US)
I’m sorry that you are both going through this very difficult situation. The pain is real and the only way to heal and move on is to take responsibility, feel the pain and allow yourself to grieve. It sounds like you have started this process and are getting yourself back on track. That’s great, and I hope that you continue. As you have discovered, numbing your pain with alcohol and other addictive activities does nothing to help you heal, it only prolongs (and usually worsens) the problem.
I mean no offense, but the pain your girlfriend is feeling may be even more severe and complicated than your own because it was her body that went through the trauma. When you speak to her, always come from a place of compassion and concern. I would suggest that you both see a grief counselor regarding what happened. f your girlfriend is hesitant or doesn’t seem interested, it may be helpful for you to take the lead then ask her to join you. However, you must also respect her decision if she doesn’t seek help.
Things will get better with time, but there may always be a scar. Let this experience be something to learn and grow from. Give yourselves time and keep reaching out for help.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts