Feeling judged isn’t ever easy in life, especially when it involves a sensitive topic or experience in your life. Maybe you’ve experienced an unexpected pregnancy in your past, and obtained an abortion. Ending the pregnancy may have seemed like your best or only option at the time. But if this path didn’t align with the beliefs of your family members, you may have received a negative response in the wake of your decision.
Being judged can hurt deeply, no matter the pregnancy outcome or the reasons behind it… especially when that judgment is coming from loved ones. Some persons who choose abortion report feeling content with their decision, whether or not they’re facing criticism. But many others experience post-abortion stress. If you fall into this second group, you may be questioning if your family’s response has led you to second-guess your choice for abortion. Maybe you’ve been discontent with your pregnancy outcome, and their disapproval (whether spoken or unspoken) has caused you to feel even worse. Or, you can’t tell where these thoughts and emotions are coming from. But you’re undoubtedly feeling confused, uneasy, regretful, or powerless to change your circumstances.
Are you struggling emotionally after an abortion? Restore is here for you if so. Our caring team is available to help you discover healing and freedom from shame. It’s our goal not only to provide support as you cope, but to equip you to find meaning and purpose for a brighter future.
Contact us today to begin your healing journey. Our post-abortion recovery program has been serving women and their loved ones for over 20 years! We’d love to become a part of your support network too.
Tips for Opening a Healthy Dialogue
If you believe your family is judging you for having an abortion, consider starting a dialogue around this subject. Taking this challenging but healthy step could pave the way to mutual understanding and healing in your relationships. A respectful conversation could also help you in your post-abortion recovery process, because it could create opportunities to receive empathy and vital support from your family. Here are some tips to help facilitate a positive dialogue:
- Choose an appropriate time and space to begin your conversation. It’s generally helpful to meet in a distraction-free environment, without a limited time constraint. Ideally, everyone who’s participating will be calm and able to focus when the dialogue takes place. You may need to carve out a specific time and place if situations like this don’t tend to happen organically. Consider letting your family member(s) know in advance that you’re interested in processing your recent pregnancy experience with them.
- Invite them to share their perspective. Consider letting your family member(s) know that your emotions around this subject are pretty raw, and asking them to please be sensitive. Listen and empathize with their feelings while setting boundaries to maintain a respectful dialogue. Even if you disagree, you can probably relate to some of each other’s experiences. It’s definitely possible to build bridges of understanding- even when those taking part in the conversation have totally different values and beliefs.
- Share your own perspective. Tell them what you were thinking and feeling when you made your abortion decision, and where you stand now, to the extent that feels appropriate. This may seem a bit awkward. But if your family member is a safe person who you know you can trust, authenticity could make a really positive impact. If you broach the subject of feeling judged, avoid language that feels blaming or overgeneralized (“You always…,” “You never…,” etc.).
It’s human nature to avoid connecting interpersonally when we feel judged. It may seem like engaging in a conversation with your family member(s) is the very last thing you need right now, and it’s okay if this isn’t the right time. But preparing for a productive conversation and embracing it when the moment is right could make a considerable difference in your healing journey. Restore is here to encourage you in your healing process no matter where things stand with your family. When you connect with us, we promise you’ll be met with warmth and compassion.
Schedule an appointment with Restore! You have a unique story to tell, and we’re available to listen.