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April 5, 2014

I Let You Go, but You Never Left My Side: My Post-Abortion Journey. ~ Vanessa Fleming

bali moonrise

Today I had a really hard time getting out of bed.

An excruciatingly difficult time. A time where I verbally expressed my sentiment to no one, “I’m depressed and I’m in bed and I really don’t care about today.”

I had big plans for today. I was going to go to the beach, I was going to make some new friends in my new home, I was going to do… things.

But not today after all. Today, I miss you and I mourn you.

It was a year and two days ago that I said goodbye to you. I barely knew you. I only knew you existed for about five days before I let you go. I found out about you two days after I had booked a month-long trip on the other side of the world.

I don’t know if I ever told you, but your father and I did not love each other. We liked each other, and we got a little too careless one night and made you. We knew this. And we knew it wouldn’t be fair or right to any of us—him, you, me.

I hoped and prayed that you would find a better family, one more suited to give you the life you deserved. I loved you so much, and I knew that I couldn’t provide you with what you deserve—two loving parents that wanted to care for you more than anything in the world. I couldn’t provide for you because even though my physical body was 33, I was in no shape or place to have a child. You needed stability that I could not provide you.

You are a spirit and a force that has been here before, and I’m so sorry I couldn’t be the one to bring you here again.

I thought about you the other day, and how your physical body would have been four months old now if you had stayed with me. I probably would have heard your first genuine laugh very soon.I had a hell of a time—as you know. Remember when I couldn’t handle what I had done, and I fell to the ground and apologized profusely for not being able to be your mother? I was at one of the temples in Siem Reap—remember that day?

siem reap temple bali

I screamed and I cried, and I am pretty sure it was you that sent a very nice Japanese man over to me to say hello and ask what my favorite temple was. He gave me a look of compassion and without words, sent me a little bit of a lifeline to have the will to get up and keep going that day.

From that moment on, I started to feel you deep inside of me. You were stronger than me, bigger than me. And when I was still away and things didn’t work out with your father after all, you were there for me. I’m sorry I didn’t recognize that it was you at first, but I do now. You helped me get through it.

You forced me to meditate, even in the most uncomfortable moments.

You forced me to cancel my flight home and stay put, because you weren’t done with me, and I wasn’t done with myself. I needed to do this, and do this alone—but you were actually there every step of the way.

You pushed me and you challenged me.

You made me feel defeated and you made me feel determined.

I faced some very dark and ugly moments through it all.

You taught me to stick with it, and sit with it.

And then you introduced me to some amazing people in the most magical place in the world—Bali.

Do you remember that night when my friend and I were sitting out back of our bamboo house and practiced yoga? At the end, we meditated to the sound of the ceremonial Balinese chimes played by our neighbors. I lied on my back, and stared up at the stars. No one particular star stuck out for me, but I stared at the vast space above me, and remembered something that I discovered when I was a pretty young kid—the world isn’t that scary after all.

It only goes to just a few miles above us, and then the stars are out there to protect us. I knew at that moment, looking at those stars, that your soul, (the one of the person I created and was supposed to be), was no longer lost. You were safe and you forgave me (and your father, too) because you had found better home and path.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and let that forgiveness I felt consume me, and I then forgave myself.

I have not taken this in vain—just the opposite. You gave me a new life, and I gave you one too. Even though I was supposed to be your teacher, you were the one who taught me. Through you, I learned forgiveness, I learned how to let go. I learned to love myself even when the shit gets real. You taught me to never give up, and to keep looking ahead. You taught me that without pain, we can not have truly divine happiness. I’ve learned patience, and I learned to search for the best. I found the best over and over again since then, and I know it is because you keep introducing that to me.

You have taught me to find that point, that feeling deep down inside. And every time I have felt like giving up during this entire year, through this life transformation I am experiencing, you pick me back up.

And now, as I sit mid-afternoon in my pajamas and unkempt hair, I shall embrace you once again, and know that it’s alright to be sad. I will get through it—with your help.

I love you, and I miss you. I hope we can meet one day in the future. ‘Til then, may you continue to be the strong life force deep in me, and I promise to work as hard as I can to not let you down.

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Apprentice Editor: Jess Sheppard / Editor: Renée Picard

Photo credit: courtesy of author

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