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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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I had an abortion at the age of 18 and still cant get over having willingly terminat

Customer Question

I had an abortion at the age of 18 and still can't get over having willingly terminated a pregnancy that could have been my child. How do I forgive myself?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Suzanne replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for bringing your question to JustAnswer.

There is a wonderful organization that specializes in helping women recover from the guilt of having had an abortion. It's called Rachel's Vineyard. They hold retreats all around the country. I know two women who have participated in retreats, and they both said it helped them heal and forgive themselves more than they ever thought they could. Here is the information: http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/

I hope you'll give yourself the opportunity to attend a retreat, honor the pregnancy, and get to a place of forgiveness.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I suppose my question was rather vague so I apologize. I do appreciate your response but it really isn't a realistic response for someone like me. I work and am on disability for mental illness so finances and time are rare. Which is why I am trying to get affordable help online rather than some retreat.(I am Bipolar type 1)

After my abortion from my first love I started gaining weight. I weighted then at 140lbs or so and now 11 years later I weigh 310lbs and I gave up on that relationship a long time ago. It feels like I am punishing myself or rather gave up on me...I am not quite sure what happened after the abortion but I just feel fear I do not deserve to be a good mom or wife even though I am in a 7 year relationship with a wonderful man. What is going on with me because it feels like I am putting on a shield of fat to keep others away from me and I do not know how to stop that?
Expert:  Suzanne replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information--I thought the abortion was the only issue.

Just so you know...the retreats are held on weekends, and they offer scholarships to those who cannot afford the $130 cost. This is a ministry, and they strive to help all who need it.( I would never recommend an expensive, for profit program in this day and age of financial hardship. )

There's no way here to do an in depth discussion of the psychological issues that may be causing you to put on a 'shield of fat' but there is a way to get help with eating issues that doesn't cost any money. Overeaters Anonymous will help you get to the bottom of the issues that are driving your desire to eat. Part of the program includes doing the 12 steps, and that includes an inventory of your life--mistakes and accomplishments. The process of doing the 12 steps has helped millions of people reach self-forgiveness and acceptance. There are online and telephone meetings if you can't make it to an in-person meeting. Recovery 12 step programs are some of the best therapy available at any price--and they're free.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I may be asking for to much but I expected a more personal answer. I didn't expect to be recommended to another website.
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 3 years ago.

I am sorry about the grief that you are experiencing. I think loving yourself just the way you are and accepting yourself, all the different parts of yourself would be the beginning. I know it will not be easy, but you have to start somewhere. Life has given you many challenges but it seams that you are able to form a loving relationship for 7 years so I think you can start by see that you are worth your own time. I would also would like to know that are your own thoughts about the abortion and what you are telling yourself about it. You can't change the past but you can change how your see the past. It sounds like you are biting yourself up. You were young and you did your best at the time. Now with your adult mind are you criticizing the younger you? If you were one of your friends would you treat your friend the way your treat yourself. I bet you are a lovely person and you deserve to give yourself a break. I think the critical voices that lower your self -esteem come from your childhood. First step. Please forgive yourself no matter what you think you did wrong. You are human. How do you do that you imagine yourself being younger and you hug and accept yourself. Visualize your own younger self and let your adult self give her some comfort. Write the opposite thoughts than the once that come to your mind when you think about the past. For instance I am a great person and I deserve to be happy. As someone who also has dealt with an eating addiction is not what you are eating is what is eating you. I hope this makes sense let me know if I am way off. Please write a letter of forgiveness to your younger self. I know it sounds silly but it does work. It takes time, meditation and visualization. I also agree with the previous experts referral to OA. They have free meetings online that can give you support when you need it.

Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 394
Experience: I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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