It was a very early, first-trimester abortion, but nevertheless, I was pregnant and I chose not to continue the pregnancy even though deep down I desperately wanted a child.

I made this choice based on my relationship with the baby’s father, who dropped me off at the clinic and I never saw again, despite having a three-to-four-year, on-and-off relationship. He promised me marriage and more children when we were ready for it, i.e. 5 or 10 years from now.

His last words to me were, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back.” But that never materialized.

I am only 25 (24 at the time of the abortion), but I am now convinced I missed my only chance to have a biological child. Is that crazy? I haven’t dated, least of all had sex with anyone, since that day. It feels like a part of me died that day and will never return.

I am no longer upset about the end of our relationship (good riddance!) but I am truly disturbed by the entire experience. I have nightmares about my experience at the clinic, though I know they followed every medical and legal step to the T. I wish I could forgive myself and move on, but I just can’t. I wake up every morning and it is the best minute of my life before the knowledge of what happened returns to me and the cycle of sadness and regret begins all over again.

I am a liberal woman and as pro-choice as you can be! Which is even more upsetting!

Can you please offer me advice on moving forward with my life and freeing myself from this unending cycle of regret?

~ Excerpt of a letter to advice columnist Cary Tennis by “Crushed with Regret,” as quoted by Salon, July 17

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