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Sunday, August 31, 2008

In the Dark, Black Hole of Self-Hatred


*Publisher's note: this personal testimony is being reprinted in light of the upcoming vote in South Dakota on Initiated Measure 11 and the recent statement by the American Psychological Association that abortion does not threaten women's mental health.

By Missy Smith
Washington D.C. State Leader
Operation Outcry


It was the year 1971. I had a failed marriage with two small children. The man I was in love with assured me not to worry about getting pregnant because we were getting married, so I stopped using the pill. When I became pregnant, he panicked and refused to marry me. He pressured me into having an abortion. He drove me to the hospital and returned later to drop me off at home. I was emotionally sick.

Even though I was told it was not a baby, just a piece of tissue, something took over my body and mind that I had never felt before. I was at the bottom of a dark pit and I couldn't get out. I hated myself and hated the father more. He had been my knight in shining armor. He had been everything to me and now I loathed him.

For sometime I wouldn't see him. After awhile I gave into his begging me to marry him and I did. I didn't trust him and life was not easy. Our relationship was not respectful. We hurt each other often. We had more children and one in particular was a boy born with Down's Syndrome.

The pediatrician suggested they push his basinet to the side of the nursery and not feed him. It was in this process that my husband redeemed himself in my eyes for he loved our child and protected him from harm. He gave him his name and fought for his life. Our son was sick and the next six years were filled with doctors, hospitalizations and surgeries. All the time our family was being pulled more closely together and becoming more healthy thru "heaven's very special child"; an imperfect child in the world's eyes but in our eyes pure love. We had five children and life was better.

I had pushed down those feelings so many years ago and my destructive behavior had dissipated. I became defensively pro-choice. Ten surgeries had helped make our special child whole. When I became pregnant for the eighth time, I wondered if I could handle anymore. I did the unthinkable - which was conventional wisdom, and aborted. Everyone was so understanding. They thought it was a good idea. I even got my tubes tied.

Within moments of the surgery, I found myself in that dark, black hole again. I suddenly remembered those feelings of self-hatred from eight years before. They were connected! Time passed and I again pushed those feelings down. My heart had hardened.

March 16, 1993, our special son was walking with his friends at school around the gym when he had a massive heart attack and suddenly died. He was nineteen years old. At that moment, my life changed. The scales slowly fell off my eyes. I saw my abortions as true sins and I went on a pilgrimage to a very Holy place. I went to the sacrament of confession and started on my spiritual journey. I offered myself up to the Lord to be used as He saw fit. I realized that all of life was precious, at every stage. I joined a lay religious group and had a spiritual advisor and my life became very God-centered. God is working in a mighty way and all we have had to do is to speak the truth. Giving our own testimonies is powerful. Yes, the post-abortive woman is the prophet of today - listen to her.

Missy Smith is the Washington, DC State Team Leader for Operation Outcry and a full-time prolife activist who founded WAKEUP - Women Against the Killing and Exploitation of Unprotected Persons. Today WAKEUP has a chastity program called "Chastity the New Sexual Revolution" and she speaks to school children. WAKEUP also started a men's account ability program in Front Royal, Virginia that goes from parish to parish trying to bring men back to being real men to lead, protect and provide. Missy also counsels women who are considering abortion in front of abortion facilities on the physical, emotional and spiritual harm of abortion and has been successful in saving women and babies lives just by being there and praying.

*Reprinted by permission of Operation Outcry.


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