Even This Way
Connectedness & Grief, Empathy & Hurt: A Survivor Sibling Story
Knowing where we come from helps us to know where we are going. There were two instances in my life when I felt my identity was shaken. I’ll never forget them.
The first was when my parents revealed to me that my step-father was not my biological father. I was eight and sitting on my step-father’s lap feeling the weight of confusion and loss. “ Who am I?” I remember asking myself without any words. I didn’t need words. My whole body spoke for itself. My mom genuinely desired to protect me from the pain my biological father would have brought me. I understood her logic and heart for the matter, nevertheless, and I dealt with the reality that this truth was kept from me. The hidden truth about the very core of who I am.
I dealt with the reality that this truth was kept from me. The hidden truth about the very core of who I am.
Fast forward sixteen years, when I came home from working at a pregnancy resource center. Encountering my mother at this moment, I believe my story was brought full circle, and it impacted her.
She told me the truth in phases because, I think, it filled her with shame. She, along with my biological father, tried to abort me when I was 12 weeks in utero and had successfully aborted the sibling before me. The discovery of my story continued a year later. At that time my mom shared with me that she had not one but two successful abortions. Empathy filled that moment.
After I had some time to let it all settle in my heart, I felt a sense of connectedness and grief.
The connectedness was because I, too, was almost aborted (and by the grace of God I am here), but I shared the same womb with my siblings. I was as close to them as anyone would ever get. The grief came as a natural consequence of a horrible reality. My siblings were killed, and it changed my life. I am not the oldest sibling like I had always thought. Who would they have been? How would their lives here on earth have changed and impacted mine and others?
My siblings were killed, and it changed my life.
There is space for both the empathy of acknowledging that abortion was something my mom was coerced to do, that she too was hurt by it and also the fact abortion robbed me of a fuller life experience with siblings who would have added joy and meaning to my life. It’s okay for me to feel this way. Abortion is set up to be looked at as empowerment, but why don’t I feel empowered telling the world that it ripped apart and killed my two siblings? That doesn’t sound very empowering to me.
Since the day my mom told me, I’ve encouraged her to seek healing. Every woman who has experienced an abortion never forgets. So they need accompaniment and care. I think people like me do too. I am so grateful for Even This Way providing a space that validates my experience of losing my siblings to abortion as sorrowful and heartbreaking. Thank you!