I haven’t written in a while, life got busy and every time I looked back at the last year with all the things I accomplished,( most of which if you’d have told me this time last year I would do, I would have roared laughing at the absurdity) they seem too many to list.
I had wanted to write about the thing which has impacted me the most over the last 10 months, but I found it hard to put into words. Then I read the facebook post Amanda Palmer just put up.
okay, sunday sermon time. having shared my own abortion experiences (in the press since ages ago, but more recently in more detail in “the art of asking”) i can relate to this one, and it’s true: sharing the story meant that others stood up next to me and held me. ironically, sharing stuff like this creates new family: my close friends became much closer.
and since the book came out, so many women have come up to me – especially on this past tour – sharing abortion stories into my ear that they’d never told anybody. it made me simultaneously so sad and so honored. but mostly sad.
why just tell me? i’d think.
why can’t she tell….anybody else?
is there really nobody for her, to listen, to share the pain?
I found myself saying me too, I have had that same experience and found myself asking those same questions.
So many women, usually complete strangers have come up to me quietly over the last 10 months to share with me that they too have had an abortion. I remember each and everyone of them. Some would accept a hug others, would just hold and squeeze my hand. They ranged from 17 to women in their 70s. Some would pull me aside and tell me their story, one the that have not told anyone or have not told to anyone in decades, some would just look at me and say “Me too”.
I am sitting here crying, not for me for all the women who carry their story untold, who don’t have the support they should have, who are isolated due to stigma from all the women which surround them who have also had an abortion.
This shit needs to end.
If we can’t talk about something, then we are prevented from processing it and healing. The stigma and secrecy which surrounds abortion harms women. I am glad I was able to play a small part in helping some know they are not alone, we are not alone. That for me was the most important thing I did last year.
Thank you to everyone who has been supportive of me over the last 10 months, friends, family, online acquaintances, all the pro choice people who have offered solidarity from all over the world.
And I am going to keep on doing it, each of those women who came up to me, made telling my story and repeatedly publicly saying I had an Abortion worth doing and I am not going to stop. Not going to stop; refusing to be silenced or taking the time to listen to those who approach me or working with the Abortion Rights Campaign.
That’s my New Year’s Resolution.