My family usually accompanies me to Pro-Life events. My children are 6, 4, 2 and a baby to be born anytime now. Sometimes, at home, my four year old, who saw me sharing my testimony, brings me a piece of paper and says: “Mommy, that’s for you. You go talk to the people.” Anthony, My six year old, can now read my sign “I regret my abortion”. Due to his young age and speech delay, I have not attempted to tell him what I’m doing in the Pro-Life movement and why.
I had a dream recently that I was going to tell Anthony about my abortions. In the dream, I was holding his Rhyme Bible storybook while thinking about the right words to use. I saw a white spider on the book’s page. The more I was thinking about my words, the bigger the spider grew. It was growing in length with what looked like creepy white hair or tentacles. I grabbed another book (“the Snowman” by Raymond Briggs, a story to which my son is attached), and tried to kill it but I couldn’t. I woke up and the meaning of the dream appeared to me immediately.
The Bible book certainly means I need to meditate on Scripture and pray before speaking. The white spider growing hair or tentacles is one devastating fact added to another, too much information growing into a monster: innocent babies killed in the womb, his own mother took his brother’s and sister’s lives and their fathers are not his father. Trying to kill the spider with a book he is attached to means trying to do some damage control after the shock but without success. I’m taking this dream as a warning that it’s too early to tell the children.
When we talk about our family, I sometimes tell Anthony: “Your are my baby number one, Christina is number two, Jerome is number three and the baby in my belly is number four.” We don’t know this baby’s gender but Anthony has been telling me: “it’s a boy and his name is Joseph”. (He also says that I’m going to have another baby, a girl, in the future). One day, I will tell him that he is really “my baby number three”. I’m encouraged by my friend Susi O Fannabba and her blog Surviving Sibling where she expresses her pain to be the sister of an aborted child in a thoughtful, non-judgmental manner.
Seven years ago, my pregnancy with Anthony was very hard psychologically because he was the first child carried to term post-abortion. That’s when many women realize that this is a life now and it was a life then, and: “what have I done?” I don’t know how much the despair I felt during the pregnancy is affecting him and perhaps after I share the truth, he will tell me that somehow, he always knew.
I used to call my abortion-related suicidal and obsessive thoughts “the dark spider in my head”. I was scared that if my family and co-workers found out about “my spider”, they would lock me up in a mental hospital. It’s just another way abortion is damaging people, leaving us with mental issues and the fear and shame that people find out about these issues. As a result, we isolate ourselves since we feel that “we deserve our spider”. Truly, abortion is not liberating for women.
My hope is that the white spider in my dream and the dark spider in my past will turn into a butterfly, that once the truth is revealed, my children and I will be able to grieve together and set up a memorial for their aborted siblings, Alicia and Gabriel. Then, as a family, we will be ready to let the butterfly go.