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Consequences, part two

Posted 16 March 2005, 10.38 am by Villager

Well, the deed is done. After days of completely ignoring me - during which time I largely moped around feeling sorry for myself - she came to see me. She said that she was sorry for shutting me out, and explained that it was because she feared I would change her mind. I confessed that I had aimed to, but by then I was resigned to the outcome. She had already had a scan to ascertain the age of the developing child and was booked in the following day to have it terminated. She wanted me to come with her. This wasn't something that I had contemplated, and I stared blankly at her whilst I thought about it. I didn't want to. I was still angry with her, and didn't want to be a part of something that I was so against. It would feel so wrong. I said yes because despite feeling a raw sense of betrayal every time I looked at her, it occurred to me that I still care for her a great deal and I didn't want her to go through it alone. Nor did I relish the prospect of sitting at home thinking about it happening. I probably would have overruled these thoughts had I not committed myself before having time to change my mind. She thanked me, and my mind began to panic as I realised what I had said.

It's strange now that I think about it, but I've never actually wondered what is physically involved in an abortion. For the uninitiated, the process varies depending upon the stage of development. For us (I want to type 'her', but feel that to do so would be dodging responsibility) it was too late for the simple chemical option. It was necessary for an invasive procedure to essentially suck out the unwanted contents. It's difficult to explain quite why, but the necessity of this option made it rather worse. Perhaps it was the idea of a body being vacuumed out of the womb, more real and more human than a pill dissolving some cells. From the time we set off from the hotel to the very last second - the point of no return - I had to bite my tongue and wrestle with myself to go along with it. Being bounced around by anger, pity, frustration, sadness, regret and guilt in quick succession is horribly draining. I was shaking. She was remarkably brave during the whole thing. I know her well enough to see the agony and suffering going on behind her soft, brown eyes, yet she composed herself remarkably well. Of this I was glad, as it meant there was less demand for me to comfort her, which I'm not sure I could have done without falling apart myself.

That was two days ago, and Kate has been in a pretty bad way since, physically shaken but psychologically rather more so. I've tried to be with her as much as I can bear but when I'm with her there's a sharp, nauseous tension between us. I know she wants me there but I can't help wondering if that's not doing more harm than good. When the dust settles it's hard to see where we can go from here, and I don't want to raise her hopes. Less obvious to me at first was that I was undergoing some sort of emotional knee-jerk reaction, scared of being let down again. Keeping distance. Avoiding accepting responsibility? So mostly we just sit together, occasionally voicing thoughts and feelings, neither of us willing to be entirely honest. I would like to reassure her in some way, to say anything positive, but I can truly think of nothing. It is too early for cathartic, brutal honesty, though the time for that may come.

The sharper emotions have subsided for now. Anger is now entirely futile, frustration faded away, leaving confused remnants of guilt and sadness but little else. What to feel towards somebody who betrays you but hates herself for doing so? It seems petty to think of forgiveness when a life has just been sacrificed, yet it seems the central issue. Do I care for her enough to forgive her? If so, do I still want her companionship? I do forgive her. I remind myself that the whole reason for the abortion was her desire to remain married - for the sake of whomever - and that a future for us seems highly unlikely even if I wanted that. I wish I could walk away. I wish I could feel unmitigated resentment towards her that I might cast the whole sorry affair into my past and blame it on her.

For some reason I wonder if I would feel worse had my first child lived before dieing. I imagine it would be worse, though the tragedy of a life denied altogether is what sits, stubbornly, upon my consciousness. It is not until I begin to think about the future that might have developed for the three of us, that tears begin to flow. I know many reading this will think it folly to mourn a life that didn't even exist, in a sense, but it's real enough for me. Just writing this, though, seems to relieve a little of the pressure upon my heart, whether by confession, a therapeutic articulation of my thoughts or something else. Whatever. I begin today with sadness at the past, and uncertainty (perhaps a little fear) at the future. I know I've learned a valuable lesson - I'll never again be so negligent as to let this happen again - but somehow that's no consolation. I forgive her, and that rests okay with me - though I couldn't explain it - but I doubt I will ever forgive myself. The knowledge that ultimately I am responsible - in the selfish pursuit of pleasure, no less - for this death weighs very heavily indeed.

on 18 March 2005, 3.52 pm
Villager, it seems even with a heavy heart your writing still proves to be amazing. I'm very sorry for all of this, though it most likely doesn't mean much. It seems the situation is just so sad a fairy tale ending is so far from sight... I can only imagine what all that would feel like. I sincerely offer my best wishes for everything as, I suppose, the best I can offer.

on 18 March 2005, 5.51 pm
These are one of those life moments that are too harsh to be called a lesson. It saddens me that she put a loveless marriage over that of a child that she ultimately wanted. *hugs* Take care of yourself, Vill.

on 19 March 2005, 12.13 pm
Commenting on the actual situation seems pointless because there's nothing I can say that would change anything but I have to say this would probably be very very helpful reading for people going through, or about to go through such a similar ideal.

on 19 March 2005, 3.54 pm
I think you're continuing to behave with a maturity beyond your years, Vill, but I have to admit, if I had the same attitude towards abortion as you do, I'd probably have agreed to her decision, helped her through and then shook the dust of her from my feet immediately afterwards. Then again, I'm not as selfless or patient as you obviously are.

on 19 March 2005, 3.59 pm
Or stupid?

on 20 March 2005, 8.49 pm
Not stupid. Very caring and trying to see the best in a very bad situation. I don't know you, and I don't know what you're going through.. but I would offer (and I know this is in your mind already) that things just don't seem right, on several different levels. It goes further than the abortion, which is the awful middle of it. But she's eight years your senior, she's married, and "loveless" or not, you've now seen the lengths whe will go to protect this little arrangement she's got for herself. Forgive my tone in saying that.. I just feel that sometimes you need someone to look at this from the outside. It's hard to see any future that involves the two of you, without this other life that, for whatever reason, seems more permanent and difficult to dislodge. I could be wrong. Best regards, and thank you for putting your feelings down, I'm sure others who might be in your position could gain some wisdom from it.

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