Editor’s note: This story of despair and healing after abortion was written by a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat participant and is reprinted with permission from Rachel’s Vineyard.

After making me lie down for 30 minutes, another nurse dismissed me. I tried to tell her how much pain I was in and what had happened. It was as if I had said nothing. Painfully and slowly, I dressed and walked into the waiting room. I looked at A. He looked at me. If I had had a weapon, he and everyone else in that clinic would have died, myself included. My feelings for him were far deeper than mere hatred. I fantasized about annihilating him (somehow), making him beg for mercy first, as I had in the clinic. Finally, even my hatred drained out of me, leaving only a despairing blackness. I was at the end of the road, with no salvation for the likes of me. I had finally struck bottom.

With quiet deliberation, I took my handgun from under my pillow, checking to make sure the clip was loaded. I chambered a round, walked into my living room, sat in a chair, put the gun to my head and pulled the trigger. To this day, I cannot think why the gun did not fire. I had always kept it in perfect working order. Still numb, I called my only friend, S, and told her what I tried to do. She lived quite a distance from me, but she was there in only a few minutes; under five, I think. She put me on her lap like I was a child and rocked me for a long time.

I cannot describe the healing I have received from being present at that wonderful retreat. Thanks to Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, I can look in a mirror without hating the reflection I used to see.


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