Trude's story is collected especially for the SHHH project. All informants and stories in this project have been anonymised. All names are changed.
I googled where to turn for an abortion. I typed in something like “abortion” and “hospital Oslo”. I booked it over the phone.
I discovered my pregnancy early, and it felt like the waiting time, up until week six, was unnecessary – and difficult to go through. At the same time, I tried not to think about it. I kept being social and went to work as normal.
On the bus on my way to the hospital, I got a nice text from the guy I’d been with. He lived abroad. Reading the message gave me mixed feelings. We had strong feelings for each other and I know that he took the situation seriously. But it still felt unfair. I had to go through this, but he was the one that had done something unexpected when we had sex. Even if he claimed otherwise. The abortion was a mutual decision, but I had to go through it in a different way than he did.
One friend was with me at the hospital, and another friend stayed with me during my home abortion. It was nice to have good friends at that time.
In the time period following the abortion, I kept to myself. I lived on like nothing had happened. Worked really hard, until it took a bad turn one day, I had a migraine attack and threw up. I tried to share my situation with the man I had been with... tried to get his support. But he didn’t seem to understand how much this had affected me. After a while I cut off contact with him, and when he got in touch later to see how I was, it was just a painful reminder.
I had gone into a depression, and I didn’t sleep much. My doctor took it seriously. I went to a psychologist two days a week for a few months, and cried most times. I didn’t mention the abortion until after many hours of therapy. It came to be a turning point in my treatment, he asked if “I couldn’t understand myself, that I made that choice in the situation I was in?” I needed to hear myself answer yes to that question. After that, something gave way, and my need for therapy was not as great.
Still today, very few people around me know about my abortion. I felt so much shame and uncertainty about whether I had made the right decision. If I’d had a chance to process my emotions, had more information beforehand, and support and help after the abortion, then I would have handled it better. It’s not a shame to go to a therapist or someone else to talk about your abortion. Even if you feel alone in your situation.