Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Unexpected Tears

I had a date with Scott yesterday. He called and said that he had some complicated, legalese type papers that he had to fill out and he didn't know if he had done them properly. "Why don't you come to my place. You can read the forms, curb my apprehensions about legalese answers, play on my computer, see my new entertainment center, and then we can have dinner together" Sounded like a nice way to spend the day with a Southern Gentleman.

I worry sometimes that he has too much faith in my ability to know all the answers to all the questions; especially since I feel like my brain has become mushy from the loss of so many loved ones. And although the doctor keeps reassuring me that the 'mushy brain syndrome' will pass, I have never felt so unlike the person that used to be me. Unexpected tears are a part of this new person. I think that I am having a really good day and all of a sudden some silly little thing will remind me of the brother, the father, or one of the two friends that have all left me this past year. Without realizing it's going to happen I find myself with tears dripping off of my chin. And that is what happend while I was driving to my dear friend Scott's house yesterday.

I had stopped at a local drive thru to get Scott and myself a diet coke with 'lots' of ice (were going through a horrid heat spell). I had put one of my CCR discs in the CD player. While listening to the music my mind started traveling back to the situations that I had found myself in when I worked at the large hospital that I wrote about in my last entry. I don't know why the music of CCR should have taken me there, but it did. I have to be honest here. I do not have a clear memory of inching my car up until I reached the window. What I do remember is the girl hanging out of the window with a worried expression on her face. "Is there something wrong?" she asked. Once again I had unexpected tears dripping off of my chin.

All those women! All those heart broken women! Women that had made the heart wrenching decision to have an abortion.

Please DO NOT see this as a political statement. I know that this is an election year. I live with a political journalist. I was brought up by two people that believed that their right to vote was as sacred as their right to chose their religion. They studied the issues and candidates. They believed that you had your right to disagree. I have been surrounded by political emotions most of my life. I am not taking a political stance. I am telling you what I saw when I volunteered to become the patient coordinator for the women that had elected to have an abortion.

I became involved because the older women wrinkled their faces and said that they didn't want to be contaminated by a decision that they were to old to have to make in the first place. They hadn't had the option open to them when they were young. Maybe their distaste was based on their own sad stories. No one really talked about the 'whys' they just talked about the 'wonts'. But then again, the legality of the procedure was brand new and people were working with new feelings about a new option for women.

I have a whole lifetime of personal sad stories, and most of them are generated around hospitals, doctors, and how I was treated. I felt those women needed to be treated as well as any other woman that entered the hospital. I'm not a hero, by any means. I am just a damaged woman that didn't want other woman to be hurt, any more then necessary, by a visit to a large, business like, atmosphere after they had made a life changing decision.

Ninety percent of the women were escorted by husbands and lovers. Those women had not made the decision on their own. The grief on the faces of both the women and the men was palpable. The tears were shed by both of them. For some reason many of them felt that they had toexplain to me why they had made the decision. Husbands would tell me their stories as often as the wives. Their stories would tear my heart to pieces. These were not people that gladly made the decision so they could run back to their lives and have freedom. Most of the women would be damaged for the rest of their lives. Most of them would live with the black memory piercing their hearts. Their lives would never be the same again. In fact, I heard so much heart break that I lost sleep over the tragedy that seemed to be a part of most of the people that I met. In the time that I was there I only helped one woman that I thought was blatently mis-using her right. From the very young to the middle aged it was one of the hardest things that came across my desk. That is one of the reasons that I had to leave. The heartbreak was eating me alive.

I have an acquaintence that was raped. She became pregnant. She made the decision to have the child. When the child was old enough to start asking for his father she made the decision to tell him the truth. The child has spent his life hating her............not his father! Her!!

So who knows. I am not expressing an opinion. I am only telling you what I have seen and felt. I had to get away from that grief. I had to find a way to bring some joy into my life. So I went looking for another job. But yesterday I started wondering about those women. Are they plagued with guilt, are they having nightmares, are they still in love with the men that helped them make that decision?

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