One of the most difficult lessons I have learned as an abortioneer is when to let go of your patients. We hear many difficult stories, stories of abuse, sexual assault, stories of women living in the deepest poverty you can imagine. It's easy to take in these stories, not be able to let go, and carry them around with you. I've seen many people I work with fall into this problem.
For me, the most difficult part isn't the story itself, it's not knowing her outcome. I don't know if she got out of the awful relationship with the man who has been abusing her, I don't know if she actually finished high school, I don't know if she will find help for her depression.
How do we let go? How do we not let these stories overtake us and our lives? I try to tell myself that my job was to do what I can to help her get an abortion, listen to her, make her feel better any way that I can. My job isn't to help her graduate or find a job. As hard as that is, and as awful as it may sound, I need to remember what my role in her life is. It's hard, and I'm human so of course this doesn't always work.
I spoke to a woman the other day who was having a difficult time post abortion. I spoke to her for a very long time, longer than I normally do with other people. The conversation ended abruptly and now I can't get her off my mind. I wonder how she's doing. I wonder if she'll forgive herself and her partner. I wonder is she'll find someone in her life she can talk to rather than bottling it all up.
For all of you abortioneers out there. How do you handle these situations? How do you let go?