LIFE cares for vulnerable people every day, people like Natalie*...
“I had an abortion when I was 13. No one asked me what I wanted to do. If they had I would have said I wanted to keep the baby. But as I was very young and confused and my boyfriend was 20, I went ahead and did what my boyfriend’s mother told me to do. She organised the whole thing. Then my parents found out and because I was underage I had to go and see various social workers for counselling.
By the time I was 15 I wasn’t coping and despite being shunted from counsellor to counsellor nothing worked. My teacher noticed that I was acting strangely and I confided in her. She suggested that I speak to somebody at LIFE and made me an appointment.
I didn’t get my hopes up. None of the previous counsellors had really understood what I had been through, so why would this one be any different? But she made me feel welcome and relaxed straight away. I found I could be completely honest and explore what had happened to me and understand my deepest feelings. Some of it was painful, especially the bit about going into hospital for the abortion and my Mum not knowing, but the counsellor accepted everything I said and didn’t judge me.
She helped me to write a letter to my ex-boyfriend who is now in prison. I didn’t actually post it but it helped to get my thoughts on paper and express myself.
After six sessions I felt much better and more able to cope. I could grieve for the baby I never knew and give her a name. None of the other counsellors really understood this or accepted my feelings.
Seeing the LIFE counsellor made a real difference. If any of my friends ever became pregnant and were thinking of having an abortion I would tell them to speak to someone from LIFE before making their minds up.”