I don’t know how to manage this, how to process the intrusive images hammering my consciousness. Being prone to nightmares I am careful about what I read and watch. Having battled with PTSD—though I’m not so sure it can ever be said in a past-tense—I have been trained to recognize potential triggers and disarm anxieties. Most times I succeed, other times horrors are so pervasive that they cannot be escaped; in a word, Dr. Gosnell.
Years have passed since the last time I’d had nightmares about neighborhood boys torturing animals or grown men abusing dogs. I was just a little girl and helpless to stop the frequent crimes. My screams at the abusers, my screams for the suffering animal, only seemed to excite the abusers and increase their abuses. Feeling frightened and helpless, I would run away and hide. But the images were already burned into my psyche and the sounds of the violence echoed in my mind.
I think there is a sort of numbing that takes place, a kind of dissociation between the abuser’s self and another living creature. There seems to be a thrill in their ability to exert power over a thing. Control and manipulation appears to be at the heart of abuse, and the heart of the abuser shrivels.
Is this what the pro-choice people have produced and encouraged in their desire to control life? Have they created heartless creatures with shriveled souls?
Like many women I too have been exposed to conversations about abortions that are framed with a sort of perverse etiquette. The politeness of discussing abortions, and the right to choose to remove a parasitic fetus, is like inducing a bowel movement…it’s a procedure. There’s no connection of what a fetus is, not for the mother or the abortionist, for if there were a connection the horror of torturing a baby would not take place.
I cannot be part of these discussions; the reality of torture is too deep. I am not equipped to be a warrior or a soldier is this battle. The most I can manage to say from my self-protective stance, as I prepare to walk away, is “I disagree. Abortion kills a baby.”
This past week I was overexposed to the abominations of Gosnell on the Internet. Nightmares rob me of sleep, intrusive images destroy my peace. I find myself hiding in my prayer space as the horrors of recent events pierce my mind. There was no escape from the Gosnell firestorm; there is no escape for infants tortured to death during an abortion.
I don’t know that I want to understand the dissociation and the full-on disconnect of abortion advocates.
Through these days of struggling to regain mental balance, I pray hard. Yes, I pray a little for me to persevere, but pray more for the shrunken damaged souls of abortionists and post-abortive parents. For in my faith I’ve been taught that the soils of their souls are still viable as long as they draw breath. My challenge is to see in those desert soils, in that ravaged land of their souls, the potential of fruitfulness.
May the Lord save all of us trapped in this storm: For those with words of fire that reveal Truth that they not despair. For those nearly paralyzed by the horror, that they find a way to pray through the suffering. For those who perpetuate the torture of abortion and for those who realize too late what they have done and live in shocked remorse. And may the Lord embrace us when, as in the hymn, we cry out “Come, Lord, for faith is growing cold…Need make us bold.”
This is about as bold as I can get.