(Closed) my mother's horrible secret

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 107
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

You found out that your mother is human. Im sure that any judgments you feel has been magnified in her own head a 100 times. It is part of growing up and seeing your parents for who they really are. Nothing has changed in who she is, or how she raised you…its just a new perspective on your part. Dont let this impact your relationship with her.

Post # 108
1953 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@deserthoneybee:  I can understand feeling shocked, or disturbed by finding out knowledge about your mother you never wanted to know. 

All other feelings and judgements should end there. Your mom had life prior to you, and unless you are willing to ask her about that time, you will never know or understand the circumstances behind each occurence. Maybe those aborted pregnancies had high risk problems that came with them. Maybe your parents were having problems, maybe those abortions didn’t all come about during their marriage.

You don’t once mention the letter stating a time frame for those abortions, circumstances or even when they occurred. They very well could have taken place when your mom was a young and stupid teen.

I really don’t think it’s fair of you to make these judgements to begin with, it’s not your uterus. I especially don’t think it’s fair to make judgements when you refuse to seek answers.

Post # 109
6582 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Mothers are human.  They make mistakes.  I know that someday my daughters will find out something about me that displeases them, just as an adult, I have found out things about my mother that I would perhaps rather not know.

I think people are too harsh on the OP, if we cannot share our feelings here on the bee- then what are any of us here for? 

Also, I think that the prolife/prochoice things is not always so black and white.  I do consider myself prochoice, but if someone close to me had 4 or 5+ abortions, then yes, I would think to myself WTF??

And since the OP does not know the circumstances- then I think it is perfectly reasonable to wonder what the heck was going on.  No- her mother doesn’t owe her any explantions, but at the same time, without more information the OP will be forming her own opinion of what happened and may walk away with the wrong conclusion.

Post # 110
1559 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I think it’s her decision and you should try and let it go.  Why would anyone advertise that they’d had abortions? It’s not something people really share other than perhaps with their partner or closest friends… I don’t think any mother would likely share that information with their children.


I have found out much deeper, darker secrets of my own mothers and struggled with what to do with those secrets.  Tell my immediate family, keep them to myself, confront my mother…

Ultimately I told my closest friends and fiance bc I needed guidance and advice.  I sent my mother a letter and we had a sit down and talked about it.  That was 2 years ago now and we’ve never spoken of it since but our relationship has certainly changed as much as she wished it wouldn’t. 

I think sometimes we have to acknowledge that our parents are the perfect people we once thought they were.  They have secrets too.  Not always good ones.  You just have to move on.  Either talk to her about it and share your feelings, or don’t.  But her choices on this issue is her business I think… No one can say for sure what they would do in the same situation.

Post # 111
1013 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Jumping in, as I felt strongly enough to share my opinion – because I feel it is important AND honest.

I had an abortion with my SO (soon to be FI/DH) during a time in our lives where it was our only logical choice.  We are both educated individuals. 

I will one day be a mother to his children.  It will be on our time, at a point we are ready for it.  I will always be Pro-choice, but will tell my children that they should ALWAYS protect themselves, as the consequences could and will be far worse.  I will not share my personal experience, as I feel it is not their business.  But I would never ever want them to go thru what I did, because although I chose it, it was still hard.

Do I regret it?  No.  Is it because of my religious convictions that I will ‘teach’ them they should make ‘better’ choices?! No.  Does it make me a bad person?  NOPE.  It makes me a parent, whom gets to decide what pieces and parts of my life I share with my children. 

It is no different than telling them drugs are not a good choice, without sharing that I smoked pot once…

I hope my one day children never have to know any differently about my past, but if they do, then I hope they ask me about it – without judgement.  I wish you do the same OP.

Post # 112
1767 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Hyperventilate:  I think the issue is more that her mom decided “not to abort” with her – the way it was phrased makes it really impersonal. At least, for me, that would be the problem. I know my mom has had one before (that she’s told me) and I’m not upset by it in the least; she did what was best for herself and the family at the time. If she told me, however, that I was a baby that she consciously decided not to abort, well, that seems a little harsh.


I agree with your other sentiments, though!

Post # 113
3625 posts
Sugar bee

OP…I think once you can fully process the news, you may have some decisions to make. Only you know your Mother and how to best approach it (or not), but I’m guessing if she had wanted it to be known to you, ever, she would have told you by now. It’s called a secret for a reason.

I’m guessing by your age she may be over or close to 60, and in those days, things were much more hidden and never to be discussed by anyone, at any time. Unfortunately, it didn’t always work out that way, but you really don’t know or can even guess exactly why things happened as they did. That’s where you need to decide if you really want some answers or if its something you absolutely need to know so you can move on, or if you just want to pretend you don’t know about it at all. Nothing will change once you do know,except maybe your feelings for your Mom (which I hope doesn’t happen). She is who she is, and if you love her, you have to accept her,faults and all.

I’m sure its a shock in more ways than one, and I hope you figure out what to do to help heal your heart. Good luck.

Post # 114
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - On a yacht!

[comment moderated for personal attack]

Post # 115
24 posts
  • Wedding: June 2014

Op you say you’re father committed suicide. Do you think his mental health issues and I assume instability contributed to her decisions? The real problem is that you have information that was not given to you so you don’t know how to proceed. I think the greatest lesson to take from this is if you see a letter or information out at someone’s home first ask yourself if it is your handwriting. If not ask yourself if it is addressed to you. If not then it is someone else’s private correspondence and you should not read it.

Post # 116
6375 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

@Chrysoberyl:  Completely untrue. Having abortions has no effect whatsoever on your ability to have children. This is a very dangerous myth and needs to be addressed.

View original reply
@Hyperventilate: and lots of the rest of you guys!: OP is upset because of the hypocrisy… her mother always said that she was anti-abortion, and now she realises that her Mum had several. This, understandably, is making her feel like she can’t trust her Mum, or that everything her Mum said in the past to her was a lie. She is probably wondering what else her Mum lied about, or hid from her.

Statistically, abortion rates witin the US are higher in evangelical Christians than almost any other group. This is usually attributed to the black/white effect… another example of this effect would be that alcoholics are most likely to be either the children of other alcoholics or the children of teetotallers. They become alcoholics because they see the world in black/white terms… they have no experience of how to process drinking in a socially acceptable, controlled, moderate manner. Likewise, the theory goes that within groups in which sex is not discussed, people grow up not knowing how to practise sex in a moderate, controlled manner. This (and also the fact that they are so afraid of being exposed as less than perfect, and losing their social support) is why they end up having abortions.

I disagree with PPs in that I think you should confront your mother. The only way in which she will grow as a person is to confront her past and learn to process previous issues. Of course, she may have already done this, but even then, if she has done it successfully, then she should have no problems discussing it with you. You will need to be more supportive than accusatory, however, or else you will never get through to her. What you want is for her to show a logical thought process which has evolved through time and which will allow you to understand her and have an honest relationship with her. I can also understand why you are upset… it has nothing whatsoever to do with abortion, and everything to do with your relationship with your Mum as a role model!

I think a lot of PPs are using their own feelings on abortion to cloud the issues. OP needs support and some of you have been pretty unsupportive, to be honest. You need to think about her…

… and she needs to think about her Mum, and her relationship with her Mum. That is all.

Post # 117
1797 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Rachel631:  The “hypocricy” or whatever is what I was going to touch on.  It sounds to me like cognitive dissonance that mum might have been experiencing from having abortions but not believing it was right to do so.  I don’t think I could explain very well but I did a quick google:

This is the feeling of uncomfortable tension which comes from holding two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time.

Dissonance increases with:

  • The importance of the subject to us.
  • How strongly the dissonant thoughts conflict.
  • Our inability to rationalize and explain away the conflict.

Dissonance is often strong when we believe something about ourselves and then do something against that belief. If I believe I am good but do something bad, then the discomfort I feel as a result is cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is a very powerful motivator which will often lead us to change one or other of the conflicting belief or action. The discomfort often feels like a tension between the two opposing thoughts. To release the tension we can take one of three actions:

  • Change our behavior.
  • Justify our behavior by changing the conflicting cognition.
  • Justify our behavior by adding new cognitions.

Dissonance is most powerful when it is about our self-image. Feelings of foolishness, immorality and so on (including internal projections during decision-making) are dissonance in action.


And I’m not stating this as a fact, just food for thought.

Post # 118
543 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

This is nothing to judge your mother about. You’re going based on a letter with no other context, so you have no idea what she was going through or why she did what she did.Besides that, it sounds like this isn’t a letter you should have been privy to in the first place.

I’m sure it wasn’t an easy choice for her, and it is certainly not your place to judge her.


@September29:  And I highly doubt finding this out is anywhere near as difficult as her mom going through it. Parents are people too. I certainly hope they’re not judging you as harshly as you judge them.

Post # 119
345 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

everyone has a past, unfortunatly some people aren’t proud of theirs, and that is probably why your mother didn’t tell you about the abortions. i think you should talk to her about it. She may have had good reasons for the abortions (if you believe there are good reasons). the only thing you can do is talk to her about it. and you said the letter said she decided”not to abort you” and doesnt she love you the way a mother should? I am sure she is so grateful she has you.

Post # 120
9168 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Rachel631:  But the OP doesn’t even know if it’s hipocrasy or not.  She could have been pro choice, had 10 abortions then as a result decided that she has a different perspective now and is pro life. THat is within her right to change her mind.  If OP came along after her mom decided to be pro life, there is no hypocrisy there!

I equate something like this to what  PP said, I don’t think any of our parents would tell us that drugs are good. They all tell you drugs are bad, don’t do them. But, guess what?1 Most all of our parents probably did them at some point! Is it hipocrasy? Maybe but maybe not…

And again, the intention behind the hipocrasy was good.  It’s not like the OP was sitting in the room with her mother while she got the abortion and the mom is telling her how bad abortions are and how she should be pro life!  

The OP should not have read something that didn’t belong to her. However, now that she did she has 2 options

1. confront her mother and ask her about it.  I believe she has a right to do this, however I DO NOT believe the OP has ANY right to JUDGE her mother for her abortions without having talked to her mother about what led to those abortions.  She does not have nearly enough information to pass any judgement about the situation 

2. Don’t confront her mother, try and pretend it never happened….



Post # 121
2060 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@deserthoneybee:  Sorry to hear that.  I hope you can forgive her. Maybe kindly and lovingly approach her and ask her to explain because you want to understand. It might be a touchy subject for her, so be gentle.  But more than anything, I say forgive her and don’t hold it against her.

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