Anyways, I got a message on Facebook this morning from a woman who said I had taken her words as my own... I feel the need to explain what happened and to apologize.
While I was in the midst of writing a long letter of love, from my grieving mother's heart, to Luke Shiloh in February 2013, I googled "letters to aborted babies" and came across a sweet letter written to "Aubrey" in 2008 from her grieving mother, Carla Stream. The letter deeply resonated with me because I had felt and expressed some of the same words about my beloved baby that she wrote in her brief letter to her beloved baby. I realize now that I crossed the line of simply being inspired by her letter to the point of actually copying a few of her sentences and ideas. (Side note: I did not go looking for letters to "steal" as some people have accused me of. My heart was hurting and I was simply looking for people who understood).
These are the parts of the letters that I am referring to:
I was distraught even as you grew. I was distraught before the vacuum suctioned your body from mine. I was distraught after. Regret hardly conveys the depth of my emotion. A grief and a sorrow that consumes me at times. I can hardly bear it because I did not fight for your life. Fight to protect you. Fight for your right to live and grow and be. I did not place your life before my desperate thoughts of self-preservation. I was deceived into thinking you were a clump of cells, tissue, you were nothing, you were not even a baby.
Regret barely conveys the depth of my profound emotion. At times over the past five years, the deep grief and sorrow has threatened to consume me...I was distraught as you grew, distraught as I took that little pill that I thought would “fix things” and distraught afterwards. I can hardly bear it that I did not fight to protect your life, like a mother should. I did not place your life before my desperate thoughts of self-preservation. I was deceived into thinking you were not really a baby yet at that gestation (6 weeks), so what I was doing was perfectly okay.
The grief I feel is hardly as big as the love, Aubrey. The love I have for you knows no bounds.
The grief I feel is hardly as big as the love, dear Luke. This love I have for you knows no bounds.
I want to apologize for making such an unwise and unthinking choice. Even though I shared some of her thoughts and feelings, I should have clearly expressed them in my own words, rather than using someone else's. I am genuinely sorry for hurting Carla and taking some of her words to her daughter.
"Nothing so clearly discovers a spiritual man as his treatment of an erring brother." -St. Augustine
I realize that I did something wrong. I admit that. I am not saying it is insignificant. However, I have been shocked and saddened by how people have treated me in regards to this. I have honestly felt like I am being bullied. People are gossiping about me and slandering me and saying things that aren't true. It's almost like people are delighting in this "juiciness." People have accused me of using this as a way to make a "name" for myself or make a "buck." People have accused me of wanting 15 minutes of fame. That I am trying too hard for recognition and looking for an audience. People have accused me of stealing another post-abortive mother's relationship and grief and passing it off as my own. That I am cold and callous. I have been called a fraud. That this is the most despicable thing they've ever seen. I have been called an emotional vampire. I did something wrong, but how is it going to help anything or anyone for people to talk about me with each other, as if they know anything about who I am?
First of all, if I were trying to gain fame or make a name for myself, why would I want to be known for having an abortion? Of all things. Also, I wrote the letter a year before sharing it publicly, meaning I did not merely write it to publish it. Some people are suggesting that I made it up and that I never even had an abortion. If I were going to make up something about my life, why would it be this? I will release my records from Planned Parenthood if need be. Secondly, I don't charge a single penny for anything I write or when I speak. I am a nanny and a full-time college student, living in my parent's modest home.
I did not steal another post-abortive mother's relationship. I used some of her words which I am so sorry about. But my grief over Luke and my loss is real.
I did not maliciously do this. I am not cold and callous. Her words poignantly captured something that my heart felt. I am someone who made a dumb mistake. I did not want anyone to be hurt. I care for the unborn and post-abortive women. I had nothing to gain from sharing this letter.
I have also been accused of only responding to Carla when this went public. I responded to her as soon as I read her message to me and immediately apologized. I tried to work it out with her just the two of us first. I didn't want to hastily post something about this on Facebook, so I took my time in praying about how best to respond... that was the "delay." I feel like I've been hit with a ton of bricks and I honestly had no idea how to go about this. This just happened today. I am sorry if people think I am not moving fast enough.
People have also accused me of not taking her words down and for continuing to take credit for her words. I am making every effort to have her words removed and have done so already on my personal blog. Where is the letter on my blog that people say is still here? Seriously, I don't know where it is and have tried to find what you are talking about. I would never want anyone to think Carla copied my words, as has been suggested. Anyways, observant people would see that she wrote her letter in 2008, a year before I had my abortion.
I know that some people will think that I have lost all credibility. That is okay if you think that. A few words that I shouldn't have shared does not negate the thousands of words that I have shared about Luke and Lily. It doesn't take away the letter that I wrote to him. It doesn't change the beauty of their lives and legacies. It doesn't change my genuine grief and love.
I have removed my Facebook page entirely. I know that people are already saying that speaks to my character and that I don't want people to see my apology. Well, here is my apology. I had to take my page down for I could not take it anymore. I feel broken. No matter what I say, people are going to believe and say what they want about me.
I am sad that people think this defines me. Those who do know me know where my heart is. They know the truth of who I am. I am so thankful that God has a plan and purpose beyond what I can see right now and that HE sees my heart.
Again I am sorry and I ask for forgiveness. I am just so, so sorry to everyone who has been affected by this...