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Philippa Courtney



I Lost Our Baby, I Lost Him, and I'm Losing My Mind


Dear Philippa,

A year or so ago, I met John. He wasn't the kindest guy around but I got pregnant. I already have a daughter by another man. John and I planned to call the baby Leslie. Then I had a car accident and tried to contact John. I found out that he had given me false information. So I ended up having an abortion and went into grief counseling. Later when John and I tried to get back together, he told me that his brother's wife was expecting a child they would name Leslie. I then tried to convince him that we both needed to see a counselor. But John said he was over it so I should be over it too. John just wants to see me without any ties. I know he isn't right for me, but I can't seem to get over him or losing my baby.

�Shannon, Fairbanks, AK


Dear Shannon,

I I am so sorry for your loss. And yes you still need to do some healing with the help of a counselor or grief support group.

But John sounds like a symptom of a bigger problem, a lack of self-esteem. I get the feeling that somewhere in your life you didn't get the love you needed from your parents or simply from yourself. There is a sense of desperation about your letter. You know John is bad for you but find his negative attention is better than being alone. Am I right?

The pregnancy with the wrong guy, the abortion, the car accident, and the attempts at reconciliation with someone who sounds callous and cruel didn't just happen to you. These negative circumstances found you like lint on a black dress. But you can change all that Shannon. You are not a victim unless you choose to be one. You can create a wonderful new life for yourself and for your daughter.

Start by telling yourself that you make good choices in your life. Find the most reliable form of birth control. Identify some women that you admire and ask them if they will help mentor you. Create a support group with other women who are seeking to better their lives. Make the focus positive and action-oriented. Read books that inspire you. Seek spiritual guidance. Choose to only invite people into your life who are both good to you and good for you. Do whatever you can to feed your mind and heart with positive feelings about yourself and your life.

If John or anyone like him comes into your life, tell yourself that you deserve better and turn the other way. Realize that you are setting an example for your daughter to follow and you want her to grow up strong and to value herself. Do this for you and for your daughter and write and tell me how your life has changed for the better, because it will.



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