BOOK REVIEW - Unburdening by Teresa Benitez
Date Published: October 4, 2022
Teresa Benitez—an engineer, doctor, and professor—had three abortions between 2004 and 2022. Although she was against abortion until 2004, her first pregnancy awakened her deepest fears: was she good enough to raise a family? Or would her unresolved childhood trauma, and resulting mental illness, render her incapable of love?
In Unburdening, each pregnancy termination is meticulously described. The aftermath of each abortion is explored, including the mystifying blend of relief and distress that often remains after the procedure is over.
A moving memoir infused with poetic prose, Unburdening is a story of motherhood, abortion, and mental health. It delves into generational trauma, survival, love, self-forgiveness, and healing.
Unburdening is one woman’s story of her experience with abortion and why she chose to make those decisions. This book is difficult to read as it explores her decision to have three abortions. The descriptions are detailed and at times painful to read. Regardless, I appreciate the author’s willingness to make herself this vulnerable at this scale.
While, I have not experienced an abortion, I understand how difficult this decision must be. Especially for someone who did not believe in abortion until faced with her own unplanned pregnancy. This book is poignantly written and shares firsthand all the thoughts that go through a woman’s mind when she finds out she is pregnant. “Am I ready?”, “Can I overcome my own trauma and be good mom?”, “Do I have the tools to be as selfless as I need to be?”, etc.
I also appreciated how the author explored the generational trauma and through self-reflection was able to move forward. The author also imparts to importance of self-forgiveness. Having an abortion doesn’t make you a bad person or define you. I am glad to see more women writing books about their experiences. I think it helps others cope with their own experiences and helps those who have not experienced an abortion to better understand how complicated, difficult, and personal this decision is.
Overall Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
About the Author
Born in Puerto Rico in 1984, Teresa Benitez has a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. She was an engineering professor for nine years. Teresa currently lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her ten-year-old daughter and three cats.