I don't even know how to start this other than, "OUCH. It hurts."
Almost 20 years ago I found out I was pregnant for the first time, I was terrified and knew I couldn't have a baby, I also knew I couldn't give up a baby that I had grown to full term in my body. So I made the most difficult decision of my life and terminated the pregnancy amid much anger from those around me. I have hated myself ever since. Like hated myself. This caused me to behave in some very unhealthy ways. I caused myself more damage by not caring after that. I had 3 miscarriages over the next 5 years. Those too caused me anguish as they were not my choice to lose.
I mourn for the loss of my children, for the babies I never got to hold and love, for the one I had to chose to let go of, for the ones taken from me because I was in circumstances of such traumatic stress.
I mourn for the first smiles, the first steps never taken, the first "Mommy." I mourn that I will have to die to see your beautiful faces.
I hoard the love of my living sons like a greedy dragon guards its gold. I think maybe I'm holding too tightly and need to release my stranglehold as it's not their fault they are the children I was given to keep. I do believe that if I had my first son I would not have the 2 boys I have now and the thought of that is devastating. Those two beautiful boys mean the world to me. That also causes grief as I know how much I love them, and that I would have loved and do love all of my children living and gone.
How do I honour you, how do I grieve and let you go so I can stop punishing myself? Will the hurt ever stop?
I mourn too for the men I chose and wonder if they ever think about the children they have lost, for the fact is, I chose men who didn't care, men who engaged without commitment and left the natural consequences to me to deal with. "Not my body, not my issue," is what I was told.
The trauma that has surrounded these wounds has caused some really not nice side affects; my biggest one being the starve and binge food cycle. I have been punishing myself by not caring for my physical self. I have hated myself so much at times that I have starved myself. I cannot take care of myself with love. I place blame and shame on myself for what I believe my children would think of me if they were here. Crazy, I know, as they have no presence here on earth, and yet, as all beliefs do, it holds power.
I do not want to let this grief control me. I desire to be healthy, I desire to love myself and forgive myself ...even writing that makes me tear up. How do I forgive myself? HOW?
I will forgive myself by acknowledging that the girl in the past that I WAS is not the woman I am today. That version of me no longer exists except as a moment on my timeline. I must choose to look back at that frightened girl with love and mercy. If I knew then what I know now, I would have known I had more options. My scared and traumatized Self didn't know nearly enough to be wise or rational. I have to remember that when I think about that version of myself. I will be compassionate to my younger Self and say, 'It's ok, you believed you were doing the best you could in the circumstances you were in. Now, let it go.' I will offer that version of myself from 20 years ago, forgiveness. Forgiveness for being human. Forgiveness for not knowing. Forgiveness for terrible decision-making in circumstances of great stress. Forgiveness, period. For all of it. 'Be free from the shame and guilt ...it is not yours to carry any longer.'
I choose to let you go, and to be at peace. I will not hold you in my heart as a wound, I will hold you with gentleness and know that one day I will see you and hug you and say 'I'm sorry I couldn't love you here.' I will honour your memory, I will honour myself and the choices I had to make. I will not allow shame to rule me anymore.
I will be thankful for the amazing wonderful Littles I do get to nurture and love.
I love you lil' souls of mine, I'm sorry I didn't get to hold you and kiss you goodnight, or kiss your owies better and celebrate with you when something cool happens. I will hold you close but not too tightly as I need to let go of the idea of what we could have been. I am here, you are not. I will always love you, my children of heaven.
Much love my people.
Until next time,
"Iphelia Mann" is the pen name of a very articulate, creative, amazing human on a journey of self-discovery...with the goal of unpacking her baggage and throwing away the suitcases.