Something stood out to me as I watched her share her story. It made me think about what healing may really look like. I couldn’t help but wonder if we have unrealistic ideas about what healing means. And maybe it is different for each one of us. Maybe a lot of things determine what it will look like: what happened to us, what type of support we got, how many things happened and on and on.
She was telling this story at a time in her life when she had found love and healing. And yet, you could feel the pain and anguish that still was palpable inside of her, enough to make you cry with her and for her. Maybe healing isn’t about being without the pain, but being able to live life to its fullest with it. Maybe the pain and sorrow will always linger, but with healing, it will no longer control us.
This video was very emotional for me to watch. It brought up things in me that I have never heard anyone talk about and I have never talked about myself. For one thing, I didn’t really think anyone would believe me or understand.
She shares her painful story of abuse, and at one point, shares the effects it had on her physical body to the point of no longer having her period for five years. And she was told that she could not have a child. But once she found true love and connection, within months after being married, it came back and she got pregnant and had a little girl.
When I met my husband, I had been through multiple losses and tragedies. The last one just a few months prior. When I look back, I was in no way ready to trust or give myself to anyone.
Fortunately, as I have expressed numerous times, my husband was ready to love me. I didn’t say he was ready to handle all that was to come from me, but he was ready to love me and stay. We suffered together greatly because of all that was done to me before I met him.
We desperately wanted to have a child of our own when we got married. And I thought I was ready to go through this with him by my side.
Two months after we got married, I got pregnant. We were so excited. We bought a crib, and I still have memories of the day he put it together. We bought story books and my husband would read to our “child” laying his head near my stomach so the baby could hear his voice. He actually taught himself how to crochet and made baby booties and blankets. We still have the booties and blankets today. This anticipation breathed life into us.
We were ready to experience this new life together. Being our second marriage, it had a feeling of bringing both of our pasts together into our future.
But at the end of my first trimester, I lost the baby. It wasn’t a simple miscarriage. They couldn’t detect a heartbeat and we knew I was losing the baby. They sent me home to wait for the inevitable.
And it was not simple by any means. When I was losing this baby, I was horrified that they actually let me go through this alone at home. Because my husband had already lost so much work up to this point, and I am not one to complain or even let someone know how much pain I am in, I didn’t let him know what was really happening. He was at work at the time.
It was in the middle of the night and I was all alone. On some level it was a perfect depiction of how I felt. It wasn’t just a simple miscarriage. I went through lots and lots of pain and endless bleeding. It felt as though I was in labor without a midwife, a hospital, nurse, or doctor.
And to tell you the truth, in those moments I remember thinking that I didn’t even care if I had bled to death. I had already lost two babies at full-term at this point. Nothing prepared me to lose again.
I say this for two reasons, one it felt like cruel and unusual punishment. And also, because while losing a child after carrying it for nine months is unbearable, I think people underestimate the power of loss a woman feels from losing a baby at any stage of her pregnancy. This loss was just as hard, and on many levels harder.
A lot of this ongoing heartache was because of what happened to my physical body and its reaction to the endless loss and stress which determined and finalized the fact that we would never have a baby of our own. This video also made me feel sad because not even love could allow this to happen for me.
I was always regular with my period throughout my whole life. And it was always easy to get pregnant. These were never an issue.
But I had already been through too much before this loss. And I struggled immensely with being loved. All of the stress had taken its toll on my physical body and I could feel it.
While I desperately wanted this child, I also had a tremendous fear of losing another baby. And after this miscarriage, my body shut down. There may or may not be endless medical explanations, but the truth is my body was in shock and my periods stopped. And this went on for an endless period of time.
It returned at times and went away again and returned and went away and returned. It was an ongoing nightmare for both of us. The pain of losing this child, coupled with facing the possibility that we would not be able to have another baby, was just a torturous and cruel fading hope.
Even through this and beyond, my husband loved me. Not for what I could give him, he loved me. And together we are a family. It has taken years to feel this.
This is something I have never talked about before today. I think too often we discount the physical effects of abuse and what all of the anxiety and stress does to our physical bodies.