“You should never be a mom.” “You would be a horrible mother.”
Not sure the number of times I heard these lines through my childhood, but it was often enough that these words took root in my life and grew deep.
I never wanted to be a mom. I never wanted to have kids of my own. It wouldn’t be good for me to have kids.
“You will be a wonderful mom someday.”
The two counselors sat across from me at Recovery Week telling me these words.
They didn’t know the words I had been told.
They didn’t know my womb had been discarded as medical waste a year prior.
Perhaps these words were the beginning seed. A seed growing space. Space for my body to share a secret it held for 30 years.
I didn’t know I was a mom.
I partook in a delicious fondue dinner tonight with three lovely women with whom I have been intentional about doing life. All four of us have lost babies during pregnancy. All three of them are moms to living children.
Listening to all their stories. Parenting struggles and frustrations. Precious and hilarious things their children say. Navigating different age stages and life changes. And so many more things…
It was a time to practice holding both. I love and treasure all their children like they are my own nephews and niece. I want nothing more than to hear these stories. I desire nothing more than to be present with these moms telling the stories. And yet I also have a place that wells up inside me with tears of grief for my son I never got to raise. Wondering what kinds of stories I would have shared about him.
Driving home drowning in these thick waters of grief. Laying on my couch struggling with allowing myself permission to grieve not having a child when I spent so many years saying I never wanted one. Realizing that was not the real me, but a facade fashioned by those words fed to me as a child.
The real me is the woman who emerged when my body shared its long held secret. The woman who feels inside her the life that lived there so long ago. The woman who feels like a mom. The woman who dreams of what it would have been like to have been able to raise her son. The woman who grieves the son she lost and the life-giving womb that is no more.
The real me has the space to ask the hard questions I might never have answers to in this life and dream the wonderful dreams that will never come true this side of heaven.
Would there have been someone with enough love and kindness to take in a 13-year-old mom and her baby? What would he have looked like? Would this have been the thing that rescued me from a life of abuse? Would he have said the hilariously funny and brilliant things that my friends’ kids say? Would I have been a fun, playful mom?
What toys would he have loved to play with? Would I have been a wise, discerning parent? What books would he have enjoyed the most? What struggles and frustrations would I have had in parenting? What sports would he have participated in?
Would I have loved my son well? What interests would he have had? What desires would I have had for my son as he grew into adulthood? Would he have been married by now?
Would I be a grandmother now?
LOVE was the word given to me at the beginning of 2017. I never could have imagined what this word would mean and the place it would hold in my life as the year comes to an end.
The sharing of this secret has created a space to feel, to remember, to imagine. Most importantly, though, it’s a space God and my son are filling with love like I’ve never experienced before.
Victory Suimara is a sculptor of words. She is a poet and an aspiring screenwriter. When she is not writing, she creates by playing with paints or playing on instruments. She is a victim and survivor of sexual abuse and sex trafficking, a wanderer and explorer on a sometimes treacherous and sometimes beautifully scenic journey of life. More of her word sculptures can be found here.