“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” ~ Virginia Woolf
How wonderful it is to be a woman, and how horrible at the same time. The voice in our head that tells us our worth and ability and beauty is formed by so many other voices that we have no control over.
HG has taught me that women are so much stronger than even I realized. As a collective, women are united in ways that men can never quite understand. When women make friends, we make them for life. When women face challenges, it writes on the spirit of who we are in a way that I think very few men can understand. By conquering our fears and walking through the fire, we are forever changed.
I’m proud that I have faced adversity and made it out stronger and wiser and more compassionate than before. Through this, I found my own power and my own voice. Before Hyperemesis, I was a completely different person. College was a terrible experience for me. I’ll go into that story in another entry at another time. Women were cruel and hateful to me, and poured themselves into conspiring against me.
When Travis met me, I was a mousy girl whose sense of self was floating around in the opinions of others. I was broken and bruised and terrified of letting anyone close to me.
After HG, I was faced with a new resolve. I felt so empowered. I had overcome something very fierce, and I was so proud of myself for it. I could not remember the last time I’d truly felt proud of myself. I met with God and saw that he did not forsake me even when my own thoughts threatened to betray me.
After my son was born, I went through a whole year of trying to find myself again. (You can read about me getting myself back in my entry titled “Getting a Life Back After HG.”) More than learning to cook and write again, I also wanted to solidify my personal truth. I have poured over Scripture, prayed over tough social issues, read up on politics, studied different ideas and ways of thought, and worked hard to get myself back. I didn’t want to be who I was before college and HG, I wanted to be a new woman. I felt different, and I wanted that confidence and security to shine through in other areas of my life.
I’ve worked so hard to know myself. What a strange thing to say. But how many of our young women today can honestly say they know themselves? How many have a solid moral compass that isn’t easily shaken by peer pressure or doubt? How many can say even on their ugliest hair day, they still love themselves? What a shame it is when a young woman ties her self identity to the approval and opinions of others. Or worse yet, when a young woman ties her self identity up in the affection and attention of a man.
I know that we are more beautiful than we know as women. Creation was not complete without Eve.
Seven years ago, I thought I knew who I was. I thought that I could easily face adversity and remain standing, but I was brought to my knees by the hatefulness of my peers and stripped of any false confidence I possessed. Honestly today I can say I’m so grateful that I went through everything I’ve faced. I know today that hateful words and cruel actions can’t shake my sense of who I am. I realize that the opinions of others don’t reflect directly on who I am inside. I feel like God has a purpose for me, and I hope to make him proud.
The writer of the book of James tells us to “consider it pure joy” when we “face trials of many kinds” because through these trials we are strengthened. We can only be made whole when we’re broken.
As women, we aren’t divided by our personal stories, but united by them because they continue to prove that we are strong and amazing creatures who can stand up to trials of many kinds. We shouldn’t face these struggles alone or hide in our secret pain. We should equip our young ladies with a strong sense of self that cannot be shaken by others. We should focus on instilling a sense of inner beauty that far outshines any outer facades.
I want to say that I’m so glad I started this blog. I feel that we’re uniting women and mothers in particular. Through this venue, I’m very proud to have come in contact with some amazing women.
I started writing this blog for HG mothers and adoptive mothers, but I realize that we’re in a much bigger community together. Whether we’re adoptive, biological, HG, waiting, hoping, trying, struggling, mourning, or simply dreaming, we’re all mothers of some kind. We’re in this together, and we should encourage each other to find joy in our trials because at the end of the trials, we will hopefully find a better sense of who we are.
“As a woman, I have no country. As a woman my country is the world.” ~ Virginia Woolf