Buzz words and catch phrases. They are kind of interesting I think. Catchy dominating meaningful collections of consonants and vowels, but when we see them we immediately relate to them in some way. They spark an emotion, or a memory. They make us think of something specific. They can make or break an ad campaign.
Can you hear me now?
Where’s the beef?
Who let the dogs out?
Open, Open, Open…
You’re in good hands
These phrases either make me cringe, or make me remember some funny obscure time in my life when the phrase was repeated out of context and I busted out laughing. We’ve probably all heard them, and repeated them ad nauseam.
But there are some buzz words that have entered into my daily consciousness lately that really have my head and heart spinning.
As you can guess, these words and their mostly negative connotations are pretty rampant in my world. Not necessarily for me personally, but in the social circles I find myself in where so many of us have MRKH. It’s kind of scary to have these strong connections between these issues and MRKH, but it’s the reality of it. Let’s face it…when you are a teenager and trying to figure out life in general, and your sexual identity, and the whole what do I want to be when I grow up stuff…and you get the diagnosis of MRKH….it’s potentially crushing. And it has LIFE LONG impact. You don’t just get the diagnosis, get a prescription to kill the bacteria, and you’re cured and life goes on. You have to deal with it every day in some way for the rest of your life.
When you get diagnosed with MRKH you kind of go through this mental triage….what can I deal with today….what can wait? You know, stop the bleeding, keep breathing, stitch the wound, change the bandage, dry the tears, and that’s all I can cope with today. At least I did. No uterus, can’t carry a child…ok..I’ll deal with that later. Today I have to deal with the fact you just told me I can’t have sex like a regular person until I have some treatment to stretch my…yeah….ok…let’s not say it out loud. So, take a deep breath and ask about treatment option….hear an option I can accept….ask a couple more questions, and walk away.
So…on the inside, I’m all stressed out, terrified, mortified….but the face I show the world is a cleaned up accident victim…battered and bruised, but walking out of the clinic of my own free power. I’ll be better in a few days – at least in the public’s eyes. And inside, the wounds are healing too…slowly…but I’ve got a lot to process and think about – and NO ONE to talk to or ask questions. Heck, I don’t even know what questions to ask…let alone who I could possibly talk to about them. I’m alone in this diagnosis. It’s extremely rare, I’ve never seen a case like yours before.
Looking back at that time in my life, and several other challenging times in my life as it relates to MRKH I can recognize that I had to deal with most of those buzz words on my own. But I walked that path 95% alone. I dealt with depression, infertility, anxiety, and all those things quietly on my own. I had some treatments, did some therapy, went to support groups, but still – no one with MRKH ever crossed my path, so no one could quite relate to what I was going through.
I managed, I persevered, I even thrived. I have done good things, even great things with my life. I have fought emotional battles in my head and heart, and I have found my path through them. But most of it has been walking the path alone, not knowing that it could have been any different.
And then I found the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation web site. I was stunned. I was NOT alone. There were beautiful women all over the WORLD who were just like me. Through BYMRKH I found support groups online, I found email lists, and I found women just like me. As I made more and more connections, I found friends, SISTERS, mentors and those in need of mentoring. I found my niche. I talked to so many and was moved to tears often at the outpouring of unconditional love that was shown and shared. But I also saw our common struggles – depression, anxiety, treatments, therapy. I watched several of my new friends go through fertility treatments, IVF cycles, and surrogacy – with both glorious success, and tragic loss. The last few years have been a very dynamic part of my journey in life, and the role that MRKH plays in it. It hasn’t all be wine and roses, but neither has it been easy. I’ve faced a few demons, healed some deeply seated wounds, and have grown tremendously as a person. I no longer feel like I’m all alone and having to face everything with no back up. I now have an army of incredible women to share my journey with.
As I walk this journey of MRKH, I watch carefully for those who are battling demons – and I try and offer them encouragement and support…if only to say, “You are not alone and I’m here for you if you need me.” I’ve walked this path, and it’s much easier if someone is there to hold your hand. MRKH wraps around our lives in unexpected ways. Funny things will set us off without warning. Things that didn’t bother us at all at 17 are devastating at 27. Challenges hit us at all the seasons of our lives, but with my MRKH sisters surrounding me, I know I don’t have to walk into the blackness alone – and those buzzwords don’t scare me anymore. I know we will fight them together.
My heart is tender this week for several of my MRKH sisters who are going through some pretty challenging times. I do my best to show them love and support and encouragement, even when I’ve never met some of them face to face. I’ve said many prayers, I’ve mailed a few cards, I’ve reached out to them with kind words and encouragement, all to let them know in some small way that they are NOT alone. Be it emotional, physical, or financial…we all need a little extra support now and then. I craved it for so many years, and now that I have it – I’ll do everything I can to pay it forward whenever I can.