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Two Years Without My Uterus

by Jessica Grace Raso 3 years ago in health
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Healing Through Guilt and Grief

My babies

It’s been two years since my uterus was taken from me.

And if I’ve learned one thing from my hysterectomy experience, it’s that there’s no short cuts on this healing journey.

It took me eight months to share my story, because I was not ready to open up about something that made me feel vulnerable. I pride myself on being open and candid, but the fact is, it’s hard to share difficult emotions with the world—even if you want them to know.

If you’re in this position right now, know I am with you.

Because following any sort of loss or trauma, it is okay if you just aren’t in a place to be able to receive the kindness and well wishes from people around you.

Putting my story out to the world has been an exercise in staring my emotions in the face and naming them, acknowledging them, and doing my best to feel them. It is okay to tell people you’re not ready to talk.

At six months after my surgery, I still didn't feel a lot when I thought about what had happened. Most days it didn’t even feel like it happened at all. Even when I read my own writing, I had trouble believing that I’m the patient in my own story. But I have been so deeply humbled by the stories you have shared with me of your own losses, and I take a lot of comfort in the fact that there is community to be found in both joy and in grief.

Your kind words lift me everyday to a place where I can really start to process what happened, and I know I will get there because I'm not in it alone.

And if you're healing from loss, trauma, grief, or any sort of sadness—know you are not alone either. 🌈

If I'm being honest, even two years later, I’m still fighting my own denial of what happened and what it means for our future. I have zero (read: ZERO!) desire to add more kids to our lives right now (and possibly ever), but that isn’t what this is about. ⁣⁣

It’s about control. More specifically, the loss of control I experienced when something happened to me that I didn’t expect, plan for, or deserve. Honestly, it’s this loss of control that I find really hard to heal from. ⁣⁣

And I hear it in your stories, too. I hear you searching for answers to why your own experiences with loss happened. You’ve told me about miscarriages and infertility, stories that show how this search for answers turns inwards, resulting in self-blame and guilt. ⁣⁣

I know that healing is a journey and I maintain that all feelings are valid throughout that journey, but in case anyone needs to hear this today (because I know I do): ⁣⁣

These losses are not your fault.⁣⁣

Because it seems to me, more and more, that guilt is a way to cope with the fact that we can’t stop bad things from happening to us. It is an effort to try and regain control over our situations. At least it is for me. ⁣⁣

Guilt, like gratitude, is a band-aid solution. And like gratitude, it does not fix the sadness.⁣⁣

I’m not really able to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in the traditional way this year, so these are my reflections for our new year. I’m reminding myself that new beginnings don’t erase our struggles. That neither guilt nor gratitude can take away the pain from loss. And that healing takes work, patience, and time. ⁣⁣

Be kind to yourself. ⁣⁣💙

health

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Jessica Grace Raso

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