My parents wanted an abortion right after they found out that my mother was pregnant with me. My first impression about my life was that I was not wanted. The Red Guard captured my father the night before the scheduled abortion, and my mother decided to keep me.
My father had no son of his own and wanted a boy. My mother also wanted a son. Often she would tell my sister that she was going to have a baby brother soon. My sister always said, “A baby sister.” My mother would ask her to stop saying that, and change it to a baby brother.
As a fetus I started my life feeling that my true self was a secret and I needed to hide. I believed that this was a man’s world and I was not supposed to be here. The idea of coming out of the womb showing the world that I was a girl horrified me. The closer it got to birthing the more anxious I became. I came out of the womb filled with shame for being a girl and a big disappointment.
I was always a very good student throughout grades school but seldom felt proud of myself. Nothing was good enough for me, not even when I was the very top student. I couldn’t see my value and never believed the good things people said about me. I just thought that they didn’t know me.
I always felt guilty about my test scores or anything else for not being perfect. I would cry behind people feeling terrible thinking how I failed my parents. Underneath my drive for being perfect was the deep belief that I was a flaw as a girl.
I denied my period to my own mother because I was so embarrassed and guilty about turning into a woman. I suffered severe menstrual cramps for many years, and only stopped wrapping and hiding used sanitary napkins in the last two years. I have felt guilty for being a girl and resisted my womanhood all my life without realizing it.
In my relationships I never felt being fully appreciated, and always had concerns of being taken for granted. I was constantly on guard to protect myself, never able to express my love freely without concerns of being hurt or taken advantage of.
Now I see clearly how I am the one who has always taken my self and my own life for granted! My parents didn’t reject me. I rejected my self and never accepted myself for being a girl. I have never respected myself fully as a woman. I have never acknowledged or given full credit to my existence as a beautiful woman. I have never fully appreciated the value of my own life, until now.
My heart desires a loving intimate relationship but before I could have true intimacy with a man I must have intimacy with myself. I could not expect a man to give me full appreciation while I have never even given it to myself. It’s not possible to have a soul fulfilling relationship with another human being without loving myself as a decent being of life.
Streams of tears are flowing down my cheeks from deep within my heart. I know that I have healed the lies, and have finally accepted myself for who I am.
Today is my son’s 18th birthday. I feel like writing him a loving letter to tell him how much I love and appreciate him. Suddenly I feel that before I write him the letter I want to write something to his mother:
I still remember the day 18 years ago when your son was born, the first time you laid your eyes on his face you recognized him and knew that he was your son. So many other things are clearly remembered since that moment. I am sorry that I have never thanked you for giving birth to such a wonderful being. Please forgive me for always reminding you of the times when you were not at your best and never giving you credit for being a loving and caring mother!
I want you to know that you are amazing, that you are truly an amazing daughter, an amazing sister, an amazing mother, an amazing wife, an amazing partner, and an amazing friend! You are an amazing, intelligent, loving, caring, wise and beautiful woman that brings love, beauty, joy and hope to the world! You have such tremendous strength to carry you through many challenging experiences, and such deep courage to be honest with your self, others and the world.
You are a beautiful river of love. Even though sometimes the river may appear to be muddy, rushing or even raging, it nurtures life along its entire journey and never stops flowing in love, as love. You never stop being love, not even when your river appeared to be the most turbulent. In some ways you nurtured all the people whose lives you have touched along your journey, especially that of your son’s. That’s why I want to acknowledge and celebrate you on your son’s birthday. Your son told you that to him you were the most wonderful mother, and you are!
All my life I’ve been waiting to be truly recognized and acknowledged by someone. I’ve found that person today. Every word was shared and listened to in tears. No body could ever have said these words more meaningfully. What a wonderful gift of life that I have given to my son, and my self! I mean it from the deepest place of my heart: Woman, I love you!