Shortly after Mother’s Day, I shared a personal blog post about my experience having an abortion and how Mother’s Day has become a day that deeply affects me after not carrying my pregnancy to term. I didn’t expect the overwhelming response I would receive.
In less than 48 hours, I had 1200 hits. After the messages I received from women both thanking me for sharing my story and privately asking me to listen to their own, I was reminded of just how much women are still living in silence regarding their experiences and how we filter what share about our trauma.
Every Mother’s Day since 2012 instead of writing posts on social media about and to the mothers I know – I started to write to the ones I know could have and wanted to be mothers. My heart goes out to those who feel a void because their child is away from them, has passed, has been taken from them, or who had to give up being a mother because maybe she felt the timing wasn’t right. The ones who still feel a void despite how many prayers they’ve said in their head and to God for solace in dealing with their loss and the fucking pain that comes with it.
I’m not ashamed of this anymore and so I write. My friends and family know I tried. They saw me bawl my eyes out to the point where I was numb and looked lifeless. I know in my heart what I would have done if the situation were different. For God sake my child’s name is tattooed on my back. I wanted him. I hope someone takes something from this. If nothing else, understand this is such a common experience and you’re not alone.
Many judged me. I wore a cross and people told me to take it off because I killed my child.
My older sister told me every day that I killed my parent’s first grandchild and so I should be ashamed of myself and my actions. She said I don’t deserve to be a mother ever again. What she and many didn’t understand was that I was verbally abused constantly by the person I was with, I was forced into a situation I didn’t want and I was forced to decide whether or not it was worth bringing my baby into a situation with a man I knew wanted my child dead anyway. I tried.
I’ve been working in the social service field after graduating from George Brown’s Assaulted Women and Children’s Counselling program and York University’s Gender and Women Studies program, and what I’ve heard from many is similar in context – we’ve stayed silent even after we survived because we weren’t sure who would understand and who would want to listen and support us. I understand this because I’ve struggled to talk about my own trauma as a result of surviving many forms of abuse starting from a young age. Many of us have been conditioned to stay silent out of fear, shame and judgement.
So I decided to create a new initiative for women to share their stories in a safe space where they can fulfil what their hearts need: Heal Her Heart.
Partnering with Ankit Designs, Heal Her Heart is creating an interactive online community/website where women can benefit from expressive, therapeutic writing by processing their life experience – particularly trauma and transition. I’m inviting women/self-identified women to share their experiences around sexual abuse, physical abuse, childbirth/loss/motherhood and relationships in a healing, healthy and honoring environment where other women/self-identified women will have access to this content.
Heal Her Heart will be a platform without judgement – only allowing room to manifest empowerment, love and support. The stories can be submitted anonymously through emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.