There are many things in life that cannot be changed. Your height, blood type, and shoe size are great examples. There are also many things in life that can be changed. Don’t like your hair? Change it! Is your job making you miserable? Find something new! MRKH can fit into both categories. While we can’t change the way we were born, we can change our attitude towards it.
My MRKH and I have not always had a great relationship. As a teenager struggling to fit in with my peers, my diagnosis felt like a slap in the face. There were many feelings that constantly raced through my mind as I attempted to wrap my head around exactly what being a woman with MRKH meant. It seemed clear to me, at the time, that having MRKH put me in an abstract ‘lower class’ of woman. I didn’t even question my place in this sub-level of womanhood. It was where I fit, where I felt that I belonged. And as time passed, I became comfortable there. Not because it made me happy, or made me feel good. I became comfortable considering myself a second-class woman because I had convinced myself that it was true. I would even joke about it among friends, telling them “I’m not a real woman anyway!” with a smile and a quick flip of my hair, whenever some sort of woman subject I didn’t understand came up. Nobody questioned it, not even myself. After all, I belonged there, didn’t I?
It didn’t take long for that negative view to begin to wear on me. My solid belief that I was somehow not as good as those around me affected many areas of my life. In relationships I was constantly on edge, waiting for the man I was dating to realize his mistake in dating me. At work I lacked confidence, and never saw in myself the capabilities that others saw in me. I developed an almost demanding desire to be complimented, as if trying to drown out my own insecurities with praise from the outside. It was so much more than “tell me I’m pretty”. It was “tell me I’m worth something, because I can’t see it for myself.” I felt like no matter what I did, I would never be good enough. And it showed, in so much of my life. It’s interesting, when you look back at a drastic change in your life and are unable to pinpoint exactly what caused it, or how it came about. I can’t explain why, or how, or even exactly when I decided I was tired of continuing living my life feeling that way.
It was as if I opened my eyes one morning and thought “not having a uterus doesn’t make me any less of a person… of a woman… than someone who does.” A mind-blowing revelation to someone who had lived for years thinking exactly the opposite. But as the minutes passed I went back to that uncomfortably comfortable feeling of worthlessness. And the next day I woke up and thought, “not having a uterus doesn’t make me any less of a person… of a woman… than someone who does.”And I stuck with that feeling a little longer. And longer and longer, as the days passed, until one day I found myself not questioning my womanhood at all. The days of positive thinking began to outnumber the negative days, and I felt an inner glow begin to shine out of me and pour into my life. Things changed, my confidence grew, my smile brightened.
To me, an important part of changing and growing is understanding where you used to be. The more I thought of that time in my life when I viewed myself as second-class, and just overall less than those around me, the more I realized that the only person holding me there was myself. Nobody told me I was less of a woman because I had MRKH. I told myself that. It was never mentioned to me that my womanhood should be in question. But I questioned it all the time.I was never told that I was subpar from other women, just because they had a uterus. But I felt that way every day. For years I allowed those feelings to take over, to latch on and control my thoughts until I couldn’t see any other way.
I allowed them to be there, and so they stayed.And it was only when it all became too much to handle that I started pushing against them, trying to drown out the lies with what I had always known was the truth. Had always known, but could never accept.
Having MRKH doesn’t make me anything other than strong. It doesn’t make me less of a woman. It doesn’t make me undesirable, less beautiful, or subpar to anyone.
I have MRKH, and I am just as amazing, unique, and worthy of love as any woman without it.