What I Would Tell My 17 Year Old Self (MRKH Edition)

Badia Atcherson

Dear Badia,

Who am I?

This is your 45-year-old self-writing you. I am writing you to encourage you. This time will pass. The words” you are not able to have your own children”, are words that will forever stay in our memory. The feeling of being incomplete will dance in your mind, crushing your heart every time you think about it.

Badia, you have purpose. You are purpose. Your purpose is to live and share the strength God gives you. You are strong! You are resilient! You are passionate. You are compassionate about the people and things that come your way. You are creative. You find creative ways to help others recognize their strengths. Your desire to nurture shows in ways most would ask “how did she come up with that”, or they will say how thoughtful you are. All these things make you special. Your special attributes are part of the process. The process to get you to a place of peace and understanding.

If I tell you that the process to understanding MRKH is easy, I am telling a story. To fully understand MRKH you must accept it. Once you accept it, you learn to walk out your truth. A truth that you continue to live throughout your time on earth. There are days I feel confused and angry. I feel shame.

The tears you shed, wanting to be “normal”, will eventually be replaced with tears of joy. You learn that you are special to God, your family, and friends. You learn that your uniqueness is the very thing that allows your light to shine. Yes, you are light, your light shines in ways that causes people to look and wonder who you are. They wonder what is it about you that makes you different?

You are purpose. Your purpose is to be a sounding board. A ray of hope. An encouragement for the women you will eventually meet. You are not alone. There are lots of us. We are not onlyBlack/African American women, we are women in Europe, Asia and Africa. Our MRKH Sisters are around the world, and most of us share the same feelings and thoughts.

The more you learn about MRKH, the more you understand yourself. The nights wondering if a miracle will happen, bringing you the baby you always needed and wanted. The answer is no. The baby does not come. However. You learn that life moves on. Life moves on teaching you more about what it means to love yourself. You learn to love you. You do not always hide your gift (MRKH), you will learn to embrace your down moments.

The thoughts of never finding real love will no longer burden you. You love. You receive love in ways that will blow yourmind. You learn to teach people how to love you, how you desire to be loved. You learn how to share your heart with others, allowing them to see the scars that you find too shameful to share. Your life goes on.

Life continues to happen. Babies are born. Oh, and they come in twos. So, brace yourself. It is exceedingly difficult to fathom at times. Your tolerance level is challenged. Our loving siblings just keep having babies, repeatedly making you “auntie”. The tears do not lessen, they are seen and heard. You receive the love and concern you yearn for.

However, to receive the love and concern, you have to stop pretending you are strong and/or busy. Share your pain. Once you share your pain, you illuminate even brighter. Your light is seen, and your desire to nurture is shown. Our loving siblings will proudly share their children, allowing you the opportunity to experience motherhood in a different way. You are an awesome Godmother, which is fun and fulfilling.

It may seem difficult to find a good relationship. At times, you are uneasy, unable to share your inner most secret with just any man. Having conversations about our gift are difficult. Remember what we have is a gift. Most men do not deserve our company. So, when you find yourself in that one relationship (you know who he is when you meet him) where you feel safe, share our gift with him. He may not be the one you marry, but He will be kind and understanding. He will give you a loving experience. You will never forget him. Do not settle. Your uniqueness causes you to feel like you must settle and deal with anything a man sends you. Trust me, we are too good for the mess that may come our way. There are heartbreaks and moments that make you feel as if you are not good enough…. Those times will pass. Just keep pushing through.

You are no longer haunted by our dreams and memories of the surgery. Our scar becomes a badge of courage and beauty. You begin to understand that our scar mimics the scar that Jesus has on his hands. His scar reminds us that he did it all for purpose. That purpose being us. You understand our scar and look at itsstrength. It gives you peace and drive. You are driven to speak your truth. The more you speak, the more courage is added to your heart tank. You love yourself more. You accept you. You live and often speak the words “I am ME and I am enough.”

I am Badia Atcherson, and I was born without a vagina! Yep, say it just like that, and watch the responses. Educate them. The spotlight is on you, causing your inner light to illuminate even brighter.

Your purpose is clearer and clearer every time you speak it. Your purpose is being a voice for the women who are not able to speak of the gift, that is MRKH…. 

I Love You,


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4 Responses to What I Would Tell My 17 Year Old Self (MRKH Edition)

  1. Maryam says:

    Magnificent you! I am amazed of the strength and courage that can be seen in the way you share this. Well done! What extraordinary women you all are. From a 72 year old lady

    • Badia says:

      Thank you so much! Just speaking from my heart. I’m thankful for you kind words and for reading my piece. 💜🙏🏾

  2. Reba says:

    Thank you for speaking out my beautiful MRKH sister. Know that you have blessed me with this. I am so grateful that you have a supportive family and have found an acceptance in yourself and in your faith. God bless! 💕 It really does get better and easier. Though we may be isolated from one another, we are not alone.

    • Badia says:

      Reba, the fact that we are not alone has been the very thing that keeps me going. It really does get better. Grateful for the added strength I now have because of your kind words. 💜🙏🏾

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