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

Elyce Frydman

Dearest teen Elyce,

It seems odd to write to my younger self but who else can advise you about life better then me. At sixteen years old this thing happened and you felt like your world crumbled. You got this diagnosis called MRKH and so many thoughts ran through your head. You sat in disbelief in the doctors office and then sat many a nights crying by yourself when no one else was looking. You were full of fear…anger…sadness… loneliness…. Your whole being was engulfed in despair and you closed yourself off to so much of your world and built up this huge wall to try to protect yourself. If I could talk to that girl… talk to you…I would tell you so many things that would leave you feeling hope, peace, love, joy happiness and pride of what you truly are and what the world really had to offer you.

The first and most important is that you are not alone. You don’t have to go through the ups and downs of life feeling that no one will understand you. Your family has always and will continue throughout your life to support you and your choices. They will love you no matter what and you don’t have to fear that you will disappoint them because you never could. Their love has always been and will always be unconditional. But it isn’t only their love and support you will feel. You will also have many friends throughout your life that will touch you in some way and you will learn things from each of them. You will find a solid foundation of trustworthy kind people that you will be able to call life long friends. There will be people that you will open up to. Some of them may not have the same experiences as you, they will be there for you during your triumphs and failures….they will be your biggest cheerleaders and the largest shoulders to cry on. And even though you have feared opening up about your MRKH with any of these friends or family right now, there will be a time that you do not shy away or try to avoid women like you. You will embrace them as sisters and cry and laugh and support them in ways you never though was possible. I wish I could tell you to embrace that love at this early age instead of avoiding and fearing it just because you don’t want to recognize that this has happened to you. Just like love and beauty and kindness is part of life, so is pain and fear. Sharing these feelings with trusted friends is so much better then holding all of it in and dealing with it all on your own.

Don’t shy away from the resources presented to you. In fact search them out. Through this search for knowledge, particularly about MRKH you will find this community that you will embrace. You will find sisters, women who support each other and who you will support. You will have women that encourage you and that you too will encourage. With these courageous women you will find your own power. You have it in you. You just need to believe in yourself. Just see what others see in you because you are strong, you are loved and you are beautiful! Forgive yourself and know that you are not perfect but no one is and its ok to make mistakes. You will try things like dilation …. A lot….you will start and stop and start and stop again and you will realize that it isn’t for you. Sometimes you will feel like a failure because of it but you will also understand that all of it is your choice. You have a right to make those choices cause its your body and your mind and your needs and not anyone else’s, and that’s ok. I wish you knew that it was ok to take care of yourself first, emotionally and physically. That is a lesson that you will continually learn and work through throughout your life and that that’s ok too. Don’t hold onto things that you can not control or do anything about. You can’t change that you were born with MRKH but you can learn from it and embrace that yes it is a part of you. But there is also so much more that makes up you. In fact, there are a million things that make you who you are. Know that its ok to love each and every one of those pieces.

Know that you are deserving of love. That MRKH does not define this worthiness. Know that you will succeed at it and fail at it. You will cycle through it again. Even though you may have relationships that come and go, it does not mean that you failed them because of MRKH. Relationships aren’t just encompassed by MRKH but by so many more factors. Don’t let anyone give you the sense that it is the reason for a failed relationship. That person only presents the most obvious reason why you shouldn’t be with them in the first place. The person that loves you, loves everything about you. They accept the person that you are – the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between. I know you think right now that for someone to love you is an impossibility because you can’t give someone children. That you can’t be that wife or mother in what you deem as society’s idealized family. This isn’t the truth. Families come in many forms and you will build the family that is right for you. You will be a wife and you will be a mother. First to a plethora of animals and then to two beautiful children that you foster adopted. It wont matter to you that they didn’t come from your own womb. You will realize that being a parent isn’t about biology but about what is in your heart and soul. You will love your daughter and son with all that is in you. When they look at you they will not care about blood but will care about your kindness and your love, the values and faith that you teach them and the fact that your love will forever embrace them.

The hardest fight you will have in life will be with yourself…. With your own demons and you must realize you are your own worst enemy. You must fight that little voice that says you are ugly, or not worthy or not enough. Because in reality people don’t see you that way. They see you as courageous and strong, beautiful and kind, intelligent and open hearted. So if they can see you that way. See it in yourself. Life speeds by in a blink of an eye so don’t hold on to self hate. Finally just believe. Believe that the impossible is truly possible because it is!

Love your older and much wiser self!


Elyce the elder

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