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

Kristen O’Brien

To my younger self, on the day you were diagnosed with MRKH:

If I could sit with you now, and hold your hand, and offer words of sage advice, I probably would not make it through without crying.

I’m closing my eyes now and imagining what it would look like to sit next to you now, as you’ve just received a painful and life altering diagnosis. For some reason I picture us in a park, green and lush with plant life. But we are on a hard metal bench, surrounded in a cloud that feels heavy and dark.

I wouldn’t tell you what lies ahead for you. But in my mind I see myself gently touch your shoulder and say “allow space for this pain.”

That is what I would like to encourage you to consider as you move through the next years. To just… allow space. Allow space for joy and let the light of it flow into your laughter and relationships. Allow space for pain and let the tears and anger rush out when they need to. Allow these things and everything in between without judgement (if you can). It’s not so easy in a society that holds perfection on a pedestal. It’s not easy in a society where the answer to “how are you?” is always “good!” You aren’t always going to feel good. Because you are a human and not a robot. It hurts me to know how hard you will try to be all things to and for all people and ignore all you hold in your heart. Hold space for all these things you feel. Hold space for the jealousy that comes up again and again. Hold space for the hollowness you will feel time and again. Hold space for the grief, the sadness, the crushing weight that, at times, feels suffocating.
And hold space for others. Hold space for love, connection, and healing. Joyful memories and unforgettable experiences lie ahead of you too. All these things are yours. Just take a moment, take a breath, and hold space for it all.

Many years from now someone will say to you “We are human beings, not human doings.” Be with yourself, notice how you feel and where you feel it, and know that there is so much good in store for you. Dreams will shift, time will allow healing, and you will learn to hold space for all things. Even this.

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