Whenever I have spoken publicly on the topic of my SICLE, invariably, people come up to me afterwards thanking me for my "courageousness". It's a mystery to me. I'm not a courageous person. This is not something I do because I want to. I don't want to. It doesn't fill me with a sense of pride. "Pride" is not the word for what I feel when I tell our story. I tell all, because I'm compelled to. It's dutiful and purposeful and what I'm supposed to do. It's that simple.
The honesty of it...
Personally, down deep inside, there have been many times when I wished I had just kept my big mouth shut. I know other women who have terminated children they wanted due solely to severe hyperemesis gravidarum. Many of these grieving mothers have wanted to avoid dealing with controversy and attitudes and so have told everyone that the expected child was miscarried. There have certainly been days that I have not questioned at all the wisdom of such an explanation. In many ways it would have been much better for myself and my family if we had told the same untruth. People have said the most horribly shocking things to my face, and it is devastating at times. I have to admit, my willing vulnerability schooled me on stereotypes: pro-lifers weren't the villains I always thought they were and pro-choicers weren't do-gooding heros at all. No matter the insults and lessons I could have spared myself, I know a little bit about who I am, and the truth is, I just couldn't live with the implications of not exposing the whole grisly mess.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said:
"Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."
I have brought myself and others a world of pain. It would be a crime if I tucked it away to privately nurse over a period of ages, protecting myself and allowing nothing positive to come from it. In a very expensive course of study (taught by a 15-week-old child) I learned that it is never OK to procure my own comfort at the expense of another person's life. I know how deadly silence can be, and I refuse to be beaten into it by my own shame or by the sincere desire of others who promote the hell of abortion as a happy little freedom.
This is not a blanket opinion that everyone should tell everything all the time. Truth and vox may be case-specific. But when I know my silence would bring emotional lives to ruin and literally kill innocent people, what choice do I have? This doesn't make me courageous, it makes me a slave. And that's part of the package.