guilt

‘I gave an ultimatum. ‘Get help or I need a divorce.’ Something jolted me awake at 1 a.m. The door to the gun safe was open.’: Widow finds forgiveness after husband’s suicide, ‘I meet his memory with sympathy’

“As soon as I woke, I immediately went looking for my husband. I don’t know how, but I knew something was terribly wrong. I searched room-by-room and when I got to the office, I saw it. A note on the desk. I remember screaming in my backyard, crying to the 911 operator. ‘Can you tell me about his erratic behavior?’ I watched the blood on my hands go down the sink as I tried my best to answer questions. Guilt washed over me.”

‘I began ripping my clothes off. I stayed home. I could have been at the party I’d looked forward to for weeks, but instead, I chose my couch.’: Woman finds self-acceptance after ‘years of hating my body’

“‘You’re going to find the perfect outfit. Your body just birthed a human, be easy on yourself.’ I could feel the tears creeping in, the familiar burn in the bridge of my nose. This time I knew the root of it was different. I cried for all the years I spent hating my body. For all of the years hiding behind throw pillows and purses. I did something that, before, would have been out of the question. I told them the truth.”

‘I called my husband to say, ‘I don’t want to live anymore. I can’t keep fighting this.’ I’d hit rock bottom, then discovered I was pregnant.’: Woman survives fatal Biliary Atresia to birth miracle baby, ‘I defied all odds’

“During church, I kept feeling my phone vibrate. After the third call, I decided to step into the hall. I noticed a voicemail from a friend. ‘Hannah, we have a liver. I need you to call me back NOW.’ The phone slid out of my hand and dropped to the floor. In complete shock, I whispered, ‘I got the call, Mom,’ as tears started running down my face. She went ghost white. At 5.am. they strapped me down to the operating table. ‘No, I can’t do this. I want out.’ I lost it.”

‘I had plans to graduate. We’d both just gotten good jobs. Why was this happening to us NOW?’: Young mom says age doesn’t matter, ‘We will always be exactly where we need to be’

“My life as I knew it came to a screeching halt at the sight of a little pink plus sign. When I became pregnant at 21, I felt like the world was ending. Society ruined this for us. We were so convinced we had to follow this schedule of ‘happenings.’ I was robbed of the blissful success in conceiving.”

‘I’m 14, alone with a boy. ‘What if you had sex with me?’ He leers. ‘No thanks.’ ‘What if I held you down and made you?’: Survivor advocates for fellow survivors of the Me Too Movement, ‘Culture tells us not to complain. To keep quiet.’

“I’m 17, and I have a long-distance boyfriend. He begs me for phone sex and I say no. ‘I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable.’ I hang up on him, feeling guilty. He’s lonely in the Marine barracks. I’m all he has. He needs me. He suffers from depression, self-harm. A few nights later, I pause on the phone. I hear his heavy breathing, muffled moans. ‘Are you…?’ I ask. ‘Don’t stop. Keep talking,’ he pants. Feeling sick, I hang up the phone. I feel dirty and embarrassed. ‘Men will only go as far as you let them,’ I’ve been told. Boys will be boys.”

‘I remember holding on to my growing belly, tears streaming as I wondered how I could possibly love this baby.’: Mother of two doesn’t think she has enough love to go around, later looks back on that ‘ridiculous’ thought.

“How could I possibly love anyone else as much as I loved Flynn? I always knew having 2 under 2 would be a challenge. I’d considered the practicalities of it, but I hadn’t fully considered the emotional implications. People will tell you that your love doesn’t divide as you have more children, it multiplies. That your heart just expands and you find space you didn’t even know was there.”

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