Got a new #BAMGuestBloggerExperience entry for y’all! BAM Cassandra (who has also submitted some of her work for #BAMsCreate2019 (check out her poetry here), has also written something extra for you all to get to know her, and her story better. In this entry, she tackles her journey of figuring out who she is post-loss of her daughter Caliah Willo. See what she has to say below and if you can relate. I know I can.
I have been tortured by this question for the last 3 in a half years. You see I knew who I was and who I was becoming before August 2015; before I learned I was pregnant. Yes, I wanted to be a mother as in I was intentional in becoming pregnant at 34 however, with working on tact, forgiveness, becoming closer to God, and being my better self, I never could have imagined 13 weeks and 5 days later I would be deduced to her, the me before, and the shell of a woman I exist as today. I could never have known my greatest joy would demolish my soul to the core, now living in a club I would have never wanted to join as an invisible mother, a childless mother, a grieving mother, or a child loss mother. I am no longer who I was and as much as I loved he (me before), I could never return to her because losing Caliah has made me different, not better or improved as society likes to spin tragedy or the loss of loved ones and definitely not new. As in new I mean pretty, shiny, something exciting and I’m not that. But for the last 1,446 days since November 3, 2015 I have teetered with the thought of who am I?
Am I still loving or devoid of love because my heart is so broken, sometimes I can’t believe it still beats? Am I a mother simply because I don’t have feet pattering behind me? Am a Christian because I’m sad still and that I’m angry with God? Am I strong or stronger for continuing with a broken heart that is tormented by wonderment daily? Am I a good friend because I have become more of a recluse than ever despite being an introvert my entire life? Am I voiceless because the world doesn’t see my trauma and its effects because I lost Caliah so early? Am I depressed or holding on because I am sad and to me love never dies so my pain still exists? Am I a risk taker now that I know I have no control and just let things happen? Am I now a person with low self-esteem because I hate looking in the mirror because I don’t see her -the one I loved everything about from head to toe, rather the shell of the woman whose reflection is of my pain and trauma where no beauty lies?
There are so many more questions that come up daily while I try to wrestle with finding answers. I have found a few answers new and old. My new answers sometimes change often but what I do know is I’m Caliah’s mom, I live in dual dimensions of before and now, my feelings are layered, I am a proud black woman, I am strong- always have been, I love hard with everything I have, I still love to help others and I’m forever on this beautiful yet chaotic journey. I believe I wrestle with this question of who I am because all my life I was told your name is who you are and you will decide who that is and will be. Like I had any control and I have come to terms I never did really. Thus, I lived my life accordingly. I loved her life and defining who she was. Who she was to others and for the first time in my life Cassandra is just a name because I no longer know her for who she grew to be but have been knocked down -a blank canvass for the most part without my permission. I feel so unsure and that is scary and very uncomfortable yet I welcome this journey because the best thing of me was Caliah Willo and the joy she brought me I would have never known otherwise. I know most people dream of a do over of their lives to be able to correct wrongs and be a better person. For me I was a better person, no not my best self but her flaws I learned to love and things that needed changing were. So, despite the internal conflict of her and this woman I am maybe I will find all the answers and maybe I won’t but there is only one person that can co-write my life with the Creator and that is me, whoever she is and will be.