No words can describe the emotions I was feeling last Thursday at our twelfth session of the year: The Things We Carry. Being a part of a fellowship program that explores sexuality, depression, and insecurities has brought me relief. Knowing that I'm a part of a family that will be there for me when times are rough brings me joy. This session has lifted some of the weight off my shoulders. The fact that everyone gathered the courage to open up about each of their burdens was heartwarming. I've never cried so much in one day. I felt for each and every one there. A majority of us shared the same burdens, so it was touching to hear someone speak about it.
Sharing my biggest burden brought me some closure. Before, I was a little skeptical about telling everyone my biggest burden, but now I finally feel free.
While throwing one of my burdens in the fire (editor's note: the fellows were asked to list the burdens they carry with them on a daily basis and decide if they wanted to cast them into a fire or whether or not they wished to hold on to them), I mentioned that I had scars and I was finally free to let them go. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with fibroadenoma – a benign tumor in the breast. I was 15 years old, and I found out the summer before my sophomore year. They were in both sides of my breast, and they were the size of a peach seed. Even though they were painless, my doctor recommended we see a surgeon to remove them.
A month later, I underwent surgery to remove the tumors. After my wounds healed, I finally removed the bandages from both my breasts to see huge, jagged scars. I instantly began sobbing. I automatically hated my scars and resented my parents for even letting me go through the surgery. I tried putting shea butter twice a day for a whole year to try and make my scars go away – but it didn't work. Now, I'm at a point in my life where I don't hold the negative feelings I used to towards my scars. I'm finally able to talk about my scars. Even though they are a constant reminder of my tumor, I'll still cherish them.
Michaella is a senior at Somerset Academy in SOuth Florida and a proud member of the UAT House of Sagan. She describes herself as reserved and timid when you first meet her but she'll quickly become her energetic and carefree self once she warms up to you. In her leisure time, she's either spending time with friends or watching fascinating documentaries. She is passionate about her idealist views and isn't shy about expressing or standing up for it and thanks Under A Tree for supporting her in that endeavor.