Saturday, August 6, 2011

You Are More

“There's a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she's wandered
And the shame she can't hide.”

Hi, I’m Sanfis. You all might remember me from my first guest post. Other than sharing with my wife, I had not opened up about my personal experience with forced circumcision until writing that first post. The other day, Guggie copied some lyrics as a status on Facebook. They made transparent many of the thoughts I had floating around in my head. I shuffled and hesitated and figured maybe I would never put those thoughts down for the world to see until I read Emilee’s guest post. I think it is time.

I am a victim of forced, infant circumcision in America. My body was intentionally harmed. My rights were violated. My dignity was stripped. Someone profited off my suffering, and most likely many people have profited from the body part they stole from me. I am still healing physically, emotionally and spiritually as an adult.

What I see everywhere in this issue is the discussion of how the parent feels after realizing what circumcision did to her son.


Sometimes it presents itself as anger and defensiveness, so that the pieces of the mother’s heart have a chance to barely hang together and make it through the day. Other times it presents itself as complete denial, because maybe right now it is easier to alter reality than to face the dark corner of truth. And some parents put it right out there, in all its cold, dark clarity.

Over and over I hear them plead to the wind. To fate? To God? “I hope my son forgives me.” “I hope my son realizes I’m sorry.” “I hope he doesn’t hate me.”

So here are the words in my heart.

You are more than the choices that you've made. You are a mother. You love your child. You would die for your child. You cherish every moment of his life, every milestone, every sniffle and smile.

You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are a beautiful human being. You are worthy of love and forgiveness. You can go on to do more good than any bad you’ve ever done.

You are more than the problems you create. You are not a failure. You are not a dead end. You have the capability to heal and to bring healing to others.
You've been remade. You are not bound by your choice. You are not defined by your choice. Your endless motherly love and your individual talents are waiting to be shared.

I know you might be trying to believe these words and trying to accept them. You are trying to feel better, to be strong and brave. That’s the next part of the song, actually:

”Well she tries to believe it
That she’s been given new life
But she can’t shake the feeling
That it’s not true tonight.”

But remember, this is not about what you feel. It’s not about how you look in the eyes of others. It’s not about what others think about you or what you think about yourself. This is about what your son felt, what he did, what he healed to forgive you. And what he experienced to love you. Maybe he hasn’t done that yet because he is still on his own journey or too young right now. Wait patiently.

”This is not about what you feel
But what he felt to forgive you
And what he felt to make you loved.”

I love you, Mom. Because you are more to me than anything done to me. Thank you for your love, your motherly care, your wisdom and your life of giving.

And I wish other moms out there understood this, and could let go of the agony in their souls and feel peace tonight.

© Sanfis Daly 2011.

Sanfis Daly is a passionate intactivist and guest blogger.
He has a page for circumcised fathers who kept their sons intact:


  1. This is very touching. Although my children are all intact, this could apply to any mistakes I've made as a parent. Thank you for writing this.

  2. I'm in tears. Thanks for this.

  3. Bless you for being such a strong man! My son is intact, my husband is restoring!