Living in Abundance, lifestyle and food blog

Monday, 6 January 2014

The Invisible Woman. (A normal story of an ordinary woman's life...our stories should be shared hysterectomy #3)








This is a snippet from my diary in 2013 in the months before my hysterectomy, whilst I was bleeding constantly due to endometrial atypical hyperplasia,  and also beginning my menopausal transformation.  I don't view it as a negative experience at all, although reading it back...it was tough at times.   I descended to the underworld alone and came back with treasures. I feel whole, and healed, a menopausa now with a life of riches and excitement still.  This was my transition year, my journey.   I found that it took a lot of energy to be a menstrual person as I got older.  The glorious energies of my dreams and vibrancy of my life faded with my hormones as they tipped out of balance.  A beautiful but heart-breaking dream of a sailing ship departing my home on a deep red sea foretold the end of my menstrual life.  A combination of pathology and normal aging in my case I feel. I share this because it's a normal story of an ordinary woman's life, and women's stories should be shared.  

I am truly in a wilderness, an inhospitable place like a barren desert.  I'm lost.  Just outside my peripheral vision, on line and in real life, I can see people getting on with their lives and activities, stuff I was once part of until I just couldn't face people any more. 

Gradually over the last year, I have faded from their vision and from their minds.  Hell, I seem to have faded from my own vision, and my own mind.  I can't connect with anyone emotionally ( I can't even go next door for a cuppa when she asks me, and I really really like her) and I seem to have rendered myself invisible, even when I'm right in the middle of the action.

After 15 years of school runs, school plays, school concerts, school friends, school gossip and school everything, suddenly no-one goes to school any more.  I couldn't wait to be free of the place, but in becoming so, I realise that it was an anchor to my life.  As was the presence of my offspring at home...working or at college, they needed lifts here and there all day and then feeding at the end of it.  Now  there's only one left, and one occasional returnee.

I should feel so free.  I don't even drum any more...the group I performed with split, and the new splinter implored me to join.  The group I belonged to before them said 'come back...come to a rehearsal...just come out for fun...any time...' And a fourth group offered, actually approached me and offered.  I was so flattered, but said I was taking a break.  How could I explain that I can't even drum anymore because I can't locate my own heartbeat at the moment...I've lost my rhythm.

I went to Church!  ME!  Mrs irreverent, smoking, tattooed, drinking, swearing, pagan biker actually went to my local church to the utter bewilderment of my family, and sang hymns and listened to a preacher.  I prayed with my community, and took tea and biscuits among the octogenarian population of my village most of whom were more vital, fit, engaged and involved than I.  The people were very kind even though I couldn't connect with it at all. There was nothing there for me but I appreciated their welcome.

I spent a Saturday sobbing in my car in the little car park which served the woodlands next to which was my childhood home.  Thank Goddess it was raining so no-one saw me, although some sodden dog walkers hovered near my car momentarily. I couldn't interrupt my tears, and part of me prayed that they wouldn't see me whilst the other part desperately wanted them to.  Over Christmas my forester son had come home and we had walked these woods, me telling him of my childhood camps there, and he identifying wild service trees, and Douglas firs, and Jew's ear fungus.  With my boy gone back to his home, I looked through steamy car windows into my forest and in the absence of my long departed parents and the other families who lived around the woods whilst I  was growing up,  it seemed to contain my essence.

Down the road was the big supermarket where mum and I shopped and drank coffee every Thursday of her final year.  I drove there from the forest car park when I had finally run dry of tears (around six hours)  and got a cup of water for my pills.  I sat there, like a bag lady, alone and invisible to myself whilst the rest of the world buzzed around me.  It would be nice to work here, the women behind the counter seem very cheery.

I need a break, I need help, I need a life, I need to give, and to receive, and probably not take the whole thing so seriously.

Very soon after this, I collapsed from the loss of so much blood over the months, and received with so much gratitude, five units of someone's blood, along with their real and vital life essence, or so it felt. It took a while to stop my bleeding, and it was strange to lay there as blood dripped in, and poured out. I was so well looked after, really cared for.  A biopsy revealed that endometrial cancer was a very strong possibility along with endometrial hyperplasia caused by an ovarian problem.  That diagnosis, and the care I received during my illness, was the key to my healing,  which felt like it began in the moment of receiving my diagnosis. The pain of everything else was past, and I returned to the gym renewed from the  blood transfusions and despite my continued blood loss, to prepare for surgery, healing and re-entering life.  I have never looked back.  I honoured my womb's sacrifice, and grieved her, but not for too long because she remains in spirit, and I remain in love and life.

If you would like to continue reading my story it carries on here
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