The Vacant Wound

If you’ve been around me long enough you’d know two things about me: I’ve had uterine issues for a long time and I try to view things through a spiritual lens. The medical and the spiritual are symbiotic partners in a life spent in a body.

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It’s not hard to understand the spirit-womb connection. This fantastic part from which we all unfold, are nurtured, protected and carried until we stretch our tiny wet bodies from our mothers and the darkness and into the bright, cold, earth. I’ve seen  this very process occur in my own body. Nothing my children could do in their lifetime could be so miraculous and astonishing to me than the fact that they grew within me. I’m so grateful that I could have that experience. But now, its an important part of this story to state that at this point in my life, my uterus is completely out of service. I have no fallopian tubes, I would not be able to bear more children, even if I wanted to. But more than anything, my heart is completely filled with the love of two boys given to me by this womb of mine. A womb that now sits vacant, un-working and persistently painful, seemingly without reason.

After much fuss, I was told years ago that we had arrived at the door step of a hysterectomy. That my only option besides that is just living with pain. Unsatisfied with that answer, I sought out some other way, some other how. I prayed, journaled, added warmth, cooling gels, applied salves, balanced crystals, took drugs, joined support groups, I praised my uterus, I asked it for forgiveness, I went to acupuncture, I ignored it, talked about it, stretched, convinced myself I was crazy, went to physical therapy and resigned myself to a life of discomfort, wondered why and then decided, isn’t pain reason enough? And I decided, that I can do this.

I do not have a diagnosis. I do not have an answer.  And I know I’m not alone in the line of women that might not ever have one. I know that a lot of trauma is stored there and I don’t know what happens to trauma when you simply remove the place from whence it came. This is something that both scares me and intrigues me. As I’ve poured into the literature surrounding the experience of having a hysterectomy I’ve found everything from attributing this procedure to centuries of butchering women’s bodies to it’s connection with kundalini awakening. After the womb was removed, the sacral chakra becomes unblocked.

Like, woah.

And yet, I get it. The feminine experience is a complex one. A woman’s body is undoubtedly put through many challenges.  The act of menstruating alone is our uterus tearing itself apart month after month after month. Add to that birth control, pregnancy, boob jobs, rape culture and an array of diets. Juxtaposed this messiness is the mystique of feminine allure. Our sensuality, softness and beauty. The feminine mystery is heightened by the fact that we are not raised to discuss any of these things.  Instead we are taught to hide our experiences, to hate our bodies and be ashamed of our desires.  We are misled by this alienation. We don’t know about what we don’t talk about and so we are left to figure it out all on our own. We spend our formative years cycling through the trial and error of the female experience including menses, sexuality, love, hygeine and personal health.  I believe that the collective female experience, centuries of this shit, sits in the womb of each and every one of us. I believe it has perpetuated our mothers and grandmothers and their mothers and our aunts and besties and that girl we locked eyes with in the grocery store, and we just knew….  part of the feminine mystique is that we are all connected by the hidden experiences we share without even speaking a word.

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And so. As I was convinced that if I could simply heal the emotional wounds, the physical self would follow, I had concluded that not only would I need to address my independent experiences but I would need to implore a broader, generational pain that lives within every woman, including myself.  And I have. Oh my God, I have. Yet, each time I packed and repacked this baggage, arranging and rearranging, trying to leave parts out, add things in, it just didn’t fit properly. Nothing has been fixed. This wound has not healed. The pain continued. And each moment of pain I experience, some of which are entirely bearable, a tiny trigger, prodding my memories is pulled.

I am staring at a still body on the screen, begging the heart to beat, willing the blood to flow. I am in the store buying a pie, I cannot find my keys. In my state of shock, I left the car running, unattended. I am untelling people my pregnancy. I am on my knees begging the stars. I am counting backwards from 10 beneath blinding white lights.  I am checking for blood. I am checking for blood. I am checking for blood.

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These are moments I have addressed and moved on from. Yet when I feel pain in my womb, the place where it all occurred, I am transported back time and time again. Trauma is so profound that it supersedes even the happiest of outcomes and the soundest of spirits. It took me so long to realize that it is only by coincidence that I have a physical symptom that continues to aggravate this. The physical pain is not a symptom of my spirit, though it had for so long, convinced me otherwise.

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“We need to image a world in which every woman is the presiding genius of her own body.” – Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born

Finally. I have come to understand this.

This is not a spiritual matter. It is a medical one. My uterus is attached to many spiritual endeavors that have contributed to who I am today. She has given me two perfectly healthy amazing sons. But she is tired and her work here is done and its time for me to let her go. I could not ask her for anymore than she has given me, certainly not a spiritual awakening.  I will be undergoing a hysterectomy in the weeks ahead. I choose to bid farewell to this past and I feel brave in this endeavor. My heart is ready to support my body in healing itself physically because that is what is needed. There is more to me than this experience and I feel optimistic and excited to see what is ahead of me without the triggers that that that pain has brought me for all these years.

And it’s really as simple, and no more complicated than that.

 

2 thoughts on “The Vacant Wound

  1. Bless you! I had painful uterine cycles from the first time my body awoke me to the reality that I was now part of a sacred sisterhood. I was 12 twelve years old and struggled to appreciate the gift bestowed upon me and reconcile the pain that came with it. I was blessed with one son who is now 42 with 4 sons of his own. After years of accommodating the painful inconvenience of the irritable companion nestled in my abdomen I chose a complete hysterectomy at the age of 40. I was finally diagnosed with benign fibroid tumors. Within 2 days of the less invasive surgical option I was born anew. That was 27 years ago and I have never regretted my decision. I was free and my femininity, to this day, remains intact. Sending you prayers and Mahalo for sharing your journey…

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