It has been so long since I have written. Not just in this blog but anything- no poems, nada, zilch. Until last week, when I did an EMDR therapy session, my first processing session, processing a traumatic event from when I was 4. And wow, did the tears fall fast and hard, for forty minutes after that session, and wow, did my words flow into a poem filled with so much sadness and power, reclamation for my safety in this world. That experienced made me realized how much I have bottled up since my hysterectomy and since my emergency surgery in July. Yup, friends, emergency surgery in July to take my remaining ovary because not one, not two, not three, but four cysts had created an over 9cm mass, causing my ovary to twist upon itself in two places. The ovary was black by the time surgery happened and I was about to go septic. So now, I really have a hollow cavern which formally housed all my reproductive organs.
What has been so hard about all of this is that I tried to be “normal” after my hysterectomy since I didn’t have my monthly debilitating pain. I stopped writing in this blog, I didn’t talk about endometriosis as much, I didn’t have a million doctors’ appointments besides hormone replacements. I didn’t do acupuncture or Chinese medicine. I wasn’t doing any anti-inflammatory diet. I just tried to be a normal woman in her late 30s. I stuffed all my feelings of sadness over my infertility and sterilization deep inside, smashed down with so much other trauma from my life. And then boom- I went to bed on a Saturday with a weird, sharp pain on my side, and woke up on a Sunday barely being able to stand the pain was so bad. From one Urgent Care visit and then being released, to a hospital admittance that night, my left ovary was removed in emergency surgery Monday morning. And then, that was it. No more eggs. Absolutely zero chance that I could ever have a baby that came from me. See, the ovary still left me a chance for egg retrieval and a surrogate (though I would never do that, there was still a chance). Now, that chance was gone, ripped away from me. This horrible disease has taken so much from me and it’s time I just say it, I am not ok.
I have been seeing an amazing therapist since a few months before my hysterectomy, to help me deal with my medical trauma and the choices I was going to potentially have to make with a hysterectomy. My therapist has been an incredibly important, amazing part of my life these past 2.5 years. She recently suggested working with a different type of therapist to process trauma through EMDR, which is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. So many emotions have been coming to the surface during this process, emotions I am learning to deal with and face. And one of those emotions is such sadness for the loss I have had from not being able to conceive, and now not even having the chance to conceive or have any eggs left in my body at all. I feel a profound amount of grief, but for two years, I have told people “I’m ok” whenever they ask how I am feeling. I have said over and over again “This weight gain sucks and my constant hot flashes are not fun, but at least I am not in pain all the time” but never once I have admitted or discussed my loss, the fact that my pain was so horrible, this disease was so horrible, that I felt like I only had once choice in life. And that one choice took so much away from me. Sure, it has given me a life with less pain, but the emotional pain is something that I have not addressed, I have not nutured, I have not accepted. Until now.
So here’s the truth. I am not ok and I probably won’t be for a while. But I know now, not recognizing how I feel, not admitting how I feel, not sharing how I feel is also not ok. It will not help me get better; deflection is not a coping skill! So now, it’s time for acceptance, for loving myself, and supporting myself as I continue on this journey.