For the last several months I have developed this interest in really understanding my relationship with my vagina. Don’t misunderstand. I didn’t lay in bed spread out with a mirror checking out my lady parts. I’m talking about my somewhat estranged relationship with my vagina.
I can’t even begin to tell you where it all began. Well, that’s a lie. I can. I guess it started out when I was a young girl. When I realized that others, boys, much older than I, could take interest in and violate my vagina long before I even knew what it was for. Or maybe it started when, I got my first period. Seemed like everyone at home was waiting for it. Asking if “the rooster crowed yet” (No canto el gallo, todavia??”).
And then I finally got it.
I was so proud. I was telling all my friends at school only to discover I was one of the last in the class to have gotten mine and it wasn’t something you announced. (Insert embarrassed face here). Maybe it was the way everyone, boys and girls, teased the girl who wore white on the wrong day, and had to walk around middle school with a red stain on her dress.
I’m sure at some point and several inappropriate “relationships” later, I came to terms with the fact that I was my vagina. Rather, that my vagina was me. What represented me, all that mattered of me and all that I had of value.
Fast forward to today.
Today, I’m sitting here. Suffering, in stillness. Stillness, because my lady parts are angry, like they get every month. You know what I mean. And we hate that about our bodies, don’t we? We hate when we get our periods. We hate our mood swings. We hate the tears, the angry outbursts, the constant cramps and pools of blood. We hate lugging around bulky pads, and tampons, and liners, and Motrin and extra sets of clothing! We hate that we eat so much, that we get bloated and just how overall fucking miserable we get every. Fucking. Month.
But for me, I think I personally hate the secrecy of it all. I hate that from the very beginning, we are taught to feel dirty, ashamed, and less than, because we have vaginas, and we bleed. I hate that these feelings have been so ingrained in our minds, that anything and everything about our vaginas are taboo topics of discussion. I hate that because we have one, we are seen as the weaker sex and that when we have periods, we are bitchy, and everyone just wants to throw a piece of chocolate at us, as if throwing a bone to a ravenous dog….from far away. I hate that we are whores if we love sex, and that we are frigid if we don’t.
All of these things I hate because this is what I’ve been taught to feel about my vagina. I’m ashamed. I feel dirty. I’m frigid. Despite the fact that my vagina and my entire reproductive system brought two beautiful people into this world, and lived to tell about it, I struggle with feeling Love towards it.
And then, this epiphany…
After an unsuccessful attempt at a hysterectomy last year, because I told my doctor “I hate having these fucking periods. I’m done with it. Take my uterus out!” and then realizing that I wasn’t ready to part with it, I revisited the idea again at this year’s annual visit. This year, I explained, it’s not just the periods, but painful sex and the fact that I want to take up jogging, and since my uterus was putting the squeeze on my bladder, laughing, coughing, and sneezing much less jogging wouldn’t be a pleasant experience.
One of my doctor’s suggestions was physical therapy. I mentioned that Kegels never seemed to help in the past, so I decided to google physical therapy. I happened across some information that was just what “the doctor ordered”!
You see, here’s what I think happened.
All of these negative feelings I have over my body, and specifically about my vagina has caused me to develop overly tense pelvic floor muscles and the Kegels were only making them worse. Just imagine, how you would feel if you were ridiculed, spoken down to and mistreated. Imagine how your head would look down in shame and your shoulders would roll up into your ears, and you just want to run away and hide. Now imagine if it was your vagina that felt that way. I know it sounds crazy. I SOUND CRAZY! But I don’t give a shit.
I’m totally on to something here.
I decided to try some relaxation techniques (which by the way, that physical therapy I mentioned earlier, is internal and external massage to relax your pelvic floor muscles. I can’t even imagine how I was going to explain that one to the hubby). Using my imagination, focusing on my vaginal/pelvic muscles, and some deep breathing exercises, I was able to relax them. This of course after I realized how tight they really were! And here is the true AHA moment I had….wait for it….
I FELL IN LOVE WITH MY VAGINA.
Well I mean, not instantaneously. But when I saw how tense she was (she, because I’ve never named her. Women don’t do that, do they?) those feelings of shame, and weakness, and hurt were let go. I began to feel love for her. Like the love a mother feels for her child, after punishing him/her for something, and then comforting them when the punishment was over. I stopped punishing her. I stopped blaming her for the abuse she never deserved. I stopped telling her she was something to be ashamed of. I stopped being angry at her for showing me every month that she could still produce another human.
And then, I embraced her for all that she was.
What I really discovered was that I AM my vagina. My vagina was ME. It was strong. It was powerful. It could do miraculous things, and it was something I was damn proud of. I developed such confidence in those moments. I felt empowered and free! I would no longer feel less than. I would no longer feel silenced. I would no longer feel ashamed of being a woman. And on top of it all, my hubby and I had the most amazing sex, ever! (Please don’t tell him I mentioned him in my blog).
So, as I’m sitting here, dealing with massive cramps, heavy bleeding and unable to really do anything except write, I remind myself how beautiful she is and that she’s feeling really vulnerable right now and that I need to take good care of her, because she is all that I am, and I am good with that.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you do, please let me know in the comments below. Feel free to share it with others. I’m not ashamed anymore. 🙂
Certified Wellness and Nutrition Coach
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