Retreat

wounds

Have been reading a great book by Eckhart Tolle called, ‘The Power of Now”. It talks about staying in the present moment no matter how uncomfortable, to avoid a mind fixated on the past or the promise of a happier future. I am finding it hard to stay in the moment right now.

It’s hard to know what is going on.  The flu or IBS or PMS or maybe I am pregnant, or is it the appointment I had yesterday. After waiting six months,  I finally had my consultation with a gynaecologist about my pelvic prolapse. I was already feeling ill when I arrived, the night before I had chills and aches and I looked at my face with shock in the lift going up to the fifth floor of the hospital. My eyes looked puffy and dull and I was feeling weak from fighting the cold I caught over the weekend.

On the surface I was the polite, smiley and articulate woman I always show the world. In the consultation room the attending nurse and doctor were calm, professional and experienced. I obediently  undressed and had to lay with my legs wide apart with both feet on stirrups at the edge of the hospital bed.

The doctor told me to cough and push and throughout I was frozen; doing as I was told but a smaller me taking centre stage. A quiet, small, voiceless and powerless me.  It was not my body anymore. I don’t even know if he examined me internally, I couldn’t feel a thing, yet my mind was working and thoughts were running across it. It was over quickly and the nurse gave me two wipes. What were the wipes for? I was so unaware of what was happening down there.

The doctor told me my options; a hysterectomy (which he felt I am too young for) or a uterine prolapse operation in four months after blood tests and keeping records in a bladder diary. I left clutching leaflets and papers and was completely disorientated. I had to be told twice which way to leave the hospital. I couldn’t find the lift that I had come up in. I felt so lost and small like I was going the wrong way even when I did find the flight of stairs.

I had the rest of the day off and came home and slept and then picked my son up from school. I didn’t go in to work today as I am still feeling weak and feverish yet I am wracked by guilt and anger and confusion. Maybe I should have dragged myself in to work like a soldier. We all get colds don’t we. But I have retreated, I need the space and the peace and quiet to be safe again.

My stomach feels bloated with all the trapped feelings I am afraid to feel. A kind of frozenness has taken over so that I don’t feel like myself. I am much smaller than myself and in this state I don’t feel loveable at all.  I feel ugly and fat. I feel useless. I am trying to find the centre but maybe I need to stay here for a bit in this frozen place. I have to remind myself that it will pass and that I am not the feeling. That of course it would be very triggering for me to lie in that most vulnerable position on the hospital bed and be examined. That it put me back in that powerless position. That position when I did just disassociate and leave the room while my father did what he did to my little body.

All these years later, a 41 year old woman  who is well-travelled and fiercely independent reduced to a little girl who is frozen with fear and can’t find her way out of the hospital. These are the terrible, very real effects of being sexually abused as a child. My harsh inner critic and any parts of me that believe I was in any way conspiratorial in the abuse rear their ugly heads. I feel them as they lash away at my insides. No it was not my fault and harsh critic those days are over. It’s time to work with me. I have done nothing wrong, there is nothing wrong with me. I didn’t ask for any of it. The frozenness was to protect me when I was little. I am loveable and beautiful within and without and I have kindness, awe and respect for everything I have been through. The trauma of the forceps delivery caused the prolapse and my father caused the other pain.

Underneath the layers of frozen and irritability, I can almost feel the sadness and pain. It is that sadness and pain that I am so afraid of feeling. Embracing and feeling that wound  will give me my centre back.

For now I just allow myself to breathe and stay in the moment whatever it brings. It will break free out of the frozenness.

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10 thoughts on “Retreat

  1. You are so brave, such a fighter. I can relate to disassociating at doctors visits I completely avoid the gynecologist! Sounds like your going through a lot I wanted to send you some love ❤️ and sisterly support. I love your brutal honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, this makes me teary. I am so glad you are home today and you might need tomorrow as well.
    I have a copy of the Tolle book on CD. And though I only listened to it once, have always remembered the power of its main theme, be in the Now.
    Hope you feel better in all ways very soon beautiful, brave woman… Wish I could bring you tea and flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know if you read my blog at the time, but last year I had surgery for pelvic organ prolapse. I wrote about it for months, including a post not unlike this one of yours, in which I experienced a great deal of emotional turmoil after a visit to the urogynocologist that included a bladder study (https://laquemada.org/2015/11/13/on-doctors-nurses-triggers-and-self-talk/). I ended up having both a hysterectomy and pelvic organ repair, and the whole time I was balancing stresses from what was going on in the present (the surgery) and triggers from the past (loss of control over what happened to my body, especially sexual parts of my body).

    At the time I wasn’t yet familiar with Tolle’s work, and I hadn’t developed my (very imperfect) mindfulness practice. I have since learned how helpful it is to de-identify with intense feelings, to see them as the clouds that appear and then disappear in an otherwise unchanged sky. At the same time, I want to acknowledge that even with those tools, it is not easy to go through this. I hope you’ll allow yourself to feel compassion and caring for that frightened, little girl self of yours. I certainly feel for her. xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much I have read some of your entries about your operation and they did .
      help:)
      I am doing some research but still so unsure. the doctor I saw advised the uterine prolapse without hysterectomy given my age (42) but I have been reading about all the women who had complications after surgery with the mesh that was inserted; the mesh becoming eroded and causing infections ], bleeding and excruciating pain. I also know of women who have not done the operation and relied on the ring pessary which can be inserted to hold it all up. I have my bladder test on the 8th of November and will discuss whats next with my doctor. Not looking forward to any of it but I know I have to do something about it as at the end of each day, I have a lot of back pain and it becomes sore to walk sometimes 😦 I need to sit down a lot. Even when I teach I tend to sit down more.Thanks for your wise words which I really appreciate.

      Like

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