Monday, July 6, 2009

Someone Fetch Me My Smelling Salts

I haven't been feeling that well. It's come on so slowly, like that unfortunate frog in the frying pan that my Grammy used to talk about. I started out just a little tired, and then tired all the time. I put it down to STRESS. These last 2 months of school have been distinctly un-fun. Then a host of other annoying little unwell feelings, that I was determinedly ignoring, until finally heart palpitations and breathlessness that demanded my attention, right now! Again though, I was thinking stress. But the doctor says (drum roll, please)...anemia.

Oy vey. This will probably come as no surprise to anyone familiar with my pallid, "I have the vapors" track record. My dad's response, "Get that girl some red meat!" But it likely hasn't been caused by a dietary deficiency, but by my increasingly ugly periods.

I'm not sure quite what I want this blog post to be almost amused exasperation at feeling like Mrs. Bennett, suffering with her much maligned nerves:

"...what a dreadful state I am in, that I am frighted out of my wits-- and have such tremblings, such flutterings, all over me-- such spasms in my side and pains in my head, and such beatings at heart, that I can get no rest by night nor by day."

Or that lingering sense of sadness and betrayal that I have about the latest twist on my road to hysterectomy. My woman parts...they don't work so good. I sometimes wonder if all the illness, pain and malfunction now, is tied into all the guilt, fear and rebellion I felt around sex way back when. Did that intense burden of what a good girl does and doesn't, that fear of the wrath of God, that deeply ingrained belief that a woman's worth is determined by her "purity" turn inward to sicken me? I used to secretly worry that I would be punished for my choices...and the things I didn't choose. I wonder if the worry constructs the punishment, at least partially. Or the scars manifest in physical hurts along with the emotional ones. I think so. Of course, there are genetics, and this durned Victorian constitution too.

Either way, I am only 34. Too young yet for the big operation (have had and will have to have smaller ones). I don't want to be stripped of that part of my femininity yet...5 more years...10 more years at least. Fingers crossed.

And love to my body. What if love and positive thoughts could do the opposite of all of those old wounds and worries? Sex is now a playground, a healing haven, a shared pleasure with my very favourite person. My body is more my own than it has ever been...working on feeling beautiful, working on not micro-focusing on the flaws, working on being free of all the bad old ideas and memories. I want to allow love the same power over mind and body as fear once took.

And in the meantime, I'll be loosening my corsets and reclining gracefully on my fainting couch.

**PS I do realize that Pride and Prejudice is not from the Victorian era, but my constitution is. ;)


  1. ooh de lally!
    sending out good vibes your way...
    well, not THOSE kind...

    hang in there, baby! you're really earning that Lucy Honeychurch nickname i'm trying to make stick.

  2. Are you familiar with Dr. Christine Northrup?

    Sounds like you're thinking aligns with some of her ideas.

  3. So, Evangeline- what did the doctor prescribe for your anemia?

  4. Oh E. I love the new art, WTF indeed. And oh, my, I've been there, and I feel your pain. You are too young for this crap, but I believe it just is, it's not about what you did or what you thought, it just is, and it just sucks. I resent my female parts for the pain and suffering they have caused me, but I love them for the children they begrudgingly, miraculously gave me. Wishing you lots of love and smelling salts to see you through, darling.

  5. @Craig I'll take the Lucy Honeychurch nickname anyday. ;)

    @FoM Thank you! I knew I had read a book with similar ideas ages ago, but couldn't remember the author. That's the one. The mind/body connection thing does make sense to me...of course there is genetics and germs and all the crap in our environment influencing our health and well being as well, but cultivating a loving, positive attitude couldn't hurt either. :)

    @Julie Just iron pills...although I'm going to insist on the fainting couch and smelling salts too, more picturesque. ;)

  6. Mel, we must have been commenting at the same time. :) I love your dose of Billy Pilgrim. " just is" "So it goes." It's good to remember that too. Brings me peace immediately.

    And thank goodness for having children. The miracle from the unwilling parts. That truly is the power of love, healing, reclamation.


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