Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Where Do I Fit In?

When I had my Hysterectomy 4 years ago it was one of the toughest, saddest, depressing things I had ever gone through. It was such a Rollercoaster for so many reasons. I mean come on, I was only 33 years old. For any women that go through something so "unnatural" like that under the age of maybe 40, it's devastating.
Not only do you not have a choice to lose a some pretty special female organs, but many other choices that you ought to still have in your "youth" as a woman are taken from you. Things like HORMONES, hello!

And the chances of having more children, or in some cases no children.
(I always knew when I got pregnant so young that I'd look back and see the mysterious why, and it would all make sense--my daughter is such a miracle.

You sort of get your "womanhood" stripped away from you. I admit that I didn't feel like a woman when I woke up from that surgery. I had been laced with HRT (hormone replacement therapy--a big ol' patch on my bottom), and for months and months I was miserable from going through surgical menopause. It was so not fun. After about 6 months of sleeping pills and messing around with different HRT's and doses, heavy pain meds, anti-anxiety drugs, I was finally feeling like a woman again, and feeling like myself.

I haven't since entered "the real world", I haven't been able to work due to another major surgery I had just six months after my Hysterectomy, so I spend most of my time in my home. But I have gotten out. Even more recently I've been able to do things I didn't do for many years, things as simple as making dinner dates with friends, or watching my sisters kids, and keeping up with housework, (these are things 40 surgeries steals from you).

In the last 2-4 years in mingling with other women, and being out "there", I noticed myself asking the same question over and over, "Where do I fit in?"

If I'd be chatting with women my age or there in around my age, they'd always end up talking about having more kids, or their current little ones (mine is 16 and I'm 37).
Or there would be times they'd complain about how they had bad cramps or they were bloated from their period. Stuff like that, and automatically, it was like I couldn't relate anymore. Many emotions flooded my soul: "I'd love to have PMS again, it's better than Menopause.
I'd feel more like a woman" or rude things like "Quit your complaining, you can have kids still and you didn't have your female organs taken from you." Just icky crap like that I'd be thinking. It's like I just couldn't join in on the conversation, but yet I was their age!

But then there are times when I am around "older" women, 50 and up, and of course, the subject of Menopause always gets brought up while they are complaining about Hot Flashes and continuing on and on about it. And automatically they'd get all short and snotty with me like, "Well, you have no idea what we're talking about yet, you're so young, but just wait."
And I'd be thinking, "Well, actually......"

I just sort of felt lost. I mean I'd always felt a sense of "awkward belonging" already because most girls my age don't have kids the age my daughter is; most of them have little kids, so that already would sort of work against me in feeling socially awkward with other women. So the Menopause thing just added to it! I'd think:
I'm an odd ball 37 year old who has gone through menopause and I have a teenager, where or where do I fit in?!

Finally I realized that I could fit in with both, regardless of my overpowering emotions of feeling like I fit in with neither!
I could zoom out, and not be so tight closed in on the facts- and how my facts and my reality were affecting me.
I could zoom out and realize that I still could relate to the "young" women my age because I'd been there. And instead of having the rude, harmful thoughts I would have in my head about those women, I could resist those thoughts, and jump in and make the best of it, and maybe even joke about it (ok, forget the joking).

I could be more open minded about it and hey, I could even be a minister to younger women who might go through the same thing, or the women that will be in my life when they go through it naturally, I can help them because I already went through it!

And as far as the "older" women? I could have fun with them, and not be so worried about if I fit in or not with them either, I could hold my own with some older mature women, and they'd probably be interested in my story! And it might help their self esteem knowing that a young woman like me is in the same boat as them. It can be a win win, if I make it a win win.

Dealing with it the way I was before, was just eating me alive; I felt sorry for myself, and I was angry, and didn't think it was fair. Well, that is true, it isn't fair, but most things in life that happen are not "fair."

I knew I had to figure out a new way to handle myself with my brand new situation, and I'm so glad I found a new way, because now I can fit in with anyone!

And... life is so much more BEAUTIFUL.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Gina, i have to tell you that i always felt socially awkard as a women too. Still do. I am 38 and have a 19 year old. Moms, do not relate to me because they are usally so much older or just at a different stage in their life then me. I think thats why blogging has given me that different relationship with women. I only have one real and true best friend. She is 10 years younger and lives 100's of miles from me, but somehow we just relate to one another. she only lived here near me for a year. We formed an amazing bond. God truly blessed me. But i was thinking the other day, i dont really have a friend. One to hang out with or talk to on the phone... You know the kind. That lives near by. I never thought about it before i read your blog post... Interesting.