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Emotional Housecleaning after a Hysterectomy

Updated on June 30, 2011

I believe it will get better....


I'm doing quite a bit of house cleaning these days. The house I am referring to is my own self. My mind. My body. My thoughts and thinking processes. I am also crying way too much and walking around looking like a boxer who has had too many punches in the face.

I wonder sometimes if it is an effect of my hysterectomy. A surgical menopause. I still have my ovaries which are supposed to keep me steady....have I ever been steady? I know I have been driven by an inner voice my entire life to be the best, out do the greatest and sit back quietly and anonymously and watch as people murmur in amazement. I have always weeped; no...cried quite a bit. I feel tears well up whenever I am feeling trapped, immobilized or stricken by a discomfort that I cannot control. As a woman of gumption, possessing a voice that is loud enough for all to hear, it becomes a painstaking journey for me to look into myself and look for more things to change. People don't realize how easily I bruise. How their voices continue to haunt me for days; even months, when they voice displeasure over something I've done.

Religious upbringing? I'm sure that has a great deal to do with it. The Golden Rule of "Do unto others..." was my life's mantra. I trusted without reservation, that people would make decisions based on what was right for everyone. In college, I got my first glimpse of the opposite type of person. Many times. However, I have always assumed that I must have had something to do with their ability to cast someone or something away. I had perhaps been enabling. Too judgmental of their hasty decisions and I have always rationalized people's behaviors as a means for them to deal with the demons of their own past. I still do this today.

Sitting in my house recovering.. for me, is comparable to sending me off to a deserted island that contains a tiny bell tower that has one room and a marble in it. I cannot leave the room but I can use the marble in any way I choose. Yes. A worthless marble. That is how I feel right now...as worthless as the single marble. I roll along. Make some noise. Go from area to area. Do nothing. I think too much. I feel a sense of paranoia setting in. I have tried crafts, going to movies, walking in the forest (which was, I admit; almost sensuous), watching the dreaded tube with antennas and eating. I feel like I'm going to look like that marble by the time I am freed by my doctor to return to work again. My brain will most likely have the same capacity of intellect as that marble as well. I am lonely. I miss being touched. I miss social interaction. I miss feeling productive for others. There are many things I should be doing for myself. I have a huge "honey-do" list written for myself, but those things, as productive as they may be, don't fill me with the same sensation of accomplishment as doing something with and for someone else does.

Someone I know told me "a normal" person would jump at the chance to stay in their pajamas all day, watching TV and doing nothing. I laughed aloud when she said this. She was right! I have never been what I would consider "normal" I look in the mirror and see a constantly evolving persona that doesn't quite have her permanent face on just yet. Someone that is trying to pull from the bowels of her soul, the true Laura . If I can, I feel that for once and all, I will be able to understand why I am so emotional. So driven. So maternal and controlling. So afraid to have my ideas challenged or beaten down, and when they are...why I feel such complete devastation?

In my mind, I am sitting on a shapeless object, wearing gray. Bland. Colorless. To my left is my past, whirling around in a frenzy. I'm not able to clearly view it without distortion. In front of me is my present. Fuzzy and unfocused. To my right is my future....there's nothing to see at this point. I feel as if I need to sit in this place and watch. Attend to any detail I am able to see. Analyze it and try to make sense of why it is there. I want so much to trust my own instincts. Something always grabs me by the throat and pulls me back. I'm not speaking of work related issues or the ability to exist in society. I know the ins and outs. I'm alluding to my interpersonal world. Where I throw the dice and hope it comes up a winning combination.

I feel sexless. A mound of flesh that inhabits space but isn't noticed by many. Someone that, if unleashed in the correct way, is like a Pandora's Box of surprises. Problem is, I'm too afraid to allow myself to be used again. By anyone. I'm finding I would much rather sabotage any possibility of developing a relationship on any level than to take the chance of being viewed in a distorted way. Each time I reach out to grab the phone, I stop myself. Why should I drag others into my cesspool?

Depression is an existence that covers us like the sun. If you suffer from it, control it or feel as if you have beaten it, deep inside, you know it will never go away completely. My depression doesn't send me buying razor blades at the pharmacy or have me stocking up on prescription medications. My depression numbs me to the point of lethargy. I cannot accomplish even simple tasks. I have no desire to do the many things that I know will help me ride it out. I take anti-anxiety/depression medication. It takes the edge off. When I first resolved myself to the fact that I truly needed a psycho-tropic drug, I felt as if I were a failure. Weak. Now, after many years of research and fervent discussions with psychiatrists, I feel I am more in charge of myself and healthier than most because I am proactive in fighting this black plague that enters my life on certain occasions. Right now, I am in a conscious fight with myself. Like the devil on one side and the angel on the other....one side telling me to give in and the other encouraging me to partake in activities that will naturally boost my serotonin levels. I react somewhere in between. One minute I may be lying on the couch, resembling a lizard on a rock, in the sun. The next moment, I am loading the dishwasher, sorting through clothing, creating something artistic.

Is this the healing process? I don't know. Maybe my doctor ordered a month off of work because he knew I would need to go through mental healing as well as physical. Maybe I'm experiencing menopausal symptoms and am confusing them for something else. Most men have absolutely no idea how challenging it is to be a woman. I've heard some of them spout in laughter that if it were them going through menstrual cycles, pregnancy and delivery, then our world would have a lot less people in it. I want to give each man a Pulitzer Prize for that statement. While I would not want to trade myself in for a model of the opposite sex (it horrifies me to even think about it!), I am amazed daily at all that our bodies are able to withstand and endure. And we keep on going. With that thought, I believe I will try to accomplish something of value now.

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