As I caught a glance of myself in the bathroom mirror tonight, with my fresh mastectomy scars diagonally across each side of my chest, my little crosshair on the lower left of my abdomen from laproscopic surgery, and the railroad track of fresh staples running from my naval to my pubic bone I said to myself “I look like Frankemstein’s wife!”, quickly closing my robe again.
And I took a moment to ponder, what did I really see? Slowly I peeled back my robe again, examining in the mirror the marks gained over my body in just a relatively few short weeks, and I saw something beautiful. Yes, there were still the slashes across my chest where once “voluptuous” breasts took command (at least when held up in formation with a good bra), but now instead of marks of horror I see the beautiful proof of my body and it’s ability to heal and regenerate. The pale pink perfection of new skin forming together to build a bridge of strength for what I house beneath.
I still have the crosshair, but what fun to see how it will shrink.
And the train tracks….even they, though most visually violent, are calming and proving the ability to seam together what may once have been torn apart within. This has been a year of great opportunity for me to build character, amd 2016 will continue.
When I look at this ragedy ann doll before me stitched and stapled, I see a woman that is love. When I began the final steps to make this journey towards better health I questioned how I would possibly be able to feel feminine with my female parts all gone? How could I feel like a woman if I no longer looked like one with my clothes off? Yes there is plastic surgery to replace bits and bobs, but there would still be scars and things won’t respond the same. If I will no longer have to think about it at all for any further tests when they ask if there is a possibility of pregnancy how can I feel like a grown and vibrant woman?
Does that mean then that a woman that makes the choice not to have a child us not feminine? Is a woman with large breasts more feminine than a woman with small ones? What about a woman that adopts a child – she didn’t carry one in her womb – does that make her less feminine?
So what is femininity as defined by me? Where does it come from if not a physical manifestation of the female body? And what a gift I have been given through all of this to truly discover where femininity and self esteem come from for me.
I am coming to realize that femininity, according to the dictionary of me, is a healing, loving force that resides within. It reflects in my actions, deeds, and loving arms that reach to embrace those around me. It is a strength that is a force to be reckoned with, hidden beneath a surface that allowsthe petals of a colourful blossom to float miraculously over the horizon. It is a gentle, warm and loving light that can not be cut out, bagged and taken away for pathology reports – it is an essence that reflects its very being through my pores.
And so again I look at this woman before me in the mirror, and I can count the bruises and scars with a smile, see the healing that has taken place and know of the healing and work that yet needs to come, think of all the women who inspire her and hope that perhaps She can do the same for some needing inspiration of their own, and I can smile gently at her with love in my eyes for all I see, because this woman before me is me.