As I prepare for surgery on Wednesday, I wish to share with you, ‘My journey to an open hysterectomy’
As I wrote this, I was sat in an old renovated crofting cottage in the west coast of Scotland, the rain was lashing down so hard that the loch wouldn’t have been visible had it have been daylight. The log burner flickering next to me and I’ve just done a 30 minute breathwork session to clear anything that needed clearing, it’s still only 6am.
I had originally booked this week to get away from it all. A long overdue relationship break up in the Summer had prompted me to book a week away by myself, ironically in the same place and same cottage I used to stay as a couple, either I’m a sadist or my inner self is a genius, I like to think the latter.
I brought with me books, colouring pencils, notebooks, reference guides, many oracle cards and other materials that would help me with my goal, to create some divination cards tuning into the healing energies of plants. But, the cards never happened, as much as I tried the flow wasn’t flowing. This week had been about something bigger, that even I hadn’t realised, and that breathwork session just now, gave me the realisation that I need to share my journey, the one so many women are silent about.
To me my periods were never a problem. A monthly occurrence, that came and went without too much interruption to life, or problems. Regular, not too eventful and not spoken about, a not so wonderful conditioning born from modern society in which we now live.
As I met my husband to be, I started the contraceptive pill, having breaks in between to have our two beautiful girls, and straight back to taking the pill. Not even a thought as to effects on that little pill.
At 29, I found myself divorced with two little girls to care for. This isn’t a sob story, I’m not going there, I’m simply building a picture. It was at that age that my direction would start changing, clearly, but in a more spiritual way. I found reiki, (an energy healing therapy), well, it found me, and I later trained within it, moving the course of how I started to view emotional blocks. I studied, trained, read anything I could relating to healing, understanding that every physical aliment is a manifestation of an emotion. Louise L Hay taught me that, science backed up the theory of thoughts being energy and deeper and deeper I delved.
My early years as a tot saw my Dad leave, actually the only memory I have as a kid is that moment. A step Dad came along, who actually was an amazing man and guardian in so many ways, and I do wish to give him credit for that, but due to demons he’d carried, he brought in aspects as a guardian to a child that should never have happened. As an adolescent I was constantly looking for male attention, replacing the unhealthy male figures around me. This would result in some questionable life choices. After the divorce, and three full years of counselling, I continued that longing to be held unconditionally, albeit sub consciously.
I started to work on myself, doing the spiritual job of clearing out the old shitty wounds. At the same time my boobs would become painful on a monthly basis, ‘just mastitis’ the doctors would say, ‘oh ok’. Moodiness and fatigue started following. I’d always tried to look after myself, but knew my diet could be better. I would do a detox now and again, ingesting clay, take cleansing liver and kidney drinks, days of fasting, soup days, supplements, you name it, I’ve done it. In between I would drink alcohol, eat chocolate, but still try and eat healthy. I thought it was ok as I would have ‘clean’ days. The older I got, the more I studied, I started listening to my body and the more I felt I’d released patterns created in my younger years.
Each moment in my life has brought me something, each relationship too, bringing teachings and lessons. The last seven years I’ve supressed myself who I was to help others feel comfortable with whom they’re not. It wasn’t one of them blindingly obvious things that happened, or something that was immediate, but a slow steady stream with ‘well, I’m comfortable with who I am, so I’m gonna dim my light some to help you’. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but consistently and without it being reciprocated, it can be detrimental.
At the same time, my periods began to worsen, the fatigue prior was debilitating, the flow heavier and the pain becoming unbearable. I also started to get piles, my bowel habits changed, I would get spasms throughout the month in my stomach and anus, painful ones! The piles turned to anal fissures; it was like passing broken glass. The doctor checked me out for anything sinister, said there was nothing wrong, Ive just got IBS. I know my body, yes I may drink once a week, have some chocolate but predominantly Im really healthy, this isn’t IBS.
At the same time, Covid was happening, my sister was moving miles away, and I had been in a situation where I’d suppress huge aspects of myself to accommodate someone else’s needs and the periods became something I’d dread. My body was screaming out to me, my emotional and physical needs weren’t being met and it was manifesting in my base and sacral chakras (energy centres), and all I could do was dread every month.
The pain was horrific monthly, I was passing what I can only describe as bits of liver, I would sweat, feel shaky and dread each cycle. In between, my stomach was still not right. This isn’t what periods should be. I’d been told, ‘oh well, you’re nearly 50’, ‘peri menopausal’, ‘menopausal’. I didn’t accept that. I had enjoyed my periods, a way of cleansing and being in a cycle, like the moon, phases where I shone and phases when I rested and releasing what I no longer need in between. But now, it had become a horror movie, ‘nightmare on period street,’ the period itself may as well have been called Freddy Krueger and the day before it says, ‘Im coming’.
With all my teachings and healings I’ve had over the years, I sat with what was going on. What was my body screaming out at me?
Firstly, I had the intent to get better. Where intent goes energy flows. Secondly, I needed to take my power back; I had been looking for external things to fix me. I radically changed my diet, not just for three weeks or a month, or just 5:2, this needed to be a full overhaul. The liver is the powerhouse of the body, if it’s overloaded it can’t process like it should, hormones are disrupted. It is also the emotional link to anger; coupled with the food, emotions and external pollutants, it’s no surprise my hormones were disrupted. Since I was a child, I’d been storing a toxic mix and expecting it to act normal. So, I quit alcohol, all sugars, wheat, dairy, meat and yeast. I visited a kinesiologist to see what my body was intolerant to, and stuck to the advice given.
I started to work deeper, shamanically, listening to my inner voice and the natural elements and energies around. These past 18 months, I’ve been trying to connect to my feminine more, having to be my own male figure growing up, then that for my children too, I knew my energies had become out of balance. I re-evaluated everything around me and lit my light fully back on, understanding that I needed to take full responsibility for myself and not dim my light anymore.
In the summer, I trained in soul retrieval work, retrieving parts of your soul essence once lost through trauma. Whilst there, I asked for my womb to be brought back. Id abused it so much over the years and it had got abused. Id not liked it a lot and rejected parts of it, part of loving yourself is loving all aspects of yourself. Shame, guilt and anger manifests as physical problems within these areas. Given how it was acting now, I felt I wanted it back so I could nurture it. I discovered how powerful breathwork was on this course too. As I did a session, I sobbed, convulsed, shook and released more old wounds. Just connecting to my breath had been so cathartic; I immediately signed up to train in this powerful modality.
All this time, the maniac periods would come and go, and now weird lumps were starting to appear like speed bumps. ‘like speed bumps you say’, the doctor asked, ‘yes, protruding lumps’, ‘like a sleeping policeman?’, ‘yes’, I’d say again. All this conversation over the phone, thanks to covid. Four months ago, I had spoken to the doctor about the pain, clots etc, she had recommended an ultrasound. This was the time that I thought, ‘right I’m changing my diet and how I do things’. The appointment had never come through, and in the meantime these weird hernia type lumps kept appearing, like an alien. Needless to say, within a week I had my ultrasound appointment, with suspected fibroids.
Pleased with the fact Id find out what these little aliens were, and coupled with the change of diet, deep healings and different direction of life, I felt confident of getting somewhere.
At my ultrasound appointment a very professional lady, with a sense of humour and humility removal, appeared. ‘Here for suspected fibroids’, ‘yes, I’ve really changed my diet and doing what I can now to help myself’, ‘well, that won’t make a blind bit of difference, and even if we remove your fibroids they can grow back’, ‘aren’t you a font of joy’ I quipped to her, no response. I could almost see the tumble weed passing by.
The results were in. The ovary on the left side couldn’t be found as blocked by a large fibroid, fibroids blocking my bowel (hence the change in bowel habits), fibroids pushing my urinary tract and inside the tract. I’d had constant urine infections for a few years, doctors would keep prescribing antibiotics rather than get to the reason, instead I took corn silk tea and kept the UTIs at bay. My womb was up near my diaphragm and my uterus is that of someone 18 weeks pregnant, there was a whole fibroid party going on in my belly and womb and I’d not even sent out invites. At my next appointment the doctor had said, looks like you’ll have a hysterectomy, here’s the numbers to contact. ‘Noooooo! No no no’. I’m doing all I can to connect with my feminine, to save my womb and I’m now I’m being told its going to get cut out. That’s brilliant said many friends, best thing for you. No no no no no! I loved my periods, the ritual each month, the release, the phases, no no no no. I mourned the thought of it, I mourned.
I then went for my breathwork training, more deep healings, experiencing my own emotional death, rebirthing, connection to the pain of my female ancestors. I cannot articulate what happened on this course, as to an outsider, it sounds bonkers, many a friend and family member already think I’ve joined a cult; simply, I went deep into my traumas and blocks and honoured what needed honouring, releasing more stored pains, making peace that my feminity is not defined by a piece of anatomical parts but by the energies I connect with.
‘I want to ask the surgeon if I can take my womb home, do a ritual for it’, my Mum and Dads face as separate times when I told them this piece of information was priceless, for many reasons. ‘You cannot do that’, ‘it’s mine’ Id reply, ‘’I can do what I want’, ‘it’s not right’, they’d say, ‘you’re not right in the head’ ’was you swapped at birth’ ’why are you weird’, and lots of other things along the lines. I listened, and still wanted my womb.
A beautiful, spiritual, intelligent friend of mine, pointed out that it’s not easy bringing your own body parts home as there’s rules, or all sorts of body parts can be buried and later found prompting murder investigations for people that are actually still living. Ok, so while I tend to do my own stuff and work outside of the box, she was talking logically. Besides, if I’m not able to lift a kettle after my operation, I can’t dig a hole until I’m fit, and with only one freezer in the house, storing my fibroid ravaged womb next to a bag of peas didn’t seem the best idea. She had suggested making a mould of it, and using some of the flow from my last period within to do a ritual, marvellous compromise I thought.
For me, Scotland has magic. The land is wild and beautiful and always brings me a deep sense of peace, a sense of belonging. When I had booked this week away, I had no idea it would fall on what is now my last period, but how beautifully fitting.
On Sunday evening, Monday morning, my period started in earnest. I collected some flow, mixed it with the clay I’d brought with me (incorporating Earth energies), and set about making a replica of my womb. Having never seen it I had to wing this, but was pleased with the results. I sat it on top of the log burner, to allow fire energies (highly transmuting), and let it dry for a bit.
The next morning, I wrapped my replica womb, took a crow feather for creation, magic and rebirth (out of darkness comes life), mugwort for protection and its connections to being the hormone plant, placed it in a rucksack and trekked up to the top of the local mountain. Mountains are very special and sacred. Just to look at one fills me humility, very humbling. They have such strength and are grounding. I’ve done a lot of work shamanically with mountain energy, so I knew I had to bring my womb here. I climbed to the top, not passing one person and being completely alone whilst up there. I found a lovely crevice covered in moss, peeled it back, placed it inside the hole and recovered it with the moss. I gave thanks for all it had done, returned her back to the Earth and honoured it, having a burial. I sat quietly reflecting on those moments and made pure peace. The next stage was to have it surgically removed. The fibroids had gone too far now, my stomach was in constant pain, I hadn’t failed it, I just hadn’t listened sooner, when natural remedies and pure diet would’ve helped. But, its ok, this is my journey and exactly how it needed to be for me.
As I left the mountain, I was instructed to gather a large rock, to bring the mountain to me in my recovery period. I chose one that reminded me of a standing stone. At the bottom I was told to gather another, to signify the end of my journey. I found a small white feminine stone, the only white one I’d seen come to think of it now, then the rains started to come and it began to pour down. I got back to my cottage and decided to do some journey work. I lit the fire, set up my shamanic tools that I use within my healings on others. I had pictures of three teachers in front, a Quetzacoatal gifted to me, my rattle, drum, a figurine of Green Tara, a crystal and the stones collected form the mountain. I began working with plant medicine too. In shamanism, everything has a spirit and energy to work with, I knew Journeying like this that I wouldn’t be alone. I started chanting the Green Tara mantra, for love and compassion.
As I started my journey, the pain of my period really started to kick in. I was riding each contraction and going in to the pain of that stored emotion, crying if needed as each memory came up. I drummed, connected more with my guides, instructed more and more what to do, I was then finding myself in the birthing position, with guides around me helping me release, rebirth and let go. There was so much that happened within this session that doesn’t need to be made public as it was deep traumas releasing with each contraction, and in between I would go out to the Earth and bleed, releasing and returning back to my roots, then going straight back in to the birthing experience. This lasted for about 4 hours, was so deep, profound and beautiful. At the end, I remember thinking I wanted to connect to the moon more as she represents the feminine and the cycles, I was told I was already connected; it’s just my belief system that thinks it’s not. As I sat I realised it was dusk. This journey to the top of the mountain, that started early in the morning, had become a vision quest and lasted all day. I stepped outside and greeting me was the most beautiful waxing moon (signifying new beginnings), hanging above the loch and lighting up the water. It was pure magic and the only time I had seen and will see the moon whilst staying there.
My journey to my hysterectomy has been nothing short of painful, deep and joyful. As women, we are conditioned not to talk about our cycles. Being embarrassed about them, laughed at when younger at school, feeling dirty, shoving all sorts to them to stop flow.
In life, whether it’s starting our periods, experiencing painful ones, changes in them, the complications as you get older and everything it entails, we just have to get on with it, take a tablet and ignore any signs it may be trying to scream at us and tell. We’ve lost our power and how magical are cycles are. I feel so incredibly grateful to my teachings to allow me to honour my womb and what she’s given me. I know I will feel no less feminine now after my womb removal and would not swap the journey we have been on together. I held a lot of suppressed emotions in her for years, I’ve honoured her and by doing so my light will shine brighter going forward. I will not be dimming it for anyone anymore!
When your body changes, listen to it – what is it trying to tell you? What do you need to release? Take back your power and shine brightly ❤❤❤❤ xxxx
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