Home Journal

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You deserve better than to have to beg for love

It is 3:20Am Sunday April 20th 2014. At least that is the time as I begin to write this post. I have just come down stairs after spending about 30 minutes talking to the man I call husband while he lay with his back to me pretty much not responding to anything I was saying. I had been sleeping on the couch again. He came downstairs and woke me up insisting that I come upstairs to bed. I went upstairs to bed. He tried to have sex with me. I haven’t been particularly well for the last several days. I’ve had what appears to be two periods in a span of 15 days. I’ve been dealing with a significant amount of stress for the last couple of months and I think everything has just taken a toll. It’s been a struggle and I’ve felt a glaring lack of interest and support from my husband that has made it feel that much worse.

I just wrote earlier today that I don’t see a way for me to achieve success with the goals I have set for myself as long as I remain in my marriage. At this present moment I am certain that for as long as I remain in this marriage I will continue to have situations like this where I am up at 3:20AM in the morning feeling lost, alone, sad and lonely, filled with heart-ache, angry, wanting to cry but fighting the urge knowing I need to be stronger than this. 17 years of this — clearly I have no backbone if I am still crying over it. I shouldn’t be here.

Despite the title of my post, I don’t beg for love. The problem I have with my husband is that he insists he loves me; but I never see the love. I never feel it. Usually it’s fine. After 17 years you get used to a routine. I’m usually too busy to be concerned with the state of my marriage. Our relationship is what it is. I don’t look look to my husband to help me feel complete and fulfilled. That ship sailed ages ago; but when you’re panicked about your health and things are happening to you that cause your mind to start going haywire with thoughts about the possibility of dying, you do sort of expect a little bit of support, especially from someone who claims almost every day that they love you.

Far from feeling like my husband was there for me the other day when I was worried and thought I might end up having to go to the emergency room, he seemed more cold and callous than I have seen him in a long time. He was in pre 2005 mode. 2005 was the year we separated. Things between us were pretty ugly then and had been since 1997. I won’t go into detail; but he wasn’t a very nice man to have for a husband. Since we got back together in 2007 he has seemed “improved”; but recently I’ve been seeing traces of that old version of him. The other night when I was sick he was so uninvolved and seemingly unconcerned that I couldn’t hold back from saying something to him when we got in bed. It was as if we had gone back in time. I talked and talked and talked. And it wasn’t a case of nagging so much as it was a case of wanting to get some kind of response and so you keep going hoping eventually something will be said that gives an indication of care and interest. But he kept his back turned to me then eventually began to get up to walk out while I was in the middle of speaking.   That’s the kind of behavior I was used to pre-2005. I couldn’t understand what was going on.

Refusing to be on the receiving end of what he was about to attempt, I went and blocked the door to stop him from walking out. He tried to physically move me. It became noisy. Since then I haven’t really wanted to have anything to do with him. But he has continued in the same daily pattern, the morning kisses, the “I love you from the bottom of my heart” BS. I’ve tried to ward it off but he has kept forcing it on me.

Eventually he wore me down enough to where he was able to try having sex with me tonight. But during the process I began to get cramps. I asked him to stop. He stopped, turned over and assumed the posture of one about to go to sleep. I found it unacceptable that he would just do that and not even express any interest in knowing if I was okay. I said as much to him. He started acting as if I was speaking a foreign language–like he couldn’t understand my meaning. I proceeded to try to explain how his behavior seems to suggest he really doesn’t give too much of a crap about me even though he keeps on insisting that he loves me.  The whole thing went on for at least 30 minutes. He kept his back turned on me most of the time and spoke only two or three times to deny some “false accusation”. For the most part all I was doing was asking him to match his actions to his words one way or another. He heard nothing of my pleas. He heard me only when I said something he construed to be a false accusation. He responded only to those.

So here I am. It is now 4:06 AM.

Putting myself and my stuff out there like this might seem to be something I do with enthusiasm. After all, I write volumes upon volumes; but I have doubts every day about doing this. I have mild panic attacks through-out the day when I think about my pictures being seen, my thoughts being read, the ugly truth of my life being exposed. I ask myself why I’m doing it. And I try to remind myself that I am doing it for me. I’m doing it for Monica. To try to save her somehow.  And yeah, I know nobody gives a damn. Why should they? Everybody’s got their own sh*t. And women like me–women who let men treat them like they are not worthy of love and respect–we don’t deserve pity. We are an embarrassment to ourselves and to all women. So I know the risk I am taking every time I load up this blog and publish the details of my life–with pictures no less. And at the end of the day I might not even manage to save myself. But that’s what I’m trying to do. And you know what, I think I’ll be able to go to sleep now. It is 4:22 AM. I feel much stronger than when I started writing this an hour ago. And that’s what this is all about.

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does he love me yes no card

I chose to sleep on the couch last night because I just wasn’t in the mood to pretend that I have a healthy enough marriage to justify sleeping in the same bed with my husband every night. The full details are probably more appropriate for sharing on my marriage blog. I’ll leave out the back-story because I’ll end up writing another novel length post. I woke up about a half hour ago. Usually when I go to sleep on the couch I don’t get to stay there very long because Sir Gallahad comes down and orders me to get up and go upstairs; and he does not quit insisting until I do as he requests. Last night I guess he either never turned and woke up or he chose to pretend to be unaware I wasn’t in bed. But at around 5:30AM he did come down stairs and do a run-through of the script.

I had never paid too much attention to the tone of voice that he uses before. I have always just played my own role, because that’s all we do around here. We live by a script. We have these roles we play. We have recurring themes or scenes I guess you can call them. In this theme/scene, I go to sleep on the couch because something has happened between us and I have come to realize for the millionth time plus one that my husband is my enemy; and I cannot bring myself to getting into the same bed with a man I know deep in my heart and soul does not love me. I don’t want to be sleeping with the enemy. He’s usually already asleep. At some point he turns and realizes it’s late and I’m not in bed. He comes marching downstairs. He starts insisting I get up and go lie in my bed. I protest. He insists some more. I protest some more. He further insists. I eventually get up and go upstairs.

Today though, I realized for the first time that he does not insist I go upstairs to my bed because he’s concerned about me resting comfortably or because he’s concerned about the state of our relationship. He’s just pissed off that I would dare act as if he has done something to run me out of the bed. It’s more like “How dare you be down here sleeping on the couch? I didn’t do anything to you. Get the hell up and go lie in your bed.” And he speaks in a raised voice that is filled with irritation.

This morning I was alert enough to realize how much he sounded like someone speaking to a dog. I envisioned someone kicking a dog and shouting at it. I picked up the disgust that was always there but somehow I had previously missed it. And I changed up the script. Instead of my usual lines I yelled back at him. He showed his true colors immediately. The moment I yelled he no longer cared where I slept.

So that brings me to the title of my post.

My fibroids love the way he loves me

I know that fibroids have a scientific explanation behind their growth. But I do believe that the things we do or don’t do contribute to improving or worsening our condition. I believe fibroids or no fibroids, an unbalanced life can be traced back to your core–to not having a strong center. I’ll try to avoid speaking generally because I don’t really know anything as it pertains to the world and to life at large; but speaking for myself, I know that when I feel emotional pain my stomach is where most of that pain gets processed. It’s my core that takes the abuse. And I believe that fibroids thrive when stimulated in that way. So, when I say that my fibroids love the way my husband loves me, what I mean is that everything he does which hurts me emotionally starts that pain processing at the center of me and it inevitably activates and stimulates the fibroids.

I wrote another post titled “Did my bad marriage give me fibroids?“. Like I said, I know that fibroids result from some type of chemical and/or biological issue. I know I didn’t grow fibroids because of my husband and my marriage; but I do believe that the size of my fibroids and the problems they cause me result from the abuse to which my core so frequently gets subjected; and much of the pain and anguish that I’ve had to wrench my gut for years fighting to endure has been inflicted by my husband. Not that I am blaming him. Because at the end of the day I had a choice. I have a choice. It’s no one’s fault but my own that I stay in this marriage and continue to damage myself at the core by accepting whatever pain my husband inflicts upon me.


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It’s been a long day. I am sitting here trying to get a grip on myself. It’s not proving easy. My mind is wandering all over the place. I guess I’m feeling a little unhappy; but I’m trying to put things in perspective. I’m trying not to let the feeling of unhappiness sink deep enough to into my soul to break me. It is proving very difficult to stay on this course of trying to transform my life. In fact, if I were to be honest, for the last few days I’ve only been talking about the course. I haven’t actually been on the course. I fell off and I haven’t managed to get back on yet. I have too much going on.

Right now I am a little bit distracted thinking about a lot of little things that really shouldn’t be causing me any distress. Today a friend of mine asked me to setup a skype account so that we could discuss a business matter via a video call; but I had to decline to do a video call because I’m just not comfortable with the idea. We had some email exchanges about it. He thought I was being silly. I tried to explain my position–why I felt the way I did; but I don’t think I was successful in getting him to see where I was coming from. I think he remained with the mindset that I was being silly; and that’s fine; but even so, I’ve been thinking about it all day. I guess you take a risk when you try to explain yourself to someone. It’s something I always try to remind myself not to do; and I’m a lot better at it than I used to be, but I still slip up. The thing is,  people are going to see things the way they see things no matter what you say or do; and especially when it comes to your personal hang-ups, don’t expect people to be patient and understanding for however long it takes you to get over your issues, or forever if you never get over them. It get’s old for them. They get tired of you. I guess that’s what’s been weighing on my mind–the thought that this person finds me tiresome and has reached a point where he simply has no interest in continuing to be bothered. But if that’s the case there really isn’t anything I can do about it and I need to accept that.

There were also a number of other things that happened today that have detrimentally affected my mood. It can be hard to “be” sometimes because you feel like everybody has a problem with who you are. You have to play these roles in order to avoid rubbing people the wrong way. I’ve been quiet my whole life. There was a time when I thought it was because I was vapid and I had no thoughts, and I had nothing to say. But in reality I think very deeply. I guess I just realized early in life that people don’t generally want to hear anything I have to say. I have always been self conscious to speak. Even in a family setting I couldn’t speak freely and openly. Whenever I did speak I was more often than not left feeling embarrassed. I always got a feeling like I was regarded as being rather stupid. It’s something I never got over. More often than not I am by myself in my little corner. I don’t speak much to anyone. There is still that sense of having nothing to say that anyone wants to hear. Sometimes I feel like I’m an alien when I speak–like I said something so farfetched and out of this world that it just boggles the average earth person’s mind. And sometimes I feel like the things I feel most strongly and most passionately about are things with which the people I would speak to don’t agree, and they judge me and dislike me for my thoughts and my feelings. Some of that is what’s going on right now. I’m feeling like the heart and soul of me are the parts of me that rub people the wrong way and it becomes very difficult not to doubt myself and question whether I have any substance, any intelligence, or any purpose.

Dear Monica, you sad little thing. Breathe. Or cry. Do one or the other but let it get out from inside you or you’ll grow another fibroid.

**The image used with this post was taken last week expressly for the purpose of creating a digital painting from a photo of myself dancing without trying to hide my fibroid belly . I titled the series of paintings I created from the pictures I took “Woman Weeping”. Here’s a second image from the series

Do more of what you love Monica dancing weeping pose April 1 2014

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I am already falling off track and I haven’t even really begun my life transformation project yet. I have too much going on. I need to get my days to where I don’t have any obligations and I can focus entirely on this project. I started this post yesterday but I just didn’t have the energy to get past the first three sentences. Here I am today, still a bit deflated, frustrated and a lot of other negative emotions. The title of this post “Fibroids will thrive as long as life remains out of control” remains a point of focus for me at the moment. My life is out of control, and my fibroids continue to thrive. I don’t know if they will cease to thrive when my life stops being out of control, if my life ever stops being out of control. Maybe by the time my life stops being out of control I will be physically not in a condition for fibroids to have the ability to thrive. In other words I will be in menopause. They say the fibroids dry up then.

It’s been an interesting morning so far. I spoke to my mother today. She was very upset. Being a mother isn’t easy. I only have one child. I’ve been a mother now for 25 years. That’s a long time. It’s also not easy being a wife. Being either of these things by themselves can take a toll. Being both–well, let’s just say that the woman who can claim both of these experiences to be wonderful all the time is either new to both, or fortunate in a way that most of us aren’t. My mother has been both a mother and wife for 47 years. She has 7 children. When I mentioned about my mother being upset to one of my sisters (I love you sis), she referred to our mother as a drama queen. That was very upsetting to me. I get very upset when people speak disrespectfully about mothers and talk about them as if all they are is a pain in everyone’s ass.

My mother wasn’t a perfect mom.  If you’re not a perfect person you’re not going to be a perfect mother. Having children doesn’t suddenly wipe the slate clean and erase all of the experiences that have shaped your life and shaped who you are. Those experiences are going to impact on how you raise your children. The way of the world is going to impact on how you raise your children. The time in which you live is going to impact on how you raise your children. The ways of your culture are going to impact on how you raise your children. Where you are in your own life when you have each individual child and as you raise each individual child is going to impact on how you raise your children. Before you are a mother or a wife you are a person. All of the things you are experiencing in life are weighing on you and shaping you and evoking responses from you so that you are acting and reacting as in nature, which is to say often without rhyme or reason, often without law or order, often without logic — inconsistently, erratically, unstably. And it’s perfectly okay because, well, you’re human just like everybody else. “Mother” is just  a role that you, the human being that you are, will play for the rest of your life; and you don’t get a script. No one pens the role of perfect mother for you and directs you in acting out this role. You don’t already know all the scenes of your life story, what’s going to happen and how you’re going to react, what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say what you’ll say, what expression you will wear on your face. People want the perfect mothers they see on TV; but maybe if Beaver Cleaver was in the habit of telling his mother June to go [bleep] herself whenever she tried to do her job as a mother she would have been a lot less perfect. It’s so unfair to hold mothers to such a standard that they must always be kind and loving and giving and nurturing and seeing to the needs of everyone else and never concerned with their own wants and needs under any circumstance. You can be sure if you were a perfect child you would have had a wonderful experience with your mother, unless she is of the Joan Crawford variety and then who knows what the truth is there? But if you were a perfect child your mother would have had the easiest time doing her job and you would now have only good things to say about her.

Let’s stop trashing our mothers. If your mother made sure you always had food to eat and you had clothes on your back and a roof over your head, and you arrived at adulthood in one piece and equipped with enough mental fortitude to be able to take reasonably good care of yourself, she did what she needed to do for you. The rest is up to you. Our mothers don’t owe us love and affection. It’s nice when they give it but as some who give it in copious doses can tell you, a mother’s love will never save a child from him or herself. Most of what is going to happen to us in life is going to happen not because of how we were raised or not raised but because of who we are and the choices that we make. Parents try to guide but pretty damn early we start slamming doors in their faces and telling them to butt the bleep out; and even if we don’t literally slam a door and curse at them, we’re doing our level best to push them away and keep them out of our lives and fight for our right to do what we want by the time we’re ten. It’s just easy and convenient to blame them when our lives don’t work out the way we planned.

Several hours later

It’s been many hours since I wrote most of the above. Like I said it’s been a weird day. I am very drained. I mean really seriously drained to the point of confusion and sadness. There’s no one single cause. It’s everything. I really need to get to the point where I can really focus on just me and my health because I can’t do this stretching myself thin in a million directions thing much longer. I’m split in too many parts trying to be too many things to too many people. I want to be able to help everyone; but if it’s going to make me get sick in the process of trying that’s not a good thing for anyone, most especially for myself. Too much stress can drive you crazy. I can’t afford to lose what little I have left of my mind.

The picture in this post is a photo I took of myself in a ridiculous wig a few years ago when I was going through one of my artistic phases. I wanted to find an easier way to create artwork so I decided I would take photos of myself in various poses and then transform the photos into digital art. This piece is titled “Sad Girl”. I am using it because it reflects how I feel today.

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Dear Monica, why are you sad? You don’t have any reason to be sad. Right now, at this moment everything is okay; and that is really all that matters–right now at this moment. Be thankful. Smile. This urge to cry–what is that? Smile. Life is beautiful, Life is wonderful. Everything is okay. Breathe.

Now, stay in your calm place and listen to me. You can’t keep going around getting upset about things that people do when they’re doing the opposite of what you’d like to see them do. Everybody’s got their own stuff to get through and you have no right to demand that people go through their stuff in a way that’s more convenient for you and easier for you to deal with. It’s not for people to adjust themselves and adjust their lives out of consideration for you. You need to let people be who they are and live their lives however they choose to live their lives; and if you are going to choose to remain part of their life then it’s on you to learn how to deal with the stuff they do that you don’t like. You can’t control how other people are going to act and react; and you have to stop trying to do that. Work on yourself instead. Learn to control your emotions. Work on getting rid of your unreasonable expectation that the people in your life will always be in control of their emotions and always be in a mood that does not threaten your comfort. Learn to deal with the fact that you can’t control anyone other than yourself. And keep reminding yourself that people have to go through their stuff just like you have to go through your stuff. It will help you to stop acting as if everything is about you. Not everything is about you. Learn the difference so you can stop adding to other people’s burdens by getting in their face and demanding consideration of your feelings at times when you need to be the one considering theirs.

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Tuesday yoga pose practice crow pose

I once wrote in a post that it felt like my fibroids were throbbing with life. It’s been a while since I’ve had the feeling like the fibroids were throbbing as if they were living organisms with a pulse. Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention. I’m still actively trying to deactivate my fibroids. I’m resigned to the idea that I’m going to have them unless I get them removed; but I feel like you can have them without it being necessary that they take over your entire life. So I continue in my quest to take back control of my life from these tumors in my stomach.

I am on Day 14 of a 10 day fast. I set out to do a 10 day fast and decided to add 4 more days once I reached day 10. Day 14 was actually yesterday but I ate yesterday. So I am writing off yesterday and calling today Day 14. You probably can’t do that ordinarily; but my fasts aren’t typical anyway. And I figure I can make my own rules since I am not fasting to “cleanse” my body or for any of the more common reasons. In fact I probably should stop referring to what I do as fasting and just call it avoiding solid foods. So yesterday was an interruption rather than an end and today is a continuation. I will try to go for 4 more days then decide if to try for another 4 after that or quit.

I feel pretty good physically for having only eaten solid foods once in 14 days; but mentally and emotionally I’ve been struggling the last couple of days. Yesterday was particularly trying. Day before yesterday I struggled but I managed to resist the temptation to quit. Yesterday’s amount of stress was just too much and I didn’t have the will to fight to get through to day 15 without eating. I wanted to eat and so I ate.

Today I spent a lot of time practicing yoga poses. I’m working on my strength and my flexibility. I have a long way to go. My goal is to become more centered, more connected and more in control in all aspects of my life; and I feel like mastery of certain yoga poses could help me towards that goal.

Tuesday yoga pose practice bow pose

All too often I feel separated and disconnected from myself–like I’m over here and over there, up there and down here all at the same time. I get so lost in my mind I can’t feel my body. Or I get so caught up in my sad feelings that I lose contact with mind.

I feel like the key to getting my life back is to become more mentally, emotionally and physically connected. This is going to be extremely difficult for me to achieve. I am already facing temptation to quit trying. Every day there’s some voice in my head telling me negative things. And if it’s not a voice in my head it’s something else that drains my energy and makes it hard to want to keep on trying to change my life. Countless times throughout the day I become deflated and unmotivated. For every burst of energy and inspiration and feeling like I can and will do this, there is the opposite–a pin prick that lets all the energy out and kills the inspiration and leaves me feeling like trying is pointless and nothing can or will ever change because I have no power to cause change that is for the better.

This journey of mine is taking off more slowly than I would like. I think that is because I am not as fully focused on it as I need to be. I have so much else going on; and I really cannot afford to have all these extra things going on distracting me from where I need to be focused. I really need to be committed to this process. I need to be 100% focused on the goal of changing my life.

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I have just finished doing some stretches and taking some photos to use with this blog post. I have been going back and forth with myself trying to decide if I should post pictures that show my belly. It’s that fear of scrutiny thing. The fear of judgement and ridicule that made me tear up all my pictures when I was growing up (except for the ones in which I thought I looked good which was not very many).

Having a flat stomach was always important to me. There was a time I was doing one thousand situps per day to maintain my flat stomach. I have previously explained that I had serious body image issues for most of my life. I lived in fear of gaining an ounce or having a less than flat stomach, having a big behind (that wasn’t an asset at the time as it is now), having an inch of fat anywhere on my body. To be at this place in my life where I have fibroid tumors in my stomach that take away my control over my appearance is very difficult for me. My body has been altered by fibroids for quite a number of years now; yet I still have not gotten used to my new body. I’m self conscious about my stomach, even with my husband.

But it’s entirely possible that I won’t be getting back my flat stomach any time soon. I don’t think I’m going to have the courage to get a hysterectomy even if I eventually find myself with the means by which to do so. The more I think about it the more I panic. I’ve even been concerned that I won’t know what to do with myself if I got rid of the fibroids. That’s crazy, I know, but the thought did pass through my mind that I might find it hard to adjust to life without fibroids.

This is another photo from my stretching session earlier today. This is the photo I was trying to decide if I should share.

woman with fibroids doing yoga march 20 2014

As you can see my current situation with the fibroids is that they are still present and quite prominent. In fact they appear larger than the last time I posted a photo of my fibroids. I’m inclined to believe that my situation is permanent, unless I get the hysterectomy. My stomach isn’t going to get flat. Maybe after menopause like they say but until then, this belly is a part of me. So the question I’m asking myself today is “Can I somehow learn to love my fibroid altered body”?

I don’t know if I can. I am hoping to go out into the world a lot more often this Spring and Summer as part of my life transformation plan. I know it’s better for me if I could develop an attitude where I simply don’t care what anyone thinks about the way I look. This way I won’t have to worry about trying to hide my stomach when I go outside. I really shouldn’t have to worry about that when all is said and done. It’s vain and silly and childish and pointless; but the reality of the matter is that vanity still plagues me. I want to look good and I want to feel good when I go out. It does wonders for the ego and my purpose is to try to build up myself after years of tearing myself down and allowing myself to be torn down. So it’s going to be difficult having this belly to deal with when the weather is too warm for big coats. But I do have the belly; so I think that I had better try to learn how to love this altered body. Because then I won’t feel like it’s something I need to hide for fear of shame.

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I’ve read all the reasons they say some women get fibroids.

Being Overweight – This doesn’t apply to me. I was always thin although I’ll admit that I gained some weight for a brief period after turning 33. I went from being underweight to being normal weight. For most of my life I’ve had a body image problem. I didn’t feel good about myself unless I was sickly thin, so the weight I gained when I was 33 was a problem for me even though I was still small. I couldn’t appreciate that it was better to be healthy than to continue in the lifestyle of starving myself to be thin, so I went back to my old habits to lose the weight; but at around age 38 I gained weight again and from that age until age 41 I kept going up and down in weight and at one point was actually registering on the BMI calculator as overweight for my age and height. Things have been more balanced for the last couple of years. I am not the underweight girl who used to starve herself to stay thin. I am at the mid-low end of normal weight meaning, if I do a 5 day fast I become underweight. If I go crazy and eat a lot for a 5 day period I reach the middle level of normal weight. The middle level of normal weight is where you’re not going to wonder if I have some sort of illness that emaciates me; but you’ll probably still consider me a relatively small person. So the “overweight” factor doesn’t apply for me as far as figuring out the reason I have fibroids.

Being an African American female
– I find this bogus. Yes, I am an African American female; but I reject the idea that this predisposes me to developing fibroids. I don’t see enough African American females walking around with fibroids to convince me that being a black woman makes me more likely to get them.

Fibroids run in the family
– This is definitely true for me. My grandmother had fibroids. My mother tells me she (my grandmother) had a hysterectomy because of her fibroids and the problems they were causing her. My mother also had fibroids but lived with hers. I believe after menopause hers appeared to have gone away. I don’t know what her situation is right now, if they came back or stayed gone.

I have 5 sisters. I know for certain that 3 of them had/have fibroids. The 4th says she has some growth in her stomach that she’s going to get surgically removed. Of the other sisters one had a hysterectomy on account of fibroids, the other underwent a uterine fibroid embolization. The other sister with fibroids has had hers since she was a teenager. They don’t appear to cause her any major problems. She used to complain when she was young that no amount of sit-ups or crunches ever resulted in a flat stomach for her, so I’ll assume she has the same problem with her stomach protruding but I don’t think it’s to the point where she looks pregnant. I don’t know about my youngest sister. I don’t know if she has fibroids or not but I think it’s safe to say genetics played a role in the development of my fibroids.

Being 35 years old and older – My fibroid problem did start after age 35; but like I said, one of my younger sisters has had fibroids since she was a teenager, so I guess you can get fibroids at any age.

But I wonder if it’s possible that emotional pain can contribute to a woman growing fibroids. When I consider all the women in my family who have or have had fibroids, with the exception of the sister who developed hers as a teenager, we all have had some pretty painful things to endure in our lives.

I know that my fibroids showed up after I had gone through some experiences in my marriage that I would wish on no woman. And those experiences were the climax of 8 years of absolute hell. I endured the kind of pain that makes you double over clutching your stomach bawling and wanting to die.

I’ve been married 16 years, and while I haven’t gone through quite the hell in the last 8 that I went through in the first 8, there has always been something to be hurt and upset about. I have to wonder if it’s possible that becoming emotionally upset with such frequency over such a long period contributed to the growth of my fibroids. Like I said, mine came into existence on the heels of a particularly difficult experience that was severely shocking to my entire system – mental, emotional and physical.

I guess at the end of the day it makes no difference how I developed fibroids. I have them. The question is what am I going to do about them? I think I am going to make it my goal to be fibroid free by this time next year. I can’t see another way to do that except to have the hysterectomy. I hope that by the time I finally get around to seeing a doctor my fibroids will be small enough to try uterine fibroid embolization; but as I understand it that’s no guarantee. The fibroids can grow back. It seems they haven’t grown back for my sister who had the procedure done; but I understand they do grow back for some women. But if it turns out my fibroids are small enough to go the embolization route I will try that first.

I’ve had it with these fibroids. Enough is enough! A former friend of mine once told me I needed to say that about my marriage. She asked me, “When is enough enough?” Maybe if I had pulled out around that time I wouldn’t have these darn fibroids now.

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woman with fibroids

In the meantime while I wait to see whether or not I will manage to get health insurance in 2014 and go forward with getting a hysterectomy, I have to continue to do the things I’ve been doing for the last several years to try to shrink my fibroids naturally knowing that the most I will get by way of results is a stomach that makes me look between 3 – 4 months pregnant instead of a stomach that makes me look 6 – 7 months pregnant or more.

Like I said in my previous rant, it’s been a frustrating journey; but I have to remind myself that I am the one who made the choice not to have the hysterectomy when I had the chance to get the surgery the first time I was told I needed it. I can’t blame my sisters for my choice to allow their advice to influence me to make the choice to listen to my fears and decide against having the surgery. At the end of the day both things were my choice. It was my choice to listen to them; and it was my choice not to have the surgery.

The truth is, I was afraid. I am still afraid. I am afraid that I will die during surgery. As routine as they say hysterectomies are, they also admit that anything can happen and that while death is rare, death does happen. It isn’t so much that I fear the possibility of death. It’s that if I don’t have to die yet I don’t want to die yet because my son still needs me.

My reluctance to get a hysterectomy also has to do with the fact that I don’t like the idea of having a part of me removed; but there are so many women who have had hysterectomies and live perfectly normal lives. My grandmother had a hysterectomy because of fibroids and she lived until age 80. And my memories of her when I lived with her for approximately 5 years as a child was of a strong woman. Her life was hard; but I don’t think lacking a uterus made it harder.

And my older sister, who also had a hysterectomy to resolve her issue with fibroids, assures me it was the best decision she ever made. She says she does not even remember that she had her uterus removed–it has had absolutely no detrimental impact on her life.

I’m sitting here pondering my situation. Why would I have a hysterectomy? At this point it would be entirely for reasons of vanity because I am not really suffering any major discomforts on account of my fibroids. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a problem where I can’t even sit comfortably. The fibroids don’t really bother me except for getting in the way of my appearance. Although I can’t swear that I am in good health considering I have not been to the doctor in several years, I feel healthy. I can’t say that the fibroids are causing me any major problem except for making me self-conscious and embarrassed about how I look. Maybe they also chemically contribute to my daily mental and emotional struggles. I don’t know; but health-wise, nothing serious is going on that I am aware of. My cycles are more normal these days, possibly thanks to the DIM supplements; and I’m not dealing with any of the other little nuisances such as having to urinate constantly.

So my concerns right now are all about my looks; and I’m not sure how I feel about that on principle. It’s always been a source of conflict for me, knowing that vanity is trivial and that there’s so much more to life that can and should take focus over how a person looks; and yet I have been concerned about my looks for my whole life; and being over 40 hasn’t changed that. In fact, I think getting older makes you even more self-conscious, although it really shouldn’t. I mean, it seems to me that I should be feeling free from all that stuff that plagued me in my youth. I should be free from worrying how I measured up to this beauty standard and that beauty standard. I should be free from trying to look attractive enough to be noticed by men who at the end of the day didn’t really give a damn about me as a whole human being and only care what my body could do for theirs. It was a hard journey and when I consider what I’ve been through my whole damn life, it makes me want to give myself a thorough beating for continuing to subject myself to harsh criticism and judgement over my appearance, and not accepting and valuing what truly makes me “me”. It isn’t my body that makes me who I am and if anyone should know that, I should know it. That’s been my only experience in life–to be wanted only for my body and treated like I had no worth beyond that.

But my body is part of the whole of me, and fibroids aren’t natural and normal things to have. It would be one thing if my stomach was large just from the natural aging process; but it’s this way because there are things inside it that do not belong inside it. And there is a procedure to remove those things from my stomach; but that procedure doesn’t only remove the alien growths, it also removes a natural and normal part of me. I know they say a woman has no need for her uterus if she’s not wanting children. I have one child and don’t plan on having any more children; but does that mean I’m okay with saying take the uterus out and dump it because it’s useless to me? I don’t know. I guess these are the things I have to come to terms with; because I don’t think my attempts at shrinking my fibroids naturally will ever result in getting back my flat stomach.

If I want a flat stomach I’m either going to have to get a hysterectomy, or see if my fibroids are small enough now that I can get a uterine fibroid embolization procedure done; or I will have to wait out the time until menopause hits and hope they are right when they say that fibroids shrink naturally after menopause. It seems like a long wait but these days time flies when you wish it would crawl.

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Today I was googling the term “fibroids look like babies” because in a way some do look like fetuses to me and I have wondered if there could be any connection between growing fibroids and failing to get pregnant over many years…if something happens with your eggs and your uterus anyway that creates fibroids. Yeah I know that’s a pretty stupid thought. Still, I wonder if there’s any possibility that fibroids represent babies that were supposed to happen but never did.

Anyway, I was checking google to see if anyone else is as crazy as I am to have thought that fibroids kind of look like babies; and I came upon a link to a page where someone was writing in to describe her experience with moving fibroids. I clicked on it because it’s something I experience. I have a fibroid that moves. Apparently these types of fibroids are called pedunculated fibroids. They hang from a stalk and can be either subserous pedunculated fibroids meaning they grow outside the uterus, or they can be pedunculated submucosal fibroids meaning they grow inside the uterus (you might want to look that up for yourself in case I have it mixed up).

I believe at least 2 of my fibroids can be classified as pedunculated. I have one that moves about sometimes when I lie down on my back; and I have another one that I can distinctly feel the shape of and see pushing against my skin, again while lying down on my back. I’m going to assume that the one I can grab and see pushing out my skin is a subserous pedunculated fibroid. I think the one that moves, a giant sucker of a fibroid could also be subserous but it’s harder to tell. Then again, it’s possible a fibroid doesn’t necessarily have to grown on a stalk to shift around when you lie down so maybe I don’t have any pedunculated fibroids; but I definitely have at least 1 subserous fibroid and I don’t need an ultrasound to verify that on my behalf.

I know you’re thinking that instead of trying to guess what type of fibroids I have after reading stuff on the Internet I should go to a doctor and get the facts, but you know what, I have accomplished far more for myself on my own than any doctors were willing or able to help me accomplish as far as finding ways to treat my condition. All doctors tell you is “Your situation is emergent. You must have a hysterectomy immediately.”  Then they tell you to go and find the means to get this hysterectomy. Come back with ten thousand dollars in your pocket or find a health care company or organization that will pay the ten thousand dollars on your behalf. Once you have the money they’ll try to help; otherwise sorry but there’s nothing they can do other than tell you that you’re facing a serious health crisis and if you don’t get your uterus taken out soon you could very well hemorrhage and die.

It’s been more than 2 years since I was told pretty much what I’ve just written above, that my fibroids had grown to a dangerously large size and my uterus needed to be removed right away. I still have my uterus. Yes I still have fibroids; but my condition has improved significantly and this has been entirely without any doctor’s help.

In some places people don’t have any access whatsoever to doctors. Do they just lay down and die when struck with an ailment? No. They try to find ways to cure themselves. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they don’t. I still don’t have health insurance and I am still too poor to afford to pay out of pocket for doctors visits; so I haven’t been back to the doctor; but I am well enough in touch with my body and with my mind to know that I am in a much healthier place today than I was 2 years ago and what I’ve accomplished has been accomplished without any doctor’s guidance.

So yeah, I feel I know my own fibroids better than any doctor and for sure I have a fibroid that grows outside of my uterus and I have a fibroid that moves, or it’s probably more accurate to say that it gets displaced depending upon my own movements. These two are not the only fibroids I have. I did get an ultrasound at one point and I believe I had 3 or 4 then. I can’t quite recall. It could be that I have more by now; but there are definitely 3 large ones that I can outline with my fingers. Two I can’t say whether they are on the outside or inside even though I can feel them. I don’t have the ability to actually grab them like I do with the third one that I’m sure is on the outside.

Will I ever completely get rid of my fibroids? I’m inclined to think “no” is the answer to that question. Unless of course I get that hysterectomy; but I know their damaging impact on the mind and body can be controlled because I live the fact. Pedunculated or not pedunculated, fibroids are ugly things that feed on your weaknesses of mind and body. My goal is to starve them out by working to achieve and maintain mental, emotional and physical balance. I’m not there yet. It’s a hard journey but I’m still trekking along.