||[May. 17th, 2007|05:25 pm]
I am going off birth control. A couple reasons, first being that it is not serving its stated purpose and I feel irresponsible continuing to count it as a legitimate expense, especially because I do not know what my insurance situation will be after graduation. Also, l have been on it six years, during which my body has changed a fair deal, especially chemically, and I am curious about the effects. Friends who have gone off it have lost weight and felt much more in touch with their bodies. I have no objections to either of these possibilities, although I'm skeptical about the latter. I do want to understand, listen to, and respect my body more than I do now, I do want to feel healthy, to continue the work started in January to lessen pain. One of the most important things I learned in January was that I cannot hate, feel anger towards, or wish to suppress body parts or areas without consequence, and that consequence seems to be an increase in the pain that caused me to feel those particular emotions in the first place. An increase in pain, or constriction, numbness, tension - leading to cold, to loss of agility, to frustration. And more anger. So I have, in large part, stopped feeling that way towards my wrists, my shoulders, my throat. And I've been better for it. But one of the many reasons I love/d birth control was the control it gave me over what my body did and when. I suppressed my period, and I think I'd be just as happy never having it again. I have no sentimental attachment to it, no spiritual respect for it. The Red Tent was a fine junk read, but I don't think the "essence of womanhood" is connected to shed blood. Some years ago I welcomed its arrival as reassurance that the pills were working, but after that first minute of joy at not being pregnant, it was once more a thing to deal with, one more way that my body was in pain. I'm not disgusted by it, not ashamed of it. Just not into it, or anything it has been made to represent. |
My body's ability to reproduce is not miraculous, not mystical, and most definitely not anything by which I want to be defined. It is, if anything, a liability, a vulnerability, and a hassle. I do not want to be handmaiden to this society, providing fodder for war or industry. I do not want my worth as a person and as a woman to be determined by willingness to cause another life when I can not ethically justify such an action. Already as a woman, (or maybe just as a person, since no gender identity guarantees immunity) I live with a constant threat of sexual assault. I hate that this has been a factor in my daily actions and choices, but I know that it is. On birth control, there was the quasi-reassurance that, should I be assaulted, at least I wouldn't have to deal with getting access to plan B or an abortion ( and I live in an area where these services are still accessible). Some comfort. But I can't stay on the pill simply out of fear, I can't let that be the deciding factor for this question. So I go off, I try to feel more in my body, but at the same time, I can't imagine feeling anything but negatively toward my ovaries, my uterus. I don't want to embrace them or their function. I feel them as both a weakness and an oppressive force. Because of that perspective, it is hard not to harbor resentment toward them.
And yet, I don't want to harbor resentment. It is a waste of emotional investment and possibly dangerous. If feeling negatively toward my wrists because they "failed" me resulted in an energy blockage that physically reduced blood flow, what damage could I cause by hating parts of my body for making me vulnerable and reducible to a biological function? Aren't I further objectifying these parts by directing my resentment at them, when it is the society in which I live that is the real danger, the society that needs to be dismantled? I don't want to set my body on a course of self-destruction, yet neutrality, let alone positive emotional energy, requires a trust that will be hard to establish.
I have been militarized, partitioned into a war zone, and I view with suspicion that which has been occupied by enemy territory. Stalin welcomed escaped Soviet POWs with a bullet in the head. As a rule, doing the opposite of whatever Stalin did is generally advisable. In this case, I need to remember that acting in a similar manner would not only be inadvisable, it could be suicidal.
My health is my health, whether wrist or uterus or heart.
I want a functioning body, a pain free body, a healthy body.
I want a unified body, a body/mind I that is me that does not inspire war metaphors.