Back in 2013, I wrote a blog entry entitled, “Where are YOU Located?” In it I talked about how I basically think of myself as residing somewhere behind my eyes, and that my body is kind of the vehicle I ride around in. I still think that way the vast majority of the time.
But there are some exceptions. Prior to my hysterectomy, I wondered if I’d still feel like a woman afterward. Would I still be me? Or would I feel as though an important part of who I am was now missing?
This is actually a common anxiety. I’ve heard women express it just before having a mastectomy, too. After all, as women, we are taught to reduce ourselves to the sum of our body parts.
And during that horrible window of anxiety, many of us can’t or won’t discuss these fears with our loved ones, because we feel they wouldn’t understand, or the subject would make them uncomfortable. How could a man get it? Or an adult child?
But believe me, your family is worried about the procedure too. And they will be just as relieved to see you come out the other side. So try to talk to them about it. It will help all concerned.
If you’re needing reassurance, I can tell you that every woman I’ve talked to about this subject agrees that after the fact, much to our relief, we still feel like ourselves. We all learn that “we” are not our body parts. When that pound (or more) of flesh gets removed, we still exist. We still have our personalities, our thought processes, our character. We still live and love and laugh.
“We” survive. We survive. And you will, too. I promise.