Ive been slapped in the face many times. The first time was a month before my 12th birthday. I was getting ready for a sleepover birthday party, but came down with the most god awful abdominal and back pain. My mom was ready to take me to the doctor but changed her mind after I told her about my most recent trip to the bathroom. It was all explained, I was a woman now. I spent the next two days in bed with a heating pad. I didn’t know then what I found out later: Tylenol would never help. I learned to get used to the roughly monthly slaps in the face that I was supposed to appreciate because I was a woman!
The second slap in the face was my first visit to a gynecologist at age 16 who shoved a cold metal instrument into a place I wasn’t yet familiar with, only to tell me that everything appeared okay but maybe birth control pills would help with the debilitating cramps. My mom decided against this for various reasons and so I took prescription pain medication that never really helped.
I had a brief reprieve from the face slapping once I started birth control pills on my own. I finally understood the viewpoint of the women who didn’t mind getting their periods.
The 3rd slap came when I stopped the birth control pills in order to try to get pregnant. I soon found out that the reason behind all the slaps was endometriosis. The slap had a name. I just called her bitch. The bitch decided that not only did I deserve monthly pain beyond words but I also didn’t deserve to be a mom without expensive and possibly unsuccessful intervention. The Bitch also drove my ex husband away, 4th slap.
Another brief reprieve from the bitch slaps when I went back on birth control.
Then the slaps became little nudges. Slow weight gain, more difficulty getting rid of extra weight, acne, fibroids, more surgery. These felt more like nudges than slaps, but maybe I had just adapted to them and built up some resistance, finally.
Then…sooner than I had ever expected or could ever wish for the Bitch left! Be careful what you wish for. She was gone but she didn’t leave silently. Six months before she departed she left me with some pretty tough drawn out slaps…but I survived and the she was gone. In her wake though she left behind hot flashes, insomnia, joint pains, and rapid weight gain. Slaps number 4, 5, 6, and 7. Slap number 8 was going from a 36 B to a 38D. Be careful what you wish for.
I had brief reprieves with hormone replacement but the Bitch found out and came back…but she waited over a year so that I would have to have tons of tests and worry about cancer. She even made me have minor surgery. Slaps number 9, 10, 11, and 12.
I believe I’ve driven the bitch away for good now, with the help of an antidepressant. She’s left behind little reminders that she was here though. The regular hot flash every morning after getting out of the shower, the occasional hot flash here or there, the increasing size of my waistline and the slow steady rise in my weight along with the inability to lose weight without starving myself, which I refuse to do.
So, yes, I’ve been bitch slapped and I need to fight back but I’m not sure that I’m strong enough. Not today anyway.