Friday, March 14, 2008

A Letter to My Body

As per BlogHer:

Dear Body,
I don't really like you and I used to like you and it's not all down to that usurper: cancer.
I used to revel in my body; it looked pretty fancy without much effort, it brought me pleasure, allowed me to feel good. The breasts came in a little early and I could have done without nasty people pinging my brand new brastraps. But perhaps it's good that they did because it gave me a little more time with a full pair before the mastectomy at age 28.

Didn't you know body, that you weren't supposed to let cancer in? That it was a baddie who you ought to have fought? I know I didn't go in for playing cops and robbers when I was a child, was that what you needed to teach you to fight baddies?

You did bad, you let me down, you're responsible for the lopsided mess that is now my bosom and yet you still didn't learn because you let Mr Cancer come back and set up residence in my bones and lung. How did he sweet-talk his way back in? Was a year's worth of hideous treatments not enough to teach you to attack Mr Cancer?

It's so hard to hate you, body, because you are me and hating you means hating me - but I do. I can't really bear to be with myself a lot of the time. I look away from the bathroom mirror when getting into the bath. I struggle over what to wear that won't show off a non-existent cleavage. You've cheated me - because the world out there thinks that women have *two* breasts - it's in the magazines, on the Television, in films, in fashion, it's instilled into every baby being breast-fed; it's on every woman I see walking down the street. You've turned me into the Non-Woman.

And not content with all this, you sweat all the time; you've turned me into a sweating, hot-flushing mess. You insist on punishing me for the lack of hormones - which, actually, is all *your* fault - if you hadn't let the cancer in, *I* wouldn't be having injections to shut down those hormones. And then, perhaps I would feel like a human being with all those aspects that are ruled by hormones. I might *feel* something instead of feeling sad or nothing.

And how can you let Mr Cancer move into my lungs - I'm a singer. I need those lungs. I've trained them and honed their function to fulfil my needs. You *know* how important they are; but you sold me out. I can still sing, but you still dissed me.

How can I stand to live with you when you don't seem to care about me? When you're prepared to let me die? If I could exist without you, body, then I would. Don't you love me? Don't you want to be here? Don't you think I deserve to be here? Am I not good enough? I never treated you badly - there was that broken arm once; but it got fixed, and it wasn't deliberate. I just don't understand you and I want to be that woman I was - I want to walk down the street with confidence, with the knowledge that people look at me and see a beautiful person. I want to enjoy my body again; I want to enjoy being in it, using it and not see myself as a diseased, broken, useless thing. I want to be a woman again - able to do and be the things that make one so. But you, body, have excluded that.
You know what?
Screw you.


Sweet Camden Lass said...

Remember that picture at Jo's leaving do? You look beautiful in that. In fact, you looked particularly stunning that night generally.

I'm struggling to find words. So I'll reiterate: I've got a couple of ears if you want them. And some books.


Dorothy said...

I understand, and I don't get why some of us have to know this pain. Why we have to see this suffering.

You are in my thoughts...and yes we are undone...and must move forward anyway..and its not a pretty picture..hugs and love Dorothy

Dorothy from grammology
remember to call gram

Anonymous said...

dI liked this, it shows how talented you are. Its sad and at the same time beautiful...I don't know what to say.I pray for you daily.

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