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am I still a woman? am I still a woman?

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  #1  
Unread 04-03-2007, 10:12 PM
am I still a woman?

Dear sisters:

I am plagued day and night (with nightmares of the surgery over and over) by the terrible thought that I will never feel like a true woman again; that the doctors lied to me and pushed me into a surgery for which I was not ready nor willing; and that I will never have the life I loved back again. That is, wonderful lovemaking with my husband, hikes in forests, joy in everyday life. My life has been a hormone nightmare for two solid years now. I am frightened, and I even had to call the suicide prevention hotline last week.
I read a lot of posts here, and I can't find many "I'm happy with what I did--TH/BSO types." Will it always be this way.
Going on year #3. Scared.

Please, if any sisters can offer some advice. I am trying everything I know. Counseling, hormones, etc. I still feel like an "it" with no feminitiy. Especially since my dh and I worked for 7 previous years at infertility treatments. And the most recent adoption agency outright refused us, because "we have no children presently in the home, therefore, we would not be good parents." I cried an cried and threw out all the little toys I had been saving for years.

Sorry, just another aching heart.
Love, Briar Rose,Diane
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  #2  
Unread 04-03-2007, 10:46 PM
am I still a woman?

I think you don't read a lot of "I am happy" posts because those who are happy tend not to post as much. I do a lot of hanging out online and posting communities of almost every sort tend to have more posts by the unhappy, as they are more motivated to post. I am very happy with my TAH/BSO and am looking forward to no more pain.

You are clearly unhappy and struggling and part of it seems to be how you define what being a woman is. Having a hysterectomy does not make you less of a woman any more than having a vasectomy makes a man less of a man, In either case it means you can't have children, but not having children is not the only thing that defines us. My mom had a hysterectomy and she is still a vibrant, beautiful woman. I am still a woman after my TAH/BSO, even though I have had no children, just as my husband is a man, even though HE hasn't had any children either.

Humanity can not be reduced to body parts. Was Christopher Reeve less of a man because he was paralyzed? Was Helen Keller less of a woman because her eyes and ears didn't work? None of us can be summed up by one organ--not our eyes or uterus or spleen or breasts or lungs or anything.

We can't be summed up by being a parent either. You may not be able to be a parent, and I know that is heartbreaking to you, but you CAN be a shining light to children. Volunteer at a local school, be a scout leader, teach Sunday School, there are lots of needs out there. It's not the same thing as being a parent, but it is valuable and important and if you try it, you might find that ache in your heart is eased.
  #3  
Unread 04-04-2007, 04:37 AM
am I still a woman?

The only thing that I could add to redhead is to look into foster care which might lead to adoption or what about being a big sister to someone who really needs a female role model. Losing your uterus does not make you less of a woman.
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  #4  
Unread 04-04-2007, 06:28 AM
am I still a woman?

Briar Rose:

Hello sweety. I am outraged at the comment of the adoption agency and that makes no sense to me. I am currently in the adoption process. We have no children? I would venture to say that the vast majority of people who adopt do it because they can't have children so why on earth would they say that? PM me if you want the name of the agency I am working with. Don't give up hope. I know how you feel because I have struggled with the very same feelings. Right now, I am feeling much better because I think I finally got my hormones right, but I have had those feelings of loss of feminity. I still struggle with sexual dysfunction issues which are terribly frustrating. We are STILL WOMEN and we are still beautiful. There are parts of every cell of our bodies that are distinctly FEMALE. We nurture, we care, we love. That is who we are and just because we had to have surgery that doesn't mean we are any less women.

Please investigate more adoption agencies. The one you were working with sounds a bit whacko to me! There are tons of adoption options. I have decided to pursue my dream of becoming a mom. It took a long time to get up the courage to go forward with it but I did and I am and at the end of this I am going to have a baby in my arms! Keep the faith dear! Hugs. PM me if you want to.
  #5  
Unread 04-04-2007, 02:07 PM
am I still a woman?

Thanks, ladies; I really thought no one would answer this thread, it sounds so ridiculous. My dh and I truly had a beautiful marriage, and I look back on it with sadness.

I like your post, redhead: I hope every hystersister can read it. My dh said the same thing; you will not find many satisfied women posting. The internet is fraught with stuff like that, although this is a great place to find posts such as yours,a nd the other sisters.
  #6  
Unread 04-04-2007, 05:10 PM
am I still a woman?

I have to say I'm surprised at the reaction from the adoption agency. Surely the majority (or at least a sizeable proportion, if not a majority) of their clients must be childless... I hope you were misinterpreting what you heard. If not, it's a very hurtful thing to hear. But there are other agencies out there, and I hope you'll start looking for one.

As far as satisfaction with the surgery experience goes: if you read our pages, you'll find lots of posts covering the entire spectrum from "It's the best thing I ever did" to "I regret this decision every day of my life". (Our Tell-Your-Hyst-Story forum is full of mostly positive stories, for example.) But it doesn't matter how many of those stories you read if you're unhappy -- all that matters then is that you're having difficulty dealing with everything.

You've been down a long road, and of course you know you can't turn back the clock and undo your surgery. But you can look for some help to go on and move forward. It won't happen all at once, but you can get help to try and work through some of these issues so you can bring back some joy into your life.

Your (((sisters))) here have dealt with many sorrows, and we can tell you that it is possible to go on. There is a to be found after the storm. The pain may never go away, but if you don't find some way to move past the pain and find new joy, your sorrow and regret will consume you. I urge you to take a baby step and find someone to talk to about this. A counselor, a doctor, a pastor... I'm not talking about long-term therapy here -- at least not right now. But just a few sessions with someone could help show you what additional steps you can take to start taking your life back from your grief and pain.

to you. I hope you feel better soon.
  #7  
Unread 04-04-2007, 08:54 PM
am I still a woman?

everything redhead56 said is right. i've been wallowing in my sadness for a while now. i don't get anything solved. it's almost become a security blanket just to fret and be sad...the fact that i can't change...and wouldn't change the surgery....means i need to change my perception.

it is hard if you're exhausted...if your hormones are wonky....or if you're unhappy with your life in general...it's hard to tell what stems from surgery and what is something you created yourself and could change yourself.

a perception can change. the past cannot.

life's not a zero sum game. you aren't less of a woman or less of a human just because some parts are gone.



overcoming adversity is what makes people great.
  #8  
Unread 04-05-2007, 12:24 AM
am I still a woman?

Thanks ladies; I am quitting the pity party. I won't post anymore for a while.

Love you all, Briar Rose
  #9  
Unread 04-05-2007, 07:32 AM
am I still a woman?

Briar - Have as many pity parties as you need. We are here for you I did have a thought for you while tossing and turning last night. I wonder if you gave the gift of being a foster parent to a little girl or boy if that would give you some credentials. Otherwise I would certainly look into a private adoption. What the hell is wrong with people? Anyone with kids had one without any others in the house. I am so sorry people have been so mean to you. It just tears me up inside. I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you. Take care
  #10  
Unread 04-05-2007, 08:55 AM
am I still a woman?

oh i don't think you're having a pity party...i hope you don't think that's what i was saying. i'm sorry if it came out that way...

i don't think anyone's a bigger sissy about this than i am...or has more pitty parties. just yesterday i finally called a therapist so i can have someone to help me work through all this.

it's a really tough surgery...and we seem to be very emotionally connected to those particular organs and it makes sense to me. it's not knee surgery. the fact that you've been raked over the coals trying to adopt makes it even worse!

i just meant that what the earlier poster said...about not being less of a woman because parts are gone...is true. we can still be wonderful and vibrant and happy...but that doesn't mean you're pain isn't valid....it TOTALLY is valid. i just figure...since i can't change what's happened to me...i'm going to look at it differently.

but the part about trying to adopt...i can't even imagine how hard that is...i'm not nearly brave enough to put my emotions on the line like that yet. sorry if you feel like we..or i don't understand...cause we do.
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