In my last post about my personal struggle to find the necessary reproductive care, "You Never Know What Could Happen In Ten Years," I gave an overview of the issues and discussed them mostly through a medical lens of why a permanent solution is seemingly the best option for me. In this post, I'll be covering more of the implications in relationships that come along with making this kind of decision. As in my last blog, the title is a real quote from multiple people giving their opinion about my medical situation.
Whether through family, friends, or romantic partners forming intimate connections is a necessary part of the human experience. For better or for worse we are all seeking the acceptance of others, which is what makes it all the harder to deviate from traditional societal values.
Growing up as a Sick Chick I never felt like my body belonged to me. The medical system taught me that I am nothing more than another test tube while media taught me that I am nothing more than an object for others' pleasure. I wrote a post previously entitled, "Mine, Not Yours" about reclaiming ownership over my body going into these ideas more in depth. After the blog was published I had such a wonderful outpouring of love and support. But as I've gone through this journey of fighting for sterilization, people have begun to act more entitled to my body than ever before.
Growing up the only kind of "house" I played was the kind involving writing bills (yes, I know, I was - okay, still am - a weird kid.) My first word was not "Mama" or "Dada," but instead was, "Bye!" (If that doesn't speak to my commitment issues, I don't know what does.) While I've always been the "mom friend," I've never had any great desire to actually be a mom. Unlike some of my peers I never thought about what married life might be like or day dreamed about what my future children would look like or stuffed a pillow under my shirt to imagine how I'd look pregnant. There's absolutely nothing wrong with doing any of these things, but it just wasn't - and still isn't - me.
I've always had a lot of insecurities in romantic relationships. There is some level of discomfort in inviting another person into my life to care about me when I don't know what the future holds. Is it fair to make someone worry every time I don't respond to a text message? Is it fair to make someone put up with so many rules and regulations for my health? Is it fair to make someone miss out on what are considered "typical" experiences? The answer: no it isn't. But it also isn't my choice, its their choice. I know I'm a hypocrite. When other Sick Chicks Sisters come to me with thoughts similar to these I yell at them about body positivity, knowing their self worth, and internalized ableism. But it doesn't invalidate the insecurities I still feel despite this knowledge and it is always harder to take your own advice.
My parents have one of the best marriages I've ever seen. They're such opposites, but they balance each other out perfectly. I've been around equally strong couples throughout my life that have influenced me as well, so my issues are not for a lack of positive role models. Even before I got sick marriage never really appealed to me. I just don't think you need a piece of paper or huge ceremony to prove your love and commitment to someone. So, between my "normal people" commitment issues and my Sick Chicks specific issues, for me to tie the knot the guy would have to be pretty freaking special.
I have been blessed and cursed with an automatic filtering process.
My "Mr. Right" (if he exists) will fight alongside me for policy change, he'll tell me I'm beautiful (and mean it) even at 2 am in the intensive care unit (ICU), he'll comfort me when I cry and recognize his privilege of being one of the few people I allow myself to be vulnerable in front of, he'll be the one making the inappropriate, morbid joke even before I'm even able to think of one. "Mr. Right" will give me my independence. He'll be an outspoken feminist, come on random (often late-night) get busy living adventures with me, be able to climb up and down a tree all by himself (I remember Kayla, don't worry), won't judge me for eating cookie dough straight out of the tube, encourage me to go dance in the rain even if I'm only wearing underwear, and will sing along to 90's throwback trash punk in the car with me.
So yeah, my choice to fight for a hysterectomy at a young age will absolutely make it harder to find a husband (because it's not already hard to find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with?) but any man that isn't okay with my decision is not the man for me. And ladies - if your partner doesn't support you in getting potentially life saving medical care, maybe reevaluate that relationship? Because I promise you, you deserve better.