Happy V Day!
For me Feb 14th always reminds me of the production of The Vagina Monologues I did in 2008. Our opening night was Valentines Day and I’ll never forget it.
Working on that production was SO much fun and the forever-friends I made in the process … the whole experience was transformative. Plus getting an entire theater of 800+ people to chant CUNT was pretty amazing.
I can’t believe how much better I’m feeling. I am 11 days off of Tamoxifen and I feel like a bright green sprout pushing through the earth and reaching up for the sun. The other night Gerry said “I’m so glad you’re back”. His chirpy happy wife had disappeared for a while there.
I went to my second Aquafit Encore Program at the YWCA today and it’s really great. The camaraderie with the other woman reminds me a little of my experience with the Vagina Monologues.
With the VMonologues – we all started as strangers with a common experience (having vaginas). Ha ha. But the deeper we got with each other during the process of doing the play – the more we started to share our personal experiences.
I think the statistic is something like 7 in 10 women (myself included) around the world experience physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. As we started to get to know each other during the process of rehearsal … I began to realize that we’ve all experienced trauma of some kind or another.
With this new group of woman and the trauma of cancer – you become fast friends as you start to talk about treatment, medication and share information. After the Aquafit (which is really a great workout btw) we all meet in the yoga room and have a roundtable.
Last week we talked a little bit about ourselves and about what we’d like to get out of the program.
This week they had a speaker come in and talk to us about Lymphedema (which can happen with BC patients who have had surgery/radiation).
Little by little I am getting to know these woman. Some of them I see repeatedly during the week at Therapeutic Touch, drop in meditation, and my Chemo Brain class.
I know from my experience with the Vagina Monologues that sharing with others who have had similar experiences helps heal you in a way you can’t do on your own. Even sharing with someone that you think you have NOTHING in common with can show you things you didn’t expect but desperately needed to see.
But you have to be open.
Speaking of open. I went to the locker room today with the intention of getting naked. I decided to undress completely and not worry about trying to hid my chub or my scars. I flung everything off and got naked. I mean … I wasn’t the only one naked … but I have a thing about being naked in public. I can barely be naked when I’m alone. Ha ha.
I was feeling so proud of myself for being nude in public – when a woman in her 70′s came up to me and started asking me about my tattoos. I wrapped my towel around my waist and it was such a weird awkward moment. I felt SO uncomfortable. I kept wondering if she noticed that I have a giant mastectomy scar and am missing a breast. Was she going to mention it. Ack! Everyone is looking at me.
Then I thought … Stop thinking and listen to what she’s saying! She just said you were beautiful and that your tattoo’s were amazing. I couldn’t hear anything she was saying because I was feeling so guarded about my scar. I thanked her and told her she should get one. She laughed and said “I just might!”
When I joined the VMonologues I was guarded. I had been scarred by a few friendships that had fallen apart for various reasons and I felt like I was at the age where I didn’t need any more friends in my life. Ha ha. How silly is that? Everyone benefits when you have more love in your life. It took me a while to let my guard down with the group but when I finally did … I formed some amazing friendships.
I’m so thankful for that VM experience because I now enter each new “group” I join with different attitude. My heart is forever changed. It’s open and it’s filled to the brim with gratitude and love and that’s because of my Vagina Sisters.
But never-mind about my vagina and my one healthy boob. What I’d like to focus on is V-Day.
If you’re not familiar – it’s a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery.
There are all kinds of ways you can take action. Visit the V-Day website for ways you can get involved. We have to take care of each other and today is the perfect day to start doing that. ~Love you.