Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Love Cries Out With Red Tears

I don't know what to blog about. A lot going on in my life but I've been feeling rather private. I've thought about not blogging for awhile, or maybe writing without publishing. I dunno. I'll see. But here I am tonight so I suppose something is wanting to be said. Lets see...

After 9 months. I shared my truth with Lover Who Is Not My Lover, no holds barred. Although it wasn't a fight and I wasn't vicious. I love him.

You know those moments in lovemaking that are indelibly etched into your mind, that you keep returning to over and over again? Been thinking of Lover Who Is My Lover. I love him.

This moment I'm thinking of my husband who is lying in bed next to me. Our legs are intertwined as I type. His body is warm and inviting. He always seems to want me. Always willing. I like that. I love him.

Monday morning I didn't want to get out of bed. I felt sad. I even cried and felt sorry for myself. Then I put my mind on all the productive things I had planned for the day, put my best foot forward and moved on. Kinda. But the sadness lingered. On Tuesday morning I woke up depressed. I had no choice but to get out of bed and carry on with a crazy adventure I was committed to but by late morning I had crawled back into bed and spent most of the rest of the day there. My body hurt. I was tired. I contemplated how I felt. Yes, definitely depressed. Later I again had to pull myself out of bed because I had a client. I drank an extra strong cup of tea and woke myself up. I rally for my clients. Walking home from my office I even felt rather decent. Then Lover Who Is My Lover called and that picked up my spirits even more. Then Jerry took me out to dinner and to a fun little gathering of friends and I was truly feeling so much better.

I was wondering what had triggered me into such a state when I sat down to pee and there is was. Mystery solved. I was bleeding. This is my first period in four months. I thought maybe that I'd had my last cycle back in November so I'm really glad to be bleeding again. I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to that phase of my womanhood. Some heavy stuff came up for me at my last Enlightenment Intensive around this change. I had some big emotions surface and I realized that it would be good for me to create a rite of passage for this significant and symbolic transformation in my body. My life.

My first menstrual cycle (menarche) came the summer between 7th and 8th grade when I turned 13 years old. That's the summer I grew breasts and lost the baby fat around my tummy and acquired an actual waist. I remember returning to school in the fall and while dressing down for gym class someone yelled out , "Adrienne, look what happened to you over the summer!" I was very proud of my blossoming body. It seemed like forever that I had been yearning for breasts and they had finally arrived.

I was embarrassed to tell my mom that I had started my period so the way I did it was to ask her for 50 cents so I could buy a box of Kotex. That's what we called "sanitary pads" back in the day, which I think are now called pantie liners or some such thing. And Kotex were these huge "diapers" that you kept attached to your body by wearing a special "sanitary belt" that they hooked onto. I tried switching to tampons but I couldn't figure out how to fit one inside of me for the longest time.

Yes, I was embarrassed to tell my own mother when I experienced this special event in my life and my eldest daughter was afraid to tell me when she started her period too. Our reasons were different though. I was too shy to talk to my mom about personal things because, well, we just didn't do that. My daughter on the other hand was very conventional and she feared that me and my women friends would create a spectacle. She imagined us putting her in the middle of a circle and dancing around naked, saying things that would embarrass her. Aw, the "Sins of the Father" or mother, as the case may be.

I never considered my menstrual cycle a "female problem". I rarely experienced much cramping and didn't need to take drugs or stay home from school like a lot of the other girls often did. My periods were very nondescript. Just a normal flow for several days, always right on time right on schedule except when I was pregnant or nursing a baby which was, I admit, often.

I never experienced PMS and I admit that I didn't have a lot of sympathy or respect for women who did. I thought it was all in their minds, that they simply weren't connected with their bodies in a natural way--the way I was. I attempted to be humble (and silent) about this but I had an attitude, no doubt. Then my self righteous attitude came tumbling down on me about 10 years ago. You see, I've been perimenopausal for about 14 years now. I'm 54. There were several noticeable little changes in my body and then my periods got very heavy. Then I got PMS. I would have these amazing flip out, meltdown, hysterical, crying jags every month. My husband would sit patiently at my side as I fumed and sobbed, tears and snot flying everywhere. Then he would gently say to me, "You're going to bleed in a couple of days." I would look up at him and sniffle, "I am?" and he would say, "Yes baby, you are." Then I would understand why I was feeling so crazy and just that knowledge alone would make everything all better. I did that for a couple of years and believe me it wasn't fun. The craziness went away but the heavy periods stayed and I've been fairly anemic for many years.

Over this last year my cycle hasn't been so regular and then in November, shortly after I had become lovers with Lover Who Is My Lover, I started bleeding just before we were going to make love one day. I had a quick little conversation with my body, "Bad body, don't do this right now." It listened to my demand and the bleeding stopped for several hours. I was grateful but felt a little guilty for not dealing with the situation more honestly and openly. I mean, what's the big deal about a little blood? But with him being a new lover and all, I was a little nervous and just wanted it to stay simple for that moment. A week later I met with him again after I had stopped bleeding but after we made love I noticed a little blood. He was nonchalant about it which comforted me. I've had past experience with a lover once who wasn't very adoring with my blood and I didn't like that.

Well as it turned out, I hadn't bled since that night and I've been thinking that maybe I was done bleeding altogether. I've been a little sad about that but I was actually happy and took some contentment in the fact that my body had taken it on itself to connect my new lover with the last of my blood in that way. Yes, I make meaning out of everything. I know.

I've always appreciated how my husband rarely fails to meet me, my highs and lows, bleeding, not bleeding, it makes no difference to him. He's just always loving me--body, mind and soul with his body, mind and soul. Willing heart and hands. He is a special man.

Here is the last line from a poem I wrote to my youngest son's father in 1991:
My love cries out with red tears that you cringe from in my menstrual blood.

Here a love scene from author Judith Freeman’s A Desert of Pure Feeling:

“We made love in the dark. I was struck by the slenderness and tautness of his body, and his extreme grace, his almost agonized ecstasy at the moment of orgasm. And I remember afterward turning on a light and seeing all the blood, and feeling no shame that it was mine. I had not mentioned this to him, that I was menstruating, and later when he’d washed off in the shower and come back to bed, he’d said very casually, ‘You’re bleeding, you know,’ and I said ‘Yes I know.’ This seemed to amuse him that I felt no shame, no embarrassment, that it hadn’t stopped me from coming to the motel with him. “It’s nice,” he said to me very gently, “I don’t mind.” He showed none of the disgust I would later feel with other men, who recoiled from the thought of making love during this time. I was so young, so inexperienced in spite of marriage, that I didn’t know about these things, did not even consider it, did not know what one should do or shouldn’t do in such situations. I only knew that I wanted him, and that he wanted me, and lying in his arms afterward I was suffused with feelings of love for him.”


Ren said...

This is an awesome post, honey!
I was the very same way about PMS!
Until it showed up in my life at about 40! yep! Just like you.
Funneh! I always know when mine's coming now because I turn into a weeping, sentimental, raging, nut job for a few days!

Gillette said...

Years, decades ago I read that the reason we get "PMS" is that when we bleed our souls will not allow anything but the truth.

Bleed away, Sweetie.

Adrienne Parker said...

Ren, Thank you honey. Over and over I've learned that lesson, when I judge something, have a strong opinion about it, it comes back and bites me. I only experienced the sever PMS that I described for a couple of years thank the Goddess of bleeding yonis for that! But I had 4 months of missed bleeding to make up for this time I guess. I was up most of the night last night too!

Gillette, yea. I like that also. "When we bleed our souls will not allow anything but the truth." All that stuff I bury comes and slaps me in the face. It's a lot like alcohol I think. When people drink they are often showing more of their true selves--the parts that usually stay buried. Blood or alcohol, or both, the truth will have it's way with us!

Adrienne Parker said...

And I'm remembering one story of a hotel room that was so covered in blood that it looked like a murder took place! ;)