Mother: Conversations with my Body
This July has been different than most. I have been in a deep contemplative space with my body. When I was younger and into my twenties, I never recall real in depth conversations. Instead, I was angry at my body for being what I thought as, too fat. I remember constantly dieting. I was always at the gym and many of times I would put myself on a strict unhealthy vegetarian diet. Instead of eating a well balanced meal, I would drink Rockstar drinks for energy and eat almonds before a work out. Back then, I was naive and angry and partied as away to escape any issues I might of had. Needles to say, when I was twenty-two I began to practice yoga. It started off as a new way to help myself remain thin but gradually it became something that I realized helped me with my anxiety. Slowly, it became a much deeper practice, as it helped me form an ear to hear myself and into a voice of permission to breathe. Now, ten years later at the age of thirty-two, this deep meditative and breathing practice of yoga has opened me up and helped me release so many narratives.
Lately, I have been thinking about children. To be honest, I have been at a ninety percent "No" on having children before the age of ten. I am the second oldest of a mixed family unit of seven and had a large part in raising my five brothers. When I went to college, I saw it as an opportunity to stop mothering my brothers and being mediator for my immediate Cuban and Haitian family members. My college years paved a journey of my own personal self-discovery. But I can no longer deny the woman in me that still wants to mother in some other way that I have been too afraid to ask. When the need to birth in the past has shown up, I knew I needed to dive deeper into my writing practice. Therefore, I put myself through graduate school for Creative Writing and explored so many of my artistic endeavors like, photography, film, and painting. I am a firm believer that woman create and birth in so many ways, than what our linear culture would like us to believe. We all should know, motherhood is not limited to the act of what is physically pushed from between our legs. As women, we mother in mentoring, sisterhood with each-other and or siblings,through healing modalities, teaching- the list goes on.
Something really shifted when I had a "oops," and I proceeded to have sex with a fling after the condom slipped off. After he left, I laid in my bed and I knew something happened. It wasn't the same "oops" of when I was twenty-three having a quickie in the shower with my then boyfriend. Back then, my period was irregular. Besides all the doctors not really knowing what was going on with my moon-cycle, the absence of it signified to me that my womb and ovaries weren't feeling safe enough to be vulnerable and breathe in their own right in this physical world. Therefore, having a moon-cycle was almost not existent. It was different the morning after this recent fling and when I got home I rushed to a Planned Parenthood. I noticed how emotional I was getting just sitting in the waiting room. I felt alone, scared and wanting more than this crowded experience of a waiting room. As an activist, feminist, woman-of-color and a survivor of sexual abuse, I have always fought for women's right to choose. Personally, I never wanted to be in a position to choose any variation of abortion. I always thought if I was meant to be a mother, I would be one after college, when I was financial stable and with a guy I loved. You know, when the "time was right." I guess, we all think this way. When the physician's assistant asked me if I was planning to have a child within the next year or two, a voice within me jumbled up and said, " yes!" Obviously, I was semi-shocked but proceeded to tell her "no." Leaving the Planned Parenthood, I cried in my car before I headed home to take the morning after pill.
Now, when I look back at the one night stand, I realize it lead me to have this very conversation on what I really want and when and how to choose. Another component that has been circulating me is that I am a survivor of trauma. When I was a young girl I was raped by a close family friend and then had a short- lived experience being molested by a family member. It has taken me years to move into a place of enjoying sex. When the possibility of pregnancy appeared, I chose to not let potential exist, so that I could let my own personal process unfold without the time constraint of being responsible of someone else, begin to tick. It was huge then and still huge now to trust myself, my body and this world again. It has been a slow process to experience joy and a deep sense of satisfaction and vulnerability and connection in the act of sex. Especially because my first initial experience was one of force and abuse.
At the age of thirty-two, I can say, I love children but they are a lot. Mostly, I'm concerned with pregnancy and child birth. I know what it's like to store trauma: sexual abuse, fear, shame and doubt for a long period of time. These last few years, I have been releasing so much that I am afraid to have anything else living and breathing within me. We don't always talk about how traumatic child-bearing truly is for women. Honestly, I am terrified to go back into another place of physical shock and trauma that I experienced at a young age and what women experience in child bearing. There are so many adjustments before and after pregnancy, and then there is this beautiful life force to raise. Sometimes, I feel that it has been enough work coming into a place of healing with my own inner-child and into conversation and balance with my own Maiden, Mother and Crone self. And if I being even more honest, it's already more than enough for me to begin to share space with another guy and trust in a WE that is healthy and loving.
This year, I have come home into my body and rooted myself in a way that I never knew existed. I know everyone says I'm young but just the other week I woke up saying, "Fuck, I am thirty-two." It was so weird to wake up saying it. I have been unpacking it since it happened. Perhaps, it's a ticking of some sort. An acknowledgement of my spiritual self meeting and acknowledging the parts of my physical body that are ready to grow. I know I'm expanding on multiple levels. Last year, when I was dating a sexy mess of a guy, he asked me if I wanted kids. To my surprise I said, "It all depends on my partner and community." I'm still working on a partner and my physical community has been stronger than ever and growing but it's the community within that puzzles me. I am happy creating and writing and cutting up my oranges in the morning without someones asking if they can taste the sweetness of my fruit. Gentle glances, touches, caress and more from a potential partner have become nice and slow- the way I need it to be. Right now, I don't want to be asked any more nor think about children. Maybe, my body is letting me know it too is in process of creating space just in case.