Pagan Blog Project Week 3: Blood

**NOTE: This was in my queue as a work in progress, but somehow ended up posting. It is unedited, rambling, and off-topic, but I decided to let stand since people have already seen it and commented. I apologize for the premature and “raw” nature of the post.**

Blood. What an odd choice to write about, eh? I’mma gonna warn you right here an now, if you squick easily, especially about chick things, skip this post. I’m not going to go into graphic detail, but I know the very subject disturbs some people. I’m also going to talk about my experiences with childhood bullying and sexual assault, so trigger alert as well. While these topics aren’t specifically Pagan, I am currently contemplating the concept of Fertility for my ADF essays, so it actually helps to write some of this out. Bear with me.

Let’s talk about menstruating, shall we? I don’t anymore, not since that nasty tumor pulled a Jack Ruby on my uterus 8 years ago. On the one hand, this was a blessing: the tumor caused me excruciating pain and made me bleed like a damn flume ride, but on the other hand… you would be surprised to learn that you can actually miss having a period. I forget that women menstruate sometimes. I still ovulate and have a regular cycle (I can tell I am doing so right now, as my breasts feel like sauna rocks and I have an insatiable desire for sex, salt, and chocolate. WMFH had best watch out, his earlobes were looking mighty nibble-able the other day) but since I don’t bleed anymore I have this sense of being on the outside of womanhood. I don’t regret my inability to have children, I never wanted them. However, as I have gotten older my great regret is the fact that I never wanted kids. People seem to like them. I don’t know why I don’t. I look at a baby and I feel about as much emotion as I feel looking at a sack of potatoes. The presence of children fills me with distaste and annoyance. Once they hit puberty, the age when most people start to lose interest in them, THEN I start finding them tolerable. As my husband likes to put it in his Old South Foghorn Leghorn drawl, “I don’ like ‘em until they unnerstand the concept a’ death.” (note: don’t let the accent fool you, my husband is actually a very educated man)

I think part of my issue with children is the obscene amount of bullying I was subjected to as a child. This was back in an age before people cared about such things and developed PSAs, support groups, hotlines, and Very Special Episodes dedicated to it, and the level of abuse I experienced was truly horrific. It ranged from verbal taunting to beatings to outright sexual assault. I was overweight, I was smart (but a poor student), I was weird, and I was raised in a home where no one paid attention to whether or not I did my homework, bathed, brushed my teeth, slept, ate, or had clean clothes for school. I developed enormous breasts by the time I was in 4th grade and my mother didn’t see a reason to buy me a bra. I dreaded recess every day, because I knew at best I would be able to hide by myself in the secluded forest behind the field, but at worst… at worst, the girls would tease me, tell me I was fat and ugly, throw rocks at me, and the boys would gather in a circle around me to take turns punching and jabbing my breasts in sadistic curiosity. And it didn’t end there. I can recall specific days in vivid detail where I was convinced I would be murdered or gang raped before recess was through, and the adults turned a blind eye to it all. We were just being kids, kids tease each other, it builds character. And it was constant. Every day, on the way to school, between classes, on the playground, after school, and around the neighborhood. It took me several years of this treatment before I finally had had enough and wailed the tar out of one girl in what could only be described as a berserker rage. After that, I realized I was not just fat, I was BIG, the tallest kid in school at that point. And strong. And over the preceding years of constant physical torment I had developed a very high tolerance for pain. Once word got out I was not only not playing the game anymore I was, in fact, a juggernaut of irrational violence when pushed too far, the kids found someone else to torment. Junior high and high school were far more kind to me socially. So, when I see children, I do not see the innocent little angels others see, I see the leering, hateful tormentors and cruel mob mentality of a soulless legion that did everything it could to deny me my humanity, dignity, and self-respect.

People have often said “you’ll feel different when it’s your own”. To them I say, “and what if I don’t?? Do you really want to gamble with the future of a CHILD that way??” Cuz let me tell you right now, brother, I have come *this close* to punching a child in the face on numerous occasions, and these were kids I could walk away from. Why would I roll the dice that I might not hate my own child? That, to me, illustrates the problem with the way our society looks at women. There is something so “unnatural” about a woman who does want children that we are willing to pressure her into breeding NO MATTER THE CONSEQUENCES TO HER OR THE CHILD. I chose not to have children because I did not want a child growing up in a house without all the love and support possible.

But I do miss having my period sometimes. I feel sometimes like I have given up part of my femininity, forced myself into a sort of early “cronehood”. There is something so incredibly potent and mysterious in that blood we both exalt and revile. Men tend to react strangely when you tell them you aren’t fertile, like you are a eunuch. Guess what, just because the kitchen is closed doesn’t mean there isn’t still a party at the bar. Everything that counts works just fine, even better thanks for asking. As I have approached my 40s, my already prodigious sex drive has kicked on the turbo boost in a major way, only there is still this strange sense of something missing, of being not quite right.

7 Comments

  1. Dver said,

    January 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I am similarly childless by choice and also not fond of children. I think the reactions women like us get are part of a larger trend – people who are the most “normal” are the most threatened by anyone who does not conform to the Way Things Should Be. So even if 99% of women want kids, if you don’t then you are calling into question their whole way of life, their whole concept of the universe. And since they have never really thought about these things or made any conscious choices of their own – merely following the flock their whole lives – this tiny question mark can agitate them so much that they strike out by insisting that something is wrong with you, or you will eventually come around to their way of thinking, because they can’t deal with any other option. Sad, but seems to be the way it works. Those of us who are weird in at least one way are more able to tolerate other differences as well, because we’re used to the idea of not necessarily conforming.

    I am proud that I was smart enough even as a teenager to realize that I not only didn’t want kids but wouldn’t make a good parent, and prevented any poor child from coming into existence with me as their mother. It also enabled me to pursue my spiritual path in a way that wouldn’t have been possible with kids. Certainly we get enough new humans in the world every day, it’s frankly ridiculous for people to be so determined in making sure there are more, regardless of context.

    • January 15, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Argh! This wasn’t supposed to post until Friday! Oh well. Nothing like some unedited stream of consciousness published in public…

      And yes, what you said, completely. I would rather leave the child rearing in the hands of people who desire children. I see them all the time. Hell, my sister turned out to be an amazing mother, and had you asked anyone, including her, before she got pregnant they would have told you that I would be the more likely parent. But she also knew to stop at one, because two would have been more than she could have handled. She STILL has people nagging her about not having another one!

  2. vlaughlin said,

    January 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I am torn. I want to adopt, but my fiance wants me to actually have children. However, and forgive me if I sound “typical” here, I think that having a child allows one to experience the fertility of the Earth firsthand. That could be a powerful spiritual experience.

    Since we’re on the subject of menopause–my mother didn’t even go through menopause naturally thanks to chemotherapy for leukemia and radiation for breast cancer soon after. She just suddenly stopped her cycle. Not sure where I was going with that…just throwing it out there.

    Blessings,
    Victoria

  3. vlaughlin said,

    January 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    After reading the whole post again, I realize that perhaps you have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sorry if this sounds “cruel,” but the way you talk about children makes me think of a psychotic killer and their reasons for killing children.

    It is also important to remember that not all children are raised in the way your classmates were. At one point I didn’t want to have kids either because I hated them. I have grown up to realize not all kids are the same, and if I raise them, I can TEACH them not to be “soulless.”

    • January 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Wow. I honestly don’t know how to reply to that. I have been accused of many things, but being a serial killer is definitely new. I think you are taking this to an extreme that isn’t really necessary. I didn’t say “I want to take a baby and smash its head against a rock”, I just don’t like children. And yes, it is quite possible that I have PTSD from my childhood, but I doubt that makes me a bad person. And I don’t really care if someone “raises their kid right”. A brussel sprout is still a brussel sprout, no matter how you cook it. I also fail to see why you feel the need to try and sell me on the virtues of having children after I have apparently demonstrated I am psychologically disturbed and possibly a serial killer. Not to be rude, but I’m unclear as to what you investment is here. Also know that I have NEVER harmed a child, which is why I refused to have them.

      I’m not calling you out, clearly I have struck a nerve for you and I am sorry if it upset you somehow. I also know that it is possible I am misinterpreting your intentions and you didn’t mean this to come across as negatively as I hear it.

      • vlaughlin said,

        January 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm

        I’m sorry. I honestly don’t have any excuse. I just need to slow down and think before I type.

        Blessings,
        Victoria

      • January 15, 2013 at 9:10 pm

        No excuse needed, I was just a bit taken aback that you interpreted this as me wanting to harm children, when the truth is quite the contrary.


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