I lay on the table, covered from the naked waist down by a white sheet, showing its fold lines in rectangles making a pattern of order, of sameness.
Feet in stirrups, socks and leg warmers holding warmth as I close my eyes and feel the tears well up. The moment before the catheter goes in is the worst. My fear of it is what brings me to my knees in anticipated pain.
The pain is never as bad as my fear, but the fear is now increased as I have given up my almost daily Motrin habit to numb pain. My body knows the pain that will radiate for days after the procedure. My body knows that moment it first hits my raw skin and moves into the one place where all my fears reside I will coil into myself somewhere and try to pretend it is all ok.
But it isn't all ok. I am angry. I am so angry that my body has been holding bladder pain and flare ups since I was 24. I am angry that I don't know what a normal bladder feels like. I am angry that I am scared to hike or run more than a mile or make love to a man because when I pull my underwear off there is always a panty liner reminding me of my brokeness.
I am angry that the treatment helps one thing but causes so much pain and fear. I am angry that I get so bloated from the medicine and the flare ups. I am angry that I am alone every time I go into the office. I am angry that I feel so alone despite wanting to prove that I can do everything on my own.
I am so angry. And I don't do anger. I don't understand it. I am scared of it. But I am angry.
As I lay there I try to call in the higher self of someone I love but I can't get close. Can't feel the energy, can't find him. I am disconnected and just want to be scooped up into arms that can hold me and promise me that I am not alone.
And I am angry. I am angry because all I have ever truly wanted is to feel special. I am angry because I have no patience for healing or loving or growing or making. I am angry because I keep getting so scared I want to run from the one thing that I desire more than anything.
The women circle and they say, "Baby, here you are again. Stand still. Stand still. Be still. Stop controlling everything. Be still. Find you."
I am on the table and they say they need a bigger catheter because the medicine is getting stuck. I calmly say, "No. Please just make this work. Please."
And he does. He makes it work. His job is to take care of me. My job is to ask for what I need. Calmly.
Exhaustion overwhelms me after the pain and fear of the catheter. After holding on so tightly to something I need to let be free. I don't know how to ask for what I need if I don't know what I need.
She said, "I wish you could see how special you are. I wish you could feel how fucking special you are."
So now my job is to feel it. After the fear. After the pain. After the separation. After the work of being in love. After the trust. After calling him in. After the ovulation. After the wanting to run.
I feel him gently pull the catheter out and my eyes swell again. He presses the sheet down between my legs so I can sit up, covered once again in orderly rectangles, now a bit wrinkled under my sweat. I feel my bladder surrender. I feel it searching for safety. I ask him to please find a way to do this treatment into my mouth. He laughs. Hugs me goodbye.
I am sure I can never go back and lay on that table. I want to run. And I want to heal. I need to be angry. Then cry.
My work is to feel it. To be in the discomfort of the healing. In the discomfort of the love.
My work is to ask to feel more special. My work is to go in search of me. My work is to stand still. My work is to let myself be cared for.
Today I am climbing in my van and going in search of me. I think I know where I will find her but I am open to surprises. I know she is somewhere in the space that I will hold to be loved. To be loved with love relanguaged. To be loved even when it is hard. To be loved through the fear and pain. To be loved, to feel special, to stand still.
I am climbing in my van and letting the anger melt into tears which can hydrate my spirit once again.
I will find me.
She is close.
She loves deep. So deep.
When I find her I will wrap her in the arms of the Universe. We will pray. And become again. We will heal.
I will find her. Because I have heard she is pretty special.