“Occasional dreams of erotic subtlety, relaxing as dancing, like floating on air. Recovering femininity is: don’t let fear of being different keep you from passion to dance by yourself.”
my breast cancer saga…
You decide what you judge as my criticism or dry wit or serious introspection as an intelligent audience. With simply a background of basic college ‘psych’ classes, I’m more from ‘Life’ University — you know, the hard knocks kind. And class is still in session. Three and a half months after my mastectomy I dug out notes I had buried, too excruciating to edit that winter. Writing had been sketchy because of surgical pain and I was very medicated. Mind boggling. Made me feel psycho — so scary. It was all very overwhelming — just how many ways can I say this really?? Psychology is a very broad subject. I have only my own experience and basic research to validate a point. I did not have a psychological eval throughout my breast cancer treatment and I chuckle at this more than refer to using analysis as a shoulder for my own needs. After breast cancer I’m a tad bit more psycho than psychologist! Of all the slew of doctors, not one ever urged me to be eval’d whether or not I should have.
If there must be a scientific aspect of in and out of awake mode, my nightmares were wrought with mythical creatures and slaying monsters of disease; nonetheless, the Rougarou and daydreams all are pure mumbo-jumbo to me. It’s my slant on psychology.
Okie dokie … grab that glass of wine, settle into your bed’s comfy pillows like I do … Next up here’s my soul, my real thoughts for the real woman with guts or curiosity to read how does this all fit into breast cancer… get ready to be shocked or consoled… read the wanton stuff, the hidden and obvious … I know other women feel as overwhelmed as I did. I am not any different as much as I felt alone inside my head. I’m sure there are clinical terms for it, boring as that is to me.
Knowledge is gained in all phases of interpretation, being comical or philosophical. Raw emotions can be wicked — but it’s what gives us empathy towards others in pain. Truthful as soothing, lucid thoughts. Words are still inadequate to say just what a harsh blow i’twas learning I had breast cancer.
Learning to have faith in myself took a hold of my whole consciousness while I healed. Transparent dreams and nightmares made me shiver from their violence, my emotions sometimes so rough, my thoughts later erupted shudders from the intensity locked inside me. I tried to make sense of my swirling thoughts awake and asleep with reason, interpreting both the subversive and the sublime. At first the effects of a mastectomy short-circuited my sleep resulting from pain prescriptions, my mind deadened by the sledgehammer’s clang. All analysis failed to enlighten, often just adding to my confusion. Until the most recent months. Backlash to media or comfort, my reserve fell shattered on the ground. And that said, please do not over-analyze this chapter nor my dreams, just a lot of letting off steam (not all bound to BC) most was just my fascination to research. Normally I’m a logical thinker BUT I had my boob cut off so this here is all that ‘mumbo-jumbo’ shit left behind in my head. About psych I am an explorer, on and off the page.
Self-consciousness or lack of self-esteem has never been a problem since high school, but losing a breast is simply very difficult to cope with emotionally. Bodily, a woman’s breasts are a part of what makes us a female — it’s the core of our being — it’s cultural, a woman’s whole self, her identity in life. Femininity is often perceived as a social construct, which is made up of both socially defined and biologically created factors. This makes sexuality distinct from the definition of the biological female sex as both males and females can exhibit feminine traits. This being just words to describe attributes, but when the whole physiological self is damaged by illness, it all goes way beyond words.
The Ancient Greeks believed that nightmares resulted from the presence of a demon named Ephialtes. In Germany they were known as mara, mahr, mare. German Folklorist Franz Felix Adalbert Kuhn records a Westphalian charm or prayer used to ward off mares:
Here I am lying down to sleep;
No night-mare shall plague me
until they have swum through all the waters
that flow upon the earth,
and counted all stars
that appear in the skies; Amen!
child-eating daemon. Lamia is a mistress of the god, Zeus. Her allure is a disguise — she eats the children. Aristophanes claimed her name derived from the Greek word for gullet referring to her habit of devouring children. In the myth, Lamia caused Zeus’ jealous wife, Hera, to kill all of Lamia’s children and transform her into a monster that hunted and devoured the children of others…and the repeated monstrosity transforms her into a monster.
This ‘monster’ that lives in a woman’s nightmare was once thought to harbor destructive and evil tendencies but maybe somehow we rid ourselves of stress simply from ancient myths. Even evil can be sensuous in history. Knowing mythical origins opened my understanding of real nightmares consumed by grief after a mastectomy, as if my subconscious was trying to cleanse my mind of gory crap. Not to be so burdened. Once I rationalized my dreams I could heal …
by Goya, a ghoulish-looking portrait of our fetish of fascination of evil and repulsion of our darker side. We prefer to believe that myths, not real people are bad. Beneath at least some of the impulse to ‘feed’ our fetishes, our aversion to both writing and reading sexual or erotically explicit stories is Erotophobia, fear of erotic pleasure. This means, borne out of fear of being discovered. Yet, even in our fear, blood and guts and gore excites us. Perhaps we can blame erotophobia on the Victorians — it made us prudes.That is bad mumbo-jumbo. Psychological prudishness manifested in Victorian times; taboos continue in the majority of us as the moral standard, even if that measure has been unhealthy and unrealistic, not human nature at all. But it’s what society dictates for us no matter what generation. And that’s why I “caution” my breast close up images. This intent and purpose, my uploads are a demonstration of breast reconstruction only. (Beware, content meant for mature readers.) By no means am I ashamed of my photos; they are edited for procedural explanation. I expect there will be readers, maybe my friends who gasp at the audacity, such raw stuff. Subsequently, I dare they are perhaps such naysayers who criticize unwittingly solely based on the above statements. That’s their deal.
My voice is a woman’s superlative opinion…