This all started at the age of 10. Do you remember? You lead me to believe I had started my period when actually it was a false alarm. It ended in that embarrassing heart-to-heart with my parents which I’ve never quite recovered from.
When you eventually let Mother Nature have her own way, I was completely unprepared. I was at school and you didn’t stop it coming. I wasn’t proud of it like my girlfriends. I was terrified the blood would soak through my knickers and skirt and onto my chair.
Our next big hurdle was at the age of 14. I should stop blaming you for what happened, because it was both of us who endured it, but having you around all the time has made the healing process slow. I’m sorry I couldn’t stop him taking you, despite my sobs of “no”.
This was part of the reason I got upset in the car the other day. Knowing that a vile man, who had openly admitted to unashamedly grabbing pussies without consent, was now the leader of a superpower… It was all too much. Do our bodies mean that little now? I’m starting to wonder if you’re a curse, Vagina. What if I had a penis instead? Would life have thrown me a different curve ball?
I’m actually struggling to remember any good times between us. Do you remember my first labour?
I know you’re going to hate me for bringing this up again but something went seriously wrong and who else can I blame but you? Our cervix stopped dilating and my poor son’s heart nearly stopped. If it wasn’t for the emergency cesarean section, neither of us would be here right now. So in case you were wondering, that was why I decided to have an elective c-section the second time around.
It wasn’t the final nail in the coffin though. That was hammered in only last year.
It’s just a routine smear test, the nurse said. Nothing to worry about, she said. Just keep an eye out for your letter in the post to confirm everything is okay, she said. When it did arrive, I read the words HPV – the human papilloma virus.
We were told it was probably nothing to worry about but that the cells could develop into cervical cancer if left untreated. To be on the safe side we needed to have a small part of our cervix scraped off. It was almost as painful as contractions. After that though we thought it would be fine, right?
It wasn’t. Now here we are again.
The cells have returned, only this time there’s more of them. I don’t know what this means for us, Vagina. I do know that I can’t hold on to hope anymore. I didn’t want to break things off in a letter to you but right now I need some time apart. I need to forget that I’m a woman and to forget I have you in my life.
So Vagina, thanks for the memories, but right now – fuck you.
P.S. Dear Vagina, since writing you this letter I would like to say how sorry I am. I never knew you could have such a special gift waiting for me, especially after all of the cruel things I said to you. Instead I would like to say thank you. Thank you for putting up with what life has thrown at us, thank you for reminding me why I am proud to be a woman, and thank you for blessing me with another baby. Unexpected, unplanned, but never-the-less loved. Whatever the HPV throws at us, we will handle it together.