Silicone sorrows and weeping wings….

I’ve had a broken wing.
Sometimes gimpy these last 30 years,
it’s been cut up to remove tumor and
strip lymph nodes.
I’ve grieved some things, especially how a swollen pain will insert itself
when I paint and write and prune and plant
and sometimes just breathe air.
I used to imagine the injury a thief,
something that came hunting down my joy and identity,
looking to steal away
the way I expressed
the real of me.

I guess the real thief felt at times too painful to face,
certainly too shameful to share.
If I kept moving forward as wholehearted as I knew how,
I could pack that stuff away and defy the damage with my life-living.
Could out-maneuver the regret always simmering beneath the surface.
But there it would come again, from deep down in my basement,  an ugly accusation:
“you did this to yourself;  you get what you deserve.”

It took a lifetime to build that message,
taking root long before 30-year-old me got silicone breast implants.
A mother of 3 under five,  I felt depleted,  un-see-able,
one who is less
(which was a tragic flaw for a girl who was also just way too much).
And so I let them cut me open and put things right,
to add enough
so that I may become
one who is loved.

It had seemed like a solution,
the result of an unlikely offer, free of charge, which felt serendipitous.
Of course the brochures boasted that they would easily correct my flaw
so that I could make my way through this world with confidence as a woman.
It would be a breeze.

After surgery the anesthesiologist approached me, shaking his head,
to tell me how it had taken more than double the drugs to keep me down
and that I’d even briefly woken – how I’d be especially groggy for awhile because
I’d been so heavily medicated.
I think my heart was screaming what I couldn’t yet hear.
Every woman who chooses this surgery has her own reasons;
mine were rooted in lies.
And somehow my body knew it.

I had a brief skin reaction to the implants in the weeks following surgery
and there came an inexplicable fatigue.
In the months and years to come it felt like there’d been a break-up between me and my body,
as if I’d bought some ill-fitting shoes and just needed to woman up and wear them.
I willed my mind to accept these better breasts as my own.
The recovery had been a far cry from the quick bounce back to normal
all the busty nurses had reassured
and I wanted to just smooth it all over and move on.
I felt ashamed, as if I deserved the discomfort I carried
because I’d been the one who put those pebbles in my shoe
and needed now to suck it up.
And quietly.
(continued next post)

There is way more story to tell and it’s coming as I tug it free.
This is the first of a series –
I’m in the thick of working through some heavy things
and coming over here to unpack my stuff
as I’ve done so often.
I’ve got a lot to say and I hope maybe some healing to offer
in the share.

“The three big lies:
I am what I have.
I am what I do.
I am what others say about me.”
– Henry Nouwen

I want to offer up my book as a giveaway during this series.
Because it’s such a love letter to the real, raw, un-fixed of you.
The you who was born to be loved.
Leave a comment and you’re in the drawing.

 

26 Comments

  1. Julia JULIA Bourque on March 23, 2022 at 10:54 am

    Dear Jennifer, I applaud your courage to come forth with your truths. I can’t even imagine the suffering that you went through and are still going through.

    Our comparison of ourselves to others starts at an early age, and no one is immune to it.
    I decided after having lost a breast to breast cancer, that I would feel whole just as I was, even with many parts of me missing, and would no longer feel incomplete. My faith in God’s love for me has carried me through some tough times. Your faith is also strong and will carry you through this.

    Be at peace dear Jennifer.
    Hugs, Julia

    • jennifer on March 23, 2022 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks, Julia:) Yes to the peace that passes all understanding:)
      I believe that same love is more than enough, also.
      Grateful for your share.
      Big hug,
      Jennifer

  2. Elephants Child on March 23, 2022 at 12:16 pm

    Heart felt hugs and oceans of caring are flowing your way.
    Sadly I think that most of us (definitely me) have listened to those lies. Those lies about ‘not being enough’ and simultaneously being ‘too much’.

    • jennifer on March 23, 2022 at 2:00 pm

      Same. Thankful for the truth that sets free:)
      Thanks for coming by and sharing your heart, Sue.
      Oceans and hugs and flow to you also,
      Jennifer

  3. Jane Brocious on March 23, 2022 at 11:07 pm

    Thank you, dear Jennifer, for going deep and flowing courage and vulnerability. We, your readers are grateful for your share! Love you, Young One!

    • jennifer on March 27, 2022 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks for your always encouraging encouragement, Jane!
      I really appreciate you,
      Jennifer

  4. Lynn Wilkinson on March 24, 2022 at 12:32 am

    Oh sweet precious daughter of God. Open arms await you as you walk this
    thorny path. I am here if you need to talk or just cry
    I hope you find comfort in the love. grace and mercy
    That is already given you.

    • jennifer on March 27, 2022 at 6:07 pm

      Thanks, Lynn; I am feeling steadied by the Love that’s holding tender onto me:)
      Thank you for your kindness,
      Jennifer

  5. Lindsay on March 24, 2022 at 2:46 am

    I can totally relate, I almost made this exact same choice… but fear stopped me. And a partner who said… don’t. So many stories of surgery gone bad, I pray for my family members who did make that choice.

    Thank you for being so open and raw with us, always.

    With love from Belgium,
    Lindsay

    • jennifer on March 27, 2022 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Lindsay; thanks for your share!
      I love that your partner said “don’t” – there’s a sweet strength to that.
      I appreciate your kind words,
      Jennifer

  6. Suzanne on March 24, 2022 at 5:07 am

    Thank you for sharing about your very real and raw experience. I’m so sorry for all you have had to endure since that time. As a young woman I went through a phase wanting to do this too, but I wasn’t brave enough to follow through. I really appreciate you sharing. Lots of love to you. xx

    • jennifer on March 27, 2022 at 6:05 pm

      Isn’t it sad what we believe before we know.
      Thanks for your kindness,
      Jennifer

  7. Rebecca on March 24, 2022 at 9:00 am

    Thank you so much for your courage and wisdom. Your gift for saying hard things with honesty and authenticity brought me to tears and gave me some much needed comfort, inspiration, and connection. Namaste my friend.

    • jennifer on March 27, 2022 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks so much for the affirmation, Rebecca.
      I appreciate your kindness always,
      Jennifer

  8. jeanie on March 24, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    Jennifer, no one I know writes more honestly, more openly, more viscerally (if that’s the right word) about their life experience, bringing it home to your readers in such a personal way. To go back to the challenges in our past is a brave journey and I admire your not only taking that journey yourself but sharing it with us. That takes nearly as much courage as the journey itself. Much love as you walk through this.

    • jennifer on March 27, 2022 at 6:04 pm

      Visceral feels right:) I guess it’s kind of how i actually experience life,
      with all of my big feels:)
      Thanks for your kind encouragement, Jeanie,
      Jennifer

  9. Lorene Nelson on March 24, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    Weeping wings … love this !1

    • jennifer on March 27, 2022 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks for dropping by, Lorene!
      I appreciate:)
      – Jennifer

  10. Eva on March 26, 2022 at 11:36 am

    I love you, my long-time friend…just as you are.
    Thank you for always sharing and helping us all in the process.

    • jennifer on March 27, 2022 at 6:02 pm

      Love and appreciate you, too, friend:)
      -Jennifer

  11. Maureen Blake on March 27, 2022 at 9:55 pm

    Precious Jennifer, I pray you feel what I feel about you: your tender wholeness; your gentle beauty; your rare realness. This world is better because you—exactly as you are—are in it. 😘

  12. elk on March 28, 2022 at 7:06 am

    thank you for your honesty . . I wear loose shirts & self concious about staring when I don’t . sad how society makes us feel eithet too small or too big in our bodies . much love

  13. Susan on March 28, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    You continue to amaze and inspire me, friend, with your strength, courage and deep wisdom. It’s sad how hard it can be, being little girls and then young women.

    Tender love to you and to that broken wing that seems to have not held you back during these years of baby raising and gardening and art and living.
    xoxo

    • jennifer on April 8, 2022 at 7:27 pm

      Isn’t it. Being a human is not for the faint of heart.
      Thanks for your tenderness; you give me joy:)
      -Jennifer

  14. Donna Donabella on March 30, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    Big hugs for you and all of us as we navigate through the tough things….when we share we heal. Your book has indeed halved me heal!

    • jennifer on April 8, 2022 at 7:26 pm

      Donna thanks for your visit and kind words – yes, so good to have
      traveling companions in the tough things as well as the sweet:)
      Big thanks for your encouragement,
      Jennifer

Leave a Comment