Reality for a Teenager

At the age of 14 years old I was referred to Cheltenham General Hospital for an ultrasound and an examination. On the morning I woke up from a dream of the fore-coming visit.

At the age of 14 I did not fully understand the circumstances of life as I do now at the age of 22. I knew that I wanted kids when I was older, but that was more because it was the thing to do. We are all prescribed and influence to follow a certain way of life.

This article I came across in my explore through Geography at University highlights this point very well.

Click to access Culture,_geography_and_the_arts_of_government.pdf

At 14 I think I was more concerned with the prescribed idea that females should have children than the fact of actually understanding what it meant to have a child and be a parent.

My mum came with me to the appointment. I still remember walking through the hospital to the gynecology area hidden towards the back. I remember walking through the empty cafeteria, wishing I could be somewhere else. They started with an ultrasound.

The ultrasound in itself is rather ironic while reminiscing. On a sad note it will be the only one I can have. The only time I get to even look at the screen and pretend that I am carrying my future. I remember the jellying being cold and feeling very awkward – like I had been a naughty teenager and had got pregnant underage. After about 10 minutes of the nurse silently looking at the screen she hurried out.

I looked at mum in disbelief – what was happening? What was wrong? Why weren’t they talking to me and explaining? I was just left there on the bed …. waiting for the truth be to passed over to me in their own sweet time. Upon re-entry I asked what was wrong. They were very vague and said that they couldn’t seem to find my uterus. I was literally like… what??

what has happened to it?

It can’t not be there?

I am a women – of course I have a uterus.

That was the extent of the explanation at this stage. I was rather distressed and confused. My mum and I went to the waiting room to statically wait to see the consultant.

After 10 minutes or so we were called through. She said that she wanted to examine me. Yes I had the delight of going through the mortifying experience for a teenager again. Especially as I was feeling so vulnerable and confused at the time.

I got redressed and she sat us down.

“Lara, I think you have rokitansky”

I was like whhhaatt doeesss thattt meeaaannn (shaking).

She went into detail like a talking textbook. I sat there in silent letting the words wash over me. Understanding was now a past desire. All i wanted to do was run from this reality.

I didn’t want to be the ‘abnormal’ teenager. I didn’t want to be the girl who could have sex. The girl who wasn’t ‘normal’.

Mum continued to act proactively and ask questions about our position and what happened now.

The doctor mentioned that I would need investigatory surgery. This was the first condition of this kind she had ever seen. She wanted me to become her investigatory specimen.

At this point I excused myself from the room and ran outside. I sat on the bench outside the hospital and cried. I cried and cried and cried.

For a teenager this seems the most abnormal thing in the world. I wasn’t taught in sex education classes that differences occurred. All i had heard about was peers making crude jokes about men who were women and vice versa. I sat there horrified with what I was. It didn’t make sense. I was so normal on the outside. Just like any other self-conscious teenager.

Yes itsss KEVIN.. My mum always told me I was like this đŸ˜‰

I went to the car and found mum. We just both hugged and cried.

The Start of the Beginning – Part 2

Reflecting back to the start of this tale 6 years ago has provoked a lot of thought in me. I am lucky enough that I wrote a lot of the experience down in diaries and therefore, I intend to (although it will be challenging) provide you (the reader) with real extracts from these diaries.

Before continuing the story I would like to thank the support I have already received only 1 day into this adventure in itself of going back and reflecting on painful, dark memories.

I left part 1 in the family doctors being examined. This was a humbling experience for a 14 year old. Since I started growing pubic hair I had been conscious about this area. I obsessively shaved the area through shame and my concerns did not inhibit these teenage worries. The knowledge and deep down un-wanting belief that I want “not right” plagued my thoughts every day at this age. This was my first experience of anxiety and depression, which were only to become every more prominent as time continued.

I lay on the bed with no pants on and a blanket over my middle. I lay back and the doctor lit up my private parts. I remember gripping the sides and closing my eyes. I was crying through embarrassment. My mother held my hand and I wished myself away.

I had my first boyfriend at the time. To this point I had only ever kissed boys. I was too scared to let anything else occur in case they noticed what I did.

I tried to think of him at the time.

Once this oh so delightful experience was over I got dressed and went to sit on the chair in front of the doctors computer. After she had washed her hands of the sterile, procedural nature of the examination. She joined my mother and i.

She explained that there was a problem and that she could not access my vagina. I was to be referred to the hospital for a further examination…

I sat there listening to the words…

Oh No.. I was right flooded my mind..

We returned home and life continued with constant nag in the background of the unknown.

I am currently seeing my step-daughter of 14 and a half years old experience the up and downs of teen years. I find it hard to believe that I was on the brink of an experience that would heavily influence my decision and thought process for the rest of my life. I look at her and her concerns about school and boys, the normal concerns of a teenager and I fully understand why I chose the paths I later decided upon.

This moment was so critical and at the time I was so unaware of myself, my emotions or my needs. I was left as a young girl to start to process a reality many do not have to face..

The Beginning Part 1

I used an unoriginal title for the start of this blog because there is literally no other way to denote the opening chapter of this start. This story starts with my mother before I was even born. At 5 weeks in her womb I was starting to develop my kidneys and spine and uterus. At this stage my life to be was being pushed into a pattern. (I thought about saying it defined my life – but I think this would alienate myself and other women). I have chosen what matters in my life and though this journey has been lengthy, it has also brought exploration of myself as a person and my place within the world.

I have started with some large ideas of life being preset and one person’s place within the world let alone the universe. Even though we must all come to realize that we all fade in and out of this universe being barley more than a “micro-second” in the reality of time, this is not important. At a human level we are all important and most importantly you are important to yourself.

So my development at 5 weeks of age went unnoticed until the delight of sex education at school. We all remember sitting in the class room, blushing at the pictures of men and womens’ reproductive organs. I vividly remember at the age of 10 watching a cartoon of a couple “making love”. The natural UK reluctance to talk about “doing it” became very evident from that age. My sex education was pretty much depicted through the video below.

On a more serious note, being a young girl I realised that my body was not the same as what we were being taught. For several years I concerned over this fact. The shy, giggly nature of such discussions and the want to ignore reality was my first test as a young being.

One Christmas, at the age of 14, I approached my mother and aired my concerns that I could not fit a tampon into my youknow… My mother reassured me but this concern was not to disappear.

To skip time to the summer, at the age of 14 and a half, I went to the doctors and suffered the humilating experience of being examined down there.

[end of first installment]