30 Jun Traducción del artículo publicado en eldiario.es sobre la menstruación.
“It was a cold winter evening in Frankfurt am Main. It was snowing. I was walking through Bethmann Strasse, on my way to the library. Suddenly, a sharp stabbing pain pierced my womb. I fell on the ground to my knees. I started my period, as every month. But this month there was something new: pain.
I took the U-bahn back home as I could. I was living at the time in a caravan camp in the city suburbs. In Germany there was a point in which property occupancy became impossible in the eighties, so the German radical left began to occupy land where to live in trucks, caravans and wooden wagons. In an eviction it is much easier to move carrying your home on your back. Today there are lots of so called Wagenplatz. I lived in Borsigllee, one of the biggest in Europe without running water, electricity or bathroom. I was 23 years old.
But what I wanted to talk about here is what I felt in my womb that evening. About how I dragged myself to Wagenplatz crying and looked for my boyfriend at the time, a huge scary punk, to tell him I was in trouble. How I crawled alone towards my wagon, because my punk boyfriend, Robert, did not come; he pretty much had it with his own psychosis. About how I cried in my bed freeze to death and desperate asking myself what was happening inside me.
It took me years to understand. Many. During those learning years I fell broken in pain countless times in many places. The scene use to be accompanied by cold sweats and tremors. I screamed and cried for hours and sometimes days. Ibuprofen brought temporal relief to my misfortune, and I say temporal because I soon got used to the drug and it stopped being effective. I occasionally went to consult a gynecologist looking for solutions, but they told me in their patriarchal worldview everything was normal and prescribed me useless painkillers.
Once, back in Spain, and this time in the waiting room of my podiatrist, I had my period and I started feeling womb cramps, as every month. The nurse called the podiatrist who watched this sad scene and understood what gynecologists could not understand, this was a serious matter, pain torn me apart and it was necessary to do something. So he prescribed me a drug whose name I cannot remember but whose overall effect was like a horse shot. I have never got a horse shot, but I was feeling that gradual disconnection from the world and that way of falling in a padded abyss, from which you stop feeling connected to your body, your life, your world, to nothing. It was something similar to what some of my friends were telling me about heroin.
Thus months and years went by. I moved to Barcelona. My best friend and I started an art project on pornography and feminism with remarkable success. I went to live with an art curator.
But, while things were being built in the outside world in masculine linearity, the whole world was destroyed inside my uterus every month. And one day, five years ago from today, I could not take this double life anymore and I sent it all to hell. My relationship ended. The art project concluded in a bad way. My friendship with my art partner and best friend for more than a decade went to hell. I had to face the pain and seek solutions because everything I had tried so far had not worked.
Punk and post-porn feminism was not working to me anymore as long as it kept feeding the disconnection with our uterus. Western medicine was presented to me as a pornographic-drug power regime, with the pill as the only solution to my problems. I had already taken it being between 16 and 20 years old, and I was not willing to keep filling my body with that hormonal cocktail.
Beatriz Preciado speaks in her book Testo Yonki of how contemporary science is able to transform our depression into Prozac, our masculinity into testosterone, our erection into Viagra, our fertility/sterility into a pill, our AIDS into triple-therapy. No mention as to which comes first, if depression or Prozac, Viagra or erection, testosterone or masculinity, the pill or maternity, triple-therapy or AIDS.
So I went to a prestigious acupuncturist that barely spoke Spanish but had a notorious reputation in Barcelona, Dr. Chin. I looked for a psychotherapist. I changed my diet following instructions by a Chinese medicine and nutrition specialist, Rut Muñoz. And matters began to change, albeit, very slowly. I was realizing that my diet during my punk years in Frankfurt left much to be desired. It was not casual my illness started by then. I was a vegan, however not aware of my health, but of politics. Politics against animal cruelty and the shocking meat business.
The social circles of the world art scene in which I moved around were full of cocaine and multiple drugs. The artistic and cultural Barcelona I know gets high till boredom. So I stopped going out and frequenting certain kinds of environments. All those substances were cooling me, most importantly, they were cooling my uterus. Inner cold and heat are very important in Chinese medicine. My problem was that I had an excessive inner cold, and muscles do not work well with cold. My womb muscles squirmed in an endless spasm in its small personal Siberia.
My childhood has been marked by abandonment and care negligence. As my acupuncturist told me in one of the few meetings he deigned to speak to me: “you, when child, feeling very cold, now all that cold, going ouuut”. I banished cold drinks, alcohol, drugs, dairy, sugar and refined products. I started to eat brown rice, buckwheat, millet and quinoa. I began to understand the close relation between the food that I was eating and its effect in my body and my psyche.
In therapy I cried my childhood and connected with the reality of a life surrounded by mentally-ill relatives, which decided to leave all their life responsibilities on my shoulders with the excuse of insanity and senile dementia. I understood with my therapist’s help that my pain was legitimate and it needed to leave somehow. If I could not let it go in a conscious level, it would come out through my uterus. Given that, matters cannot be hidden or disguised. I am still amazed when I see all the pain some people carry within themselves and cover up with exhausting jobs, tumultuous relationships or narcotic substances use. And they hold on year after year, masking everything in an eternal disguise dance. Others, however, get to a point where they cannot bear it anymore and end with their lives. Suicide is the leading cause of violent death in the world, do not be mistaken. This is the real epidemic of the 21st century.
I decided to live and here I am. Pain eased over the years. At the beginning it was enough to take a dose of ibuprofen and stay in bed, a resounding success after years in which nothing could provide me relieve. Later on I had no need to take anything; it was enough with staying at ease in bed.
I understood my cyclic nature. If I had not cared for myself during the month, my period would not be nice. It was not to care for myself just during “those” days, but about being respectful towards my body and emotions all the month through. It is a hormonal matter, it is not that we are crazy, gentlemen. We are cyclic. We have four women living within ourselves just as Erika Irusta Rodríguez well explains in her project El Camino Rubí (The Ruby Path). A week after our period we are full of dynamic energy, with great deal of concentration and planning skills. In the middle of the cycle we ovulate feeling sociable, expressive and radiant. In our premenstrual phase our body energy is low and we need to clean and to get rid of all that it does not benefit us. It is the most creative phase if we know how to channel all that destruction energy. Menstruation is the final phase, to reflect and rest.
It was thanks to Erika how I got to know Miranda Gray’s work. In her book The Red Moon, Miranda Gray speaks to us about the White Moon and Red Moon cycle. The White Moon refers to our cycle when ovulation occurs on full moon; the Red Moon cycle is when ovulation occurs on New Moon and we menstruate during full moon. The Red Moon cycle focuses on inner development and its manifestation, not towards the expression of energy in the material world. Since men considered it the most powerful and less uncontrollable, this cycle became the one of the “wicked woman”, the seductive, sorceress or horrible witch, whose sexuality was not intended to give birth to the next generation, but for pleasure.
I am now in White Moon, I mean, I ovulate with the full moon. They say this is the best cycle to be a mother. I would like to get pregnant, so my periods are now painful in a different way, because they let me know this month was impossible once again. Queen Afua, an author I had the pleasure to meet in London, where I am living now, has a book entitled Overcoming an angry vagina: journey to womb wellness. I have had two miscarriages in the past years. I have managed to heal many things, nevertheless wounds are serious and deep and I ask myself if it is possible to recover completely.”
Gracias a Natividad Mateos Lucero y Helio Guzmán León.