The Raw & Real Series: Limbo

“How are you holding yourself?”

Someone asked me that question after the hysterectomy.

He said, “I hear how generous and loving you are with how you hold your mom up with respect to how she was and what she did … and it made me wonder, how are you holding yourself?”

He was talking about the way I choose to understand Momma, and the things she did to me as a child. (You can read more about that here.)

That was a question that made me go deep.

When I was on the streets, I got REAL good at separating my sense of self from my body. You can’t be on the streets and be precious about your body. So I disassociated myself with it, so I wouldn’t feel anything.

I guess the way I’m holding myself right now, post-surgery, is in limbo.

I’m not a rester. I’m a do-er. A producer.

But right now, I’m like a kid in time out.

I have too much time on my hands, in this bed.

Too much time, and too many questions.

The ones I’m BEING with right now:

What happens when everything you associate as YOU changes? 

Do you lose yourself?

I am no longer a wife—we separated months ago.

I no longer live in a mansion—we put it up for sale, as part of the divorce.

I can’t tour or travel or feed you—not while I’m recovering.

I can’t have a child—without my womb.

If you take away everything I’ve identified as me—my marriage, my mansion, my body, my hair, my gender—my ability to be a woman …

Who Am I?

I know I’m a child of God.

We may be having words right now, me and God. But we have a relationship. Having words comes with the territory. We box. We have opinions.

But He doesn’t get mad at me for how I bring it.

We are good. God’s got me.

I’m from the streets. God got me through that. So I don’t need anyone to tell me anything about God. Everything I know is God.

(#realtalk: Moses and Abraham had attitude. David. Peter cut a mother*7%#er’s ear off! God isn’t trippin’.)

God and I know each other.

But that’s about all I know, right now.

What do I want?

What do I like?

What pleases me?

What makes me happy?

What if I don’t know?

I don’t feel pulled by anything for my future.

I don’t feel attached to anything in my past.

I don’t feel any urgency to do anything.

I don’t feel inspired to do anything.

I just don’t care.

It’s fresh, so it’s hard for me to explain. Even to myself.

It’s just … an emptiness.

I wish I had rage, because I know rage. I know anger. I don’t have it.

It just feels empty.

It’s as if I’m driving through a heavy fog. All I can see is what is illuminated by the headlights directly in front of me.

There is just nothingness, down the road.

What I can tell you is that I’ve given myself permission to feel whatever I feel in the moment I feel it.

And that’s how I’m caring for myself, right now. I know that’s what my body—and my soul—need.

So I’m just BEING with whatever IS.

Sometimes I’m giggly; sometimes I’m weepy. Sometimes I’m intense; sometimes I’m soft.

I’m a walking paradox right now.

And again, I don’t really care.

Venus Opal


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