Friday, 10 July 2015

The Unrecorded Punishment of Eve

Sometimes a person just wants to give vent to their frustrations. They don't want any solutions or a shoulder to cry on. They just want to give vent, especially when whatever is bothering them is something they can't do anything about. Right now I'm that person and here I go.

Warning: If you are uncomfortable with the topics of Christianity (or if you get offended lightly by any comments that do not glorify biblical text) or those concerning menstruation and the female body, do not continue reading this.

My upbringing was predominantly Christian. I won't dwell on that now, but that was just a quick explanation as to why I am very familiar with biblical text. I'll go into a small part of that text and quickly narrate one of the stories that is recorded. So Adam and Eve were created by God and they lived in a garden called Eden. They were naked but there was no shame in this and they never worked. In fact, their only responsibility was to populate the Earth. They had just one thing forbidden to them and that was eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. One day the Devil came to the Garden in the form of a serpent, intending to get Adam and Eve to break this one rule. He tempted Eve first and she ate of the fruit and convinced Adam to do the same, which he did. Suddenly there was shame in their nakedness and they covered themselves up. God talked to them and there was a quick blame game to try justify their actions, but when you break a rule, you get punished. And that's what happened. So the serpent's punishment was to crawl on its belly and eat dust for the rest of its life, and it and the woman would from then on be enemies, as would their offspring. He turned to Eve next and passed his judgement on her, but I'll leave that for last as it explains the reason for this narration. Adam's punishment was that he would have to farm to eat. And a curse was cast on the ground, making it hard, and it would start to produce weeds and thorns, and thus Adam would have to keep his nose to the grindstone for the rest of his life. From then on they became mortal creatures and were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Now let's get to Eve's punishment. Her pregnancies would become more problematic and she would experience painful births, but regardless of this, she would still desire Adam, and she would be subject to him. And these punishments would be passed on to their descendants (meaning all human beings from that point on).

Now at a certain point way more often than I would like, I am reminded of a certain part of this story. Eve's punishment. Why? Because with what happens to my body, I came up with a theory years ago. According to my theory part of Eve's punishment was not recorded in the biblical texts as we know them. And that part was menstruation. I've heard of women looking at periods as symbolic of their femininity, and others as some type of blessing, and others as something that happens and is part of their lives. Me? I look at periods as a curse. Menstruation to me was the punishment Eve received that was somehow left out of the ones recorded.

How else could I describe being overcome with sadness that grips my entire being with absolutely no source? Sadness that draws out tears from deep within and I sit there crying not knowing why I'm crying, but I cry. And even though it has been happening since my teenage years, every time it happens, I still don't make the connection until that first sighting of blood. I don't think 'oh! I'm about to have my period again', no instead I rack my brain trying to figure out why I'm so sad. How else could I describe physical exhaustion from the time I get up in the morning and the need to push myself as hard as I can to get out of bed and go to work or school or whatever is on the schedule that day? Physical pain from my head to my shoulders to my lower abdomen, stretching out to my thighs, and pain in my abdomen that starts with a constant dull ache and evolves into a feeling like there are a million tiny devils poking at my insides with their little pitchforks that are scalding hot and glowing red. How else could I describe a week of interrupted sleep? Interrupted because each night I have to wake up an average of two times a night either because a different lower abdominal pain develops (only at night when I am deep asleep for some reason) - a pain that causes me to hunch over gripping my tummy with tears dripping down my face because it feels like my womb is agonisingly slowly being ripped out of me - or because I'm drenched in sweat and I have to get out of bed to change my sheets and blanket and my clothes. How else could I describe being nagged by guilt because I lost my temper and I feel like a walking ball of rage one minute and a sobbing sad wreck of a mess the next? Because after all the above I am not as patient as I normally would be and tend to be irritable so I snap and lose my temper more often. And like all that was not enough of a punishment, there's the added bonus of irregular bowel movements that change every few hours, not finding a toilet to change sanitary items when you could really use one so every now and then you're forced to buy new underwear at the closest place you'll find them sold so you can throw away the ones that got soiled, and for the perfect finish your stomach is so.freaking.bloated!

On a more serious note, if you have menstrual problems that are not quite normal, please go see a doctor and address the issues you are having. There could be some serious underlying causes and should not be taken lightly.

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