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Why I Speak Out About Endometriosis

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Would you be surprised that I consider myself an introvert? I’ve spent a lifetime in the background, by choice, supporting causes close to my heart.

But endometriosis is different. It’s personal, and I’ve been waiting my entire life, and nothing changes. Still waiting on increased government funding. Still waiting for respect from medical schools. Still waiting for a non-invasive test and a cure.

Now our right to healthcare is being attacked for pre-existing and reproducing. It’s a disturbing commentary on our society that women aren’t celebrated for furthering the human race. What would they do without us? So I speak out.

I speak out because:

1. Women are still treated for hysteria when they seek help for physical pain.

2. Women are not valued when our government wants us to pay for reproductive health care.

3. Women are blamed and shamed for a pre-existing condition.

4. Menstruation is still considered taboo.

There is not one area of this experience that I don’t feel gaslit, still.

A woman showing herself hooked up to medical equipment.

So I speak out.

But my skin in still thin from years of abuse. My emotions are more raw than ever.

I don’t know if every community is as divided and confrontational as the endometriosis community. I’ve wrestled with character assassinations from sisters that have tried to silence or scold me. Dismissing pain after excision. Questioning my pain other than pelvic as “rare” and dismissing. And judging hysterectomy, or any other choices made along the way.

The experience within the community is no less traumatizing than those in the doctor’s office.

I speak out because:

1. This is my experience, I don’t need anyone’s words except my own.

2. This is my opinion. Everyone is entitled to share theirs. How they choose to communicate is personal and should be respected.

3. My pain, perspective, story and advocacy choices are my own.

4. My best friends have endo and didn’t realize it, even with following my journey.

I don’t need to justify my experience, methods or style. I am not seeking anyone’s approval to save our sisterhood from this systematic abuse.

Endometriosis is still not in our vernacular.

Now with a thick skin I’m ready to speak out and challenge any haters with compassion, education and gratitude. I’m stronger today than I’ve ever been.

And that’s why I speak out.

Even through the sea of skepticism, there is nothing more important than the next girl having the opportunity to live her dreams.

Why do you speak out?

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Thinkstock Image By: VectorPocket

Originally published: July 19, 2017
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