Graphite on Bristol, 2020
1 OUT OF 10
Debilitating menstrual pain is not normal, and it took me 204 months to realize that.
If you suspect that you might have endometriosis, it can be difficult to find information about the disease. This website really helped me to understand: Heal Endo
I had a friend who once dreamed she gave birth to a 'brain' baby with a mess of bright red hair. Three years later, she was told that she had an ovarian teratoma, a rare type of tumor that can contain fully developed tissues and organs. Hers included brain tissue and hair.
In 2013, I began experiencing an increase in pain during my menstrual cycle. Having grown up conditioned to believe that periods were inherently painful and often debilitating, I dealt with it. I made this painting (below) that year.
In 2019, I found out that I had endometriosis, with what's called 'bilateral endometriomas' that had enlarged my ovaries to the size of russet potatoes, filled with old blood that had flowed in the wrong direction.
After surgery to remove the lesions, I returned to my childhood home, where I rediscovered this painting. In a post-surgery examination of it, I found that the 'incision' in the painting was the exact same length of my own healing laparotomic scar, and couldn't help but associate the red and brown paint to the goopy mess that was removed from my ovaries.