Over to J from Mumbai
“To accept and love your body is not limited to it’s physical manifestation. What about what’s on the inside?
This is my story.
As a girl, my “blooming” signs were rather bleak. In short: No breast development, no periods. My mother was living in a state of denial. “Distant relatives in the family were late bloomers too”.
After months of persistent pestering, a full body examination was done. Despite what was told (which wasn’t known to me), my mother decided to wait longer.
“Faith” is a dangerous thing.
Fast forward two years: I needed answers. I was soon going to be in college and the thought of being so physically different was killing me. Even more, because I didn’t want the school bullying to resurface.
So I have this rare genetic condition called “XX Pure Gonadal Dysgenesis”. It means, I am a female as per my chromosomes but due to some godforsaken unknown reason, my body failed to develop ovaries. (The immediate known probable cause is attributed to the fact that my parents share a little bit of DNA.) Which also means, no hormones, no babies (I don’t like kids anyway). But quoting Robin Scherbatsky from HIMYM: “Of course it’s one thing not to want something. It’s another to be told you can’t have it.”
To hear that at the age of 18 was devastating. It still is. During my darkest of days, it lurks around the corner saying “guess what, you’ve another problem”.
I have to take oral hormones to maintain the necessary balance and ensure other bodily functions are not affected in any way. I take oral hormones to induce menstruation. Without these pills, I WOULD BE IN A PERPETUAL STATE OF MENOPAUSE.
But that’s not the only thing it induces. Weight fluctuations (mostly gain, dayum), alopecia, pimples, mood swings and being incredibly horny comes free with the treatment. Popping pills on a daily basis has become highly annoying. People make PMS jokes; my PMS is on steroids (quite literally).
The most insensitive thing I’ve been told is “Think about those with life threatening diseases, like cancer, you’re much better off”. It’s an unfair comparison and with all due respect, my problem is of grave concern to me. It has affected my confidence, esteem, acceptance of my physical body and ability to have or maintain relationships with the opposite sex.
All in all, day in and day out, I have been trying to cope with it. While researching, I found out that many countries have the practice of providing counselling to deal with a condition of this sort. I could’ve used some! I have now started seeking professional help.
But one thing is for sure: in these five years, tears have turned into self help through hope and kind words (and because Big Girls Don’t Cry). I’ve started being nicer to myself because that’s one thing I can do for sure. We could all do ourselves this favor.
From not having ovaries being the problem, I am shifting to “I have one less problem without ya!” That’s progress, right?”
Over to J from Mumbai