But today...today something happened. I wore a bikini.
Wearing a bikini to the pool is actually a common practice for many 20-somethings like myself. After my surgery, however, I resigned myself to a life in the one-piece. After all, I have a hard enough time looking at the bag of intestine and poop hanging from my abdomen; why expose the public to such an atrocity?
In the winter, when all the swimsuits hit the stores in preparation for spring, I bought what I thought was the closest thing I could get to normal swimwear: a very nice mono-kini. It covered up the bulge from my bag decently and allowed me to feel okay enough about my "beach bod". As long as people can't tell I have a bag, I'm good.
A few weeks ago my husband mentioned he didn't think it would be such a terrible thing to wear a two-piece. Oh yeah, and flaunt my most major insecurity? Yeah, right! It's one thing to tell people, "I have an ostomy". It's quite another to go to a very public place with my body on display, and with it, a bag of my waste that, if removed, will show a stub of my intestine that on first glance looks like a very red male reproductive part. No, thank you!
Since then, I have gone to the pool a handful of times. Every trip I self consciously look down at my bathing suit, silently pleading and hoping that no one will detect an abnormality with my body.
Last Sunday, I found myself a prime opportunity to read by the pool. I couldn't find my one piece. I looked to my old bikinis which were in a give-away pile; they were challenging me. Maybe I could... But, my one piece turned up. How silly of me to even consider exposing my icky insecurity!
Ian's idea of my wearing a bikini came up again today at lunch with my parents. "He actually wants me to," I said. To my surprise, my parents agreed that it wouldn't be the worst or the grossest thing in the world. When it came time to get ready for the pool, I once again donned my one-piece. Then I got to thinking:
What is so bad about my bag? Why do I let it make me feel so...freakish? Is it so freakish? Doesn't everyone have that one weird thing that bothers them about their body?
I grabbed a bikini from what had been the give-away pile. I went to the pool in it. And you know what? It is the most confident I've felt in the eleven months and one day since my surgery. I was finally owning it.
|My sweetness and me at the pool!|
For you formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.