I get it. I truly now get it. With my very own fibroid, maybe likely due to the fact that I haven’t had children and my body produces too much estrogen that leads to menstrual migraines – what fun – and the perimenopausal roller-coaster bullshit impending doom likely in a few years to come, I fully understand the value of hanging out with others who have uteruses and those who have suffered great pain ejecting infants from cervixes. I can tell they won’t judge me because their wisdom far exceeds a male being whose only potions exiting body is semen, piss and shit. Maybe vomit if he drank too much, and a whole lot of snot from a man cold. What?

So, I get it. The value of the sisterhood of which I am rather paranoid since my own sister was a bloody bully, treated me viciously, and would threaten to ruin my shirt I lent her if I asked for it back one more time, nicely. Sibling rivalry? Or talk about super bad parenting. Man, when I think of the shit that woman has done to me. Mental illness? I used to say, “Mom, something is not right with her, eh?” And mom would say nothing. Much like mom said nothing of her own depression and sleeping mid-day with constant headaches, fluctuating hormones, devilish moods, inconsistent love and the argument that would hold up in a court of love of: “Well, I put food on the table didn’t I?!” I paid $150 for one hour with a shrink once for which the tidbit about that was – apparently parents are supposed to feed children, but for me there was no guarantees apparently and that I had a minute steak and boiled carrots despite lack of being comforted or consoled was of no consequence. Could explain why I ate my fingernails out of control when I was little. A message from me to me that I could provide for myself, much like I did exiting the womb with a twisted umbilical cord and baby breech with my feet gravity-bound knowing my poor ma with her anxiety was never gonna be a treat.

Wow. Is this why I DO NOT WANT TO GO TO A WOMAN’S RETREAT? Women scare the SHIT out of me! I find the married ones with kids – judgey. I drop a swear or a Denis Leary bleed of vulgarity and biting truth about some bullshit upheld societal mislead, and man, those heads glance askance with a tsk tsk heard in the distance and some kumbaya or worse – dictatorial – in a speech about how wrong I am, but really I am not. Are men so disengaged that this is why they would have nothing to say or would they be raging in agreement quietly and shutting their faces like I have learned to do, too, at the woman’s retreat?

My men have had no problems with my uterus bleeding and bought pads for me, willingly. In my twenties, all men made no fuss about ‘no penetration’ and took fooling around after a night at bars so happily and appreciatingly. I don’t think men are assholes. My dad is one but there’s a reason for it and my mom acts like one and there is no excuse for that.

Oh no. I DO NOT WANT TO GO TO A WOMAN’S RETREAT because maybe they will catch me in that last mistake. “Why do you let off the men in your life for bad things and expect your mom to be a saint?” You see, already I’m predicting lectures from matronly women and I am petrified by their estrogen. I’d rather go chop wood or go fishing. This is not to say that women can’t do this. But I like the silence in men and their lack of nagging. Do I have a problem?

And I have had great female friends. But they are different. They are newcomer Canadians and immigrants. They are frugal and travelled the world, not suburban. They are not vanilla-looking ladies, nor wrangling from rafters, and all are steady in their relationships with children. They’ve got poise and composure, integrity and value. They’ve got sensibility and time for me, but would THEY go to a woman’s retreat?

Can I please go to the MEN’S RETREAT as a woman? Is there a place for women to go for men’s influence or is that the genders are so distinct in their realities and traits that this concept elicits a laugh as women scoff, “women at a man’s retreat – ha! The men would just want to fuck them!” But what of us chicks with no more dads, nor brothers and very, very scary women as sisters and mothers and aunts and a maternal Grand’Mere from where it started want/need the influence of the different gender and may feel safer if not in preference.

Why is it when I think of “WOMEN’S RETREAT” I feel I’m not woman enough? That I don’t have the right trite gold and diamond ring married to a chap with a dual income and pretty things? That I am less as I don’t carry the wisdom of growing a kid in my belly while all while the knowing what would have been for them essential and needed? That I am too loud, too opinionated and will be shat on for my views and swears that work better what with lesbians or gentlemen?

So for now, no, I DO NOT WANT TO GO TO THE WOMAN’S RETREAT because they scare me. And, I’m working through this shit, indeed, as needed. But I feel there is a veneer of “together” and “peace” that these women emit or if not they are batshit crazy. As we are. As can be men. Maybe I’m retaliating against the lack of inauthenticity that motherhood may sometimes breed among some women who are sadly stuck in roles so suffocating that they can’t breathe. If you say I know knowing, I’ll ask you now to politely fuck me since I teach about these kinds of women at the university. And no my credentials and university graduate education and prestigious position doesn’t make me elite, but I feel you’ll judge me as a kid with a big mouth and darling, I’m seeing right through your screen you use to try and keep what bugs ya, out, you see?

Oh heavens, I don’t understand women, and due to a lack of bonding with my primary caregiver female mother, unfortunately until further notice and education, the regular program here of fearing is resuming.

Sylvie Hill 2016