I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.

At one point during "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," Jessica Rabbit says "You don't know how hard it is being a woman, looking ...

At one point during "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," Jessica Rabbit says "You don't know how hard it is being a woman, looking the way I do."  I know I'm not Jessica Rabbit, but sometimes I do hear the snare and bass drum when I walk.  Sometimes I even hear a string bass or saxaphone.

My swagger doesn't come from how I look or my measurements.  My inner sexiness comes from knowing my strengths, such as my sharp wit and playful coyness as well as my physical strength (I'm a tough cookie) and adventurous attitude.

Yet there is one thing, more than anything else, that makes feeling sexy damn near impossible (as experienced over the past 15 years) -- and that is my litany of back/neck injuries.  I can feel sexy with a sprained ankle, sexy through a sinus infection, or even sexy with a zit on my face.  I just can't feel the va va voom while I'm dealing with my spine injuries

I can shake most of the negative feelings associated with my injuries -- such as "it sucks not being able to lift weights" or "I hate not being able to box" -- but I cannot shake the nagging question of "what man can find a broken woman sexy?" I can't be bubbly and cheerful all the time; I can only fake it for so long before I just flat out say "you know what? I feel miserable." I also know that guys my age want to be active -- dancing, hiking, traveling and yes, even sexing.  And there are some days when that just isn't on the docket.

Even worse than not being able to keep up with the activities of dating -- how can you feel sexy and sensual when you are afraid of people touching you?  For example a coworker went to put his arm around my shoulder at my company's holiday party, and the pressure of his arm on my neck was more than I could tolerate.  I winced and pulled away from him (he apologized profusely, but it was unnecessary because he didn't know I was hurt).  Also, many times when I tell guys I have a back problem, they go into "Fix it" mode -- wanting to massage my back or crack it for me (neither help, and both make it worse).  I always wonder if guys consider me a lemon, or as something fragile that can't be touched. 

Doubt is the biggest detriment to self-confidence.

And even if I get past a few dates, I'm reminded of the orthopedist I saw in 2000 who gave me a pamphlet of how to have sex with a bad back.  The drawings were of couples in their 60s.  I don't want men to see me as past my prime, geriatric, or disabled.  I don't want guys to think that I'm completely unable or without desire.  While I don't have plans to swing from any chandeliers and hate being limited by my back, I'm still very much a woman in her sexual prime.

But for all the ways my injuries make me feel like less of a woman, there is an upside:  it makes me able to appreciate the idea of having a man in my life.  For as strong and independent as I am, it would be really nice to say "sweetie, I need help."  Most men I know relish hearing those words -- they love knowing that their skills and strength can be put to use for manly purposes.  Being injured exposes my vulnerability.  I long for the time when the man I am with tries to heal me with kisses down my spine.

When I said in my last entry that I am "mourning for myself" this is what I was vaguely referring to.  I don't hear the drums as frequently.  My swagger is departing from me.  I feel that with each degenerated, bulging, or herniated disc, the chance of people seeing me as I see myself (as a saucy minx) decreases.   With each injured disc, the chance of me seeing myself as a saucy minx decreases.

If I can't feel sexy on the inside, how will the world ever know that under all the blubber, there lies a sexpot?

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12 comments

  1. I know nothing much about that condition, but I understand when you talk of losing your swagger. :(

    Is it feasible to get the fusion done sooner rather than later?

    I don't think a virtual hug would make you wince, so consider yourself hugged. :)

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  2. Husg Robby...one thing I have learned is that swagger comes and swagger goes, depending on any number of things. It's not all over for you...your swagger is too ingrained for you to lose it forever.

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  3. BB -- there's no guarantee that the fusion will help. That and it'll greatly reduce my range of movement. So right now we're just doing conservative treatment. But thanks for the hug.

    Karen -- you're right, swagger comes and goes... but I just have a hard time finding it.

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  4. ahhhh girl I'd hug ya but you know I'm not the mushy hugging type plus right now it'd put both of us into pain anyhow...your spine/back/neck and I'm right there w/you today *sigh*
    I, like you, opted to not have surgery on back and just 'deal' with it instead...today though I'm not dealing with it very well..barely able to walk & function..even hurts to cough... and perhaps because I'm like A LOT A LOT A LOT older than you I don't think about my swagger (or lack thereof) but...know that the right guy will come and spoil you and treat you right! I had that once...I stupidly let it go and now found out he died in car accident so no chance of reconciliation but you're young, you're vibrant, you're not a lemon and the right one is out there for you...so just keep doing what you can, and I'm sure your swagger will find its way back to you since you say you have a hard time finding it....trust Robby...you're far from broken! :)

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  5. Tara -- you pointed out something that I sometimes forget -- as long as we're having more good days than bad, we'll be okay, right? Similarly, I lost someone because of stupidity -- he died from hyponatremia a few years ago. I needed to love myself before I could love him, yanno?

    I feel very broken, very run down, very un-robby. I just hope for more good days soon.

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  6. we all get to that point where we have had enough of feeling shitty...hardest part is betting back to the point you wanna be. but youll get there girl, that accident sound super tough...but you got the balls to deal and come out better in the end :)

    i hope recovery is quick babes!

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your back- I know someone going through the same thing right now so I can imagine the pain it's causing..they've been recommended surgery too...but are doing physio right now in hopes that surgery won't be needed. we'll see. do you think doing any of the kettle bell routines contributed to this? regardless- I wish you the best!!

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  8. Ms Dolly: Sexiness is a mental thing. I just need to get to the point where I can convince other people I've never lost it. Once they're tricked, whether i'm feeling good or not, they can only see the good. Magic!

    Nony: If your friend can avoid surgery, that's what i recommend. There's no guarantee it'll work (many spine surgeries fail or cause more damage to muscles/surrounding discs). As for the kettlebells -- I don't know. You can injure your back so many different ways. I had trauma to my back, but the genetics (degenerative disc disease) was already against me.

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  9. Let your confidence and swagger shine through! I like this post, the pics are really cool.

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  10. I'm 40 just found out I have 8 disc l3456 c4567

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  11. Anon--sorry to hear that.
    Did you herniate? bulge? degenerate?

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<3 Robby