'Every flower is a soul blessing in nature’- Gerard De Nerval
Flowers are one of the best pick-me-ups in nature and violets are my favourite. Flowers, like humans, need sustenance like water and sunshine to survive and flourish. Give them kindness and love and watch them thrive.
What do flowers have to do with violation?
A couple of weeks ago, I was out shopping and had sat down to have a rest as my back was killing me. Next to me was a lady who had just had a caesarean section and had left her baby in the hospital. She was so sad it upset me and I guess I was distracted by thoughts of this on my way back to the car.
Fast-track to arriving at home, I discovered (to my horror) that I had left my bag with all my stoma supplies in the trolley. I jumped in the car, drove back to the supermarket as quickly as I could - only to find three people peering into the trolley looking bemused and unsure.
Someone had rifled through my whole bag, obviously looking for money. Wipes, my Aura pouches, adhesive remover spray - everything was strewn all over the trolley. I felt violated and very upset.
Why was I so upset?
I had to go away and think this one through. There was nothing of monetary value in the bag - but the bag was of value to me. In part, I would have been upset regardless of the contents of the bag. The bag itself was a Christmas present from a friend and it simply isn’t nice having strangers looking through your things. But those particular contents were so very personal to me and so invaluable to my life now.
Learning to be OK with my stoma – even when I can’t control the reveal
Initially I felt embarrassed about getting so upset but then I realised that this is just still something I’m coming to terms with. It’s OK for me to tell the whole world through a photo shoot or a video that I have a stoma. I’m in control of that, I decide. I’m not so keen on the guy at the airport going through my stoma supplies bag, nor a stranger rifling through it uninvited. But I’m slowly getting there and learning to handle these situations better. Of course I felt violated by a stranger rifling through my things and finding my colostomy bags – but the fact that it was probably about 50/50 how much each of those aspects upset me is an improvement in itself.
Flowers can always help
We must keep on trying to educate the public, I guess. In the first instance, just to respect other people’s property and personal space (stoma or no stoma). In the second, to recognise, understand and be more accepting of ostomies when they do come across them so that this kind of situation would be no big deal. Just like flowers, all people need nurturing to improve and grow.
What did I do to make myself feel better after that upsetting incident? Well, I just bought myself a couple of new bags (the non-stoma type!) …and some flowers, of course!