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Dear Paraguard,

It’s me, not you. Well, maybe it’s also you.

We have been together for four long years; closer than any friend could be. Unfortunately, the time has come where we must part ways. Every friendship has its season. And our season has come to an end now. Although I’m thankful for the time we had together, I can’t say that I’ll miss you. You did your job well excellently by giving me peace of mind regarding unplanned pregnancies.

You are a symbol of the past years of compulsive heterosexuality and the self-harm that embodied me. Coming out as a lesbian has been liberating and self-assuring, but you are a lingering remnant of an identity that no longer applies to me. Saying goodbye to you is the end of a long road to coming to terms with my sexuality: A finality that I look forward to in being at ease with myself and my body.

Your copper coils made my uterus inhospitable, but you also made my periods longer, heavier and with unbearable cramps some weeks. You helped me sleep soundly (most nights) while I got my education, but now you only cause me pain. I’m a lesbian, and you no longer have a purpose in my life.

I’ll always think of you fondly for the work you did. And if anyone asks me about you, I’ll mostly only have good things to say.

So, I’ll say goodbye with a health professional staring down the barrel of a speculum at my cervix. With a cough and a yank, we will part ways after four close years. I’m not sorry it had to end this way because I’m happier now than I’ve ever been.

Goodbye, small friend.

Lusenda is a senior pursuing concurrent majors in anthropology and history, and a certificate in Medieval & Renaissance Studies. Projected to graduate in Fall 2021 from Arizona State University, she is applying for a Fulbright Scholarship and hopes to get her Masters degree abroad in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. As a queer non-traditional student with disabilities and community college transfer, Lusenda is passionate about writing that connects with a range of underrepresented demographics. When she isn't busy studying or writing she loves knitting, cooking, binge-watching Netflix, drinking too much coffee, and snuggling with her cats.
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