The Life You Save May Be Your Own

DID, knitting, sci-fi, and strong opinions

Is This Even My Body? February 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 10:28 pm
Tags: , ,

I wrote this whole long post yesterday, and when I was almost done, Firefox crashed and I lost the whole thing.  The nerve!  Anyway, on to the actual topic of today’s symposium.

I’ve never gotten along well with my body.  I’ve never felt like it belonged to me.

I’ve generally considered myself a pretty healthy person, but the other day, my nurse pointed out to me that I’ve had all kinds of physical problems.

I had chronic middle ear infections as a child, and the first time my eardrums ruptured, I was 3 days old.  I had 5 ear surgeries before kindergarten, and in one of those surgeries the doctors realized my adenoids were gangrenous from repeated infections and removed them.  I’m now hard of hearing, and my left eardrum has a permanent hole from a karate accident.  (Never fight a guy twice your size who doesn’t pull his hits while point sparring.  Just don’t.)  I was a competitive gymnast in elementary and middle school, and I did a lot of damage to my joints because I had no concept of either the future or taking it easy.  My senior year of high school, what started as bad vertigo progressed into passing out and seizures where I’d stop breathing.  At 17, I was finally given a diagnosis: a very large arteriovenous malformation in the left frontal lobe of my brain.  Five days after my 18th birthday, I had gamma knife brain surgery to correct it.  I have several sleep disorders (central sleep apnea, circadian rhythm disorder, and alpha-delta disorder).  I have severe lower back pain from a bone spur that’s the result of an untreated stress fracture, as well as congenital hypermobility syndrome.  And just recently, I was diagnosed with MTHFR polymorphism.

It’s really fun trying to fill out medical history forms.

It isn’t just physical problems that make me feel disconnected from my body, though.  It’s also the trauma.

I don’t remember when I realized it wasn’t normal to check out and leave your body when things got bad.  I don’t ever remember a time that I didn’t do that.  I still do it a lot more than I’d like to–something stressful or scary happens, and suddenly I’m not there.  My body’s abandoned, and I’m gone.  Or somebody else takes over and runs my body for me.  Sometimes it’s a few minutes until I come back to my body; sometimes it’s weeks.

I’m trying to learn to treat my body better.  It’s difficult, though, because so many people have treated my body as though it deserves no respect.  And I learned from them.  I starved myself, cut myself, binged and purged.  For the most part, I’ve been able to get a handle on those destructive behaviors, but the temptation is still there.  It’s just another way to take myself out of a body that doesn’t feel like it’s mine.

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3 Responses to “Is This Even My Body?”

  1. ligeandcrew Says:

    Wow. That’s awfully early to start having surgeries and such. No wonder you learned to dissociate, you were just a baby.
    – Dodge

  2. Grainne Says:

    This sounds so familiar to me. I dissociated from the time I was a young child also. This morning I drove to work and barely felt like I was in my own skin.

    I started taking yoga recently to help me get better in tune with my body. I wasn’t feeding it right, exercising…just simply not taking care. The yoga helps a lot to refocus me…only trouble is getting up the motivation to go. :S

    You have such a long list of health related issues 😦 I hope that in reconnecting with yourself, you heal some of those past traumas your body went through.

  3. Oh wow, I understand..

    It’s so hard to break away from things that you’ve known as normal for a lot of your life, whether they’re destructive or not, and whether they actually SHOULD be or not. And then having normal, healthy things feel so strange and wrong because they’re so unfamiliar. it’s kind of twisted, isn’t it? It’s unfair that you’ve had to even need to come to correct this in the first place… but I’m so glad that you are trying because you DO deserve it, and apparently it IS for the better despite how it feels sometimes. Keep at it! x


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