Thursday, March 24, 2011

bad weather

I've just taken a bath. It's a ritual I am practicing more and more, a kind of cleansing of the self, a time for unhindered introspection, a warm moment. My baptism to the bed.

As I lie in the bathtub looking at the body below me I was struck by how similar it was to all other women, in shape, tone and size, my hipbone disfigurement barely noticeable now, just a lopsided permanent tan and some atrophied muscle. I feel increasingly alienated from my body, as though it's something entirely separate from my mind. It doesn't accurately express the disfigurement within, all that scar tissue and all of that pain. It's normal, it's not mine. It is the archetypal woman, it's not mine. If I expressed outwardly what was inside, I'd look like the elephant man.

I foundLucy Grealy today through a friend- she lost half her jaw from Ewing's Sarcoma as a child and wrote a book entitled Autobiography of a Face. She died of an opiate overdose in 2002.


Out of bath. Into warm bed. I am grateful that my body remains intact. Port comes out tomorrow.

4 comments:

Miss Melanoma said...

Lucy Grealy is one of my favs. She totally got me through a rather vicious self-loathing stage in college. I love it when words can reach in and touch you. Yours do, too, often.

-MM

"Sometimes the briefest moments capture us, force us to take them in, and demand that we live the rest of our lives in reference to them." -Lucy Grealy

-shaan said...

whatevs dude, i think you're a spartan.

"there must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but i don't know many of them." -SP

historymiss said...

Baths are nice; so soothing. One of the worst parts about all my cancer surgeries was the "nothing but sponge baths for two weeks" bs. No showers OR tubs? Yuck. My surgeon was unmoved by my pleas for leniency.
I totally relate to being disconnected to your body. I used to kinda like my boobs, now I see them very clinically. Although not as bad as my mother, who refers to my non-cancer boob as my "real breast." Because Miss Rightside is, like, imaginary?
I highly recommend bath bombs over bubble bath.
Good thoughts going out to you.

Kristen said...

How'd the port removal go? Yay for you!! That was such a big day for me. Hope you get to celebrate in some way :).