Monday, 31 July 2017

The Rug that pulled the room together

Going through my history, my therapist stops me to say "it looks like you've been a parent for while,"
Well shit. That's true.
It took me 23 years to be sexy. By the time I was 19, I had a post partum body, breasts and a belly that didn't belong to me, a mind that could lose dates and names like glitter, and a crowd of onlookers who thought I was selfish. (Spoiler alert: it's actually OK to be selfish. Just apparently not for people who are or are viewed as mothers. But this is bullshit so, mothers of the world, carry on. You don't have to bear everyone's burdens.)

When men started to notice me instead of cry to me, I felt confused. When women did the same, I felt even more confused. I don't think there's much point in trying to be poetic about this; most histories and sexualities don't fit a metre.

Now,  I'm Harry Potter. I have a very real scar from a very real birth, that time that I was left to die, and if you think scars hurting is a fantasy, let me tell you--the body remembers. Here's where the title comes in: someone peed on my damn rug, (the rug is my limbic system), it really pulled the room together, and goddamn it, Diana, you're out of your element! Did you know that your brain can literally make you relive,  in full physicality, moments you don't want to think about? Wouldn't it be nice if we could do that for other sensations? Like ice cream? I'd relive a tub of Ben and Jerry's any day. Unfortunately, we don't get to pick our mental obsessions.

My limbic system is fucked. Perhaps that's not giving credit where credit is due; after all, it has been running in fight or flight very effectively for six months now. It's impressive, but it's slowing me down. It's not permanently damned though, now get this (because it amuses me and should amuse you too), you can basically do a Windows update to get your mind to stop running the unwanted program. And we do this by having the affected person sit there and retell their trauma while watching a light move back and forth (I'm not making this up, it has high efficacy), and after a few sessions of this, your brain puts the trauma in the right place, because basically it imitates REM sleep. Wow.

This is my program that won't stop running in the background: I wake up in labour. I am in labour easily three times a week. Those of you who have been in labour will recognise this as a serious fucking issue. I have a scar that hurts and a uterus that contracts in an act of expulsion. I no longer think trigger warnings are funny. The hospital makes me dizzy whenever I go near it, and sometimes when people sneeze, I cry. That last one, as oddly funny as it may be, is because when you're stuck in fight or flight, you get over stimulated rather easily, and so a loud noise carries the risk of shutting down the system (ie making you cry).

I'd like these symptoms to stop. So, I go to a tiny room once a week where I don't want to be, to tell a story I don't want to hear, to be reminded that I need to deal with my son's and my almost-death story. It's like the worst acid trip ever.

And I write this because it's a little bit funny, and a little bit awful, and most of all, very human in a way a lot of us have forgotten. So here's wishing you all good health; may your limbic systems be moderately reactive and the odds be ever in your favour. Good night.

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