Possible triggers: scars, body horror, disordered eating and poor medical care

The body remembers.

These last two months have been filled with me running a body-memory obstacle course. I have struggled with depersonalization, derealization, disordered eating and body horror. My conscious forgets all that I have been through, but my body reminds me at every anniversary.

Almost four years ago I had a tumor removed from my left orbital bone. I woke up to my own voice crying for my three-month-old daughter. She was placed in my arms briefly. My voice turned back to saying “ow, ow, ow.”

Two years ago at this time, I went through a series of surgeries after an outpatient procedure resulted in a near-death experience. The result is a set of scars I am still accepting. I’ve written a bit about the scars and my sense of betrayal. There is much more to say, many layers I can’t yet access. At some point that will show up in my writing. For now, here is a video I recorded awhile back where I recounted the story of fighting death.

In what ways have you fought to stay alive?

This post is Day 5 of the 30 Day #LinkYourLife Challenge. To participate, find the challenge prompts here.

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Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

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