I’m so fucking tired of simply surviving my life.
The latest step in the years-long quest to find the answer to what makes me sick will be an endoscopy and colonoscopy this week. Because I have a family history of many auto-immune issues (including but not limited to Crohn’s Disease), that’s what we’re looking for. The GI doc requested that while we’re at it, I should reintroduce gluten into my body to see if he can find some damage due to celiac while he’s in there.
I have been trying to focus on feeling as well as I can through this prep process. I have been unbearably sick at times over the last three weeks, wondering every day if it will be worth it to have inflicted this torture on myself. You’d think that would be the most upsetting part of this process, but I’ve noticed in the last few days that how I’m feeling physically is nothing compared to the absolute terror I’m feeling right now.
Imagining the process of having tubes inserted into parts of my body has triggered a trauma response I would not have expected. I am feeling extremely triggered. I am feeling like every non-consensual act of sexual violence I’ve experienced is right on the surface again, pushing at my skin, stretching me too tight. I can’t breathe sometimes, it hurts so much.
This is different, I keep telling myself. This is a medical procedure to which I’ve consented. I am in control of this: I can choose to not even show up, if that’s what’s necessary. But can I? Really? I’m not in control over what’s been happening to my body for the last Gd only knows how many years. My body has betrayed me, and has coerced me into needing invasive and violating procedures to determine just what the hell is wrong with it. My body, the battleground for my trauma and my illness – it’s calling the shots.
When I had my tubal surgery last year, I didn’t have one moment of apprehension. I was completely in control of the situation, and it was, although emotionally complicated, an entirely positive experience from start to finish. So what makes this time so different? Is it because it’s connected to my mystery disease that has robbed me of so much? Is it because I’m still dealing with relatively fresh memories of invasion, violation, and betrayal, and it’s all mixing together to make a giant trauma mess?
I don’t know. There are only two things I know for sure:
1) I am TERRIFIED of what’s to come on Thursday.
2) I don’t want to be.
This is the shit I have taught others about living through sexual violence but have chosen (unwisely) to think I could avoid. You never know what’s going to trigger you, when, or for how long.
And it fucking sucks.