Today while showering, I looked down at my body, saw the scar on my belly from the pyloromyotomy (operation to widen the pylorus) and thought, I’m fixed! I don’t recall that I’ve ever felt such jubilation–or happiness of any kind–when I’ve looked at my scar in the past. Over the years, I have come to a greater place of peace with it, coming to see it as a mark of altruism and love, but the joy I felt was exciting, spontaneous, and entirely new.
Why have I felt such an aversion for my scar? Let’s face it: the scar ain’t prettty. It mars my body. The illness, represented by the scar, disrupted my relationship with my mother (I was hospitalized for weeks without visitors). My illness/the scar fragmented my family and forever changed the way we interacted. The early trauma–the fact that I was dying and then saved–made me feel different in a negative way, consequently, isolating me from others. The scar reminded me that I was weird, a unique species. The scar represented deep self-doubt that I have felt most of my life. There’s more, but need I say it?
To hear the words “I’m fixed!” when noticing my scar was thrilling! Of course, I’ve known intellectually that my body had been repaired, but feeling fixed is a different experience. I am finally getting that deep down, I am whole. This knowing is a kind of soul-knowing. It has to do with spirit and emotion. For most of my life, I harbored the unconscious, gnawing, pernicious fear that I was broken in some irreparable way. Well, now I can operate in a new fashion. Make way, world. I’m fixed!
p.s. (and I don’t mean pyloric stenosis!) Check out my new Memoir page post–an excerpt about my scar.