fault lines.

hi. it’s me, again. just a week after my last write up. how clever and cute of me. but in reality, i am in this awful place with my body right now. and we’ve talked about this before. how my relationship with this version of myself is one that feels ultra disconnected. i feel immensely alienated from my body. there is barely a pulse. the tension is thick. there is very little acknowledgment. and honestly, i know how damaging that is. i know that i need to be appreciative of what my body has been through to be here, right now. but it’s not this body. i buried that body just under a year ago. on february second of last year, i sobbed for hours upon hours. i wrote the saddest goodbye letter. i gave my body over to cancer. i lost my femininity. i lost my frame. i lost parts of me. so the body that you see now. the one that holds me in place. this body. it didn’t do the heavy lifting or the hard work. it’s a replacement. and it’s unfinished and messy. it’s the in between version. it feels incomplete and disconnected. it feels foreign and strange most days. the pulse. the drive. the familiarity and warmth. they just aren’t there. and most people will chide me with something less than cute. like the light at the end of the tunnel. or be positive. or it’ll be your turn one day. but my brain cannot handle it. i am in this space with my body where all i can think about is how i have truly failed. failed at keeping myself away from the things they talk about in hushed tones. the big c. i never smoked. i never snuck out. i never did drugs. i stayed in school. ya know, listened to the d.a.r.e message. i was doing it all right. or at least i thought i was. and then boom! my life literally feels like the fresh prince of bel air theme song. my life got flipped, turned upside down. and what i realized today is just how many fault lines have been created in the last two years. delicate cracks in what i consider to be the map of who i am. these massive lines separating parts of me. these divides and splits. but the issue is that fault lines are precious. they are not designed for pressure or for weight. they can’t hold the heavy stuff. and i can say that as the fault lines that exist within me begin to split wide open. because fault lines are cracks in the surface. and sometimes, they get too deep & they become these massive divides. and i was cracked on the surface long before my great life crisis began. fault lines created from trauma and stress and heartbreak. small but palpable. and these last two years- well, they’ve cracked me wide open. so much so that i am unable to faithfully pick up the pieces and know what goes where.

and so here i am. one day from hitting one year in remission. from an aggressive cancer that i beat at the age of thirty two. with lots of my life behind me. and whatever amount lies in front of me. and what am i doing? crying in full sobs on a virtual therapy appointment. tears soaking my survivor shirt that i wore to my survivorship appointment earlier today. crying. because my therapist asked me what i needed most out of today. and the words just tumbled from my mouth. i need to stop the trauma cycles. i need it all to be easier. i need to connect with whatever the hell this is. because someone recently told me that sometimes we never get rid of our traumas. and maybe that’s true. and my therapist nodded. and she said, that’s true sometimes. but it doesn’t mean we have to live through them everyday anymore. and for an hour virtually, i let it all kinda fall out into my lap. that this year was hard also. because i do not identify with the person i am now. the remnants of the person i had beautifully built before the world splintered me apart. before an infectious disease took over. before the tumors began tripling in size. before i lost all of my hair and my skin peeled off. before my chest was amputated and my stomach sliced across the waist, hip to hip. before i lost myself in the grief. in the anger. in the betrayal. in the sadness. and there is so much to be said about the loss that comes packaged with the medical traumas in my life. particularly the loss that gets bundled into an amputation. and on the eve of the one year anniversary of my amputation, i find myself in a really confusing place. similar to where i found myself this time last year. in this unique tangle between failure and disconnect. where i still feel so detached from the frame that carries me everywhere & from the frame that no longer exists. that in even a year, we haven’t become friends. in three hundred and sixty five hellos and goodbyes, i still can’t recognize myself. and the healing is taking an eternity. the forgiveness feels out of reach. the fault lines feel like they are quaking. and life feels different. everything feels different.

and i can’t help but wonder if everything has to be different just because of what i have been through. did the world completely shift because of my fault lines? sometimes it feels like nothing is the same. down to the very smallest faults. down to the hair on my head and the socks in my sock drawer. and my fault lines feel like they widen in some places and shrink in others. and sometimes i feel swallowed whole by my traumas. and other days, i can stare at them and not even bat an eye. but the truth is, i am working on stepping over the fault lines. navigating a space and trek that feels safe and comfortable. it’s really hard. like really hard. because some days the earth is soaked from my tears and it feels like i will sink into the cracks beneath me. and other days, the sun shines bright and the cracks seep away. and each day, i just keep moving. along the fault lines. among the fault lines. one step at a time towards healing. it’s slow as hell. i bet it looks that way from where you’re standing too.

but sometimes it feels like the fault lines are my fault. and sometimes it feels like the universe just shakes me too hard. and the cracks are still there. and all i can do is acknowledge them & step gracefully over them.


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