Classical Sass

(276) Stigma

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sculpture of four moth balls.

I hate the way my belly curves, I hate the roundness that took hundreds of needles and stayed soft and never bled
I hate the way my arms are thick, I hate their stoutness that didn’t acknowledge the pricks and refused to bruise
I hate the way my skin itches when I’ve had a lot of insulin, I hate the rashes and the breakouts and the forever faux youth I wear across my cheeks
I hate that I won’t wear dresses because my pump becomes a hassle and I don’t want to be a perpetual reminder to myself of the hassle that I am
I hate that I cry after phone calls with my insurance company or my pharmacy and I hate that I worry about what hubs will do when he has to make choices
I hate that my effort has so little to do with my fate

There is much to hate about a chronic illness.

But what breaks my heart
what leaves my back cold and hopeless
Is watching the punishment we deal ourselves 
when we refuse care and logic
when we shame our needs and confuse our health with our morality
when we allow the raucous belligerent views of the healthy masses
taint what we know to be true about ourselves

It breaks my heart
to watch us shun a drug because we think it means we didn’t try hard enough
It breaks my heart
to watch us fight ignorance with compliance

So I hate my thighs because they’ll never be just me; they will always be layers of my possibly fruitless effort
But I walk tall and I use them teeth bared
Because those thighs have fought with me and carried me and 
every time I stab myself 
I remember that I am fighting 
Because I don’t hate myself.


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