I'd like to share something with you (and you all) since you mentioned relating to a lack of identity and a traumatic history. This is a page I wrote about
how I experienced the month-long coma at twelve years old, and what coming out of it was like:
I fell that night into a very deep sleep. All of my corporeal senses came to an end, and I entered into a nightmare where I wasn’t sure if I was alive or dead, but I had some feeling. I felt pain with no idea of where it was coming from. I had no sense of what time was passing, where I was, or who was around me. Even what was around me, although I had one dream that I was in a gigantic cubic tomb. My tomb. I felt warm and safe there. At other times I came close to remembering that I was in a hospital, and in that place I felt terrible, overwhelming fear. My body has never been my own in that place, it’s always been a toy for the doctors’ sick pleasure. I must escape that, if I am ever to feel comfortable in my own skin. Now it felt as if I would never escape. I was a machine, kept in existence only by a drugging, pumping, gassing, and molestation that I couldn’t fight at all. I wanted to fight, to either fight or die. I was stuck in an endless nightmare, with only flashes of good dreams and extremely long blackness in between. I existed only to feel pain, never to live.
When I finally
opened my eyes again, after having been in a drug-induced coma for a month long, this is what I felt:I cannot move at all. There are tubes attached to my arms and legs. Half of the time I cannot feel my body, the other half of the time it is in terrible pain. I have no clothes on, or, some of the time, a horribly itchy gown. And a diaper. The diaper itches too. Why? I grew out of diapers ten years ago.
My bowels are not under my control. My limbs are not under my control. My own mouth is not even under my control. I want to scream, but I can barely squeak. I don’t even feel that I am one body – I am cut into pieces and lay lame on a painful bed. Body parts are separated by bands of complete numbness. I can’t even tell if I am bleeding or not.
I cannot change position on my own at all. The faceless nurses come to feed my lines, to water me, and to change me. It hurts every time. I don’t want to eat through a machine. I don’t want to be soiling the only clothes I have on. I want the medical persons to stop raping me, but I can’t manage enough words to stop them, or even ask them. Do I even remember the words I learned over twelve years? I speak like a two-year-old. Did I de-age and in fact become two years old again? Will I have to relearn to walk? Relearn all of my motor skills? I can’t tell at all.
I am too weak to eat, but I am thirsty. Very thirsty. My throat hurts. I am given occasional sips of water, either hours or days in between. I have no sense of time other than it lasts so very long. I want to move! I want to fight these tubes that are holding me in place! Oh please, if I am bleeding, let me bleed to death!
It is an eternity until I am aware of my surroundings. My father, mother, and grandmother come to my side. They want to help me, but I can still barely move. I ask for my favorite foods and drinks, but I am told I cannot have any. I must eat and drink through a machine now, except in very small amounts. Those amounts are never enough.
“Your life is now very different,” my parents say. “You will have to be watched very carefully, much more than before. Back then, when you didn’t take your medicines, you got a little bit sick. If you skip your medicines now, you will die.” I don’t understand – have I not already died? I listen to all the ways my existence has become more restricting, more controlled.
When I am alert
enough that I can hold a conversation again, the doctors say, “We gave you a liver transplant. A miracle. You should be grateful.” I cling to my parents, still so immobile. Still wanting to scream and I can only cry.
Post Edited (nategerdney) : 5/15/2015 5:58:03 PM (GMT-6)