Going the Distance

Proper posture hurts.

When I align my spine correctly, I have to brace myself against a wall with my hands. My breathing comes short and I get dizzy. Sweat breaks out on my brow. Tears spring to my eyes. I can’t hold it for long.

I know I must hold proper posture. It is not relaxing for me, however. It is painful. It hurts to change my body from what it’s used to.

My spine curves to the right. If you look at how I stand in resting position, you’ll notice my right hip and my right shoulder bend towards each other, like lovers longing to touch. I’m twisted and gnarled like a wind-worn tree.

My hips are twisted the other way, too; not only up and down but front and back – they jut out on the right, pull back on the left. So standing correctly is not just a matter of separating my star-crossed shoulder and hip, making them learn the appropriate distance from each other, but it is also a matter of making my hips see my feet eye to eye — if they had eyes. Making them line up with the strong, straight legs that are among my best features.

I have had this incorrect posture since high school, I’m sure, though I’ve never really noticed it till this year, when my physiotherapist pointed it out to me. But for four years in high school I didn’t use a backpack. I used a shoulder bag that I carried on my left shoulder, and I hitched that shoulder up, to better carry the bag. I still carry bags on my left shoulder. I cannot carry them on my right. They slip off.

Now my spine has compressed; shrunk down in on itself, trying to make me smaller. To stretch it out again — to regain function in my crippled, gnarled body — I must maintain proper posture. I must re-learn, I must teach my flesh to change itself. I must breathe. I must regain muscle tone in my abdomen. I must focus, I must do this, or I will be a gnarled, bent tree forever.

It is depressing, and it is hard, and I feel hopeless much of the time. I feel resigned. Fuck it, I say. So I’m a crone fifty years too early. I was always quick to grow up. Give me my cane.

But then I remember — me reclaiming my health isn’t just for me. It’s for my family. They depend on me, you see. My Ogre needs to be healthier, too — because I worry about the amount of processed food poison he puts into himself; I worry he doesn’t take proper care of his gorgeous body, the body that carries the man I love, the body that is the man I love.

I worry about my Ogre, and gods, I love him so much sometimes I think I might die from it.

I know that if his Ogress does not show the initiative to take back zir youth — if I do not start taking steps towards being healthy — then he never will. So I must be strong, for my Ogre.

And someday, I want to have Ogrelets with him. With my body as crippled as it is, bearing those Ogrelets will be hard — especially if our babes are anywhere near the size we were as infants. I was 10 pounds, right on time; he was 7 pounds a month early. My Ogre is also known as Hagrid, or Fezzik, for good reason. I was called an Amazon by many who knew me, for a long time, for I am tall, large, and used to have quite a bit of strength.

My vagina is terrified of the future, when it must push out our monstrous hellspawn, but not as scared as my spine. My whole body quakes in fear.

I must regain my strength so I can even have kids.

My mom, and my dog, Tyee the wolf-shepherd? I can’t even take care of Tyee by myself. I’m too sick, and he’s too strong and rambunctious. There’s a reason we call him the Awful Pawful. Which means I don’t get to see him unless mom can take him with her when she visits. Then, mom has to take him on walks — the last time I took him on a walk by myself I ended up napping the rest of the day, and that was before the spinal injury took me out this year.

Family is important to me. More important than most people guess, as I’ve spent so long talking about how much I hate it. But now that my family truly consists of the right people, I can be true to my nature. And my nature is that of a pack animal: I am a wolf, and I must do things for my pack. (Alpha bitch, naturally. Why would you ever think otherwise?)

More than all that — this is more Work. It’s always more Work. The Work never ends. My body, my land, and it belongs to Morrigan. Zie wants me to be healthy, to be fit. Zie wants the tree to stand tall, not cower before the elements.

I still need to reclaim bodily sovereignty, in many ways. This is one of them.

It’s time for Morag to put on zir big-fag panties, tie up zir Converse, and stretch this crippled tree Ogress wolf I lost the metaphor body out.

I am on my way
I can go the distance
I don’t care how far
Somehow I’ll be strong
I know every mile
Will be worth my while
I would go most anywhere
To find where I belong.

 

**Yes. I did just quote Disney’s Hercules in a post about posture and my crippled body and my terrifying future and all the Work I do not want to do right now. Yes, this entire post was a build up to quoting those lines.

The song galvanizes me, ok? I regret nothing.

4 Comments


  1. I dunno if this helps, but I just want to point out that I don’t think it’s likely your bag caused the problem (I’m not sure if this is your guess, or your physiotherapist’s; it’s possible I am soooo wrong). It sounds like you have a milder version of what I have, which is scoliosis. It’s a thing you grow up with, triggered around puberty, and not something always noticeable because we so rarely stare at people head-on, with us standing as straight as we can, for any period of time. (Of course if you already know all of this, ignore my rambling! :) )

    The only reason I knew I had it was because a relative was rubbing my back (I think — and don’t worry it wasn’t creepy or anything!) and noticed the difference. Eventually I was taken to the doctor, had x-rays, was diagnosed… and went on the long trip of dealing with it. I eventually had to have surgery when I was 14, as I had two very large curves, plus a smaller third near my neck. It’s only been within the last year that I’ve gone to physiotherapy and chiropractic care for it; and NO ONE told me this is something I should have been doing, because I DO have all these issues you say above. Having my spine surgically straightened did not solve all my problems, and in fact because we thought so, I had all these issues like my posture being shit, the hip/rib issue, finding out one leg isn’t actually shorter it’s just the fact that my fucking HIPS are twisted (along with the coccyx), I’ve developed bursitis in my knees and hips… sometimes I feel like blowing up, that I’ve had to wait so long to figuring this shit out.

    So… I’m glad you’re getting hold now, that you’re trying to (heh) re-align yourself. I think about it in those terms… reminds me of Ma’at and Wepwawet… I need to make a post about that, at some point. If it’s possible, I’d suggest getting your leg length checked out too, and if you have twisted hips it may be making it look like one is shorter than the other, so be wary of that (it wasn’t until I had x-rays done of my lower back/hips that it was noticed that my legs are completely even, just cocked off). I also have custom insoles to help take pressure off my skeletal system from being so out of whack.

    Sorry for leaving you such a word dump in your blog. I just wanted to let you know that you weren’t alone, and to not give up because we don’t need to live like this. We may not end up being 100% healthy or have a “normal” structure… but nor do we have to keep leaving it until things fall apart and we have bigger problems down the road. So… four for you, Morag, for doing this Work. *offers hugs*

    Reply

    1. Your comment was very welcome to read, Nykti. Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you; I’ve been working 10 hour days all week.

      It’s my guess that it was my bag, not my physio’s, but she was the one who pointed out the twistedness of my body. I’ll ask her if she thinks a mild form of scoliosis might be the thing. It would explain a lot. I’ve had back pain since I was 10 years old, so.

      *hugs back*

      Reply

  2. I second Nykti – I don’t have scoliosis, but they thought I did many times throughout school because I was in a major car accident when I was 8. I can relate to the pain you are feeling. For a while after my second child was born, I could not go from sitting to standing, or vice versa, without extreme pain – face going white, holding my breath and trying not to pass out. I couldn’t carry my own child because it hurt so bad.

    What helped me (and I’m not saying this is for everyone) was regular chiropractic, a daily stretching routine (which I still do) and getting orthotics for my shoes. And more recently, working to strengthen my core. My chiropractor has a Wave Vibration Fitness machine, which has really helped me with that. The bonus? The workout is only 15 minutes long. And it beats going to a gym.

    Good luck with reclaiming your body! It is a slow process, and very well worth the effort!

    Reply

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