I don’t like to talk about the curved condition of my spine. It’s embarrassing. It’s a sign of weakness. It’s a deformity. I know, you might not care very much, but for me, it makes me blush. There are seriously only a handful of people who know about Sam. My mumsy and my two best friends being just about the full extent of the all-knowing club. Which is well-played considering that the physical presence of Sam is not subtle. He is obvious, he is bold. There is nothing shy about Sam.
I always have tight shoulders and always need a back rub, but I hardly ever let a friend/boyfriend/lover/ acquaintance/ anyone give me a massage. I avoid it actually. I always say no. Even if someone is nice enough to offer up some TLC. I don’t care about the pain, I don’t want them to find Sam and label me in any way. Or be grossed out, or turned off, or see me as pathetic. I am very sensitive about what people think about the severe curve that has made a home in the spine. The only way I can talk about it is through a clandestine mask of Marigold. She is not as shy as I am.
Remember in middle school when they had an annual check up, when you had to go into the women’s bathroom and bend at the waist so that a doctor could check for a curve? Well one year after the simplest of tests, it was seen. Sam was spotted. As soon as that genetic seed had blossomed, the bathroom doctor sent me to a specialist.
They caught it early. To this day, I still don’t know why they were so concerned with spotting the scoliosis right from the get go. It’s nothing like cancer, where if you catch it early on it means all the difference in the world as far as treatment is concerned. As for my genetic mutation, I have no idea why I was paraded from doctor to doctor. There was and there is no treatment. They basically informed me early on that I was fucked.
I went to a chiropractor who said he could cure me. That was a surprising lie (not). In reality I have never been given any treatment. They said hope for the best but if it gets worse we are going to cut you open, slicing up your body like a half peeled apple, splicing a spiraling staircase out of your body starting at your breastbone and twisting around my small waist to the upper part of my butt. They wanted to pop me open like a canister of Pillsbury crescent rolls. Then they would insert a metal rode, fuse a portion of my spine together, guaranteeing arthritis in the future, and, lastly, an impressive scar for keepsake. Wow, thanks. I will pray extra hard doc for a miraculous reversal of a crooked spine.
So for a long time instead of growing up, I grew sideways, praying for a salvation that is for all intents and purposes is impossible. The doctors never said go to physical therapy, they never said do yoga everyday, they never said get a massage every week. They called me deformed, content with the belief that the only treatment was god’s will. I have never been a lucky girl. So instead I closed my eyes and went through adolescence as freak, as a deformed little girl, terrified about the possibility of becoming a bionic girl.
So I hide Sam from the world. I still like to pretend that I am a straight women leading a non curved life. But really, Sam is my constant companion, he is my reason for being the strange, slightly askew woman that I am.
Since Marigold is to make me a bolder person, since Marigold is a way for me to exercise being comfortable with who I am, and since Marigold is to highlight the best of my amazing life, this post is to help me be more comfortable with what is inside my skin. To be less bashful, to take myself less seriously. Life is, after all, short and sweet, not long and severe.