It’s a little over a year since I went to hospital for a hysterectomy and six months since chemotherapy ended, there was reconstructive breast surgery on account of dodgy lumps, summer last year as well. The years of preparation for the #1975Inheritance Act case I brought against my stepfather and my sister’s husband, the executors of my mother’s will, and the trial and settling of the case, are now also over - three and a half years of a part time job acting as my own solicitor to save money on costs – the costs that the other side have recently had to 100% pay, thanks to their persistent refusal to negotiate. These have been the dark materials that I would rather not have been part of the fabric of my life. But now that these matters are concluded, I have been trying to get my body (mind and spirit) back together again. It’s sunny outside, where I have just been for a walk/run combo based on an app that let’s you walk/run to build up your fitness. I staggered home, after the push me pull you (to run, pull myself along the quay), red faced but staggeringly triumphant. I am also hiking in the mountains, gleefully jumping around like the capricorny mountain goat I fancy myself to be. And (soon) swimming beyond the summer in the sea. For which I will need a wetsuit. Years from now, I fancy being one of those crazed grannies that down a shot of Vodka and then, legs bowed, run into the freezing sea, their hair on ice and their jowls billowing in the wind.
Since my diagnosis, I have been experiencing a kind of horror at being in this body of mine (more cumbersome, thank-you steroids and hysterectomy). After all, there was something of an alien spaceship growing on an ovary, that, left to it’s own vices, would have sent out ever more substations and cell-distorted aliens, to strangle the life out of me. The surgery took the tumour, but also the cradle that had nurtured my four children, and almost all that had led to them being there. I mourned these unseen parts of me that had sheltered my secret growing children, that unseen, I had nevertheless loved. Post breast surgery, parts of my torso were removed to patch up other parts. My body was then hystercectomally eviscerated. Still other parts of me were cut out – binned? Incinerated? Gone. Where? Torn asunder, I went through, the motions ordered (thankfully, of course), in a disconnected state. Doctors flashed statistics at me like a flickering black and white movie. Would I die? Would I live? For how long? I tracked along, zombie like, in a body that did not feel like it was mine. This was my body, my life-giving body, that had turned against me. And now, hysterically, the aftermath of the hysterectomy: full blown men-oh!-pause. My husband certainly pauses as he blindly approaches an occasionally slightly mental me through my brain fog and jitteriness. I am trying to stop being suspicious of my body where so many wars have been raging. I need to love its disparate parts again, and to nurture it back to life. There have been bleeding wounds, inside and out, stitched up. But what else, who else was stitched up?
My mind has been over matter somewhere. Out there. Where? Scattered. It's been displaced, bobbing alongside, above? - my body, held together loosely, by a string. My mind has recoiled in horror from my cut out body and I need to get them reacquainted. Also cut out, during my year of illness, these past years, has been me from family of origin and from my grandmother's estate via my mother's will. I went straight from chemo in April to court in May. Tracking my illnesses like a dark shadow and periodically ambushing my mental health, these past few years, has been dealing with my sister’s abusive husband who represented the family leading up to and in court and seeing the orchestrated (by my sister’s husband) mendacious witness statements (How could they? is too tame a phrase) during the three and a half years of preparation for the #1975Inheritance Act case and the eventual (they repeatedly delayed) trial where my former sister, her husband, stepfather and brother, brazenly lied in and out of court so that they could get away with the estate and, as we tried to, and still argue: fraud. Court was jaw dropping stuff. You couldn’t make it up, though they did. My shredded emotions have been shelled by first my mother’s actions and then, her offspring, my sister, both of whom used their husbands to assault and attack me historically in case 1 and on-going (here, on this blog, weeks ago) in case 2. He has been stalking me online incessantly since 2015. I have a four year's full file of years of written attack from her husband, the last bit a death suggestion that only weeks ago appeared here on this blog.
Though I won the 'battle against cancer' - does this war terminology help? Peace with my body and mind must now be made. I 'won' the court case too though it was not the path I would have chosen, I would have preferred for us all to sit down and discuss things, though that would have meant sharing as I argued (successfully) that we should do. It takes a while to wash your mind clean from all this ugliness. But what else was shattered? My spirit...I don't say soul...I think we are body, mind and spirit. My bewildered spirit has been a raft on a sea whose stormy waves have sometimes formed themselves into watery cliffs off which my little craft (not least my writing craft) tips and slips into the watery depths below, where all former beliefs, all I held true was buffeted again and again over all these life and death things. But it's over now. Chemo and court are done. The sea is stilled. The case is won. I prevailed. I sit on the beach now, discombobulated: like the Iron Giant, the several, severed parts of me are scattered here and there. See me cranking along: a torso, (a la the scene in The Holy Grail where the torso keeps fighting - Come On! Is that all you've got! Oh the laughs! Thank God for the laughs, the pulling myself together laughs that have always kept body and soul together. See me here, in search of my body and head. Putting myself back together again.