Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

There Are No Controls Left

I have been writing less over the last several days. That always happens when I come up against something I do not want to write.

I have not written much about my hysterectomy since I returned to work at the beginning of September. I have not been able to put my thumb down on it. It keeps floating out around the corners of my eyes. It behaves like the ghosts I terrified myself with as a child. They were to the side of or behind or above me, but they were never where I could confront them. For a while, I believed that a late great uncle lived among the crystals in a chandelier, and I avoided our dining room table because of it for a week. I was afraid that it would get into my hair and touch my scalp.

Just like my now phantom uterus, this thing with which I am trying to deal is not specifically here. It flirts in my periphery. It is elusive. It is difficult to see a thing you have never before seen.

I never really wanted children. The idea of them sometimes seemed appealing, but the actual physical reality of bearing and raising them never did. Now, though, I find myself avoiding people who are pregnant or who have babies and toddlers.

I used to have a choice. I did not want that for myself, so I avoided it. Now it is no longer a matter of choice. It is a decision I cannot make with my body. Losing that choice, even though I always chose not to, is arresting. It is the first thing that I absolutely cannot ever do because my body is a faulty transport vehicle.

I am not a gymnast, because my parents did not continue to enroll me in gymnastics.
I cannot draw terribly well, because I did not pursue that form of creative expression.
I hated organ lessons, so I will never play for a synth band.

A bit of it might be that no one cut off my fingers or deafened me or broke my spine to negate those possibilities, but a doctor came and cut away a major portion of what used to fill my abdominal cavity. I never even really wanted a woman's body, so not only did I not want what I had, but now it seems to be even less mine than it was before. It feel like cancer stole my agency.

There is more to this than my being a sore loser. I just can't put my thumb directly on it.

Your babies smell good, but I do not want them. My body is more what I wanted it to be post hysterectomy, but I did not want a traitor. It is not possible for anyone to ever have my eyes or that black, curly hair I was born with.

These are choices I would have made, but I did not. There are no controls left. All conditions are fleeting. I am a malfunctioning contraption.



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