Body Alienation

In English literature, there are a few different types of narration when it comes to story-telling; first person, third person limited and third person omniscient. The narration that I’d like to bring to attention is third person limited. This is where the story is told from the perspective of one person, but not by the person that the story is about.

Growing up, I experienced my life from the third person limited perspective. Imagine that your eyes are a window, and on the other side of the window there is a room. Much of my childhood, I would step back into the room, and view life away from the window. In other words, I stepped back into myself, and my eyes rarely felt like mine.

When I did step back, it caused stress on my eyes. For years my eyes would hurt, or my vision would become blurry. I went to the optometrist a couple of times and results always showed: no concern with 20/20 vision.

It didn’t stop there. When I would look at my arms or legs, they were objects that I couldn’t feel – or recognize as my own. I had a HUGE disconnection with my mental process and my physical body. It never felt like they worked as one unit.

The physical alienation to my body caused obstacles that were sometimes hard to overcome. For instance, I wasn’t comfortable with moving my legs, or how my arms moved. So, when it came to gym class, or even playing soccer with the kids during recess, I usually stood awkwardly off to the side. When it came to organized sports, it appeared that I was disinterested, and as a result, I was sometimes removed from sports.

I got to be more comfortable with my thoughts, and I spent most of my childhood day-dreaming. There were summers that I spent lying on my bed, coming up with fantasy worlds. These places offered me a space where I could move freely, walk without reminding myself how to move my legs and open doors without forgetting how to use my hands. In my mind, there was a place that I could see a reflection of Self, and recognize it as me.

It took years to train myself to stay active in my personal experience. I kept wanting to step back, and watch reality go by at a distance. Ultimately, I was aware that bodily alienation wasn’t the way I wanted to experience life.

This is my experience,
Yours truly,
Shayla

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