I wanted to make a part of myself into something wonderful.
July 11, 2018 6:18 PM   Subscribe

I Turned My Own Jawbone Into Earrings by writer, poet and podcaster merritt k. CW: descriptions of dysmorphia, surgery.
posted by figurant (12 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I honestly thought this was going to be about those fitness bracelets. I was wrong.
posted by 4ster at 7:24 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I would like to stress that the title of the first link is a) not metaphorical and b) basically the most metal thing I've ever heard of.

Also, merritt's podcasts are fantastic and well worth your time.
posted by figurant at 7:31 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]

Damn. I always said that if I got an orchiectimy, I’d want to keep the testicles, get them plasticized, and turn them into earrings or necklaces or something. Glad to see someone else has had a similar idea and actually gone through with it.
posted by egypturnash at 9:22 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]

Looking at it from the bed, I feel like if I touch it, or even get a good look at it, some contact-reaction might reduce my body to a pile of thousands of those shards

This is basically how I feel about my ankle right now, having seen all its bones a few times on X-rays since I broke it and had surgery on it, and having a few inches of railroad-track scars healing on either side. My foot and ankle really don't feel like what I remember as mine, and I shudder when I run my fingers over the numb areas and evoke that paresthesia. Just putting that foot flat on the ground feels bizarre to me right now.

Meanwhile, I'm so horrified by my newfound and traumatizing knowledge of how my bones were able to dislocate and break in an instant, with a slip and a fall and a catch at the bottom of a spiral staircase (another shudder), almost too fast to process, yet something I've been reliving in flashbacks for a month and a half now. I made myself read this in a bit of a desensitization effort, I think.

The idea of a feeling of disorientation with one's own body that makes one want to take these risks, to perhaps permanently weaken one's jaw in an attempt to reconcile realities... The idea of more surgery than I've already gone through terrifies me, so I think I now better understand just how powerful a feeling this must be to compel someone to do this even once electively, with all the accompanying body horror even they feel while it's all going on.

For my part, I tend toward depersonalization, so changes to my body have such a powerful effect. I frequently curse my body for its vulnerability, its weakness, its fleshiness, its necessity, but I also see how essential it is, and my surroundings and circumstances are, to feeling like myself. What an intangible thing, to feel like oneself!

I'm reminded of a line from F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise: "Personality is a physical matter almost entirely; it lowers the people it acts on—I've seen it vanish in a long sickness."
posted by limeonaire at 11:18 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]

I was going to comment that if you haven't played LIM yet you really need to, but I can't find any working links to it. That game messed me up in the best/worst way. I don't think I've really ever stopped thinking about LIM.
posted by Nossidge at 2:40 AM on July 12

I want FRS but after the number GRS did on me I’m seriously wondering if I could survive the recovery.

The decision is so fucking fraught and so much is at stake, it’s like walking a knife edge.

I can’t finish the article.
posted by nikaspark at 5:34 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]

You may remember Christian Fox, who made the earrings, as the mind behind this classic twitter thread.
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 1:22 PM on July 12

My surgeon said I couldn't keep the cysts he'd excised from my scalp because he had to send them to Pathology to make sure there was nothing malignant lurking in them. I did get a look at them before he did so, and to be honest, they would've made lousy earrings. Think undersized water chestnuts, the larger of which is sporting a Mohawk.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 3:56 PM on July 12

I feel terrible for her. I hope this helps her. It doesn't seem like it has.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:27 AM on July 13

Isn't giving body dismorphics access to surgery the absolute worst thing you can possibly do? This is how we get people with those horrifically misshapen faces.
posted by Megafly at 4:00 PM on July 13

Here's a working mirror of LIM. I'm so glad you mentioned it, Nossidge! I was thinking about LIM some time ago but had forgotten the name and so was unable to find it.
posted by What is E. T. short for? at 10:16 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]

Thanks so much, ET. It's just as horrifying as I remembered.
posted by Nossidge at 1:21 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]

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