Andie M. Hayes

Author | Artist

A Lil' Something For Endo Month

So in honor of Endometriosis Awareness month I’d like to share a snippet of what I’ve been working on lately. The Endo Stories are still coming. Never fear! But with becoming a full-time grad student (library science for those that don’t know) and going back to work full-time, the writing has slowed down substantially. I wanted to have a full manuscript by now, but…well, I don’t. I do have quite a few full essays, though, and I’d like to share a little bit of one with you here today! So, yay! Here it goes kids. I hope you enjoy!

“Gorgons Have Dreams Too” Excerpt

You’ve started isolating yourself again. Because you’ve learned that it’s easier this way; because you need time to think; because you’re afraid. You’re afraid of what people will think, what they’ll say, how they’ll look at you. You say you’re sick, but you don’t look sick. It doesn’t look like your body has staged a revolution against itself. You don’t look like you’ve been awake the past three nights in a row and, if anything, you look like you’ve gained weight. Don’t sick people drop the pounds? But in your defense scales are heavier than skin and so are water-retaining ovaries filled with lesions and scar tissue.

Chronic illness never looked so good. And it’s because of that that no one believes you when you tell them how you suffer.

But that’s where the two of you start to differ again. You and Medusa. At least her punishment was there for everyone to see. Those armor thick scales, live snakes for hair, and bright red eyes with the power to kill. People could see her affliction. They didn’t have to ask her what was wrong. Her punishment was twofold. It protected her more than you thought. It gave her the power to end those that dared question her suffering. But there you are, exposed and vulnerable, susceptible to the smallest attack.

“Why don’t you make me stronger,” you find yourself asking. “Why can’t you make me more like her?” You’re not being unreasonable to ask. You’re being realistic. After walking up a flight of stairs you have to sit on the top stair to regain your breath. After taking a shower you need a nap. The trespasser that lives in your body makes you weak. He drains all of your energy, storing it up for later when he plans to hurt you again. It gives him the power he needs to make it through the day. And that’s why he stays.