Hypochondriacal foundations

When I was in 4th grade my class read a very upsetting book called Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. This book pretty much ruined my life. The little girl in the story is dying of leukemia from radiation from the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. And ever since I learned of Sadako’s plight, I’ve been convinced I, too, was drying from something unimaginable…

Like heart disease. When my family visited Israel – I was maybe 7 or 8 – the only movie we had in English was E.T. I remember nothing of the movie (and I have refused to watch it since) besides E.T.‘s heart attack. I spent the entirety of our visit to the holy land suffering from my own heart attack, though no one believed me…

I went away to sleep over camp when I was 9. During cabin clean-up the girls would sing along to Rent. Just your typical adolescent girls pretending to be a strung out sex worker dying of AIDS. To this day I can’t kill a mosquito without worrying about contracting HIV…

My paternal grandmother had alopecia universalis. She was bald, bald, bald. She kept her wigs displayed next to the fake rubber breast which sat, like jello, on her bathroom counter, the result of a mastectomy when I was very young. For some reason this breast insert bothered me far less than those perfectly groomed wigs. When I was a tween my aunt causally mentioned – I think as a joke – that baldness skips a generation. I have spent the remainder of my life counting the hairs in my hair brush and drain in the shower.

Published by imworriedmytherapisthatesme

I'm a history-PhD-turned-stay-at-home-mom of three. When I'm not microwaving Trader Joe's meals for my kids, breaking up fights and wiping butts, I like to paint and write. To cope with the endless hours I'm spending with my son doing virtual school, I've abandoned my gouache paints for the more portable, less messy tried but true, paper and ink. While he learns to read to 20 floating heads on his screen, I sit on a tiny chair, at a tiny table pretending to be a productive adult.

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