PAULINE AKSAY is a storyteller based in Toronto, Canada. Her work explores mental health, perception, imagination, and the limits of memory, offering an evocative glimpse into the human experience from the eyes of an outsider. Aksay aspires to foster connection with her pieces; her goal is to promote the emotional intelligence, compassion, and understanding in the people who experience her work.
cw: eating disorder, eating disorder hospitalization, medical trauma
6 weeks reflects much of my time as a 17-year-old patient in a hellish eating disorder ward. I had been discharged previously but was put back in the hospital when the doctors saw my heart rate dip for two seconds overnight. This two-second dipping led to an additional six-week stay where I endured further mistreatment from staff. I constantly had leads on me and they would hurt tremendously when I was forced to take them off each morning (during the weighing). This drawing shows the heart monitor, at its two-second dip, overpowering me and keeping me prisoner at a nightmarish facility for much longer than necessary.