Purveyor of Pleasure

Pleasure is my business, my life, my joy, my purpose.

Tag: uncertainty

One Week Top Surgery Post-Op

I’m a week into recovery and all I want is to be able to sleep laying on my stomach. Not for another 3 weeks… (okay, that’s not *all* I want, but it’s a start… also stretching my arms above my head, oh do I miss that, too!)

Most of the days since surgery have been pretty easy, with a couple exceptions for cranky moments and hard things. I’m super grateful to everyone who brought or bought me foods, especially in the first few days. Having food show up without me having to think much about it was so great and really really useful. And the folks who came over to care for me have been absolutely the best. Your company made the days go faster. You have helped me feel loved and cared for and knowing I could ask for something if I needed it has been so helpful. I still have a few more meals and a few more folks signed up, and I’m super grateful to you, too, and everyone who has read my posts in here and commented support. Lots of gratitude.

Wednesday, Stian helped me shower (yay! Finally!) and we removed the pad and bandage around my chest for likely the last time. I was told at the post-op appointment that I could remove the bandage once it stopped draining, and the bandage we removed yesterday was basically clean. I had previously only really had two chances to see my new chest, when changing the bandage. The last day and a half or so has been a strange and new version of surgery recovery, and also the most emotional so far.

With the bandage off, the physical reality of surgery has hit me. I’ve read about post-surgery depression, which happens with all types of surgery not just trans ones, and so I expected some of that given that my brain is used to depressed places. Expecting it and experiencing it, of course, are different. I’ve had all the emotions around surgery and I’m sure I’m not done. All the pre-surgery questions have come back, not surprisingly. I’m trying really hard to keep my ever-critical Virgo-rising eye from now obsessing over how my new chest looks because I know how it is now is not how it will be. I’m barely a week into healing and I haven’t even seen the areola shape yet as I still have the steri strips on the incisions. Still, though, my brain is a fun overly critical anxious and depressed place, so I’ve been going all the worst places.

At the urging of one of my main care team folks, I read a few different narratives of post top surgery depression that I could find yesterday, and my care person today is someone who has had top surgery, so I’m planning on chatting with him about it. It has been useful to remind myself this is normal, that it is okay, that I won’t feel this way forever, but it is still challenging. I hoped that all the doubt and uncertainty would go away with surgery and that I would love looking down at my new chest and feel so satisfied and content with it. Even though I also knew that wasn’t going to happen right away and that there would be a period of adjustment and likely depression, part of me still hoped I could bypass that somehow. I hoped everything would click into place the way I felt after my first shot of T. Though, I must have forgotten my slow process with that, as well, and the months long break I took about six months in and the struggle and uncertainty there because of how right it feels now.

I am not binary, and that also makes all medical transition more complicated (I think… which is also not to say it isn’t complicated for binary trans folks as well). My genderqueerness means there is no ideal chest, exactly, except for the one I choose. It does not need to look like a “man’s chest” (though, also, there are billions of right ways for a chest to be a man’s chest and tons of variation there, so wtf does that mean, anyway? But also, you know what I mean) nor a “woman’s chest,” (see previous parenthetical statement) and indeed it is neither of those things. It’s mine. It is a genderqueer chest by nature of being on the genderqueer body of a genderqueer person.

The physical reality is still hitting me, and it will likely keep coming. I must build a new relationship with my new chest. I can’t assume the old ways we were together still hold. We have to find new ways of being together, as in the aftermath of any traumatic experience (which surgery certainly, literally, is). And some of that process will be grieving. And some of that process will be gender euphoria. And some of that process will be pleasurable. And some of the process will be terrible. All of the process will be slow.

I Want to Be the Lover

As I lie in bed getting ready to sleep tonight, I think of you. Yet again. This is especially the time my thoughts turn to you, when I’m too tired to resist them wandering in your direction, when I’m too tired to stop them after redirecting them for most of the day.

Tonight, though. Tonight my thoughts about you are curious, interested, and sad. They are always sad these days, full of grief over the relationship that never really was. The relationship that had so much potential and so little actual. And yet also contained so much.

I’ve been sad a lot these last few weeks. Going through a grieving process, certainly, and no longer able to hide in the distraction from the rest of my life that you afforded me for a while. Plunged back into the cold waters of uncertainty and fear for a while, and I’m just starting to get out of them now. Hopefully.

Tonight my thoughts turned to the way you often confused me with someone else, mistaking my motives or intentions with your abuser. I’ve experienced that from others in my life as well. I am, at this point, very used to the weight of other people’s projections onto me. Often I run from them, as unfortunately I do not yet have the skill to counter them. Yet. And my chameleon tendencies makes this process extra complicated.

I realized, though, more than I have before, why I keep choosing people in recovery. I realized I was choosing this a while ago, and was worried that means I am abusive or power-seeking. I believe is the opposite. People in recovery allow me to be small, and keep me invisible, keep me unseen. It’s easier to be unnoticed when the other person is taking up all the room. And recovery takes up a lot of room by necessity.

It takes a lot to heal from the deep wounds I witness and am drawn to. Part of my work is to help these wounds heal. Part of my work is to recognize and heal these wounds I have in myself. It is easier for me to be the healer than the human, the priestess than the lover. It is easier for me to be in a role than myself, easier to be helping than vulnerable. And I want to be vulnerable. I want to be human. I want to be a lover.

I was really trying with you. I tried so hard to be vulnerable, to be human, to be me. I still went into that priestess role sometimes. I still tried to help heal you. Those other roles will never not be there, of course, but I really am trying to be me now. Trying to be all of me, or as much as I can handle in any given moment. As much as me will show up through the fear and the uncertainty. Slowly, more and more of me is coming out.

Lost

I got lost somewhere along the way. I often think I wasn’t supposed to look like this. I think life wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Somewhere my voice got lost. I forgot to speak up, then I forgot how to. I removed so much of myself that I started only using other people’s words, not my own. Then I forgot what was mine. I was rewarded for it; they like it when you’re obedient.

People used to comment on my appearance like I was either hiding behind it or using it to express myself. Neither assessment ever felt right to me. What I look like was always disliked, so why not wear what I actually enjoy?

I tried so hard for so long to be comfortable with my outsides and my insides. I was not always sure if either of them was me, really.

I spent so much time frozen and alone. I guess that’s what I got for growing up in Alaska (not really that, but it’s a good excuse).

I spent so much time paralyzed by fear and uncertainty. I guess that was what I needed. . . at the time.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén