I’m about 6 weeks post-surgery now and I’m excited to share more about my on-going experience, but I think it’s important to first give you a little context and insight as to my pre-surgery thoughts.
I had been doing a ton of reflecting and journaling on what surgery means for me and how I expect my life to change and I was very surprised by my secret expectations.
My biggest stealth expectation was that all of my body dysphoria and body image issues would vanish. In my search for understanding, I talked to some other trans folks who I love and trust. They all said that a lot of the dysphoria does go away and for some, they can’t even remember what their body was like before surgery! I trust that this is how I will feel, and I’m just hoping that after surgery my dysphoria won’t migrate to a different part of my body. Being socialized female, however, my body has been up for opinion and debate my entire life and that doesn’t go away so easily.
It was hard realizing that so many misogynistic and patriarchal structures still live in me. There’s this voice inside of me that is constantly criticizing my body. My therapist asked me where I learned to speak to myself like that and I laughed! Where didn’t I learn it? I learned it from family, friends, and society. Misogyny and patriarchy get reinforced at every turn! It’s a part of my own great undoing now and I’m meeting the challenge as best I can.
All in all, I imagine feeling more embodied than I ever have post-surgery. I have very much enjoyed the relief HRT and binding have given my internal need to escape my post-puberty (well, first puberty, anyway) body and I very much look forward to living more fully into my true self and skin.