Thursday, 13 August 2009

Will I be happy, will I be sad?

My date for gender re-alignment surgery in November draws ever closer. A good friend of mine called Denise is about to have her surgery in the next week or two. I am so pleased for her. I wish her well & hope the surgery brings everything she dreams for.
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The emotions she is going through must be so intense. Trying to deal with them all with clarity, even with a lifetimes internal conflict cannot be easy. I am three months away from where she is. Thinking of my friend has caused me to take stock of how I feel now. It will be interesting to see how they compare with my feelings a week or two before my surgery.
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Right now that part of my body which requires surgery just feels dead. I dislike it. It makes me sad that it caused so much conflict in me & for my family. I do not intensely dislike that area of me. Subconsciously those feelings seemed hidden away in a box with the key throne away. I have for years tried not to think about that part of me. Now as time draws closer to having my birth defect corrected it causes me to think about matters I had blocked out since puberty. Some of its good some of it…………. I had so much pain down their as a child it scarred me for life.
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I cannot bare anyone seeing that part of me. The hair removal process required prior to surgery has been very traumatic for me especially when it first started. For a time it is becoming the unwanted focus of my life. Memories from my childhood come back to haunt me. Images of doctors poking & prodding just as they did to me as a child & adolescent, fill me with dread. Visions of a life long dream of correcting a wrong, a birth defect that has blighted me & my family’s life for eternity fill me with hope. Is that euphoria or the dreams of a mad woman, trapped in an alien body?
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How do we survive the first two months post op? I guess as crazy as it sounds at first by surviving all the emotions you feel in that 6 weeks prior to surgery, as a result of the enormity of the life changing surgery we are undertaking, combined with the hi octane of dealing with coming off hormone therapy. I am really frightened of the mood swing that starvation of hormones I have had in my body for over twelve years will bring. I wonder if there is anything I can take to ease the trauma? Herbal remedy or magic potion, anything that may help.
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I will have to try to cope one day at a time. I want to keep busy as long as I can. Try to keep working & occupying my mind right up until the last days before my surgery. At the same time not biting any ones head off. I have lost enough friends already!
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The first 12 hours after FFS were the most uncomfortable of my life. That took over 11 hours of surgery. By comparison 3-4 hours for such a life changing/affirming operation as GRS seems incredible. I got through the initial post FFS stage by imagining myself some time in the future, some where else, I will try that again. I have not had any doubts the surgery is right for me but there is no euphoria as such at the moment. There is a huge gratitude & appreciation I have the opportunity to correct a defect from my birth that has blighted my life. We would not be human if we were not a little scared.
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For me this is all about my gender conflict nothing to do with my sexuality. Relationships other than those involving deep friendship have not really been something I have ever been able to consider. I am a virgin & quite possibly will remain so. As Bob they were never an option. With body & mind finally in sync who knows what my future may hold.
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How will I feel afterwards? I honestly do not know. I do feel like this has always been my destiny. It equally does not feel like a miracle cure all. Should it be? It is not going to take away all of my problems. It is not suddenly going to make me a woman, I have always felt I was a woman. Yet I wonder will my dysphoria have completely died to a point I feel at peace once this surgery is complete? This surgery feels like it goes much deeper than just body image to me.
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Will this surgery correct a wrong; will this solidify how I fit into the world? Will I feel on a bad day I am a manufactured freak or at total peace, all conflict reconciled? How will it feel when we come through the other side of this? Will there be emptiness, will there be joy? My heart & my soul believe they will be smiling.
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I worry about the recovery period. How incapacitated I will be. How it will or will not all function. The pain. How it will all settle down. Will I have some numbness, loss of feeling as I have been left with from my facial surgery? There are all kinds of unknowns all kinds of risks yet I am driving on with blind faith. I think I am entitled to be a little nervous but still there is no doubt where I need to be.
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Most of all I am frightened of the impact on my elderly parents health. I am an only child, their carer & to them still their son. This is me finally mutilating & destroying the last vestiges of Bob. How is that going to feel for them? How are they going to cope at their tender years? How selfish am I to put them through all this? What if the strain causes them life threatening health problems? How are they going to be able to look after themselves & our doggy while I am laid up? As the day gets closer to my surgery the anxiety my parents feel will grow greater. My poor Mum has already recently had to start taking anti-depressants to cope. My Dad grows ever more tired. Can I really put them through this? I tried sacrificing my life for them & failed but am I heartless enough to relentlessly push on with my dream while their nightmare becomes a reality, that may drain them of their life force? We have to as a family work together on this. We are all trying our best but we seem powerless to fight our true nature.
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We should not wish our lives away but I wish the surgery & healing process were all over just the same. Then I could begin to truly immerse myself in my new life. At first the practical things in life & then if it happens who knows one day a relationship with a soul mate. I want to be able to pay my way in life again & get a part time job. For those having surgery who are in paid work it must also be such a worry. For those women who are in employment or running a business, they cannot know for sure what they are coming back to. I have great faith in them all to succeed. A recession is not the best of time to be going through transition yet we have all gained more strength of character than we perhaps ever dreamed we could.
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All of this, all of these questions yet it still feels right for me. It is part of my nature it was always part of my make up, my DNA, life force, what ever drives this, that was always going to lead to this day. What will be will be.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZbKHDPPrrcTo my dear friend Denise but also to all of you who kindly read this blog
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"May your God be with you & you find peace where once was conflict".
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Love
Debbie

7 comments:

Anji said...

You've reminded me of one of my favourite songs "Que sera Sera"

I'm sure that when the time comes you'll get through to the other side okay. I remember feeling the same waiting for baby number one.

Somewhere amongst Dru's photos there is a picture of her after the op, I left a comment saying she looks as if she's just given birth which she had in a way.

Keep busy - have you done any painting recently?

Debbie K said...

Hi Anji
What will be, will be, was playing in my mind as I wrote the title.

I have been busy but alas my painting has had to take a back seat. My creativity is linked strongly to my emotions & right now all the emotional energy I have needs to be used up else where.
Take care
Debbie x

Karen said...

Hi Debbie,
The unknown can be scary, but don't let that dominate you. I get the feeling you will be fine.
x

lisalisa said...

I know this must be a difficult time but I am sure you will be fine.
x

Jill Davidson said...

I think most parents want their child to be happy. I think pursuing your happiness is not hurting your parents and ultimately may help them find peace.

chrissie said...

You just hang on in there, cariad.

Love
chrissie
xxxx

Debbie K said...

Thank you Karen, Lisa, Jill & Chrissie for your very kind words of support.
Debbie x