So, after a long time, I finally got my hands on my old surgical files from 1995. It wasn’t really easy to read. But neither has really been living through anything I have. But I think something about it being written like so, makes it more real?
When I finally got these files, describing what I was born with and what was done to fix it. There was a note made by the surgeon that in someway triggered me to this state of either numbness or something that I cannot quite describe.
“This little girl, age 6 1/2 years, has a very rare type of malformation. As we look at her lower abdomen and pubic region there is absolutely nothing there. She looks like a plastic doll, with no vaginal opening and no urethral opening and no external genitalia. This is a very rare situation.”
Given, the note itself is quite unprofessional and I can just assume he wrote it thinking I would never see it. I don’t agree with it, but I can also say the dude saved my life. He created whatever I have, if any sense of normalcy I do have, it’s because of him. Of course, amazing surgeon=/=asshole human being.
I have spent more time than I’m really willing to admit worrying about my body. Not your typical I’m fat or I dislike the way my right boob is bigger than the left. But it all really comes down to my congenital defect. (Jeez, even the terminology isn’t very flattering. But, clinical terms aren’t generally so anyhow.) Some real talk, I was born with a cloacal malformation. This is super rare already, but mine decided to be difficult. Because WHY NOT. That’s my life. Challenge, I kick ass, survive and carry on and eat cake.
Sadly, for a while now, I’ve had a really hard time dealing with my body. My body dysmorphia has been stronger than ever, I cannot deal with seeing myself. Every day I go to sleep, hoping I wake up and everything will be the way it should, that I’ll have a “normal body” and I wake up and it doesn’t happen. It’s heartbreaking. I worry that one day my partner will wake up and realize he’s made a huge mistake and will want a normal wife, with all the normal bits. I have this horrible feeling that people will see me for the awful frankenstein that I am, and leave me. Perhaps even worse than all that, is my acceptance they wouldn’t be wrong to do so. That I wouldn’t blame him or anyone at all. Why would anyone want to be stuck with this ‘thing”. If given the choice, I would run away too.
Maybe even worse, the thought of self hurt to achieve the goal to have that normal body are stronger. If the tissue was damaged, they would be forced to go and do something about it. -There’s surgical reconstruction, but it’s unfortunately not a choice for me, due to high risk.
I could live without partners or friends, but at the end of the day, I have to live in my body and what does one do when that becomes so difficult.
With everything above said, it’s hard to stay engaged. I’m surrounded by great folks who often question the gender binary, I have good friends who are trans* and I have my little group of support of other folks with my condition.
It’s triggering to engage in conversations where we talk about gender and sex. often those two get conflated, despite not being the same thing. Understandable why this happens, however.
They all intersect.
For example when I see things pertaining to ‘cisgender” (describe related types of gender identity where individuals’ experiences of their own gender match the sex they were assigned at birth.)
Where do I fall? What happens when you fall somewhere outside cis? You’re basically none of the above. My body? Different. Significantly different. My sex, well. Okay. It functions, because a doctor made it function.
My gender though? I used to rely on the gender binary, actually… I clung to it. For me it was a false sense of safety. It also isn’t what I believe in, not what’s in my head. For me, I don’t believe in the gender binary, I see it do more harm than good. It makes everyone just seem not good enough. So, I reject it. Very personally? I fall in a genderqueer category. This is harder to really accept, when I’m dealing with my body issues. Because that safety net feels too inviting.
But right now I’ve struggled to stay socially engaged. A lot of that has to do with talks of gender/sex and all that jazz. As important as I think those conversations are, I also at times find them making me feel isolated and defensive. I know none if their intentions are malicious. But for me, it can be painful. It’s a reminder that I don’t actually fit anywhere.
What I do really notice though, is the constant trying to tell others what is a “right” or “wrong body”. There is no such thing. All bodies are good bodies; Let’s say that again: ALL BODIES ARE GOOD BODIES.