I thought I would have to get used to not having breasts. After surgery, I kept waiting for it to “sink in” or to be overwhelmed with emotion at some point. Perhaps I’d feel like a different, newly reinvented person, or maybe even mourn the loss of part of my body?
Realizations never set in. Intense feelings of being “changed” never came. For weeks, I asked myself, “Shouldn’t I feel some emotion over this?”
The lack of emotion or even lack of thought about the entire process was unnerving. To undergo surgery and suffer through pain and recovery, to have a body part removed and look physically different, yet feel as if nothing had happened, seemed eerily unnatural. My objective mind had always known that surgery was a huge deal – inherent risks, long recovery times, high costs, but for the past year, surgery floated around in my head only as a means to an end. In the mirror, that end was my reflection rather than a new mental construct of my physical appearance.
After surgery, I was almost void of feelings. In fact, near impossible it was to envision having ever looked any other way than this. Now my reflection in the mirror looked how it was supposed to look; in my dreams, fantasy and stream of consciousness, I had always looked like this image. Finally, everything matched up.
Suddenly it made sense – I had been waiting to feel intensely changed but in a deeper sense, there was no change.
It was as-if they put me under that day and I started a new life in a new body but paradoxically I’d already been living that life in that body and there was no disconnect.In a world of spotless mirrors, reflective windows and constant photographs that tell no lies, now, I just felt peacefully further from the nagging disorientation of being trapped in distortion of fun house mazes and mirrors.