Monday, June 4, 2012

Surgery - keeping it real

My last blog had unexpected results, namely a spew of parting TG rhetoric. To quote:

"I guess some of you cut off your dicks to spite yourselves - self loathing is a separate illness from gender dysphoria. A faux or neo vag is the same cock you had to start with, only mutilated, if you enjoy sensations post-op it is because your cock nerves are getting you there."

We were also asked to consider the transsexual priestesses of antiquity, specifically the status of their surgery.

So. a blog on surgery.

How good is it, really? how wrong can it go? what does it change?

I suppose i could do some research. In keeping with the spirit of this blog, though, i'll keep it personal. There's enough personal accounts available out there for anybody with a serious interest to hear many sides of the story without me needing to paraphrase the vocies of others and twist them to my own purposes.

How good is surgery? Its rubbish. it really is. I suppose it is the best it has ever been, yet, for me, no matter how realistic or sexually functional a neo-vagina may turn out, surgery still fails in its most important aspect. I'm sterile. I cannot carry children and i have to take hrt for the rest of my life.

It gets worse!

In my case, i opted for Colon-Transfer surgery. Over the years i had developed an increasing hatred for my boy bits. I really did not want them, nor did i want to retain the memory of them in flesh... In retrospect this was a little foolish, as the surgeons can do amazing things with the various bits and pieces. Biologically, the male and female systems develop from the same base of cells, so there's not a huge difference between them either. But. that is where i was at, so penile-inversion was out.

I couldn't get a place with my preferred NZ surgeon, so i headed out to thailand, to a well known and respected Thai surgeon, Sanguan Kunaporn. Unfortunately, he wasn't very experienced at CT at the time, a small detail he neglected to mention. So he made a bunch of mistakes. When you join flesh, you get scar tissue. Scar tissue does not stretch. So, when joining two tubes (say, the colon and the entrance of the vagina) it is important to join them with a zig-zag. that way, when the tube needs to stretch, the zig zag can straighten out. Needless to say, that's not what i got. He also chopped out rather too much of my ascending colon (12", instead of 4"), severely compromising my digestive system. He then went and put it in upside down, so instead of the smooth muscles and blood supply being arranged to push stuff out, they pulled stuff in. And he failed to remove all the erectile tissue, meaning that when i was aroused, a small nub of tissue effectively blocked my vagina. Nice work, and about the biggest nightmare any woman born TS could hope for.

By the time i became aware of this i was newly single, without a job and and more than a little stressed. I was in the bath and out popped a thumb sized ball of grey stinky horror. It was to become a regular thing. I called them my clay babies. They were a consequence of all the fuck-ups my dear surgeon made. So. My newly minted body disgusted and revolted me. It required constant maintenance to keep it clean and would regularly remind me just how bad things were. Plus, i was broke with no means to get it fixed.

Still want surgery, anyone? It can go wrong....

Seriously, its probably worth having a few extra grand in the bank just in case. And not going into a relationship meltdown during the recovery phase would help too. It is impossible to quantify how important a stable relationship is to your mental health during recovery. Watching mine crash and burn was uniquely terrifying.

It took me 5 years to get things fixed. that's a lot of my youth missing, unable to really share with anyone else because i felt untouchable. A lot of time to learn how to become unapproachable. I used to get told i was proud and aloof. I wasn't. i was terrified and self-hating. I'm still realistic. No matter how many boyfriends care to tell me how things are fine down there, i'm not stupid, nor am i deluded.

Nowadays, after more surgery, things work as they should. I imagine for most operations, the kind of nightmare i had to live through is not that common, but who knows? It has taken me a fair bit of nerves to talk about what happened to me. It is a mental health issue. When dealing with traumatic stuff, we like to tell positive stories, and not dwell on the unchangeable horrors. How many of my TS sisters have secret horror stories, and how many are completely happy? Also, to be out like this is to risk giving ammunition to the haters. It has taken some time to feel strong enough to not care.

We like to think that our 'neo' vaginas are similar to the real thing, but they are not really (in my opinion). I've come across a few natal vaginas in my time, and i don't think i'd be mistaking what i have with one of them. Perhaps i was really unlucky? I doubt it, though. That's why, IMO, that parting gift from the last blog has the power to irritate us. There is, unfortunately, an element of truth.

We do have to accept a poor-quality result; superficially functional but really a hack job. It is true that the nerves we feel with are the same nerves as before, the flesh, the same flesh.

Does it actually matter, though?

My boy bits were always an alien thing, strapped to my body. They didn't fit some undefined pattern of self that demanded a womb and a vagina instead. The sensations i gained from them were somehow disconnected from me, in the wrong place. Looking at things spiritually, are my astral and etheric bodies female? I'm fairly sure my etheric one is. I've had too many experiences which fit. Perhaps that is where my drive to re-configure my physical form came from. Where the knowledge that it was wrong; arose?

I'm meant to be keeping it real. I can't deny the reality of my spiritual experiences - indeed they seem more real than many of my manifest ones - however. Speculation is speculation.

Changed my mind. Let's speculate! The whole energy business seems incredibly important to me. Why else would so many of us, throughout history, feel the need to take such drastic action, knowing that the results we get are so far from perfect its almost tragic? Why are we willing to accept imperfect results that we know may cost us our careers, family, friends, health or life? Why else do we allow an otherwise perfect body to lay down on the surgeon's table, (not knowing if we will wake), and then be mutilated (albeit carefully and with great skill)?

We know that we will not be able to carry children. We know that the unique smell and taste and feel of a natural vagina is beyond the surgeon's skill. We know that we run a risk of dying, of having a bad result. We know that we may become unable to orgasm.

yet - despite all the risks and fails, we do it, because it is still better than the alternatives.

That's real. I think. I doubt any of us are deluded about what we are putting ourselves in for (unless, perhaps, we've drunk too deep of the TG Koolaid). I doubt many of us fail to recognize that yes, our bodies have been re-shuffled. Some of us have cervixes made from the tip of their penis, some have clitori made from the glans, with the nerves concertina'd to make it all fit. Some of us have labia constructed from other bits a pieces. It doesn't matter. We have to live with the inadequacies, live with the not-quite-rightness. We also get to live with the re-positioned flesh being in the RIGHT place, with the patterns of energy coinciding with the pattern of body. It allows us to claim full ownership of our manifest, physical form when we couldn't before. Our bodies become ours, in a way that was impossible before.

i guess.

ed. note.
Looking at the comments, it seems people have been reading me wrong. I'm not unhappy with my results, i was not surprised or let down, and i have no regrets. I needed surgery, and i tried to get the best i could, at the time. This blog is more about being honest about what can be achieved, recognising the limitations and looking a little at the strength of the motivation that leads (some) of us to chose a sub-optimal but still state-of-the-art SRS. I felt that i needed to acknowledge the truth of what is thrown at us, in order to transcend it (the mutilation bit), as i believe denial is unhealthy. Yes. i did mutilate a perfectly healthy body. Unfortunately it was my body, not someone else's, and fine as it was, it was not right for me. Had there been other options (body-swap, gene therapy, brain wipe, whatever) perhaps i'd have tried that instead. As it was, the main option i could see was suicide. Or perhaps mass-murder, to let god know how unhappy i was.
It boils down to this: Yep, those of you who hate me. I had pretty extreme things done to my body. Call it what you like, you are probably right. I don't CARE. I did what i needed to do and that's all any woman can do.