Friday, September 2, 2011

An Ode to the Old Twins

I am 2+ weeks post-op, and the adventure to make me some new knockers has been exciting and at times worrisome. I'm dealing right now with the incision on my left breast being a pain in my ass. Or tit. Whatever. For no particular reason, the dissolveable stitches decided to let go a bit too early. Just *pop* goes the boo-boo on my boob. From the crest of my nipple down, at the nipple being the widest, I have a "V" shaped wound going on. Like a zipper taken half way down. It's just the surface skin. I'm on the road to mending. I also have the most raw, sensitive, painful "ouchie" I've ever had on my body butting against the most sensitive nipple to peak a breast since the dawn of TIME.

I'm only informing. I am most certainly not complaining.

Yes, this unfortunate freakish occurrence means I will probably have a thicker, less appealing scar than had it hadn't happened. To that I say, "Who the hell cares? I still have new boobs!"

I have to change the gauze on said troublesome ta-ta several times a day. This gives me a medical reason to open my sport's bra all the way and look at my new body in the mirror.

It's hard for me to explain the feeling of seeing something, or someone, in the mirror you never thought you'd see. I do believe I'm still in a small state of shock over the whole thing.

I recently emailed my "Before and After" collage to an online friend, and I paused to look at the "before" photograph, somewhere in my head thinking THAT is how I still MUST look. This "after" shot certainly can't be ME. When you grow used to your own body and then in a matter of 4 hours everything about it changes? It takes time to sink in.

I spent many hours researching breast augmentations. Different implant options. Different incision options -- nipple, breast, armpit, over the muscle, under the muscle, info info info. Gobbling it all down like a starving person at a buffet. I wanted to be sure I knew ALL the risks involved. I weighed the options. I debated over the years if I'd just have the bigger breast taken small and not put a foreign object in my body. There was no woman more medically informed than I was when I went in for surgery on August 16th.

I failed to even fathom the psychological impact this would have on me. Kinda stupid of me, really. My boobs have been fucking with my brain since they first sprouted.

I stand in front of the mirror thinking, "Who's rack is that? She's stacked!" and then I realize.... that's me. This is me now.

I'm almost, dare I say, uncomfortable with the idea and skin I'm in because it's .... normal. I don't know normal. Normal is foreign to me. Those who know me will laugh and say, "Katrina you will NEVER be normal" and I take that as a compliment, thank you very much.

Perhaps what I'm struggling with is being at peace with it after all these years. Twenty-five years (give or take) of having breasts I hated left a mark on me. I have been betrayed by my body in so many ways since puberty.

My girlie netherlands gave me grief most of my adult life. Four miscarriages and countless surgeries on my ovaries, laproscopic this and let's give you that medication and "You can't have babies" and then "You can get pregnant but you'll never carry a child to term". It weighed on me as a woman. Coupled with my mangled breasts, I felt like I existed in a shell bound to do me in.

I knew I was a girl.
I knew I was a woman.
But all my womanly parts were a friggin' MESS.

Over time? That can make you feel inhuman. Subhuman. LESS than your counterparts that share the "Girl" gender stamp. When you obsess over other woman's breasts not because you're gay but with constant envy and longing, it seeds in you. When you spend most of your adult life having anxiety attacks over attending baby showers and breaking out into cold sweats walking past racks of onesies and diapers in Wal-Mart, it fucks you up a bit.

My children validated my struggles and made me feel more like a female than anything else. By being here, they healed every wound I suffered to GET them here. The tears weren't useless. I cried many. After my sons were born I could set aside my anger at my body and what it did to me.

But that left the boobs. The mangled and malformed rack that nature threw at me. Oh, how I hated them. I resented getting dressed, daily, just trying to manipulate my bras so that when I put a shirt on "no one could tell".

Before my husband, in my wild single days, those stupid boobs didn't stop me from taking a new lover when I wanted to, but there was always a hint of hesitation in letting a man touch me "up there". Or see me. MOST of the time not a word was said. Several times though, I could sense the feeling of disappointment. Or being judged. Like I could help it?

I've always, in an odd way, identified with transgendered people. I hear ignorant people make fun of transexuals, and those who have gone through their transition from man to woman or vice versa. While I might be a straight female who's happy being a woman? I know what it's like to be trapped in a body that doesn't match with one's brain. Inside I felt sexy and alluring, I felt sensual and desirable. Then? I'd LOOK at myself -- those fucked up boobs, that inner plumbing that had a kink in the works, and what was going on in my head never matched the reflection in the mirror. It changed how I dressed. It changed how I carried myself. It changed how I TOOK CARE of myself. In times of depression and grand indifference, I stopped fighting my weight. Was the point of being thin, and fit, if my "crown jewels" were crappy and clouded cubic zarconia? Ironically my fake tits feel more real than my real ones did.

I don't know, over time, how this will change me. I'm still adjusting. I'm still in shock. I spent the better part of my adult life just WISHING for what I now have: A normal rack.

The other day I had to drive to the doctor's office, and then make a stop at the local Wally World for some groceries. Twice, in my driving around town, I habitually cupped my right breast to be sure I had grabbed my chicken cutlet to stuff my bra to make sure I looked normal. Both times, my brain paused a moment to remind me..... Katrina, you don't need that stuff any more. Old habits die hard, I guess.

I know I'm a lucky woman. I've bitched about my tits since I've had tits, but they were never riddled with cancer. They never tried to kill me in that way. But they were slowly killing the woman inside me. I knew when I hit 40 that it had to change. I knew when I hit 40 that it was time. Enough was Enough.

Now that this change has taken place, I feel like my brain is rejecting it. I feel like this incision opening is totally par for my course.

My boobs, for the first time in my life, are the same size.
My nipples, for the first time in my life, exist on the same plane.

I've spent the better part of my comedy finding the humor in the old pair, and wondered if by having the surgery.... was I betraying the comedic warrior in myself? But then?

This incision popped open. In that happening? They're STILL gonna be fraternal twins. My left breast will have a big ole scar. She will be my "Frankentitty" while the right side -- the former "little sister" -- is a perfect and ample "Stripper Boob".

Perhaps I was never supposed to have "Identical Twins". And I can live with the differences now. What I had? I could not live with. Not for another year. Not for another month. Not for another day.

I'll give my brain time to catch up to that reflection in the mirror, because I know that reflection ain't going anywhere. I'm sure over time I'll stop wondering if I remembered my right-side stuffing. Eventually I'll settle in to this new body and it will feel like 'this' is how it's always been.... but I'll know better. I carry with me the memories of "before". I owe it to myself to keep those memories -- those awkward moments with a new lover, the horror of locker rooms in school, the pain in finding a BRA for crying out loud. Those moments can't be erased with a surgery. They are as much a part of me as my New Girls are now.

So I say to my old boobs, that are still really STILL with me. (They didn't cut away breast tissue for crying out loud.....)

Good-Bye, "Depressed Emo Sister" boobie. You dangled down way too far. You filled with milk weeks AFTER my children were born, robbing from me the chance to breast-feed my sons. You jiggled way too much. You were often the breast of choice at the hands of someone else, but even then had to be LIFTED for the stupid misplaced nipple to be FOUND. You couldn't help how you were. I still hated you anyway.

Good-Bye, "Perky Cheerleader" boobie. You're still perky, but at least now you're the right shape. I didn't know that you were as fucked up as you were until the doctor told me about that internal tissue that almost choked you out of existence all together. You were the one I hated the most, feeling as though you were just too lazy to grow. I had no idea my body was basically producing weeds to prevent you from catching up. I won't miss your inadequate shape, volume, size. I know you're sitting on top of a BIG ole implant right now. Hope you like the view from up there.

I think I very well might print a copy of that "Before and After" shot. Take it to shows with me. I've always been Queen Of The Over-Share, even before I dubbed myself Queen Of The Mutants. I don't think the curiosity of people is a bad thing. I'm happy to say "This is how I was" now that "that" is no more. I'd have never shared pictures of my old boobs when that's all there was. Now? I can show what is gone. I can eventually learn to let go of the shame I had inside me over something I had no control over.

And maaaan I can't wait for this stuff to be totally healed. I have a Victoria's Secret shopping spree in my near future. I've never even set foot in one before. There was always too much envy and self hatred looking at things I thought would never belong to me. I can let all that go now though. .... when my brain catches up with the rest of me.