******* BACKPOST *******
A backpost is a post that I started at a certain time, an earlier date, and didn’t finish until much later. But I’m back dating the post to appear in the time/date slot from when I started it.
I’m not in this alone. And thank God. At the same time, how much simpler things would be if I only had myself to think about, consider, please. I guess its that way with everything in life. But the whole what am I question and what to do about it weighs more heavily, is exponentially more complicated, when you’re also part of and responsible for a family and all that entails.
Should my wife have a say in who I am, how I present myself in the world and how, or if, I alter my body? For sure she has a right to have feelings about how we spend close to ten thousand dollars. Especially given the amount of debt we already carry. And while she does have feelings about the money piece, that is more a convenient hook to hang our struggles on, easier in some respects than touching the pain of our truer emotions and fears. The reality is that I’m considering top surgery mere moments after Emily has completed a year of aggressive breast cancer treatment. My timing couldn’t be worse. And did I mention that as part of that grueling treatment, she lost a breast? Against her will. She’s still mourning that and all that she’s been through. And here I am, glibly making arrangements to alter my body in so evocative, almost to be provocative, a way. And even though it may feel like that to her, and even though it may feel out of the blue to her, it is none of those things. It is just really unfortunate timing. The reality is, I’ve been wrestling with this for a long time, my whole life really. I even shared some of my process with her at the beginning. But I stopped bringing her along on my emotional journey when she got diagnosed with cancer. I figured the last thing she needed to be saddled with was more emotional upheaval and angst – in particular regarding breasts. And I still agree with that decision. Unfortunately, for more than a year now I have struggled, examined, assessed, analyzed, wrestled, grappled, probed, agonized, sobbed, and prayed. And while I have no definitive answers to some of the things I am struggling with, I have come to a more solid position about my body. And I have been sitting with that decision for a while now while I’ve waited for the opportunity to share, the right moment to bring it up. I simply cannot survive another summer of binding. Period. I have met this dragon, this demon, head on and I can no longer continue this way. Especially now that I see an alternative.
I cant imagine what she’s thinking, how hard this must be for her, how painful, how confusing. What did she sign up for when she married me? How far will this journey take me? Does having top surgery make me any less a woman? Does not having breasts make me any more a man? I know that I am insanely lucky to have a partner so open and loving and so very much on this journey with me. My best friend. And if having this surgery were not so very, so deeply important, so necessary to me, I would not risk all the pain and angst it brings with it… especially to someone I love so dearly.
I also have to consider the messages that the girls will take away from my having surgery. Nina is young and she may not have any understanding now. But in time she will. I worry more about Joita with her newly changing body and budding breasts. What a mind fuck she’s already had with Emily’s breast cancer. She’s seen the scars on my chest from my first surgery but they’ve always been there. It is the only way she’s known me and so, she’s never questioned them. I worry about body image messages I may blatantly and inadvertently pass on to her. But there is also the fact that she is handicapped. Yes, so I’m unhappy with my body, feel uncomfortable in it, feel constricted by it, do not feel it reflects the me I feel inside. And how simple (in some ways) for me to change it. She may feel all of those things and more about her body and no amount of money and no surgery will get her the body that works. My heart aches under these breasts I cannot tolerate.
And still, even with all of that, I’ve booked a surgery date.