Released after 43 years

Sue Robb (162)


Issue 6
May 1999

At the end of December 1998 I had the chance that not many people would want, or get. I was about to be born again! After years of soul searching and agonising my dream was about to become a reality. I was getting a second chance at life, I was about to undergo Gender Reassignment Surgery! People and friends kept asking me, are you worried or nervous about the surgery, or the irreversible outcome? The answer was, of course, NO. Even if I died on the operating table it would be worth it. I would have passed away at peace with myself.

To the man, or woman in the street, what I was about to undergo willingly, would be the most horrendous experience that any rational person could imagine. How could any sane person wish to have their genitalia mutilated? I should be seeing a brain surgeon and not a reconstructive surgeon!

Only someone, who is also born with Gender Dysphoria Syndrome, can truly understand the mental torment and pain we suffer. Although people can be sympathetic, they can never appreciate what it is like for the brain and the body to be in constant conflict with each other.

Luckily, the medical profession now realise that this is a medical, and not mental condition, and are now treating it as such.

And so, on the 29th of December I said goodbye to the old confused and mixed up me. and fell asleep, with no fears of what was about to happen, or become of me.

When I awoke, several hours later, it was all over. I'd survived the op, there was at drip in my arm, drainage tubes, catheter, pain controlling pump and a bandage that made me look more like a sumo wrestler than a new woman!

Although, for the next five days I was not allowed out of bed for any reason, I was free. There was no more conflict. The battle was over, total peace at last. I know it might sound over the top, but it was true.

During this time, although in a lot of physical pain, I knew it had been worth all the discomfort . Soon, the ten days hospitalisation were over, I was ready to be discharged into the big new exciting world. What I could not get over, was the tremendous gain in conlidence and self-esteem. I suppose it was all part of the new inner peace I had found. The impossible had happened. From having a life sentence with no date for parole, I had now been granted a royal pardon!

I knew I had done the right thing, (the only thing). The first time I saw the new me in the mirror it was not a shock. It was so natural. It was how it was always meant to have been. It was at last, the real me.

Finally, I have just two regrets. Firstly, that I left it for so long before seeking help. Secondly, and most importantly, a great sadness for my mum. Although she has been truly wonderful, and so supportive, all through this nightmare, it must really hurt her to know that what she created has been physically altered for reasons she can never really understand. I'm so sorry. I just hope I can repay her somehow, or is that all part of being a real loving Mum.

Well, all I have to do now is what the doctor and nurses tell me, and behave myself. The medics and shrinks have done their bit, it was all up to me now to get on with my new life.

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