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  • Problems with Body Autonomy

    Hi, all. I've been restoring for about 5 years now with the TLC-X, and been really satisfied with the progress and effects. Maybe it's because I started restoring at 20, but my baseline level of sensation/satisfaction with sex was already pretty high, and restoring just brought it to a new level.

    I feel like people restore for one of three reasons. Either they're dissatisfied with sensation, their sex life, or something else mechanical/physiological; they feel "not whole" psychologically, ashamed, or violated, and restoring is a way of healing that; or both. For me it has always been the second reason.

    All that to say, restoring for me was never physiologically motivated (I know I've been lucky in that regard). Rather, the fact that I was circumcised dawned on me when I began dating an intact guy and it was shoved in my face that something wasn't right. The way his penis worked, the levels of sensation he seemed to feel when we were intimate -- it made me realize something was missing for me. And unfortunately I feel like, even though I've been restoring for the past 5 years, I still haven't dealt with that trauma. I've had some other sex-related trauma in my life, and it just seems like going all the way back to when I was a baby, my body has been violated without my consent, to the point now that I find it hard to be intimate with people out of fear. I'm in therapy dealing with these sexual problems/trauma but I find it really hard to bring up the fact that a part of my body was removed without my consent. I feel like it just compounds on everything else that's happened to me to make vulnerability just feel dangerous. I've made a lot of progress with other traumas, but I just wonder if the early nature of being circumcised has lodged its way into my brain so deep that it'll never heal -- even as I restore and feel great about it.

    I guess I just needed to write all this out, and even though I know my voice is just one in the crowd, I hope if anyone else reads this and is feeling the things I feel, you know you're not alone. I wish I had something encouraging to tell you other than to keep giving yourself all the compassion and love you can (it never hurts). I wish I could say that 5 years down the road it'll all be healed and better, but I know it's more complicated than that.

    The way we relate to our own bodies is complicated. The one time I brought up circumcision as an extension of being violated to my therapist, she told me to liken it to someone who had an arm blown off in an accident; it wasn't my fault, my life isn't over, there are things I can still do. And with restoration, you can get back so much look, functionality and extra sensation. The part that still hurts so badly is knowing what happened to me against my will, even if one day I look at my penis and am not able to differentiate it from what my ex's looked like, that feeling -- which, by the way, not only do we feel, but also sexual assault victims -- of your boundaries no longer being sacred. I didn't even know I had boundaries until I was already well into adulthood. But when it comes to our literal most sensitive parts -- we need to let ourselves GRIEVE for what was taken from us. We need to let ourselves be ANGRY that we live in societies that normalize genital mutilation with bullshit rationales and excuses. We need to let ourselves be sad for what we lost, and then accept that it happened. And then make meaning from it. I've saved my nephew from it by convincing my sister not to let them circumcise him. I've had conversations with friends about the subject. I've been relatively vocal about the insanity that is forced infant circumcision, and we need to realize that insanity can be stopped, though it will be slowly. It's already on the decline. We can work so this shit is but a distant, shameful chapter of human history. That's the meaning I try to make from all this.

    And in the meantime, I'm still working on my own grieving process, 5 years later. I know it was exacerbated by my other traumas, which I wouldn't wish on anyone, but even so, I can feel myself making progress. It's better to let yourself be sad about something completely unjustified that happened to you than to let it keep eating you from the inside out. Unfortunately, we live in a world where innocent children experience traumatic, unfair things every day -- sometimes physically, sometimes psychologically, often both. But you would never tell a child of neglect, or an abused child, that they will never heal from their trauma, that it will always scar the way they interact with people, that they'll never feel safe or be able to be vulnerable again. Sadly, some of those children will never get help, but some of them will, and they will heal. And so will we. That's what's getting me through, along with restoring -- although restoring can't heal the wound within us, sadly. That we have to do ourselves.

  • #2
    While I differ from you in that I am straight, I think your post touches on important issues regarding circumcision practices. It is a violation to be unwillingly circumcised. I think we all in the restoring community have realized that we were half gelded. Why anyone would do this to another human being, let alone an infant is beyond my comprehension. My children, should I be blessed with them shall not be circumcised. Orthodox Christians do not permit circumcision under Church Canon. So my children will not be undergoing this procedure for certain. Strangely, it seems that Protestant religions favor circumcision despite defending free choice in most other aspects of life. One would think it would be the opposite (I escaped Lutheranism, so I might be a bit biased but I know the beast from the inside). I think that in the U.S. that circumcision became a white status symbol of sorts because mainly whites could afford it. So, if the rest of us tried to be passing for white, circumcision was part of the deal. I am American Indian non-enrolled and our peoples have long been pressured to assimilate to white value systems and I think in my case that has unfortunately been a link to circumcision. It would be interesting to see whether there is a link between eugenics and circumcision.

    Thank you for a nice post aobaru.

    ᏩᏙ
    (Cherokee for thank you)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by aobaru View Post
      we need to let ourselves GRIEVE for what was taken from us. We need to let ourselves be ANGRY that we live in societies that normalize genital mutilation with bullshit rationales and excuses. We need to let ourselves be sad for what we lost, and then accept that it happened. And then make meaning from it. I've saved my nephew from it by convincing my sister not to let them circumcise him.
      We also need to forgive ourselves for our worst days, when we perhaps didn't find just the right words to effectively persuade someone not to cut.
      -Ron Low
      [email protected]
      847 414-1692 Chicago

      Comment


      • #4
        Two very well thought out meaningful points of views,

        I commend you both for your insights and how eloquently you were able to share them.

        Kudos!

        Gentle
        My Progress Gallery @ https://foreskinrestoration.vbulleti...tle-s-progress

        Comment


        • #5
          I, too, feel violated. I brought it up with my mom one evening, and instead of trying to understand where I was coming from, she tried to extol the virtues of circumcision.

          I'm a scientist in heart and mind so destroying part of an infant's body for reasons not related to medical necessity simply don't compute. I used to enjoy watching porn, casually, really just because I liked watching two men being intimate with eachother. It might not be the healthiest way to witness an intimate MM relationship, but for what it's worth I've never enjoyed watching two men have sex when they don't have some kind of connection. That being said, over time, the uncut penises I kept seeing in porn made me more and more ashamed of what was done to me.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by aobaru View Post
            Hi, all. I've been restoring for about 5 years now with the TLC-X, and been really satisfied with the progress and effects. Maybe it's because I started restoring at 20, but my baseline level of sensation/satisfaction with sex was already pretty high, and restoring just brought it to a new level.

            I feel like people restore for one of three reasons. Either they're dissatisfied with sensation, their sex life, or something else mechanical/physiological; they feel "not whole" psychologically, ashamed, or violated, and restoring is a way of healing that; or both. For me it has always been the second reason.

            All that to say, restoring for me was never physiologically motivated (I know I've been lucky in that regard). Rather, the fact that I was circumcised dawned on me when I began dating an intact guy and it was shoved in my face that something wasn't right. The way his penis worked, the levels of sensation he seemed to feel when we were intimate -- it made me realize something was missing for me. And unfortunately I feel like, even though I've been restoring for the past 5 years, I still haven't dealt with that trauma. I've had some other sex-related trauma in my life, and it just seems like going all the way back to when I was a baby, my body has been violated without my consent, to the point now that I find it hard to be intimate with people out of fear. I'm in therapy dealing with these sexual problems/trauma but I find it really hard to bring up the fact that a part of my body was removed without my consent. I feel like it just compounds on everything else that's happened to me to make vulnerability just feel dangerous. I've made a lot of progress with other traumas, but I just wonder if the early nature of being circumcised has lodged its way into my brain so deep that it'll never heal -- even as I restore and feel great about it.

            I guess I just needed to write all this out, and even though I know my voice is just one in the crowd, I hope if anyone else reads this and is feeling the things I feel, you know you're not alone. I wish I had something encouraging to tell you other than to keep giving yourself all the compassion and love you can (it never hurts). I wish I could say that 5 years down the road it'll all be healed and better, but I know it's more complicated than that.

            The way we relate to our own bodies is complicated. The one time I brought up circumcision as an extension of being violated to my therapist, she told me to liken it to someone who had an arm blown off in an accident; it wasn't my fault, my life isn't over, there are things I can still do. And with restoration, you can get back so much look, functionality and extra sensation. The part that still hurts so badly is knowing what happened to me against my will, even if one day I look at my penis and am not able to differentiate it from what my ex's looked like, that feeling -- which, by the way, not only do we feel, but also sexual assault victims -- of your boundaries no longer being sacred. I didn't even know I had boundaries until I was already well into adulthood. But when it comes to our literal most sensitive parts -- we need to let ourselves GRIEVE for what was taken from us. We need to let ourselves be ANGRY that we live in societies that normalize genital mutilation with bullshit rationales and excuses. We need to let ourselves be sad for what we lost, and then accept that it happened. And then make meaning from it. I've saved my nephew from it by convincing my sister not to let them circumcise him. I've had conversations with friends about the subject. I've been relatively vocal about the insanity that is forced infant circumcision, and we need to realize that insanity can be stopped, though it will be slowly. It's already on the decline. We can work so this shit is but a distant, shameful chapter of human history. That's the meaning I try to make from all this.

            And in the meantime, I'm still working on my own grieving process, 5 years later. I know it was exacerbated by my other traumas, which I wouldn't wish on anyone, but even so, I can feel myself making progress. It's better to let yourself be sad about something completely unjustified that happened to you than to let it keep eating you from the inside out. Unfortunately, we live in a world where innocent children experience traumatic, unfair things every day -- sometimes physically, sometimes psychologically, often both. But you would never tell a child of neglect, or an abused child, that they will never heal from their trauma, that it will always scar the way they interact with people, that they'll never feel safe or be able to be vulnerable again. Sadly, some of those children will never get help, but some of them will, and they will heal. And so will we. That's what's getting me through, along with restoring -- although restoring can't heal the wound within us, sadly. That we have to do ourselves.
            This is a fantastic post and it even has some coincidental connections to my life including trying to persuade my sister not to circumcise. The overall message of your post is one that I would have liked to type myself if I were a bit better with organizing and expressing my thoughts.

            Regarding, "You're not alone," I've always had mixed feelings toward those words. In a way, I wish I were alone, since that would likely mean that circumcision would not be nearly as widespread as it is.

            I likewise have mixed feelings about "healing". We are victims of sexual assault, but unlike sexual assault in most other contexts, because what was done to us is "routine", we're often more or less told to "get over it". In many ways, I would like to put circumcision behind me, but I am genuinely afraid of waking up one day and not feeling outrage that my rights to my body were taken from me. Basically, I think there is a fine line between what can properly be called healing and complacency.

            But what I'd most like to comment on is your fifth paragraph. I watched a short documentary in college on mental institutions and insulin shock therapy in the 1960s. One woman's quote has stuck with me ever since then: "The worst part is I'll never know what they took away from me." I think that dovetails nicely with the themes of your post and when I heard her say it, I knew she articulated what I'd felt for five years about circumcision but didn't have the words for. As I've restored, I'm happy to find new sensations and I know in my heart that I'm much closer to sexual stimulation as nature intended. I know, however, that I will always have that lingering doubt that maybe some of those severed nerve endings are irreplaceable and foreskin restoration won't bring back even a facsimile of the stimulation I was meant to enjoy. I'm not done restoring, though, so I don't know how those thoughts will live in my mind once my journey is over.

            Comment


            • #7
              Wow, this was a phenomenal post. I'm really sorry for what you have gone through, including the circumcision. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share your story with the community. I too hope that you help someone feel not alone on their journey in healing. I hope one day your sister shares with your nephew what you saved for him. That is the best gift you could ever give him. Best of luck on your restoration journey!
              Check out my restoration progress gallery here!

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