In the intervening years, I've poured out much of that pain right here, examining and elucidating all the anger and bitterness that I carried with me in the aftermath of that surgery:
"… it feels as if the hysterectomy was a success but I "died" as far as being female…I've felt myself hauling the bucket of my own personal, internal, sprit up from the depths -- and finding it dry as dust. That dryness has been disturbing and frightening…I want to live and BE again, whole and balanced and alive… to "embrace" the new realities of the shifted and diminished responsiveness that is a fact and result of the hysterectomy…to stop or finish or complete the mourning for what has been lost and get over the last bits of my anger at that whole passage...I haven't completely forgotten that there has been a loss either, and I haven't gotten to a place of being "happy" with the change…a huge wave of sadness, grief and anger that was largely driven by my sense of sexual "nothingness."…I want what I lost. I want it enough that some days, contemplating the years that lie ahead, I wonder why I should have lived through all of this...I have real trouble achieving orgasm. It just never really came back… it still hurts me and I still grieve the loss…I eventually stopped expecting anything much from sex…Although we sought out medical advice, and although I went through a significant course of hormone replacement therapy, my sexual responses were forever changed…I was caught between my own wanting and my inability to actualize that physically…The state of medical knowledge is such that, while the doctors and surgeons were very capable of performing the surgery that rendered me sexually inert, they had nothing much to offer to remedy that situation…My libido remained intact, but my amputated parts and pieces were just as gone…I'd have done anything -- ANYTHING -- to have myself back again...thrust suddenly into the land of menopausal femaleness...It sucked. It sucks. There is no going back, and there is no recovering what was lost…"
My path to heal from that wounding took me through all the places you would expect. I saw a "women's sexual health" specialist -- and took a variety of hormonal supplements including off-label testosterone. I did a course of psychotherapy with a "kink aware" therapist. I took prescription anti-depressants. I undertook a quest to find and engage the fabled g-spot. I bought a staggering array of over the counter and herbal products intended to enhance libido. None of it helped much. I did, over time, come to some sort of resigned sense of calm and acceptance... but I was still an awfully long way from being happy, healthy, or whole. The part of me that I'd lost when I lost the "parts" remained absent, and without her, I've been incapable of creating a vibrant life for myself.
So, having that essence back is good and powerful and healing. I am so glad to be back together with that lost self. Perhaps, because I was older when I lost "her," I've been more acutely aware of what was missing. She brings me the gift of my identity; I know myself as a woman again. What I've known intellectually for all these many years, that my female identity was not removed with my organs, is finally something I can FEEL. My essence is female. My identity is female. I am that, and though I've aged and though my hormonal realities are what they are, my SELF has come back to knowing how to be female in the world. It is a great and wondrous gift after so many years spent in that dark desolation.
Like all the soul parts, this third one -- I refuse to name her "Hysterectomy Woman" -- wants something from me. When I talked with her a couple of weeks after the actual soul retrieval, she told me that she wanted to come "out of the dark," and I knew exactly what that meant. The image that I've carried in my mind, through all of these post-surgical years, has been of a dark, dilapidated basement space filled with cobwebs and broken water pipes and dangling wires. Whatever happened in my world, good or bad, my spirit lived in that dark basement. I can just imagine that my WomanSelf refuses to be relegated to the basement of my psyche. She wants to live out in the clear light of day -- and so do I.