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Please note, this article is simply about the emotional journey through the breast reduction surgery. If you would like to read about all the other parts of my experience, click here.
Full, ample breasts are often one of the most valued feminine traits. Women want them and men crave them. But what happens when you start feeling like your breasts negatively define your identity? This is exactly the position I found myself in recently. For as long as I can remember, my breast have been anything but an asset in my life. I didn’t just dislike the way clothes looked on me or the physical discomfort, but the negative attention they brought me weighed on me constantly. It took over a decade of wanting a breast reduction before I finally decided to take the leap. This is my emotional journey through the breast reduction process, and the thoughts I didn’t know I would have before I made my decision.
Making the decision to have surgery
In December of 2018, I finally pulled the trigger on getting a breast reduction. It felt like a relief when I finally booked my surgery and knew it was finally happening. There was a sense of excitement and a feeling of uncertainty, in a good way. The more I researched, the more I found women happy with their decision to have the surgery. This helped elate me even more. I was ready for this.
About one week before my surgery, I started packing my bag, as I was traveling over 3000 miles to get my surgery done. As I was packing, I was hit with wave of anxiety that resulted in an unexpected emotional journey through this breast reduction. I wasn’t ready for the overwhelming feeling of loss. Although I was aware of the attention my breasts drew, I never really thought about how my identity was wrapped up in my overly womanly figure, for better or worse.
The Negative Side of Large Breasts
As far back as I can remember, my breasts have drawn older male attention. When I was 12, I remember helping my grandma at her cafe, and an older gentleman said, “They sure didn’t make girls like you when I was 12.” This wasn’t just a one off comment, they came often. Comments like those left me feeling dirty, almost like I had done something wrong. It made me ashamed of the breasts I had.
Those unwanted comments and attention followed me through my adulthood. Men, even friends, made unwelcome comments. It left me feeling uncomfortable and all I could do was laugh because I didn’t know what else to do. I have also been accused of purposefully seeking that sort of attention, when I have simply tried to wear clothing smaller breasted women wear. I have been told I should know better than to dress that way. Although I am aware that I cannot help the way others see me, it still affected me emotionally.
The Emotional Journey for Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault Victims
This alone has been a downer on my mental state, but even more so being the victim of both sexual abuse and sexual assault. I was not ready for the emotional journey the breast reduction would take me on, and ultimately end in a sort of healing from those events. Of course, I understand both the sexual abuse as a child and the sexual abuse as a young adult did not happen because of anything I purposely did. However, there is a huge amount of shame and self blame that come with both of these acts. Abusers have perfected the blame game and made the victims feel they are at fault for looking a certain way. This guilt and shame have been something I have carried for as long as I can remember. It has always crept somewhere deep in my memory files.
Where I am Emotionally Now
The thought of losing a portion of my breasts, to make me “normal” brought on such a rush of relief and sadness all at once. I had to find a new way to identify myself and my figure. Although I have not fully grasped the “new” me, I feel like I have lost such a figurative weight. Going through breast reduction surgery took some of that shame and guilt when part of me was physically removed. I have grieved the loss of the old me, and have had to come to terms with the negative experiences I have endured. I did not expect this part, but this emotional journey through my breast reduction has literally changed my life. Please note that I am not saying smaller breasted woman have not, or will not have negative experiences. This is just my personal identity journey and experiences.
This has been a heavy topic for such a short article. I just felt the need to share this part of the mental journey one goes through with plastic surgery. The process leaves you instantly changed, and we don’t often think about how our identity can change. I have zero regrets, but I was forced to deal with some things I did not even consider. No other literature I read spoke about this side effect. I am not sure if it wasn’t spoken of because it is taboo, or because it is unique to me.
Please know, after it has all been said and done, even with the emotional journey with the breast reduction, I feel physically and mentally lighter. It is worth every tear I have shed and every terrible memory brought back. It is just a matter of time for me to become comfortable in my new look.