When I was about 20 years old I realized how numb I was all the time. I remember concentrating really hard, but being unable to feel anything in my foot. No sensation of cold or warmth, only a faint sensation if my skin was touched, and literally no proprioception, no awareness of where my foot was unless I was looking at it. The same was true of most parts of my body.
I spent a long time learning to be grounded, which in my faith tradition is pretty important. We spend the first few minutes of any religious ceremony in meditation to connect ourselves with the sensations and energy flow of our body, something I was at first unable to do.
Now, 20 years later, I’m typing this with cold hands, something I’m easily able to ignore from lots of practice ignoring discomfort, but at least I know where my hands are and how they feel without looking at them or touching them.
Not all of my body is completely reclaimed. I still have a hard time feeling anything in the sexually designated parts of my body, which makes for lovemaking where the ‘foreplay’ activities of stroking and touching the ‘not usually seen as sexual’ parts of my body is particularly important. Most times I’m just grateful I can have sex at all, and with someone I love and who loves me to boot. However, although I’m a good ‘active’ lover according to reviews, I’m probably quite boring to make love to, since I have to be still and concentrate so hard to feel anything at all.
I understand where ‘stone butches’ come from – women who get their pleasure from making love to another woman and won’t permit themselves to be made love to. If you can’t feel anything, making someone else happy is much more interesting.
Dancing on my father’s grave won’t win me back my body. That’s something I have to do for myself. However, it makes sense to me to renounce him in such a physical way, to use the tool he tried to steal from me to defeat him.