Your body is not a temple

At seventeen, I started to starve myself,
I thought that love was a kind of emptiness.
And at least I understood then the hunger I felt,
and I didn’t have to call it loneliness
— Hunger, Florence and the machine

I hit puberty relatively late at the age of 14. Due to being anorexic at the time I didn’t develop properly and always hated my breasts and nipples. The internet wasn’t readily available then and I didn’t know anything about mammary glands, that I would be able to feel them under the skin or that they would be hard. I spent the longest time thinking I had cancer or that there was something very very wrong with me. This alongside body dysmorphia and depersonalisation left me with a very estranged relationship with my physical form.

When i was 18 I had a nervous breakdown. During then I discovered that hell is a place inside your head and little scared me after. I used to have a huge phobia of needles but this completely vanished and I started to modify my body. I found this greatly helped my dysphoria and every modification made served as a reality check point when dissociation was over powering.

Listen to me, your body is not a temple.
Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest—thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood.
You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated.
— Beau Taplin
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As I grow older and started to understand more about my gender I realised I was non-binary. It started to feel increasingly unfair that my ‘female’ nipples were sexualised along side being demonised. I have never felt sexually or emotionally connected to that part of my body and I did not ever plan on becoming a mother. I didn’t like the way they looked or felt, I couldn’t find a reason for having them. This led me to search out someone who would surgically remove them for me. After researching and talking to both plastic surgeons and body modifiers I contacted Samppa who agreed to do it for me.

I spent a lot of time before hand making sure this was the absolute right thing. I mentally counted the reasons for and against and all the reason against were to do with what other people would think. You will never reach self acceptance if you live your life appeasing other people, you will never truly become your self. You have to do what is right by you and only you can decide what that is.

The surgery was painless and quite simple, taking around two hours in total. At one point I looked down when one nipple had been removed and saw the fat underneath like segments of an orange. All that fear I had growing up, the fear of what was in there under the skin, vanished. The severed nipple looked instantly dead and even more alien. It loses all form when removed and is just a lump of cold flesh. It was a wonder something so simple could make the world of difference.

life since my nullification has been so much more full of body positivity, like I shed two parasites. My breasts are not sexual objects and they are also not there to feed children. I feel that by nullifying them this has taken both those things away. I enjoy them now aesthetically, I finally like the way they look. My body is now for me and not for other people.

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When I am completely healed I will have a cover up done on both tattoos. I have kept the nipples and at some point in the the future will use them in an artwork (i have as of yet to decide how and they are currently residing in my freezer). later in life I want to have full top surgery but for now I am enjoying living life this way. Your body can be a journey of experiences, you don’t need to have a finite form. What matters is you live in as full a way as possible away from fear and shame.

and I said to my body softly-
I want to be your friend.
It took a long breath and replied -
I have been waiting my whole life for this.
— Nayyirah Waheed