I’ve delayed the writing of this blog post for the following reasons:
1: Lack of interest from the internets.
3: Sleeping a lot.
So, basically, the last week I’ve slept like 18 hours a day. It’s not that I feel I need to but it is a simple escape from what I have to deal with every day.
Being open about what’s going on with me was sort of the purpose of this blog but then suddenly, I realized that very few people care and now, because I’ve said all the easy things, I have to start saying things that people won’t want to read.
So, here we go.
You probably don’t know what this even is. Most people don’t. It’s not something you need to know about, more than likely. I didn’t even realize there was a word for it until I was 30. So, there’s that.
Dysphoria is a sense of incongruity between your physical self and your psychological self. There can be many manifestations of this but for me the incongruity is with my gender.
I’m going to discuss one part of dysphoria I find most upsetting. The sensation that there is a part of my body I cannot, but should be able, to reach. It took me a while to come up with an appropriate analogy to describe the problem and I still think I’ve failed in that mission. What I’ve managed to arrive at is the following.
It’s a bit like having a cast on your whole leg that covers your toes and having an itch on the back of your heel. Now, this is imperfect because with some ingenuity, a coat hanger, some sand paper and a lot of patience, you can eventually reach the itch. Mine, however, can’t be fixed. And it isn’t an itch.
It’s more of an ache. It exists in the same general area that the vaginal canal or cervix… should… exist.
Or at least, that how my brain sees it. Seeing my actual genitals causes something of a disconnection to occur. I become vaguely confused. I get twinges like the sensation of being scared or disgusted. I get a similar feeling when I smell sour milk, but without the gag reflex.
It’s upsetting, to say the least.
Further, having to see myself is awful. My face is a constant source of pain. I often see it and simply want to bash it in. Having the impulse to mutilate your own face that doesn’t appear to belong is something I hope you never have to experience.
How do I deal with these things? There are many things I do to try to reduce my symptoms. The first is avoiding looking at myself in the mirror or while nude. I don’t, if I can help it. Hormone replacement has helped as I’ve become virtually incapable of getting or maintaining an erection, so I don’t wake up with them anymore… which has helped.
I shave my face in the shower and I avoid looking at my face in pictures. I hate having my picture taken, specifically because people then ask you to look at it.
I shave my body where hair shouldn’t exist and finally I bind my genitals virtually 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is often an hour or so after a shower where I must wait to “tuck” but that’s about it.
That hour sucks.
I can’t walk, I can’t focus as well and my muscles all feel tense, usually. It can often lead to a tension headache.
So, when I hear (mainly Trump supporters) say that being trans is a mental disorder, I know something about the reality of it.
Being trans is not a mental disorder. Dysphoria is. Being trans is just a sense of not being one or another gender. Dysphoria is crippling. Dysphoria is painful.
The thing is, they don’t say it’s a mental disorder because they’re trying to raise awareness. They’re trying to denigrate people. While we scream that people, who shoot churches up and plant explosives are mentally ill, and someone should do something, for me… there is a solution… but it remains economically out of reach.
See, that’s the evil, hurtful part of all this. They just say these things to injure people like me. Not because they know something I don’t but because they enjoy hurting people. They lack the capacity to empathize with me. And because I empathize with them, I find myself feeling bad that they feel it necessary to hurt people. Isn’t that sad, somehow? I have pity for people hurting me. I see how they’re in pain and how hurting me is distracting from a life they more than likely don’t enjoy.
If you were to ask them if they did like their lives, they’d say yes. It’s a symptom, really. A pride, of sorts, these individuals have. They must appear to be fine. They must not appear to be weak. Weakness is dangerous. Not being happy is failure.
Well, I’m weak. I’m in pain. I am not fine.
These facts change nothing about my circumstances, they only emphasize how far beyond pride, beyond shame, beyond embarrassment my pain has gone.
I do wish I had the capacity to make meaningful changes to my circumstances but some weeks it’s very hard for me to write a blog post, let alone keep myself healthy or maintain any semblance of employment. The pain I live in isn’t just misunderstood, it’s thrown at me. It’s shoved in my face as if it were a mess I left on the carpet.
I am sorry for how I am.
I would change it, if I could.