Dear Dysphoria

Note: I wrote this early in May and, reading it over, it seems worth posting as the unedited snippet that it is. One of those things that sticks out for me is that I generally consider what I experience since I’ve ‘come out’ to be “body dysphoria” rather than “gender dysphoria”.

I know I’ve mentioned before that I had some struggles with what was, at times, pretty severe gender dysphoria.
This past week was probably the worst bout I’ve had with it since my relationship with Z ended over a year ago. I want to write about this so that I remember. I keep thinking whenever I’m not in the midst of it that it’s a self-esteem thing. Next time, I say to myself, I’ll remember my body is beautiful. Next time I won’t let running out of men’s underwear bother me. I’ll quit calling it men’s underwear. I’ll tell my dad I like not looking pretty. I won’t let transmen make me cry.
But it doesn’t start on the outside. It can be awful, the power your mind has to make your body feel so alien.
I feel like I’m too big for my body, like my clothes are too heavy and too tight. My skin feels electrified, oversensitive. It’s like looking out from inside someone else’s body, this skin that you don’t fit within. It gets hard to get undressed, or I stop caring if I’m wearing anything. I remember at the end of last week when I was at my worst, standing in Flo’s tiny bathroom, trying to take off my binder from under my t-shirt and just being frozen. Unable to make a move. Staring at my unrecognizable face in the mirror.


~ by yondergen on August 23, 2010.

2 Responses to “Dear Dysphoria”

  1. I can relate to this, to the weird shocked feeling of knowing you’re looking in a mirror but being unable to reconcile the image you’re seeing with who you feel you are. I experience dysphoria from my male and female sides which can sometimes mean I don’t know who the hell I am and what I’m supposed to look like.

    I’m pretty good at self-talking myself through those moments but that sensation of jarring non-reality isn’t something I can easily forget.

    • Normally I can do pretty well too, but I seem to have one really bad patch a year that just has to run its course. It’s absolutely bizarre to look at your own face and not to be able to pick it out of a lineup.
      What’s it like to feel female dysphoria?

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