Author Topic: Uncommon signs of dysphoria  (Read 449 times)

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Offline BT04

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Uncommon signs of dysphoria
« on: April 20, 2018, 12:41:22 pm »
"Uncommon" is kind of a misnomer - a LOT of us experience "uncommon" signs of dysphoria, and the typical narrative of knowing from an early age, of distinctly feeling like we're in the wrong body, doesn't always match up to how we've actually experienced the feeling.

So let's gather them up all into one place, shall we?

-

I never thought I had dysphoria until I started experiencing euphoria. Over the past few months I've gone back and thought about "weird things" I did or felt through my life, and I've found some interesting stuff.

- Anger: I had a lot of anger problems as a teenager. I had this vague sense that something about my life was unfair, that when I interacted with people, something about it was always fake or stilted, and there was nothing I could do about it.

- Anxiety: I experienced some of my worst anxiety and panic attacks when it came to comparing myself to women; it made me feel like a fraud.

- I hated being attractive: When I was going through puberty, and right after it'd all mostly wrapped up, I felt gross and ugly, and I was extremely suspicious of anyone else who thought otherwise. If a boy had a crush on me, I lashed out or hid under baggy, unattractive clothes (or literally hid; I ate a few lunches in the bathroom to avoid even being SEEN by them) until they lost interest. Granted, I did a really good job of making myself into an ugly duckling in middle school - and braces definitely helped - but I was just really uncomfortable with the idea of guys liking me for my boobs or junk. They felt like a dangerous liability for me and nothing more for many, many years. I eventually learned to be OK with them - could never love them though. In a way, this is probably why I felt like I could never meet anybody unless it was online.

- Knowing I was conventionally attractive but being unable to own it. Like, I had such a clinical relationship to it, I took little actual pride in it, like "yeah, I guess I'm hot, I check all the boxes". But I never felt sexy. I never felt like it was something that was actually mine, something that actually came from who I really was. I never looked in the mirror and felt sexy or erotic. I'd always just see kind of a woman-shaped blob.

- I rarely enjoyed masturbation, penetrative sex was really hit-or-miss, and I thought I was straight-up asexual for a while. Erotic touch would often translate to just this kind of white noise that could either be overstimulating in a bad way, or not feel like anything. There's little in-between.

- Feeling like an outsider in groups of all women AND groups of all men. The first usually made me feel hypermasculine and unrelatable, and in the second I usually felt like an impostor. 

- Not ever feeling like an adult. I'd look in the mirror and see, like, a kid. Sure, I'm well on my way towards salt-and-pepper hair, but something about physical adulthood was always missing. This contributed a lot to my general sense of frustration with life in general.

- Being aggressively submissive in bed: I think this was mostly a coping mechanism. Because I didn't know how to take ownership of my body in a sexual way (feeling like a weird, blob-shaped kid-creature and all), I was VERY uncomfortable with asserting myself in sexual situations. During sex, I mostly just wanted to disappear. I never liked being on top, because then I got a clear view of myself, and I had to make active decisions about what to do with my body and how to get what I wanted. I was disinterested in this at best, and sometimes I'd have straight-up panic attacks about even just asking for something that felt good. Validating my body felt really wrong, so I drew hard lines around what I would and wouldn't do using kink. I focused most of my attention on my husband and his needs, trying to ignore my own. This didn't always work out so well, and I'd feel very conflicted whenever he wanted to return the favor. Sometimes, I didn't even know how to tell him how to do that.
- Seth

Ex-nonbinary trans man, married to a straight guy, still in love. Pre-T, pre-op.

Online Allison S

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Re: Uncommon signs of dysphoria
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2018, 10:19:52 pm »
It's interesting to me the difference between ftm and mtf. I'm mtf and it's like, almost everything you mentioned I wished so much to have and experience (except without the dysphoria). That's just the name of the game I guess.


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Offline blackcat

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Re: Uncommon signs of dysphoria
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2018, 10:51:55 pm »
All I can say is thank you for sharing, and this resonates with me profoundly. I have nothing to add because you said it so eloquently. I've felt all of these things and for the longest time I thought I was just weird or broken somehow.

FinallyMichelle

Re: Uncommon signs of dysphoria
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2018, 10:55:33 pm »
I can't stop thinking about this now. I wasn't going to respond. I don't feel like posting at all anymore. Nothing useful to add, not sure I can help anyone so the only thing left is to make myself look like an idiot. Which I guess that I don't mind, if I am being honest I don't care how people see me. I keep reading the posts out of habit though, and being in between jobs, I get a little bored. 😊 It matters little.

This one I read and was sure there is no way I could comment. There was too much going on in my early life to be sure how much of what was coming from where. I've come to enjoy the look of defeat in a shrink's eyes when they realize that, even if I let them in, they could not hope to sort out cause and effect. Might be petty and it is a tiny victory, but hey, I'll take what I can get. Let's just say that you don't know them like I do and leave it at that shall we. There is too much unglued in my head to pinpoint if a trauma was causing something or dysphoria.

I kept thinking about it though and maybe none of my dysphoria is very unusual, but there are some things that are completely gender dysphoria.

- I had the anger as a teen also. Raw anger at so many things that I didn't think it was worth mentioning here at first. I don't remember ever believing in fair but I had raging anger at knowing that I would have keep on living this lie for the rest of my life. Mostly angry at myself for being too weak to end it.

- It didn't take long to realize that I had no desire to penetrate another person, the hormones never let up however so I kept trying until my late teens. It is probably common to have dysphoria when looking at someone like that and wanting to be them, and I guess that I did a little. My main dysphoria there was going through the motions of being a guy, it made me physically ill. I was so horrible to girls then and I still feel shame and guilt 30 years later. I said the worst things to them just so no one would find out that I didn't like girls. By the time that I was eighteen I almost hated them. No point in trying to defend myself now but at least that time in my life gave me skills that I have to use now with men. Or one skill in particular, being able to ignore the little comments completely like I never heard them. Why would one of my best friend's husband lean over at the table and say so only I can hear that I could do whatever I want to him? How is that acceptable and how can I possibly respond? I just carry on like it never happened. The girls were not as crude but easily as persistent and sometimes as inappropriate.

- I did meet a girl in my twenties. Lol, not like that but we did try at first. Anyway she knew, not about me being a girl but that I really had no interest in them beyond friendship. We became a couple to the world that lasted for almost 15 years. I did the cleaning and most of the laundry. Dysphoria hit me so bad I would stand in front of the washer in the basement for 15 minutes or more crying. Not at what she got to wear, though come on! Really?! How is it that men's clothes are so coarse and heavy compared to women's? That wasn't it though, it was at how tiny her clothes were. She is 5'4" but her clothes were so small, I would hold them and ache.

- Clothes shopping felt like I was pureeing my heart in a food processor. Every item of male clothes I bought took me deeper into the lie I was living. I would not shop with my girlfriends at all, I couldn't it was more than I could bear but I HATED buying male clothes for myself.

Not much and maybe not even that uncommon but after thinking about it all day that was all I could, with certainty, separate from all of the other garbage going on in my head.

Online Allison S

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Re: Uncommon signs of dysphoria
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2018, 11:19:51 pm »
Honestly, it's fascinating reading your posts and I always look out for me. I'm not just saying that. Either way you gotta do what you feel comfortable with

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Offline BT04

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Re: Uncommon signs of dysphoria
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 01:19:29 pm »
It's interesting to me the difference between ftm and mtf. I'm mtf and it's like, almost everything you mentioned I wished so much to have and experience (except without the dysphoria). That's just the name of the game I guess.


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Trust me, I wish I could donate my boobs! I'll take a skinnier pelvis - anyone wanna trade lol?

All I can say is thank you for sharing, and this resonates with me profoundly. I have nothing to add because you said it so eloquently. I've felt all of these things and for the longest time I thought I was just weird or broken somehow.

It's frustrating how nebulous dysphoria symptoms can be. It's like being a doctor trying to diagnose something as vague as "pain" - it could be a million different things causing the anger or the inexplicable feeling that you don't belong. I thought I was chronically mentally ill for many years, and was doomed to live the rest of my life feeling lost and useless. Turns out I was just trans.

- It didn't take long to realize that I had no desire to penetrate another person, the hormones never let up however so I kept trying until my late teens. It is probably common to have dysphoria when looking at someone like that and wanting to be them, and I guess that I did a little. My main dysphoria there was going through the motions of being a guy, it made me physically ill. I was so horrible to girls then and I still feel shame and guilt 30 years later. I said the worst things to them just so no one would find out that I didn't like girls. By the time that I was eighteen I almost hated them.

Thanks for sharing, Michelle. I wanted to home in on this one though, as this reminded me of something else I did a lot, which was to live vicariously through my male partners and project a lot of my baggage onto them. I tried shaping them into being or acting like the man I wanted to be. Of course, those expectations were impossible for any of them to meet - only I can be me! - and that just made me more frustrated and bitter. Once again, my life was lacking something that was eating away at me and I had no idea what it was.

I hated girls too. Actually, I hated everybody - girls for trying to get me to be like them, and boys for treating me like an outsider and making me feel unsafe around them.
- Seth

Ex-nonbinary trans man, married to a straight guy, still in love. Pre-T, pre-op.

Offline Sno

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Re: Uncommon signs of dysphoria
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2018, 04:32:26 pm »
Oh the challenges of the mental sieve as we sift and shake the sands of memory trying to make sense of ourselves.

For most the grains fall through and the patterns are clear, for some the grains stick, or produce a new pattern. Something unexpected. The patterns were cast amongst my life, like leaves fallen. The words and ability to describe teetered on the tip of my tongue, and the haze of verbiage was inadequate. Lacking in conveyance and meaning. Lacking the transposition of thought into shape and understanding of action. Why were my friends all female.? Why did my heart sink when faced with mannoflage?  Why, fundamentally did I hate a part of my body to the extent of harming it (and myself) from sheer frustration that it was there, like some sinister growth, abnormal development all contributed to feeling displaced, disposed and dispossessed.

Why was I so frustrated at not being able to be what folk expected. It should be easy, right? And then the discovery.

Dysphoria.

It had a name. It had patterns. They were the same as the ones, lovingly, I’d failed to be able to describe.

Then came reality.Slowly breaking over the horizon, washing the mental day in a new swathe of colour, that can never be removed. The fear, slowly creeping up when the internal conflict started around the wheel of what should happen, and what can’t happen. The depressing knowledge that the things that really couldn’t happen, actually couldn’t happen. The realisation of trauma, and abuse, a fresh wash over the horizon of self knowledge, darker, more shadowy.

Cracks exposed, and salt coursed through to draw the sting, but the wounds weren’t healing.

Medication to slow the current, and therapy to start to address the shadows in the attic, and every step slowly down, seeing the fractures anew, understanding developing like a ancient poor photograph, patchy vague and out of focus.

Everything was just not right. My role, my clothes, my social group, my approach, and the way I was treated. And then in the night came the fear. Rushing. Silently strangling the words, crushing all beneath, closing doors with infinite speed and quietness. The prison rebuilt a fortress, and I am the sole captive. And I wait, for someone with a key, to slowly unlock doors. Each lock try lifts the soul, hope boils and for a moment, pauses and waits. Until cooled and frozen in a charicatured crescendo - the slow creeping collapse of the internal vacuum of self draws all back in.

I’m trying to seek solace in solitude, and acceptance of the place I find myself betwixt male and female, neither, either, or something else. A miss fit. Another day as the freak at the show. Not trusted, but then not bound by either side, and yet I have some freedom.

Rowan

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Re: Uncommon signs of dysphoria
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2018, 09:15:22 pm »
Mine represents as a set of nonspecific, difficult to recognize feelings... I only have time for one example at the moment, but not giving a single shit about myself physically.



Offline Doreen

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Re: Uncommon signs of dysphoria
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2018, 11:32:21 pm »
"Uncommon" is kind of a misnomer - a LOT of us experience "uncommon" signs of dysphoria, and the typical narrative of knowing from an early age, of distinctly feeling like we're in the wrong body, doesn't always match up to how we've actually experienced the feeling.

So let's gather them up all into one place, shall we?

-

I never thought I had dysphoria until I started experiencing euphoria. Over the past few months I've gone back and thought about "weird things" I did or felt through my life, and I've found some interesting stuff.

- Anger: I had a lot of anger problems as a teenager. I had this vague sense that something about my life was unfair, that when I interacted with people, something about it was always fake or stilted, and there was nothing I could do about it.

- Anxiety: I experienced some of my worst anxiety and panic attacks when it came to comparing myself to women; it made me feel like a fraud.

- I hated being attractive: When I was going through puberty, and right after it'd all mostly wrapped up, I felt gross and ugly, and I was extremely suspicious of anyone else who thought otherwise. If a boy had a crush on me, I lashed out or hid under baggy, unattractive clothes (or literally hid; I ate a few lunches in the bathroom to avoid even being SEEN by them) until they lost interest. Granted, I did a really good job of making myself into an ugly duckling in middle school - and braces definitely helped - but I was just really uncomfortable with the idea of guys liking me for my boobs or junk. They felt like a dangerous liability for me and nothing more for many, many years. I eventually learned to be OK with them - could never love them though. In a way, this is probably why I felt like I could never meet anybody unless it was online.

- Knowing I was conventionally attractive but being unable to own it. Like, I had such a clinical relationship to it, I took little actual pride in it, like "yeah, I guess I'm hot, I check all the boxes". But I never felt sexy. I never felt like it was something that was actually mine, something that actually came from who I really was. I never looked in the mirror and felt sexy or erotic. I'd always just see kind of a woman-shaped blob.

- I rarely enjoyed masturbation, penetrative sex was really hit-or-miss, and I thought I was straight-up asexual for a while. Erotic touch would often translate to just this kind of white noise that could either be overstimulating in a bad way, or not feel like anything. There's little in-between.

- Feeling like an outsider in groups of all women AND groups of all men. The first usually made me feel hypermasculine and unrelatable, and in the second I usually felt like an impostor. 

- Not ever feeling like an adult. I'd look in the mirror and see, like, a kid. Sure, I'm well on my way towards salt-and-pepper hair, but something about physical adulthood was always missing. This contributed a lot to my general sense of frustration with life in general.

- Being aggressively submissive in bed: I think this was mostly a coping mechanism. Because I didn't know how to take ownership of my body in a sexual way (feeling like a weird, blob-shaped kid-creature and all), I was VERY uncomfortable with asserting myself in sexual situations. During sex, I mostly just wanted to disappear. I never liked being on top, because then I got a clear view of myself, and I had to make active decisions about what to do with my body and how to get what I wanted. I was disinterested in this at best, and sometimes I'd have straight-up panic attacks about even just asking for something that felt good. Validating my body felt really wrong, so I drew hard lines around what I would and wouldn't do using kink. I focused most of my attention on my husband and his needs, trying to ignore my own. This didn't always work out so well, and I'd feel very conflicted whenever he wanted to return the favor. Sometimes, I didn't even know how to tell him how to do that.

I was aggressive and angry alot when I was younger.  I took it out on things I did though, and not people. I tended to hurt myself but not like in the way of cutters or self harm.. just not careful.  I absolutely hated being seen as I was being seen back then and very sad about it.  At that time I just dressed under my clothes or in secret (not as secret as I thought, my brothers were always catching me).

Then for a while after I 'transitioned' I felt like I still looked ugly and far too androgenous.  Not exactly male, but not female either.. so I wore baggy, old, torn clothes.. androgenous, tshirts... which only made matters worse really.

Now I finally have the confidence.. after 20+ years being me.. of going out in dresses and trying to look pretty.  I still get women that give me the cold shoulder but at least in my mind I think that might be because they see me as tall and a potential competition.. maybe.  Then I've had others be very kind and friendly too.  Who knows what lies in the heart of a man (or woman) really, sometimes not even them.

There are many past regrets.  I wish I was gorgeous, 18, popular, etc.  Reality is I'm in my 40's.. age is creeping up on me, and I've had a life time of experiences in the maybe zone.  I was never really socialized in the other end of the spectrum which might be a hidden blessing.  We were homeschooled, and the only real years was 2-3 in college where I tried to fill that role that I never could.  I never had sex either back then.. not that I could've functioned in that regards anyways.  I found my body generally disgusting for a long time. 

I still have a hard time seeing myself as attractive, but apparently some people do.  I guess this is a good thing.  I just wish I could finally look in the mirror, and see a gorgeous girl looking back.  Once in a while I do, but a life time of programmed negativity is hard to overcome. At least my body is pretty cute.

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