Author Topic: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse  (Read 1324 times)

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Offline Allie Jayne

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2020, 02:41:44 am »
CalVisitor, The article I posted describes the current position of the World Health Organisation after changes in 2018. This isn't about winning an argument, but ensuring our members are aware of the current situation, and are aware that treatment for issues after abuse, and Gender Dysphoria, are different, and should be handled by health providers with experience in these fields.

If you have gender issues, please see a gender experienced therapist. They will isolate other possible causes, and identify if you have issues other than gender incongruence. This way you will get the appropriate care for the condition you have, which can be critically important.

The article you linked <link removed> is from 2013 and does not reflect the current situation.

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Allie

Offline TSL_NB

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2020, 10:25:53 am »
Bottom line, is that no two people have identical life experiences.

But, just to share my experience (and, @ashley7 hinted at this in a post, too), I had endured psychological and some physical abuse, but it was actually directed at me as a reaction to my identifying as female, not the other way around.

The result of that was that I tried to consciously reinforce myself as being male for the next 40 years, which almost killed me in the end.   



It took over 40 years to realise, and believe, that what I am NOT, is a mistake.

(Yes, I'm a Canadian who served in the US Navy....)


Offline CalVisitor

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2020, 10:36:30 am »
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is only modified periodically so despite the fact the article I linked to was published seven years ago, the DSM-V is still in place.  I appreciate that the change noted in the article you mention is significant for those who've felt stigmatized by a mental health diagnosis, but as Natalie observes, your comment is tangential to the question she is asking... which I paraphrase..."can gender dysphoria, or what I call gender confusion, be the product of sexual trauma?"  Whether or not the real life experience warrants a clinical diagnosis is really not relevant to whether this dynamic actually happens.  I know it does because I've lived it.  If that hasn't been your experience I'm very happy for you because this particular journey is a hell realm.  I know my situation is neither definitive nor unique... it just is the journey I've been on.  I came here not to be told "don't worry, you don't have a mental health diagnosis," but a bit of empathy for the challenges.  I've been working with a trauma therapist, not a gender experienced therapist because gender is not the primary concern... it is secondary to trauma.  Again, I make no claim that my experience is everyone's experience but I also believe there is benefit in unpacking everything we've experienced as we go forward in life.  Traumas come in many forms and have many impacts on human beings.

Offline EZ Linus

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2020, 11:23:55 am »
I wanted to pipe in here and say that, like SarahEL, I too suffer from C-PTSD and DID because of intense, ongoing childhood trauma. Because of this, I thought my GD was "not real" and told that I was trans because of the abuse, so I just lived my life very unhappily as a cis woman, in shame, angry, sad, suicidal, and feeling like I did not belong to the trans community--even though I felt this way since as far back as I can remember.

It was because I was also abused from as far back as I can remember, so WHY was a trans? Well, nobody really knows, right? I'll never really know, even after 20 or 30 years of specialized trauma and gender therapy. What am I supposed to do now, at 53? Keep living this way and never DO anything about how I really want to live as a non-binary person? I couldn't go on anymore, so I'm planning for surgery early next year. Sometimes it doesn't matter what the answers are, but what the solutions are. I don't believe there are "cures" for disorders, mental illnesses, or trauma. Just helpful management and coping toward a better and healing life.

Offline Devlyn

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2020, 12:03:00 pm »
I wanted to pipe in here and say that, like SarahEL, I too suffer from C-PTSD and DID because of intense, ongoing childhood trauma. Because of this, I thought my GD was "not real" and told that I was trans because of the abuse, so I just lived my life very unhappily as a cis woman, in shame, angry, sad, suicidal, and feeling like I did not belong to the trans community--even though I felt this way since as far back as I can remember.

It was because I was also abused from as far back as I can remember, so WHY was a trans? Well, nobody really knows, right? I'll never really know, even after 20 or 30 years of specialized trauma and gender therapy. What am I supposed to do now, at 53? Keep living this way and never DO anything about how I really want to live as a non-binary person? I couldn't go on anymore, so I'm planning for surgery early next year. Sometimes it doesn't matter what the answers are, but what the solutions are. I don't believe there are "cures" for disorders, mental illnesses, or trauma. Just helpful management and coping toward a better and healing life.

Big hug.

When the "science" only allows for an either/or - boy/girl situation, it's of little value to those of us
who know we're in between. Even within the LGBTIQA+, people have trouble seeing more than
the binary. But we know better.  :)

Hugs, Devlyn
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Offline CaelaNotKayla

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2020, 03:18:57 pm »
When I started working with my therapist, the thought I've gone crazy with grief and the proof is I think I'm a girl was very much in the front of my mind.  After much discussion she said with confidence that the two items  (Grief/Trauma and Identity)  really are in parallel.  And while they both are in the overall mix of the person that I am- they are not causal to each other.  The girl has always been there.

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Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2020, 05:52:38 pm »
I think that true Gender Identity isn't caused by trauma, but I think that someone could have feelings the mistake for Gender Dysphoria as the result of trauma.  Schizophrenia can make someone think they are trans, and Disociative Identity Disorder could make people think they are multiple different people, perhaps of different sexes.  That could be mistaken for GD. 

In my case, I think trauma played a role in pushing me to want to be a girl, but I think the desire was there before.  It just resulted in more "reason" to want it, because the underlying reason was a complete mystery to me, and only started to come into focus when I discovered I had a DSD. 

Offline angelats

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2020, 02:53:26 pm »
This might trigger.

I am diagnosed as mtf transsexual according to a gender theraphist in Berlin, Germany, as a result of many theraphy sessions. This was many years ago. When talking about transition, hormones, real life test and so on i was asked then by my gender theraphist whether there was any sexual abuse experiences in my past. I did not remember anything then. I asked then my brother and he asked me whether i have everything what happened forgotten ... And my memories of many years of abuse by a woman came back....

I consider myself as a boy that was misused many yeary and many times by a woman. I did not want to be a boy then. I did not feel myself as a boy, Nor did i want to.

I do not feel as a boy or man, it was numb then, it is numb now, i do not feel anything like being in shok. To be hurled out of the body. To have become a stranger to myself.

I like to have a female body, to be a woman, to have a womans body. I always remember the strangeness to experience myself in a boys body. It felt wrong. And to desire to be a girl, to be a woman, to feel to be in the wrong body ...

Abuse and the destroying of a positive male body image is a big theme for me. Nobody loved this boy. I too did not love this boy. He was alone and helpless and abused for many years. Very hard to accept that this was me, this is still me, very hard to remember how it felt to be in this body. There are many aspects i still struggle with like identifiction with the aggressor, i do not want to be in this body in this gendered and sexed identity of a boy, to be male was to be powerless, abused and full of pain. Being a man is painful.

I would not call it a coping mechanism, but to imagine myself as a girl felt safe, felt good .... i would call it more of a survivial technology. I even could develop a feeling of self, a feeling of being. Forgetting was has happend and is happening.

Offline Natalie42

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2020, 09:45:12 pm »
This might trigger.

I am diagnosed as mtf transsexual according to a gender theraphist in Berlin, Germany, as a result of many theraphy sessions. This was many years ago. When talking about transition, hormones, real life test and so on i was asked then by my gender theraphist whether there was any sexual abuse experiences in my past. I did not remember anything then. I asked then my brother and he asked me whether i have everything what happened forgotten ... And my memories of many years of abuse by a woman came back....

I consider myself as a boy that was misused many yeary and many times by a woman. I did not want to be a boy then. I did not feel myself as a boy, Nor did i want to.

I do not feel as a boy or man, it was numb then, it is numb now, i do not feel anything like being in shok. To be hurled out of the body. To have become a stranger to myself.

I like to have a female body, to be a woman, to have a womans body. I always remember the strangeness to experience myself in a boys body. It felt wrong. And to desire to be a girl, to be a woman, to feel to be in the wrong body ...

Abuse and the destroying of a positive male body image is a big theme for me. Nobody loved this boy. I too did not love this boy. He was alone and helpless and abused for many years. Very hard to accept that this was me, this is still me, very hard to remember how it felt to be in this body. There are many aspects i still struggle with like identifiction with the aggressor, i do not want to be in this body in this gendered and sexed identity of a boy, to be male was to be powerless, abused and full of pain. Being a man is painful.

I would not call it a coping mechanism, but to imagine myself as a girl felt safe, felt good .... i would call it more of a survivial technology. I even could develop a feeling of self, a feeling of being. Forgetting was has happend and is happening.

Thank you for sharing, and thank you for the trigger warning.  At this point in my journey, your feelings mirror my own.


Offline MeTony

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2020, 10:25:04 am »
I was mentally and physically abused as a kid. From age 0 to about 15. But I was a boy from start. I was surprised about my wrong parts when I was 4. Refused to wear dresses and cute hats or stockings. I hated them from the bottom of my heart.

When I was 12 I gave my abuser an uppercut. And we didn’t talk for 3 weeks. After that is was mental abuse until I was 15 and moved to my other parent.

It had gone so far I was ready to kill my abuser before everything changed and I could move.

I did not once have a ”I hate being a girl” thought in my head. I hated my body, but not me.

I was a mess growing up. Did lot of dangerous stuff and not so good stuff - in reaction to the abuse. I was acting out, in fights, pyromaniac, stealing, breaking into sewers etc. This combined with severe ADHD.

The abuse made me act out. But my GD has been there all the time 24/7 as far as I can remember. I do not believe they have a connection to each other.

The abuse might have more connection to my Bipolar disorder depressive type.

Offline CalVisitor

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2020, 11:31:58 pm »
I really appreciate the honest contributions to this discussion.  I don't think we need to come to a definitive conclusion about the relationship between trauma and gender but it is definitely worth considering.  There is so much sexual trauma in the world, most of which is below the radar screen.  I say that because I spend time on a website created for men who were sexually abused.  I read stories that take my breath away.  Like many, I pushed all memories of early trauma out of my mind.  It took a long time to open to those memories and along the way I experienced a great deal of confusion about both gender and sexual orientation.  Telling the truth about what happened is the only way we can begin to know who we are and what we want from life.  I'm not a pervert and the things I did to survive were things I learned through the trauma experience.  When I put on a brassiere now it is not because I believe I need to be a woman.  But I also do not shame myself for doing so.  That was the way of trauma... acting out and feeling shame.  I'm still trying to unpack it all and in the process am giving myself permission to do what comes to my attention to do.  I've no idea where wearing a brassiere leads and I don't think it matters.  Not feeling shame is what matters.  Discussions like this one help me reflect on my journey.  I appreciate everyone who contributes.

Offline Rachel

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2020, 03:23:47 pm »
Hi, I suffered from sexual, mental and physical abuse. When I married I chose someone I very well knew would continue the physical and mental abuse but I still married. I am transsexual too.

It took me a lot of work and years in therapy to come to terms and start to move on. I never will enter into another abusive relationship. Never ever.

Looking back GD was horrible, sharing how I felt resulted in physical abuse. Abuse was for little infractions some of which I did not do but I would never say I did not do it because that would be worse. 

I think when we are young we can associate a bunch of things together and take ownership and guilt and feelings of desperation and fault into out personality.

A lot of trans are physically and sexually abused as children. Al lot of peeps in the trans groups I attended had a common story of abuse. I do not know if it is common for cis

I do not know if we are abused because we are trans or we take ownership of the abuse. My sister and brother were not trans and they suffered from the physical and mental abuse too. My sister got off very very easy though. My brother would blame me for things he did or forgot to do.

If you identify as trans it may be a good idea to seek consultations with a gender therapist.

Rachel
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 07:49:02 am by Rachel »
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Offline Lady Sarah

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Re: Gender Dysphoria as a coping mechanism for abuse
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2020, 12:40:39 am »
I will happily inform you that I had gender dysphoria prior to my abuse. In my case, the abuse pretty much happened because my adoptive mother did not approve of what she believed I was becoming.
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