The dysphoria gremlin is staring at me…

I kinda wish it would just say something or leave, ya know?


So, been mulling over writing this on social media. Please, I’m not looking for support comments/replies. I’m okay. Truly. And it’s nothing dramatic, despite the length it’ll likely be. And I absolutely am NOT looking for pity or praise(like, please don’t, please, it’ll likely make me uncomfortable). It’s just venting ^^ Stream of consciousness working through my internalized issues kinda thing.

I just know that something that helped me out a lot was when I saw people go through stuff I did too and talk/vent about it. We all know social media can do a good job of making everyone’s life look better than yours, etc… which has been tied to depression in its own right. Fact is, we generally share our positive stuff on social media, for good reason, but it makes it look like we never have any negative stuff. Which is never true, is it?

The other part, I guess, that sometimes makes me hesitant to post these things is that whatever is bothering me, I know there’s someone out there that has it worse. And I feel ashamed sometimes that I’m writing about something that’s bothering me and someone else who’s struggling far more might read it and think it, rightfully even, silly. Or maybe they don’t write about it and here I am being dramatic with something they wish was all they had going on.

But I know it doesn’t really work that way. I should sometimes write what bothers me, in order for everyone else to see that things do. And maybe they will feel comfortable doing the same. Not in the typically angry troll kinda way, but just kinda cathartically vent the weights on their souls.

I suppose I should get to the point eh?

Content warning for the trans people who follow me, I will be addressing feelings of body image and dysphoria.

For anyone wondering how I’m doing re: transition, I’m doing great. Really. Much better than I ever imagined I would be. Most of my worst days in my new life I’ll still take over most of my best days of my previous life. I genuinely feel more alive. The changes I’ve undergone, emotionally as well as physically, fit and I still see it as damn near miraculous that they could be so dramatic.

I’m several months recovered from bottom surgery and while there’s still a few bugs to work out, so to speak, it’s mending well and it, again, genuinely fits me. As if this truly was meant to be. It feels right. And it’s one less thing that feels wrong.

These last couple weeks I’ve been experiencing what I’d call a ‘low key dysphoric episode’. Basically, a traditional one would floor me all day, and I’d possibly even go sobbing into a pillow. Frankly, the fact that those big ones have happened with faaaaaaaar┬áless frequency in the past few months is a testament to transition in itself. But this ‘low key'(my words, not an official thing) basically means I’ve had a drag on my emotions.

A bit of latent back of the head depression and self loathing that I’ve mainly kept in check and managed to shake a few times when out with friends or family. It’s been hitting me a bit more the last few days though so I do wonder if I’m headed for one of those big episodes(possibly for the best if I do, I can cry it out and move on). The causes are all kinda body related(hence the ‘dysphoria’ bit, it’s the in-congruence between my internalized self and my body).

Part of it is it seems I plateau’d on my breast development again. It developed just enough to not qualify for health coverage but not enough to really be perceivable both by myself either via sensation or mirror, or by others if I don’t wear any clothing specifically made to either emphasize the hell out of it or intentionally faking how much of it is out there. And I know┬áthat isn’t a “trans only” problem, but it’s compounded with something else that can often bother me and literally can never be adjusted barring fancy sci-fi tech: my overall size. What development I’ve had would have shown up if I wasn’t a titan. My size also regularly affects what clothes I can find and where I can even buy it(hint: for most of it, I literally have no local options). And to say nothing of the affects it has to have to look at a downward angle to almost all the women in my life and how ‘othering’ that feels. But I am working through that. Really, again, I don’t really have a choice, I have to.

But that combined with my breast development hit me harder than I thought it would. But I’m working through that too, because, again, I kinda have to. My face takes priority. And therein lies the other thing that compounds on my overall dysphoria.

At some angles and in some lighting I can be surprised at how much my face has changed. Both from an emotional level and a hormonal one. But I need to wear my bangs a certain way to hide my brow bone. I wear glasses with a weak prescription even when I think I don’t really need them that day because they hide my eye sockets and my nose bridge, all impacted by my exposure to testosterone. My giant skull means I’m cautious how my hair is layered across it. Lest I see the ‘old me’ staring at me in the mirror again.

I need to take extra special care when I’m out so that I don’t get read as a “him” again because after so many years of it being done, being free from it for blissful periods of time means when it happens again it’s like reliving trauma.

It’s actually another reason I like the summer months. Whatever small tells I have that I’m not a guy vanish under heavy sweaters or jackets or clothing and the number of times I get read as a guy rockets straight up. It’s exhausting having to constantly wear a sign that says “I’m a woman” to minimize how often I get hurt.

But even with all that, not wanting to see the ‘old me’ staring at me in the mirror again is what I really hope for.

So I’ll be saving up for the next few years to effectively carve out mere millimeters from my skull in hopes of doing that. Which is where another source of this drag comes from.

It’s 100% my fault I need to save up that long. I was stupid with money for a long time. I’m paying for it now, and because of it, I need to undo that mistake to afford this, which is my fault. I keep lapsing on paying off the amount I want to each month(not the minimum payment or late payments or anything, just not the amount I want to cover additionally to lower my debt). My fault. If I hadn’t gotten a new car lease I could have used my current lease payments to get there so much sooner. Etc…

I’ve considered, given all this, going back to my therapist, but then my brain goes long game with “but that’d be another $120 not being put into that thing you know would help this”. Maybe I should just finally put my name in for public therapy? I mean, even if it takes 2+ years to get in, not like this is gonna change by then…

Yeah, capitalism and a generally accepted idea in current society that healthcare should cost this much if there’s even a chance a cisgender person might use it to look prettier on instagram makes for quite the stress modifier, doesn’t it?

Either way, there’s my vent. I’ll be fine. Like muggy weather, I suspect I just need to wait for the lightning(read: sobbing fit) to clear the air a bit until next time. But writing this out probably helped too. Hopefully for someone else ashamed or unsure about their ill feels, seeing that we’re all human and go through our own little internal battles helps too ^^;