To die unsung would really bring you down, although wet eyes would never suit you…
I had a major dysphoria attack earlier today.
I think I mentioned earlier that as for as dysphoria goes, I have it relatively good. And I still hold to that. But every once in while, it’s like an ACME anvil being dropped off the cliff, but instead of being the Road Runner and missing it, I’m the hapless Coyote and I can’t get out of my own way.
Since it can be different for everyone, and of course not everyone even knows what it feels like, I’ll describe what today’s experience was like.
It started right after I got on my bus. Luckily for my ego, on my way out, I get on the very last stop on the bus line, a stop that’s only active during commuter hours anyway. Usually there’s only one or two others on the bus except me. Today it was only one. Had the bus been fuller (which it was later on,) it could have lasted a lot longer.
I sat down and got myself as comfortable as I can get in those seats, and closed my eyes for a second. When I did, it was like a wave of wrongness crashed down upon me.
All of a sudden, I was very well aware of my bits. I’m usually mildly aware of them, but when the tidal wave of dysphoria hits, I’m painfully aware of them and at the same time, painfully aware of what’s not there. My general reaction is extreme grief/despair, and a desire to just disappear, so that nobody, myself included, can see me. I had brought a hoodie with me for the chilly evening later, so I immediately got it out, put it on, threw the hood up and zipped it all the way up to the neck. I know it does nothing, not really, but it’s like a suit of armor so nobody can see in, I’m just a human shaped blob.
The tears started then, as much as I tried to hold them back. I really, really didn’t want to be crying on the god damn bus, but it’s not like I had much of a choice. I spent the next ten minutes (thankfully, most of it was with the bus still waiting for the scheduled departure), quietly rocking in my hoodie armor, sobbing. I’m sure my eyes still look wrecked, and it’s almost two hours later.
The scary part, for me anyway, is that I have no idea what triggered this. I don’t have to be triggered, but normally I am. A passing comment, actually actively thinking about it, that sort of thing, they can be common triggers. Today, it was nothing. I sat down, I closed my eyes. The only thing I can think of is that a girl my roommate is seeing has been doting on me a bit, wanting to make me over and the like. She really wants to go gung ho, even though I keep telling her that I’m not in to dresses, and the farthest I’d even think about in that direction is the Daria Morgendorffer look (to which I got a lecture about being fashionable, to which she got an earful about me not ever really giving a fuck about being fashionable).
Maybe the general stress of those conversations led to a bout of dysphoria? Could be. I wonder how that bodes for therapy, could the therapy itself actually make it worse before it gets better? That’s kind of daunting (not change my mind daunting, mind you, just is). I mean, it was a little annoying that she wanted to basically play dress up doll with me. Don’t get me wrong, I fully welcome the prospect of another girl making me over, but at the very least listen to my basic wishes about fashion, would ya?
It also makes me feel bad because there are trans people out there who experience these feelings exponentially more than I do. I dealt with it for an agonizing ten minutes (I’ve had longer bouts, but let’s deal with the immediate). There are some that practically feel that way every waking hour of every single day. That’s not life, that’s HELL. And there are still asshats out there who minimize and marginalize their pain. Who knows how many more people could get proper help if the 1) the social stigma wasn’t so shameful and 2) the medical world caught the hell up already (more specifically the backasswards system in the States where basically insurance tells the doctors what’s treatable and what’s not).
I consider myself pretty strong. And even though its far less than some, these feelings bring me to my knees every single time. It’s like losing a loved one, except that loved one is actually yourself. An intense period of grief, despair, and mourning.
TL;DR: I have gender dysphoria, it sucks, I don’t have it as bad as others though, we gotta make things easier for transgender people because this shit will crush the spirit of anyone.