intense dysphoria suddenly being less intense

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by kleric, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. kleric

    kleric Member

    a thing that happened:

    my body @ approx 13
    : okay so im flooding with Teenage Hormones and now dresses and skirts are Evil and you will want to die when you put them on
    me: okay, great, tees and jeans it is, idgaf
    me some years later: oh so this is called dysphoria Good To Know i love dresses they're pretty but i do not want to wear them. ever. why can't i wear a suit to my graduation fuck y'all.

    me now @ 21 one random morning: steamin hot. do not want clothes.
    me: has clothes all over the floor from trying to organize the wardrobe yesterday.
    me: let's put this on. yes. comfy.
    me 20 min later after two coffees: wait why am i wearing a fucking dress and how am i not dying of dysphoria

    regular talk: i'm afab nonbinary and have had pretty aggressive dysphoria about dresses and skirts and my boobs for most of my teenage years (less intense when larping, weirdly enough). at one point tho i just... put on a dress one morning, couple months ago. and it was weird but not evil. and i sort of kept doing it (only at home and never with guests though).

    but also dresses aside i have been dressing more femme lately? i want to get my hair short again but also like, after almost ten years of exclusively tshirts and jeans i have started wearing nice shirts and skinny jeans and tank tops and occasionally slobbering glitter and sloppy eyeliner on my face. and i still intensely enjoy looking genderfucky and confusing people but also i am starting to like this whole being pretty thing? i have never considered myself pretty, mildly cute at best, but sometimes i dress up nice and look at myself and don't hate it?

    i sort of do want this to be thing bc dresses are beautiful and i would love to wear them without hating myself, but also i do not want this to be a thing bc my hair is getting so long again and i would look. very girl. i do not want to be very girl. i want to be an eldritch mass of no gender. and i know there is no one way to be nb, you are nb no matter what you look like, but it still feels like by dressing nice and putting on makeup i am suddenly faking, that these 5+ years i have been faking and it was really just a phase, and when i am wearing a dress now (i am sitting here with one! right now!!) without wanting to claw my face off like i used to it means i have gotten over this phase and i am back to being A Girl. but i am still uncomfortable being called a girl, being referred to as she, uncomfortable with my name, with my face, and i'm prettier with long hair but more uncomfortable with it and simultaneously want long flowing blue hair and also to chop it all off. and this whole thought train started because i need to go to the store but it's too hot for jeans and my shorts are still drying from the wash and i feel like if i go outside in the dress then that's it, i'm a girl again, for real, and i am not a girl i do not want to be a girl and why the fuck am i crying.

    fuck, this got venty. i'm sorry.

    but, uh, any thoughts on where the fuck did my dysphoria go out of nowhere? it's like, very mild at this point, bit stronger with skirts and longer dresses, barely there with short summer dresses.
    • Witnessed x 4
  2. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    Something kind of similar happened with me, though less intense. I don’t identify as nonbinary (though I may or may not actually BE nonbinary, gender is confusing) but from about third grade through the end of high school, dresses and skirts and really any kind of feminine presentation made me very uncomfortable. I did have long hair, but I didn’t take care of it at all, and I wore baggy jeans and t-shirts pretty much exclusively. Then, sometime in the middle of my senior year, it was kind of like a switch got flipped, and suddenly I was just... fine with skirts again. My presentation still wasn't particularly feminine, but skirts got added back into the menu of things that are good and comfortable to wear, and that only increased after high school.

    I think a big part of why that happened for me was because during my senior year I finally had something like a friend group at school and so I was more socially comfortable overall. Also, gender is intensely scrutinized in high school in a way that it usually isn't anywhere else. You're stuffed in with hundreds of other people who are going to see everything you do for eight hours every day and judge you based on all of it, and these people form pretty much your only option for a social group. If there's something you're uncomfortable being perceived as, that discomfort is gonna get taken to the maximum pretty quick. I know I still tend to default to more masculine clothes when I'm out in public - I'll sometimes wear skirts, but the idea of people looking at me and seeing "skirt person" can still be a bit uncomfortable even though I'm not uncomfortable with the skirts themselves, if that makes sense.

    wrt your hair, have you considered buzzed hair on one half of your head and long flowing blue mermaid hair on the other? because that is a good look.
    • Like x 5
  3. kleric

    kleric Member

    exactly. it was partially that I didn't have that much choice in clothes anyway (100% handmedowns from older cousins and family friends), but the only things I kept were the baggiest I could find. maybe I thought if I hid in them the bullies wouldn't notice me, idk. i wasn't brave enough to get my hair cut until i was almost 16, until then i just tucked into a ponytail and barely brushed it.
    (gender IS confusing i agree, at this point i have basically given up on figuring it out and gone "whatever it is it ain't a girl")

    that's... a good point. when i moved schools to go to high school, i still wore Baggy but i also got brave enough to wear shorts instead of longs in killer heat, before that i had just Suffered quietly. after high school and brief touch w/uni, sort of around the time i started larping more again and met S.O.-to-be, i also started dressing nicer. and when i started dating SO we would sometimes get fancy together, and he's kinda gothpunk? most days just regular all black, but gothpunk when he feels fancy. and i matched to that and found it quite nice. and i'm very happy with him and more at peace mentally than i've probably been forever (still fucky, but much better than i used to be), and i have friends i think, which yeah i suppose could be a solid contributor.
    (also, like, volunteering at the library and trying to find the best Hot Gay Librarian look)
    (fuck, i am so glad i didn't go to an american high school. hundreds, god. 30 people is a large class size here. i went to a special school and had 8 people in my class. eight. i wasn't close with them except one person, but we got along well enough.)

    that makes perfect sense tbh! like, i suppose i could do dresses, if they keep being Not Dysphoria and being Nice instead, but dresses are hardcoded to be Girl Person for most people, so letting people other than SO see me in them is Terrifying, because i don't want to be seen as Girl Person (which i am being seen as anyway, but, well, i can try).

    wait, that is a really really good idea, oh my god, i gotta at least try
    • Like x 3
  4. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    I long for the day that someone will start making dresses specifically designed for men because I would wear that shit exclusively
    • Agree x 4
    • Like x 1
  5. kleric

    kleric Member

    update on Dress: it seems absurd to change clothes just to take the trash outside so if I'm wearing a dress and need to take the trash out or water the outside flowers or check the mail, it's fine. it's weird to think that neighbours might see me like that but at this point idgaf.

    so I also thought to take it to the next step: the train stop is right there behind our building, with just one more house and some trees between it, so how about I. wear a dress and go there. not take a train. go there when SO is coming home and walk back inside with him. five minutes. you can totally do this. like, remember when you hated wearing shorts outside because you thought your thighs were too fat for shorts, but that one day was super hot and you were alone and hungry and had no food in the house? and you went to the store in shorts and it was Really Weird at first but then it was fine? yeah, like that. do this.

    and I did it and it was Really Weird at first but then. it was fine. mildly concerned about Underwear but I tried again the next day with shorts underneath and it was Also Fine and no longer concern about Underwear.

    I'm a little bit upset because if my dysphoria is fake does this mean my gender is fake and what if all this will pass and when I'm a Proper Adult I will also be Proper Woman with no damn gender issues and all that jazz that always haunts me. I still Do Not Want Boobs and I still can't stand looking at myself in the mirror because I hate hate hate my face and hate hate hate my high pitched voice. but idk, at least I was kinda cute?? step 1 towards being able to look in the fucking mirror???

    next experiment gon be 20 min trip to the grocery store, probably...
  6. mizushimo

    mizushimo the greatest hits

    I think that being more comfortable with yourself is a good change, and I don't think that wearing dresses invalidates your identity as nonbinary. People's perceptions of themselves shift as they get older, it's not that you are going to turn into a Proper Woman like you said, but it could be that your identity isn't as tied to clothes as it used to be.
    • Agree x 2
    • Like x 1
  7. shmeed

    shmeed plant me

    it's normal ime and in the experience of a lot of other trans people I've talked to to have dysphoria swings. high dysphoria times, low dysphoria times.
    you're definitely not faking it just because you're more comfortable wearing femme clothing lately. this is clearly distressing to you. but, should you eventually decide to detransition, that's fine too. I feel like it gets a really bad reputation but fuck that, it's most important to listen to yourself and do what makes you least dysphoric.
    I think the "must be [x] to be Real" gatekeeping shit is unproductive horseshit and I'm sorry its causing you so much distress. you're clearly fucked up about your gender and have body dysphoria. from that alone, congrats, you're trans. people who want to revoke you Real Trans card because you sometimes feel comfortable wearing dresses have a mountain of their own self esteem issues to work out.
    it helps me to think of it like a choice. I dont choose the dysphoria, but I can choose what to do with it. I can choose if it's worth the stigma and discrimination in this or that venue at this point in time to be open about it, and I can choose at what point I'll be stable enough to transition more. and I choose to continue self identifying as male because the alternative makes me feel bad.
    (and, maybe there's a potential test of What's Up With My Gender - have someone you trust use she pronouns for a while for you, see how you feel. or just use them in your head to see how you feel)
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
    • Like x 1
  8. kleric

    kleric Member

    it maybe being about getting older and growing out of the teenage mindset does make a good bit o' sense. frankly I'm still baffled at when did I manage to turn 21 because it still very much feels like being sixteen. then again S.O. also says he feels like he hasn't changed much since sixteen, just gotten better at processing stuff and managing his life. I guess that's adulthood for ye, feeling like 16 but knowing how to budget. :P

    this. I like this.

    most people I know still do it, though, there's like. two people irl who use 'they' (SO and best friend). SO's bff at least tries. the others, not so much. and I'm not about to come out to the entire board game gang (international students so we speak English) at the library :P
    it's less hassle in Estonian as we have neutral pronouns anyway, and I don't feel too bad about being referred to as 'aunt' or 'sister' by family members in Estonian, whereas 'miss'/'sister'/'ma'am'/'girl' in English feels Weird. it is Very Interesting to the part of me that has 1/6th of a linguistics degree and wants to Investigate.
    in fact I've been toeing the idea of trying male pronouns? lots of my player character in games are male and it feels less comfortable than they/you but more comfortable than she, and I'm pondering on the best approach to 'trying on' pronouns? maybe wander onto some kind of a chat server and say 'yes i am in fact a he' if anybody asks?
    • Like x 1
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