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When did you realize what you were experiencing was gender dysphoria?

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by StormyVale, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. StormyVale

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    I just read this article about the indirect symptoms of gender dysphoria: “That was dysphoria?†8 signs and symptoms of indirect gender dysphoria | Zinnia Jones.

    I was looking at number two and how you either are distant from your emotions or overly emotional when experiencing this disconnect from your gender. Has anyone else experienced this emotional disconnect or being overly emotional? Do you think it was more when you were both genders at once or just when you were the opposite gender?

    I am interested to know what other people have experienced. I think I had this a lot when I was younger, and am wondering if others have experienced this. At the time I didn't know I wasn't cisgender, but I definitely felt different than other girls my age and different in general.

    Thanks
    -Stormy
     
  2. BrookeVL

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    4 and 5 are definitely things I've experienced. Some of the others I see a bit of myself in, but can't necessarily say I've experienced.
     
  3. Rozco

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    1-6 and to a degree 8. This was actually pretty helpful because I didn't really realise this was how I felt until I really deeply thought about it just now and for some reason I feel inexplicably calm and a little bit more sure of my gender identity. Even though this moment of calm will surely dissipate within a few minutes, hours, days, thank you.
     
  4. StormyVale

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    I was thinking about it and probably 1-6 apply at some level. I think I really relate to 2 and 5 specifically, and possibly 4 and 6. But it is interesting to see how dysphoria is not necessarily just one symptom.
     
  5. BrookeVL

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    Yeah, I think they all apply to me on some level as well.....it's very interesting how dysphoria can manifest itself in so many ways.
     
  6. Dingdang

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    I've never written about my dysphoria much before, so this will be a longer reply.

    Referring to that article, I can say that I didn't have that much trouble getting through the day, but I had many of the other signs. I finally came out to myself after recognizing my gender dysphoria, although it took some time before I fully accepted myself as transgender.

    Originally (before high school), I didn't think that those signs meant that I was transgender, because I just felt awkward in general and had to deal with being the weird kid whose social skills were noticeably impaired. Something that only made sense to me recently was my refusal to wear certain things to school, such as most graphic t-shirts, and shorts. I didn't wear shorts to school for over 8 years (unless required for gym) because I didn't like the way they made my legs look. After I started shaving my legs a few years ago, I could wear shorts again at school this year, but not the ones that look like they're distinctly for guys to wear. In general, I subconsciously didn't like to wear anything unfeminine, so to cope with that, I tried to at least look decent by having a more masculine style. I remember that I wore t-shirts with collars and non-jean pants in eighth grade, and I even tucked in my shirt once. Instantly, I was disgusted with that choice and untucked the shirt. I also had trouble fitting in with anyone, regardless of gender, and I thought at times after the start of puberty that my life was being lived in third person, and that I was just a soul controlling a body I didn't like. That disconnect was the root of my emotional distance from others. One of my friends jokingly calls me a "robot", and it's not that I want to be like that—I just feel disgusted if I allow myself to be comfortable with my emotions when presenting in a male body.

    When I finally figured out all this from years of denial and not having a sister (i.e. never even having the opportunity to dress femininely, witnessing a girl's life, etc.), I called myself agender, but I later learned of the possibility to physically transition into a girl, so I officially started by growing out my hair since last August. I've come out to my parents this April, and though they didn't take it as well as I expected, my dad does care for my regaining of the ability to express emotions normally, and I think he can help me start HRT if I convince him that starting HRT would be a tremendous help to my emotional health.
     
    #6 Dingdang, Dec 3, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
  7. Daydreamer1

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    When I was super young (like under 10), I remember it taking form in a number of ways; from being very uncomfortable being forced to be feminine or conform to those tropes and ideals.

    One of the earliest memories I have of this involved an art project when I was in daycare where it was the cliched boys have blue and girls have pink, and it made me ridiculously upset because I knew that I wasn't a girl, so it confused me why I was being read as such. This also wasn't necessarily a dysphoria thing, but I remember feeling at peace in the boy's bathroom (which was one of those small bathrooms with one toilet and a sink) even though it was identical to the girl's room--but that's a whole other story.

    Once I got into elementary school, that's when dysphoria hit me where it hurt. Back then, especially in the first grade, I remember being sent to school in skirts and it made me really uncomfortable to where I cried in the bathroom a few times because of it--though I don't know if it was made worse because of the bathroom I was in either. Around this time too was when I got a bitter wakeup call to what was the "real difference" from guys and girls and that killed me so much. That really made what was minor inconveniences way worse for me, and it royally sucked feeling completely alone--not to mention that it became one of those secrets I felt I had to bury because I thought I was the only one going through this sort of thing.

    I do know that back in 2002 or 2003 was when I found out that trans people existed and that transitioning was a possibility, but that might have made my dysphoria worse. I credit being a young kid in the digital age (when dial up was finally leaving) and I was able to express my identity in different ways and I regularly got "mistaken" as a boy in different chat rooms or forums--which really helped calm things down a lot for me.
     
  8. Daydreamer1

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    When I was super young (like under 10), I remember it taking form in a number of ways; from being very uncomfortable being forced to be feminine or conform to those tropes and ideals.

    One of the earliest memories I have of this involved an art project when I was in daycare where it was the cliched boys have blue and girls have pink, and it made me ridiculously upset because I knew that I wasn't a girl, so it confused me why I was being read as such. This also wasn't necessarily a dysphoria thing, but I remember feeling at peace in the boy's bathroom (which was one of those small bathrooms with one toilet and a sink) even though it was identical to the girl's room--but that's a whole other story.

    Once I got into elementary school, that's when dysphoria hit me where it hurt. Back then, especially in the first grade, I remember being sent to school in skirts and it made me really uncomfortable to where I cried in the bathroom a few times because of it--though I don't know if it was made worse because of the bathroom I was in either. Around this time too was when I got a bitter wakeup call to what was the "real difference" from guys and girls and that killed me so much. That really made what was minor inconveniences way worse for me, and it royally sucked feeling completely alone--not to mention that it became one of those secrets I felt I had to bury because I thought I was the only one going through this sort of thing.

    I do know that back in 2002 or 2003 was when I found out that trans people existed and that transitioning was a possibility, but that might have made my dysphoria worse. I credit being a young kid in the digital age (when dial up was finally leaving) and I was able to express my identity in different ways and I regularly got "mistaken" as a boy in different chat rooms or forums--which really helped calm things down a lot for me.
     
  9. Kodo

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    I experienced a lot of disconnect, depression, and alienation throughout adolescence. Primarily starting at age 10, when my mother explained to me what was going to happen as I got older and I nearly threw up from a panic attack.

    Though I did not know what being "transgender" meant, I knew that I shouldn't have been born a girl. When I pictured my future self, if was always as some stubble-faced bloke and I could never accept the fact that it just was not going to happen for me. I hated everything associated with being a girl - from physical traits to social roles.

    Finally at age 15-16 I started questioning and doing a hell of a lot of research. Then everything clicked. It was like having an emotion that you don't have a name for, but you feel it everyday, until someone describes this "sadness" or "anger" and suddenly you have a name to a face, so to speak.
     
    #9 Kodo, Dec 3, 2016
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  10. Rickystarr

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    I apologize in advance. This turned into an essay about all the dysphoria I've ever experienced before I knew I was trans. Writing helps me examine myself. Tldr: I knew it was dysphoria when it started affecting my day to day life.

    I've read that article. The only problem I have with it is that almost all of those points could be from dysphoria or just depression. I guess in our case it's depression caused primarily by dysphoria. But I think it could apply to any depressed person.

    But as for the title question...I think I knew I was experiencing dysphoria when it actually started to affect my life negatively which really only happened in the last couple of years. Probably a year ago was the first time I actually labelled my feelings as gender dysphoria, and even then I didn't actually think I was trans. I kinda thought I was just irritated by gender roles and had low self esteem like everyone else. And I thought maybe I was agender, though at the time I didn't really know that was a thing. I've admitted a few times in the past few years to people I know IRL that I don't identify as female (but didn't make any attempt to put a label on this. It was just an observation), though I was unable to make the jump to feeling like a man, particularly because I didn't have a typical "trans childhood", and the first time I could recall having anything close to dysphoria was when I was maybe 15, and I certainly didn't recognize it as such. Now that I know I'm actually trans, I realize I have had dysphoria for years, and a lot of little things I never really thought anything about could be considered dysphoria, but it was never debilitating until more recently, and I never told anyone about it.

    When I was much younger (maybe 10-14 years old), I had body dysphoria but not really social dysphoria (later on it was pretty much the opposite). I was disgusted and embarrassed by my ability to carry children. My worst nightmare was to have to see a "lady parts doctor" (which I later developed a disgusting fetish about but that's not for here lol). I think this is a normal fear and not something anyone looks forward to, but my fear was like, preoccupying. I think I thought about it everyday for five years. Also I used to punch myself in the reproductive organs sometimes, just to knock em around a bit and maybe I'd break them. Refused to be seen buying feminine products and was horrified if anyone knew I was menstruating or even brought attention to the fact that I did that at all. I've actually ended a friendship over this a few years ago. Guy asked if I was on my period and I was, and I was so mortified and furious I never spoke to him again.

    I shaved my legs a few times to feel grown up when I was like 13, then never did it again unless I had to. I hated the way my legs looked hairless. They were so skinny and breakable looking. This wouldn't be that strange except for the fact that my legs have been as hairy as a grown man since puberty lol. And at that point, I was in middle school and a perfectly "normal girl", but I could never wear shorts because I had a thick black carpet going on that I didn't want anyone to see. But I secretly loved it. Same with downstairs hair. I shaved it for a while because back then it was considered disgusting to have pubic hair on a girl, and I was sexually active (with girls) pretty young, like maybe 15. But I stopped when I realized I could get with girls no matter what and they'd get used to it. I hated the way I looked bald down there because it displayed everything in an awkward way. I liked all my parts hidden in a giant bush. And then there were the eyebrows. Again, this was in a time where it was totally not okay for girls to have bushy eyebrows. My mom said they were ugly and helped me wax them a few times. I was self conscious about other people seeing them, but I actually liked them. So I stopped touching them and just grew bangs that went just over my eyebrows. That was very important because I refused to do anything to them. When I was alone sometimes I would slick my hair back so I looked like a boy.

    And there's the hips. I have despised my hips since the day they came in. I once heard someone refer to them as "childbearing hips" when I was fourteen and I practically almost threw up.

    And I've always been very frustrated by how I can't put on muscle like a man. I really hated looking "delicate".

    Another couple of things from when I was much younger like maybe ten years old, I remember envying boys for the weirdest things. Not having penises or anything, but I kinda wished I had an Adam's apple. When I first noticed them, I felt my own throat to see if I had one, and decided I did, it was just so small you could hardly notice it. And I was proud of this. The other one is veins. I thought it was so cool how men had prominent veins on their hands and arms and I was really jealous of that. My veins are tiny. Oh, and I did really wish I could pee standing up and I tried all the time.

    And there's my face and voice. Always wished my voice was lower and my face was more angular, even since before I started presenting masculinely. I make this distinction because I don't really count any experiences I had after I knew I was attracted to girls because I worry that I was just being influenced by lesbian style.

    And more recently, I've always been a very sexual person, but for some reason I pretty much refused to take my clothes all the way off during sex, especially my shirt. I mean I would if whoever it was really wanted me to, but that would pretty much ruin it for me.

    So yeah, I had a bunch of stuff I would now consider mild dysphoria when I was young, but had NO IDEA it had anything to do with gender. I presented as a totally normal little blonde girl (albeit a rather violent, physically competetive and perverted blonde girl) who wanted to be popular and liked Fuzzy Posters and the Cheetah Girls and whatever other nonsense was going on back then. I didn't start presenting masculine at all until I realized I was into girls. (And that was totally liberating.) It's pretty crazy to think that I have denied it for so long. The human mind is so good at lying to itself.

    I suppose I should wrap this up by actually explaining how it started affecting me and why I finally realized I was trans and all those little nagging thoughts were caused by dysphoria. Basically I got more and more frustrated every day with the way people were looking at me and treating me and talking to me. No matter how masculine I acted or dressed, at the end of the day I was still a girl to everyone else. A lesbian. That really started to get to me to the point where I was intentionally getting drunk all the time so I would have the nerve to vent my frustrations or else I was too scared to talk about gender at all. And I was becoming an angry person, and that's never been me. Every "ma'am", "ladies", "miss", "girlfriend", etc., was just one more straw and eventually I couldn't take it anymore. I realized that the only way anyone was going to treat me like a man was if I actually WAS one.
     
    #10 Rickystarr, Dec 4, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  11. StormyVale

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    Hey Rickystarr,

    I actually really liked your story, so don't worry about it being long.

    I think that of all the points in the article probably 2, 5 and 8 can't really be associated with depression alone. I could be wrong about 2 or 5 though.
     
  12. Rickystarr

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    I appreciate it. I am very self conscious about my self indulgent long windedness lol. It seems I have an uncontrollable urge to use this forum as my own personal diary.

    I personally think 2 and 5 could still be felt by someone with depression, social anxiety, or at least SOME kind of mental illness (idk if "mental illness" is the most accurate or politically correct term, but you know what I mean.) besides dysphoria, maybe not just depression. I suppose the others could be caused by other issues as well. It makes sense to me that anyone with a mental health problem that as far as they can tell no one else is experiencing might feel a disconnect with others or feel that they are different in some irreconcilable way. And feel detached from their emotions because they don't make sense. 8 is obviously specific to gender dysphoria though, and I do think the rest are probably something almost everyone with gender dysphoria experiences, just not EXCLUSIVELY those with gender dysphoria. Unfortunately, being trans and depressed (and many other issues) seem to go hand in hand so sometimes it is hard to tell what is causing what...
     
    #12 Rickystarr, Dec 4, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  13. BrookeVL

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    I see a lot of myself in your post Ricky. Like you, it was a lot of little things that just didn't add up until recently, and now looking back I see even more things that add up.
     
  14. StormyVale

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    I can see what you mean. Mental illness is actually possibly a cause of some of it like 2 or 5. Mental illness is politically correct I think. It is just the umbrella term for most things involving dysfunction of the brain. I liked reading your whole story and it is okay to be long winded. Some of my posts are somewhat long at times.


    For me, I felt like 2 was one of the things that resonated with me the most. Being Bigender and not just a binary type of transgender, I always felt like I was either too emotional at times or cut off from emotion. It felt like I wasn't quite the same as other girls my age, except that i still identified with the label of being a girl. I think it was harder for me to notice because of that. Also looking back I can see a lot of other things that really point me towards this was what was going on.
     
  15. Cinis

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    2 and 5 are pretty common for depression actually. Feeling a complete disconnect from emotions and going about daily tasks like a robot is a red warning sign that you're having a depressive phase and overanalyzing everything as well as having negative thought circles is usually the kind of thinking that causes or worsens depressive phases. The last one can even become so bad that people can't sleep from overthinking how much of a failure they are.

    That said point 8 is probably the most important thing. It makes the relation between depression and dysphoria since dysphoria is obviously very likely to cause depression in the long run. ( though obviously people who transitioned can still have depression ( although transitioning itself would probably be met with a more positive phase for obvious reasons))
     
  16. Delta

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    I still haven't sorted out what is and isn't my dysphoria.:lol:

    Is it dysphoria every time I hear loud screaming in my head and feel like I can't breathe? Or just a lot of them? Is it dysphoria when I find myself planted on one side of a door on my way to a class or commitment, physically unable to move myself through it and just go? What parts of my mental illness are linked to dysphoria? Will those get better? What if they get worse?

    If anyone has any notes on similar feelings for reference, please do share.:icon_wink
     
  17. i am just me

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    Wow, it's so interesting to read your stories and find all these similarities with what I feel. I want to add one more thing that I recently identified as dysphoria.

    I have never wanted to have children and find the thought of carrying a child somehow disgusting. Adopting on the other hand seems fine with me. Until recently I thought that this didn't mean anything more than me not really wanting to have kids. But after I started questioning my gender I realized that carrying or breastfeeding a child feels wrong to me because I do not identify as a woman or mother. Being a parent on the other hand is something I can picture myself as. I am not sure yet how I feel about the role of a father. As it does not involve any "body duties" (not sure what I should call it) I think I would be fine with it as well. But when I think about a father being a man and having male organs, I get uncomfortable again. It really tells mea lot about my gender identity.