Of course this body has never felt right – not because my gender identity clashes with its appearance, though, but because my body has never been a refuge. How could I recognize the discomfort of dysphoria when pain, anxiety, and exhaustion dominate my senses? How could I discern whether this disconnect between spirit and flesh is caused by a lack of gender or by all these years spent trapped in chronic illness? When it comes down to it, I’m not sure I’ll ever know whether I’m unhappy in my body because it looks “female” or because it has only ever been a burden requiring constant care. I can change my appearance all I want, slick back my short hair, cover my skin in tattoos, but that won’t stop the migraines or the stomach aches or the OCD. Even the clothing I wear is always half aesthetic and half will I be too warm in this or too cold, will it make me sweat too much and cause a panic attack, will this hat keep me from picking my scalp bloody or will it give me a headache instead? It’s always something; between the faulty wiring in my brain and all the other aching, breaking bits, I don’t really have tools sensitive enough to scan for undercurrents of dysphoria. My body’s never been a home and maybe it never will be, no matter what colors I paint the outside or what interior walls I tear down.

5 thoughts on “#2488

  1. Not ‘liking’ because I like this…it’s more that I can relate to what you’re saying. Especially the inward thoughts about wearing clothes (too hot/too cold. Will I get sweaty?) and… hats :-/

    • It sucks, doesn’t it? I don’t think some people realize how much body temperature can play a role in someone’s life, and especially in how they dress. It takes up so much of my brain space and I hate it!

  2. I have to say the same as beanalreasa did above. Though I have no diagnosed chronic illness (unless mental health counts), I get very sensitive to temperature as well as tightness of clothes. Wearing a binder is the biggest example for me of clothing items that could help dysphoria, but also cause way too much discomfort and/or pain to deal with most days.

    • Honestly, I did wonder if I would feel better gender-wise in a binder but I get warm even in the thin unpadded bras I wear to work, so I figured a binder would be way worse. :\ I could probably handle the restriction-related discomfort, but being all sweaty would drive me crazy. Isn’t that terrible? We need, like… I don’t know, some cool space fabric that’s super thin and breathable but also compressing. NASA needs to get on that.

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