December 2017
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what sparks my body dysphoria and how i manage


icon: "strong (a photo of me in warm light with my hair down around my face, staring intensely into the camera in a defiant mood)"

Talk about dysphoria (social, bodily, etc) in relation to your own gender identity. Do you experience it? If so, how, and what means do you take to fight it? What kind of affects does it have on your mental life? What would you say to others who have dysphoria too? (from here)

I experience it when I hear or think about my own voice, when someone tries to make me feel loved and included but genders me to do it (thus having the opposite effect), and when I think about or am reminded of how not-real other people consider my identity. I fight bodily dysphoria mostly by not thinking about it, because there is nothing I can do to get a deeper voice or whatever else right now. When it is someone trying to be nice, I either try to replace the comment in my head with something that might feel nice, or I talk to them about how bad it feels when people gender me.

The effect it has on me mentally is to take energy. I spend so much energy shutting out thoughts that would otherwise cause me pain and damage. I think this results in mental fog, and is partly to blame for my brain issues. It makes my ADD worse. But it can't be helped because the alternative is much worse.

For others with dysphoria, I would say:
1) do your best to minimize contact with people who invalidate your identity, regardless of how innocently they may do it.

2) tell the people you trust how things feel, and tell them you need them to self-educate so that you can share with them without having to give a 101 lecture first.

3) when you can fall apart, do. Plan for this sometimes.

4) when you can't fall apart, distract. If a thought comes into your head, focus immediately on something else that engages your mind. Any topic you could ramble about for a relatively long time will do. Perhaps make a list and carry it with you. Or have a game you play on your phone.

5) if you don't have people in your life with similar experience, do your best to find them. It is almost impossible to feel supported when no one can empathize because they cannot or will not take your perspective. Find people who get it.

6) in general, take care of other needs. It is when I am missing other things that my dysphoria is the worst. Check in with yourself to learn what you need, and then do your best to get those needs met. If you can, eat enough veggies, drink enough water, get enough sleep (occasional naps help). Figure out specific needs within your relationships and communicate those -- for instance "I need at least 2 hugs a day and I need someone to ask me questions about my life each day: can you help me with these needs?" Be willing to get your needs met by multiple people because no one can or should be your whole needs store.

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Comments
atmilliways ══╣╠══
This is a good list for me to keep in mind, as a person in a relationship with someone who has a lot of dysphoria. I should talk to my partner about some of these things.
belenen ══╣effervescent╠══
glad it was useful!
webgirluk ══╣pic#124969441╠══
I'm sorry to read there are people who don't respect your choice not to be gendered. Whilst I do label myself as a specific gender and think of others as a specific gender who self identify themselves with one, I understand your choice to be gender free and like your overall very open mind.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
Thank you!
so_brolita ══╣╠══
Thanks for sharing. I've been having a lot of trouble recently. I think I'll try a couple of you suggestions that I hadn't thought about.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.