So truth be told, I’ve not been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. And I’m relaxed about getting the label - if I am, I am, if I’m not I’m not. I know that whatever medically or psychologically the Doctors decide, I can’t bear being in the gender that was assigned to me at birth. I saw my GP and told them about my gender confusion a few weeks ago and so the process of thinking about that has begun. Normally the feeling of awkwardness and dislocation is at a low-ish level of volume in the background. Granted, it is there all the time, and I can feel it. I’ve said it before but at least every 15-20 minutes of my life, something reminds me and my mind turns to it.
Last night, I had what I describe as a ‘dysphoric moment’. Irregularly, and fortunately not frequently, I get a burst of intense panic where I have the most intense emotional feeling that I can’t live for a moment longer without expressing myself as a female. When I say “can’t live”, you understand my meaning - I’m 100% not saying I’m suicidal. My thoughts rarely turn that dark. But when these ‘dysphoric moments’ strike, I feel beside myself with strong, difficult to control emotions where I feel that I'm about to explode and am literally beside myself. Given that, knowing my personal circumstances, I can’t get into Rhiannon-mode as I desperately want to at that moment, I just have to ride it out and wait for it to pass.
Sounds easy doesn’t it? But those of you who experience this, also know that it is more complicated than that. My problem is that I'm a bit of an externaliser and when provoked, a talker. Bursts of intense dysphoria normally make me want to talk to someone, anyone about what is going on in my head. I wish that my answer to it would be a cup of tea or a drive or to play some music. But it isn’t. In the past, these moments have led me to undertake some fairly stupid (and not particularly well thought through) self-outings to people. I’ve done it, just so that I could talk to someone.
The worst thing is when I have the combination of having those feelings and being sat near any device or laptop with access to my Facebook account which remains in my male name for now. It is a recipe for disaster! Many times I've written and deleted statuses (or is that statii?) that have told the whole world who I really am! Fortunately tonight two people - a very good friend who, when the mood catches them, will talk the hind legs off a donkey and a female friend who knows about Rhiannon and is completely lovely - were both on line and willing to talk. It meant that I could just blow off steam, have a general chat, and talk until the moment past. I’m ashamed to say that my old coping mechanism that I shouldn’t revert to - i.e. a glass of wine, also came into play.
I got past it. The intense period passed reasonably quickly and the residue went after a while and I was back to low level background noise. It gets set off so easily that I’m now just waiting for the next one. I hope its not soon…