Sunday, 1 February 2015

Dysphoric Moments

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…

8 comments:

  1. I rather suspect I might be the donkey-damaging friend mentioned above. I'm only regretful that I don't get as much time to chat as I used to. x

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    1. As I said, you really pick your moments very well. Its almost like you have an intuitive sense of when I need someone to talk to. You quite literally couldn't have picked a better time and I am incredibly grateful. x

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  2. I think most people in your position would agree that externalising your feelings is much better for you than keeping them bottled up!

    With Facebook, couldn't you open a Rhiannon account, with no links to your 'male person' account. I appreciate that the two yous would share some of the same friends, but a casual visitor to either account might well conclude you were simply close - brother and sister, perhaps. Another solution is simply to abandon Facebook altogether and just use emails, texts, and face-to-face meetups, with or without some nice wine...

    Lucy

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    1. I did have a Rhiannon account set up Lucy, but I was increasingly finding that Facebook's rabid proactivity in 'helping' me was increasingly becoming likely to completely out me! They started suggesting friends and seemed to realise i had two that were closely connected. Most of the people I know would guess that me and my 'sister' were the same - especially as they know I only have a brother!! :)

      I think your latter solution is going to be the one I go for...

      Eventually, hopefully, one day, the name on my main Facebook account will change for the better. :)

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  3. I think most people in your position would agree that externalising your feelings is much better for you than keeping them bottled up!

    With Facebook, couldn't you open a Rhiannon account, with no links to your 'male person' account. I appreciate that the two yous would share some of the same friends, but a casual visitor to either account might well conclude you were simply close - brother and sister, perhaps. Another solution is simply to abandon Facebook altogether and just use emails, texts, and face-to-face meetups, with or without some nice wine...

    Lucy

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  4. I have little to say that hasn't already been said more eloquently by others here. Suffice to say, I know what you mean.

    I do have this to say though: there's nothing wrong with talking to other people - that's the oxygen you need to maintain life and sanity. I am guilty of doing the opposite, when faced with a need to talk I'll bottle it all up and eventually splurge to the wrong people. Mind you, I'm only really out to my wife and a couple of old friends with whom I am no longer in contact.

    I found Google+ is a good place to be 'out' and unconnected to many real life people that may cause issues. It's not perfect, but I enjoy that.

    And never feel guilty about the odd glass of wine, a small amount of that will do wonders in the long term.

    Joanna
    x

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  5. I totally get the dysphoric moments. With me, it's almost like a panic attack. In the moment, I just cannot exist any longer as a male. I remain status quo, however, and I have a formula that works for me, as I have blogged about a few times in the past.

    While I am very open to my many, many local trans friends, I am just the opposite to those who know me only as the male I am. I have opened up to the wives of some of my TG friends, as well as my own wife, but that's it.

    I keep completely separate accounts....Google +, FB, email, etc. Even two smartphones. I am very very careful not to out myself. I work in the media, am somewhat well known locally and must be very careful not to out myself.

    I enjoyed your thoughts, Rhiannon, and am featuring this post on T-Central.

    Calie

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    1. Calie, I'm so sorry its taken me ages to respond - things have been so busy. I really appreciated your response - and for featuring the blog on t-central. Things have been a little better in the last couple of weeks - but mainly because I've been busy and occupied. I think that its the only answer. Work myself into the ground and try never to rest so I never have time to think...maybe not eh? At least I've managed to avoid a Facebook outing.

      Its interesting, I'm not well known at all, but I have worked in lots of organisations were I was quite senior and very visible. I'm often the most visible non-Director person in the organisation because of my job role. It means that I too have to be really careful. When I'm in an normal organisation, I tend to keep my work computer 'clean' so I don't do anything related to personal social media, looking at trans stories etc so that there is no bleed through. Sometimes though I failed because I wonder whether to what degree, I want to self-sabotage...

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