dominicdemeyn

:Neutrois Niche:

Tag: dysphoria

6 days post-op

How can I say this and simultaneously convey my feelings of utter joy and gratefulness: I finally had surgery last week!!

I got rid of those horrid pesky things that grew on me like a cancer and have been there for years without me being able to do anything about it. They have been a great curse my whole life and not a day went by for the last couple of years that I didn’t wish them to be gone with ardent fervour. Being me was not possible with lumps on my chest that screamed out ‘girl’ and other, more filthy words.

THEY NEVER BELONGED TO ME!!

That is why I can justify that I have had surgery; surgery that every other Trans person is entitled to. I’ve gotton much closer to me in only a week. I have heightened my feelings of worth and happiness and confidence in a week. What it took was not a lot, compared to what it would take to have kept on living the lie of having been born ‘female’.

Surgery took place on Wed. 6th of June 2012 at the McLean Clinic (for more info go to http://www.mcleanclinic.com). I had been so nervous during the previous weeks and now I was finally there, I arrived at my destination. I couldn’t f… believe it at first, it was all so wonderful. People were respectful of me, they treated me with kindness. Of course they were earning lots of money through me, but still, it all felt very genuine.

I never in my life thought that one day I would have plastic surgery and basically go it alone. I travelled there on my own and went through the whole process alone, but with the knowledge that I am not the only one who decides to have surgery and actually goes through with it, and with the knowledge that my mother was supportive of my decision.

I met with the surgeon and staff on the day before surgery and time just went by so quickly from there. Before I knew it I found myself getting prepped for the big event, for surgery itself. I got talked through every step of the way and never once did I feel obliged to keep going. This only made me more determined to go ahead and also to try my best not to act too foolish after surgery due to the drugs I would be given. I was determined to do all I could to make the surgery and recovery afterwards a success.

While I am writing this I am still a bit dizzy. I am not taking medication anymore, since I have been taking meds continuously for the past week (almost). Surgery did not take long and the dr. was happy with the results. I did not even feel so bad afterwards, no nausea, just general tiredness and exhileration. I slept a lot and watched crappy Canadian TV a lot (yes crappy, because I only have four channels at home, and you Canadians have a lot more, and still there’s not much worth watching)….I didn’t have much energy for anything, especially during the first day of recovery. A nurse had to stay with me for the first 24 hours. A big Thank you goes out to her because she made the time go by so fast and engaged me in interesting conversation and also managed to make me laugh. So Thank you to Theora (‘Missy’). The clinic where I had the operation got me into contact with Theora and she, in turn, made sure I took medication (properly) and didn’t do anything stupid, which she did really well, which helped to make this a good experience.

The next day I could already go walking about and go to the mall (luckily it was really close-by). It was fun walking around in a completely unfamiliar place, knowing that one knows noone at all in this place and just had surgery and still being a bit weird due to the medication and the tiredness. It made the shopping experience so much more interesting.

Now I’m sitting at home and much of the excitement has gone and is now being replaced by slight nausea and general discomfort in the operated-on area. I actually feel weirder now than I did in the hotel directly after surgery, probably because my life is boring again, and I’m in recovery mode. I have large scars acrosse my chest area that are still taped up. The skin is a bit bruised in places, but nothing major. My left side feels almost normal, while on my right side I occasionally feel sharp stings and pain is stronger there. I also have to wear a compression binder for at least 2 weeks post-op, which is actually comfortable, considering that my chest feels like it is being stretched apart when I take the binder off for longer periods of time.

One has to be really careful not to do too much at once, because it’s easy to forget how vulnerable one still is after having had surgery. First one feels fine but when one moves too abruptly or doesn’t remind oneself that one is still ‘sick’, it’s not a good experience. After a whole week of not being able to go to the toilet properly my bowels are finally waking up and my system is trying to get back to normal. I guess after having to take pain tablets for this long, I am still getting this stuff out of my system. I’m going to try to not exert myself anymore and not go walking around in the heat and humidity too much, because it really has affected me today.

Surgery was easy in the sense that I didn’t have to do much. Recovery and living in this ‘new’ body are more difficult, because these take energy and determination. In fact, my surgery was easier than usual, because I decided early NOT to have nipple grafts and the complex chest reconstruction process. I had a full mastectomy without reconstruction. To anyone to whom this is not yet clear (enough): I have no chest anymore, I have no nipples.

I don’t think I will ever regret the decision to have surgery, not even this kind of extreme surgery (‘amputation’). I have seen my body like the way it is now for a long time. I could use my imagination to conjure up what I wanted my body to look like, after that, it was just a matter of finding a competent and willing surgeon to perform the necessary task of remodelling it (and finding the money to get this done, as well).

I am really scared of needles and I can’t stand doctor’s offices/clinics, but this felt right from beginning to end. The staff were really welcoming and helpful and the place itself was not really like a clinic at all, but felt much more comfortable than that. Nobody has seen or commented on my new chest and it still feels sore and numb at the same time. I have to sleep on my back for a while, which is a bit of a burden, but all this will soon disappear and I will feel increasingly more comfortable in my body, much more comfortable than before, that’s for sure!!

I can’t thank people enough that have supported me in those numerous ways that they have (either deliberately or not). My new chest might be weird to some people, but it’s no weirder than other things. People do things for all sorts of different reasons, and in the end, most of the time, they do it to feel good/better about themselves.

I am hoping other people will have the confidence and resources to also have surgery if they so wish, because IT’S SO WORTH IT.

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I don’t need a hug, I need surgery!

(Edited because of spellling mistakes).

I’ve been thinking a lot lately and reading a lot of blogs ranging from Trans to Radfem (radical feminism) to Travel. I read a quote on one of the blogs about pain and release and it occured to me, that I have been trying to gain release for a long time (a vey long time). I think unconsciously I was driven to this point in my life; all the confusion and hatred I had built up brought me to a point where I could finally realease some tension and redefine myself.

I have complained a lot about how I feel in recent times, both to family and friends, and some people in LGBTQ groups (actually just 1 group, I haven’t yet found another where I now live). The responses of these people were mostly filled with concern, and I got some good advice about general techniques on how to relax, mostly to do with taking deep breaths and relaxing the musles (massage, sauna, etc.). Some encouraged me to just not think about things too much, some told me to keep busy and ignore my thoughts. I actually think all of these things can be very useful when presented with a stressful situation, if one has the time and resources to do them.

But I have also realised that I cannot really ignore the way I feel anymore, and I really think my body/mind (they are, in fact, a bit split) is telling me something and I really want to listen.I have been dreaming a lot more about a new chest, and I’ve seen myself with bandages and it felt alright (partly due to the fact that in the dream I felt no pain or naesea). Then I recently had a dream (a bit disgusting) about not being able to breath, my nose and throat were blocked and I thought I would choke. I had to cough a lot until finally a big green ball of slimy stuff came out and I could breathe again. I think all these dreams I had were positive signs, were signs of release.

I am extremely sensitive and absolutely detest any physical contact with another living thing, especially when it’s unannounced and ‘aggressive’. I don’t diffrerenciate between men and women, animals or plants in this regard. I don’t want or need physical closeness. I don’t feel happy in my body, so everytime someone touches it, I get angry, because I can feel my body much more intensely, and I don’t like the way it feels at all. When someone touches me, I feel validated (in the wrong body), so, in other words, I feel validated as WRONG. My favourite state of being is a form of dissociation, where I cannot feel any body part (like when one is asleep). It takes a lot of energy and concentration to do that, and of course I get pissed off when someone comes along and destroys all my hard work in an instant without even knowing what they just did.

I don’t need a hug. Dysphoria does not go away just because someone rubs their body parts on mine. There was a queer person (in many ways) I met at a LGBTQ gathering and she/he/it (honestly, I didn’t even talk long enough with them to know) was trying to give me support. I had talked about surgery and this person made comments along the lines of it’s not gonna happen, noone would allow me to have surgery, and the breasts would grow back anyway. Then this person proceeded to show support by hugging me. I thought this was a bit weird…first it tried to destroy my hopes and then it gave me a hug. ..What on earth did it attempt to achieve with this behaviour?

Hugs, like burying the dead, are done to gratify the party who is giving the hug, and not necessarily the receiver. I never ever in my life asked to be hugged, yet I constantly come across people who love this intimacy, touching another’s body, feeling their breasts on their chest (and I’m not only talking about paedophiles and other sick people, here). When my chest is the most abominal thing I can think of right now, when I thought about ending it all just to get rid of this dysphoria and feeling of loathing.

The only good thing that came out of all this physical shit is that I got even more determined to change what I initialy thought I could never change about my body because everyone said it was natural and a part of me and I should embrace that. I want to embrace other parts of me, thanks very much, that aren’t the casue of me wanting to puke whenever I change my clothes or shower or get looked at by yet another (sick) stranger.

I don’t want your hugs or any other body-part-embracing. I want your support, your words of encouragement, your understanding, a smile of recognition and just the knowledge that I can live in this body on my own terms and conditions.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Disclaimer:

P.S.: not all Neutrois are like that, and I want to add that I am not only Neutrois, I am also many other things. Neutrois isn’t the only thing that defines me. I strongly identify with this term because I have body dysphoria and gender dysphoria and want to change my body so the dysphoria lessens or even goes away. I am antisocial AND Neutrois, and not Neutrois because I’m antisocial. If you understand this difference, then you are smarter than most people 😉

Big Brothers used binder Repository

Through the transitioning genderqueers website I stumbled on a post about THIS (see title). The website that endorses the big brother binder repository is http://www.thetransitionalmale.com

The title of the website already suggests its affiliation with trans-males, those people in the trans community who want to transition from FAAB (female-assigned-at-birth) to male. It’s great that a support network for trans men exists and that they are gaining increasing recognition and easier access to what they require.

I have no trans friends and have not even met a trans person, before. At least noone in my circle of acquaintances has come out as trans. So, I have never really talked to a trans person and don’t really know how individual trans people feel. I wonder how they view the conditions set up as part of this big brother binder repository.

The big brother (careful, he’s watching) binder repository program explicity states that “this program is for Transmen/FTM TS/TG and Intersexed Men only! It is not for TG butch, Lesbians, Genderqueer persons, Deliberate Gender Bending/Blending Females or drag kings”.

I decided to look at the explanation eventhough parts of it had already been discussed in the transitioing genderqueers post. I just had to see the full explanation for myself. These are some of the things that are mentioned as justification for offering to exlude genderqueer/non-conforming people from this program. My comments to these points will be highlighted in italics:

(a) Transmen are transsexuals and transgendered (I agree, good for them, HURRAY they can now add themselves to a marginalised group). To be transsexual and transgender, in the case of a transman, means needing to live, die, work, have relationships (women or men), dress, conduct themselves as men 100%, 24/7, year round, day in, day out because they feel and ARE male beyond just the need to dress and look male. (Wow, transgender people are real men, and you needed to use up so much typing space to explain this to me. I am so glad that all transgender men know exactly how to be men and what it all means to live as a man. I am also glad that theya re allowed to have relationships with other men and women (who are real, of course), not like us fake ones. I am glad that they can be sure they know exactly how to identify a real man/woman because they are so gender savvy). Although, I do feel a bit sad for them, as they have to be men 100%, 24/7, all the time. I mean, not even MAABS (males-assigned-at-birth) have this  much pressure to perform as males…).

(b) Transmen need to be who they really are to survive, to be happy, to live productive lives and often for their own sanity. (What about the other millions of humans on this planet, do you not think they also need to be happy and live fulfilling lives and be who they really are? Are you saying only (trans) men need to feel this way? Come on…MAN). It’s an innate feeling (Well, good for you, I guess we other people are lucky, cause apparently we don’t have innate feelings). It’s often indescribale. It is not a choice, that is to say, there is no “I think I will create a new name that fits me or now I say I am (add label here) to fit into this group, because I am not be GD or diagnosed with GID and then I will call myself a man” but not commit to what it really, really means to be a Transman; a man. (I understand where you are coming from, I really do. I understand your anxiety: the anxiety of loosing credibility in the wake of a gender revolution that includes pepole outside the binary. if anyone calls themselves male and doesn’t perform the stereotypes, then what does it actualy mean to be a man? I’m sure you don’t want to associate with such a gender-fucked, marginalised and downtrodden or merely invisible group as transqueer and you are doing everything to avoid that). That is not what being a transman is all about. (Well, I’m glad you don’t suffer from any identity disorders like those gender-other-people, who are really just normal men and women, right).

(c) Being a Transman is not a choice and it is not a lifestyle. It is not a wake up one day and decide to dress like a guy. It is not about trying to act like one just because one feels more butch than feminine-just like being homosexual is not a choice and like how one identifies as a lesbian is not a choice; it’s innate (born that way), how one feels naturally. (Let me tell you this: I just woke up one day and thought, let’s mess with people’s heads and get a binder and all of a sudden look so male…I wore the binder nearly every single day from when I woke up until when I went to bed…I just loved that feeling of tightness that cut off my breath and gave me back pain and made me feel invalid…I loved gender-bending so much that I decided to get surgery…It’s a measly couple of thousand dollars and there’s always the risk associated with any operation and I would never get my breasts back….but hey because IT”S SO MUCH FUN….and are you now going to also tell me how I feel naturally?). There are soft butch, hard butch, dyke, bull dyke, TG butch, genderqueer meaning not quite female and not quite male feeling but this is not what a Transman is (No, this is what TRANS is. Oh, but excuse me, this is only abuot transmen’s rights, not about transgender rights. Oh my, how could I have ignored that). A Transman’s desire and need to be seen as a man, respected as a man and feel whole as a man is more important than most anything else-it is necessary to survive. (Oh, once again we have different agendas; I am more concerned about being respected as a human, seen as a human, to feel whole as a human and to me, that is very necessary to survive).


(d) Transmen are female bodied or intersexed people who struggle with their female gender because they feel male, they think male, they naturally act male and wish to live as men through dress, hormone therapy and surgery; surgery to what extent varies from male to male. Some feel having all identifying female characteristics (female reproductive organs and breasts) removed is enough. Some feel having complete and total genital reconstruction is necessary. (Question: What about crossdressing men, are they not real men? They identify as male, as far as I know, but show some female characteristics sometimes…not 100%, 24/7 male, so I suppose they are not male, then. What about a Neutrois who has no breasts and no other sexual organs due to having had surgery? Compare this Neutrois to a FtM and tell me which one is more valid…I suppose the answer is the FtM, becomes and FtM is always a man, and a Neutrois is always a woman. Man is man, Neutrois, Agender, Genderqueer is always women, yes?).

(e) Genderqueer and TG butch means to Transcend Gender lines, blurring these lines for purposes of mostly self gratification rather than to make mind and body whole. It is rare to find a Genderqueer female who is not a lesbian. That’s not a bad thing-calling oneself Genderqueer is a personal preference, a conscious choice. But do not identify as a man, do not wish to live as a man, do not wish to die as a man, do not wish to work as a man, do not wish to chemically transition to male, have surgery, etc…. (Well, first of all, before it was said a FtM could decide when, how and to what extent that person transitions. I, of course, am not allowed to make those decisions, because I am not serious abuot it, I’m just playing around with terms and definitions, I am just transcending gender lines, God forbid. To transcend gender is a sin, right, cause there are only ever two genders, and everything else is just a huge lie created by Satan to destroy humaity and male priviledge (male being another word for humaity)…You are quite right, I do not wish to be a man, I wish to be myself, and that in fact does mean having surgery and changing my body. Just because I don’t want to take T and live as a dude….dude…I can still transition and experience feelings of bodily discomfort due to my assigned gender. It’s really so simple). There may be some comfort for TG Butch and Genderqueer females to dress as men and using a male name bus this is not what being a Transman is (and thank God for that!). Some TG Butch and Genderqueer are straight who dress male and only date men. Do you see what is meant by ‘blurring the lines’? (Yes, I think I understand what you mean by that….how homo-erotic of them. Homosexuality is right as long as it’s confined to penises, right. In fact, that’s what sexual attraction is all about, genitalia. Also, you’ve forgotten to mention that some trans people are asexual or celibate, are happily single and don’t give a shit about who other people date or don’t date…some trans people are actually NOT voyeuristic and also do not equate gender with sexuality).

(f) Drag kings, are, for the most part, Lesbians-they dress male for the purpose of entertainment and income and do not feel as described above. They are mostly lesbian and live, work and conduct their lives as lesbians/women albeit some very masculine. They enjoy dressing as men while entertaining as men but do not live their lives as men, they do not wish to undergo therapy to transition to male or undergo invasive, dangerous surgeries to correct birth defects (female reproductive organs, female breasts or female genitalia). They are happy to live as female when not in drag. This is also a conscious choice and being a Drag king is a lifestyle. (Sounds to me like being a man is more of a duty than a lifestyle. I can’t speak for Drag kings or anyone, really, but being Neutrois, to me, is a life style: It affects every single aspect of my life and is my way of living. I am glad that once again this is such a totally comprehensive description of Drag kings, I’ll post it into my collection of definitions of people of different orientations, where it will remain unchanged until the world ceases to exist). Transmen do not think of themselves as lesbian, TG butch lesbian, TG Butch, Butch, Genderqueer or drag kings. (Neither do I, but I identify as trans. I also identify as antisexual, antiphysical, antigender, and Neutrois. Oh, no, now I have used some really appalling words again..even theough these define me to a large extent, they shall never be spoken in public…..Bad little Neutrois!)

Transmen need to bind for a number of reasons: Examples:

The depression statistics with Tranmen pre-transition and often during, are high. The actual numbers cannot be compiled accurately. (The actual numbers of pre-transition of Neutrois and other people cannot be compiled accuratley because…..they don’t really exist…get it?)

Suicidal feelings living in a female body are extremely high among Transmen (Isn’t it fantastic that only Transmen experience dysphoria and suicidal thoughts…they are indeed priviledged!).

Many cannot look at themselves in the mirror naked because the image in the mirror does not reflect the image of themselves in their mind; breasts are right out there for all to see, in most cases and even small breasts seem huge to many Transmen. (There are a lot of people who don’t like their breasts for numerous reasons, that doesn’t mean that they are either all lesbians or all wanting to transition to male).

Most all Transmen, pre-T and pre-transition bind because of self esteem issues. (It’s great that they can bind and it increases self-esteem. Genderqueer people shouldn’t bind cause they have too much self-esteem anyway).

Many must bind to work as men. (When i bind, do I automatically become a male, too, and when I then find a job, does that mean that now I am working as a man…cool).

Many cannot find jobs as male because their breasts give them away. (Well, it is a universal truth that anyone who has a breast is automatically a female, unless that individual is a man with soggy manly male breasts).

 

What is basically said here is that this program will only support people who identify as (trans) men and who are THEREFOR deserving of a binder. Their struggles are infinitely greater and more valied than any other person’s, because they are seeking to transition to a male gender.

Of course my comments aren’t very rational or professional, I mean, what do you expect, I am neither man nor woman so I must be a bit queer. I hope I haven’t come across as invalidating Transmen’s struggles. I associate with a lot of problems they are likely to encounter in their lives, both pre- and post-transition. I just wish that LGBTQ…people though not always having the same agendas, would band together and support eachother and not always try so hard to be the least marginalised group. May I also suggest, that, instead of discrediting the validity of  ‘queer’, that trans people take up these issues with the establishment. Most trans* (agender, Neutrois, genderqueer and so many more) do not wish to become men and take T, but their dysphhoria is often so great that they cannot bear it. They go through this whole process od taking T and pretending to be male, not because they want to be silly or tease other FtM’s but because without this they would not be allowed to have breast surgery and what not be supported by Psychologists and Doctors. If there were other options available to these people, there wouldn’t really be an issue and both parties (traditional Trans and Trans*) could focus on their own respective goals instead of fighting eachother.

 

Why my gender might not be like everyone else’s Part II

Gradually something changed. I became more aggressive and determined to stand up for my rights, eventhough I still doubted that they even existed. I started to accept the fact that I had been traumatised and pushed aside so others could benefit. I resolved to give my parents and others that came into my sphere of existence some ‘tough love’ for a change. I tried to be honest with them in regard to how I felt and how I identified, honest and slightly confrontational, even at the risk of loosing everyone that was left in my life. And, lo and behold, the people finally started to wake up.

It was difficult to make them understand how I had felt all those years and why I had distanced myself from their paternalising and overbearing ‘care’ and it still is, because standing up for oneself is never about just one event in one’s life. It’s a struggle that is unlikely to ever really end. When I look back into the past to when I was a young child, I don’t see myself as having made much progress. Whereas before I had looked for ways how I could just be me: the child, now I’m looking for ways to be me: the adult who was a child once (and still is in many ways). I continue to redefine myself constantly, even if I don’t/can’t always show my identity openly to society and it isn’t reflected back at me from other members of my species.

My biology (what is called ‘gender characteristica’ by some) was one of the main reasons my life turned out the way it did. Now it’s time that I started defining my biology the way it suits. I was not ready for when society attacked me with gender stereotypes, I did not even know gender existed when I was confronted with gender roles. Now, I don’t give a damn if society is ready for me!

 

Afterword:

I still have some Type 2 species dysphoria and definitively have Type 1 gender dysphoria. I’m not proud of being part of the human race, but I’m glad to have the capacity to survive and change. I’m Neutrois, because this is finally a definition I feel comfortable with. I’m so glad this word exists, because what it defines is an important part of my life. It gives me a completely different outlook on existence.

In certain circles I might still not exist, but at least I know now that I exist for myself and parts of me just cannot be erased however much they try.

 

Why my gender might not be like everyone else’s Part I

Like a lot of trans-people, I also knew I was different from a very young age.

When I could hardly even speak I was wondering what the deal was, who I was and what it meant. I kept asking the same questions over and over again: <<What is the [insert real name], what is the [insert real name]?>> I don’t think I really expected an answer from anyone, for if I couldn’t figure this out, how could they?

My concern at that time were a bit like every trans person’s: why do I feel different? However, at that time, I was also decidedly more concerned with species rather than with gender. While other girls and boys were having human role models, mine almost exclusively tended to be of the animal, robot, or other kind. I kept referring to myself in the third person, partly because I couldn’t speak properly, and partly because it felt just right.

I have three brothers and am generally pretty observant. Yet when comparing myself to them I never thought I was the girl in the family, I just thought I was a child. My brothers were different from me, of course, but the major difference I could perceive was how they were treated and how they treated me. The way they treated me made me different. The treatment and decisions of others upon my soul was what started the great divide between me and my fellow peers and relatives. I never asked to be treated with disrespect and ignorance.

After endless years of being made a stereotype by the taunting, the dominant behaviour, the ridiculous assumptions of humans, I put my identity aside and hid it from the world. Unfortunately, that also had effect that I lost access to it, myself, while I internalized every single bit of crap that I was told about who I was.

 

I played along for many frustrating, debilitating, physically and mentally damaging, plain fucked up years, until I finally reached that point where I could no longer go forward, nor back. I felt completely empty, …drained. I actually felt like I ceased to exist, like somewhere along the way I had died and somehow not really noticed when it had happened. I found myself in a really dark place. I had lost my sense of self and what I wanted from life (had I ever really known?), and didn’t know how to get it back; I had always relied on other people defining me (thinking it was for my own good) and when they finally were out of my life (because they didn’t really care in the end), I was stunned.

Scared shitless, I did not know where to begin to find myself. I kept thinking maybe someone else knows, and really had to force myself not to run to the next retard who had an easy answer for everything. I thought what’s the point of asking questions I might never find the answers to? So, for a while, I concentrated on just living, instead: I bought food, cleaned the apartment, visited family, ate, slept. I went for walks and that was a great achievement in itself. Every day that I spent living without having some moron meddling in my life was a little victory and brought me closer to myself.