I’m dating someone. Woot! It’s been, oh… approximately 3 years since I’ve done so? Which means this is kinda epic.
Or, rather, super epic.
Back in the day I had essentially resolved to stop dating for a number of reasons. First, over time intimacy had become a huge dysphoria trigger. It got to the point where I just absolutely couldn’t ignore the disconnect between my mind and body. Without dating I had a series of coping tactics I’d developed throughout my wily adolescence - such as never looking down when I was naked (or in the mirror) and ignoring the existence of my female-bodied areas as much as possible.
But when I finally stumbled into the land of intimacy at 17 years of age… even though I didn’t quite know why, I preferred that my partner didn’t touch me. It made me sad. And this preference lasted until my third relationship. When I was touched, I tried to pretend that my body was what my brain map expected - for lack of a better term, male-typical.
Alas, that only worked for so long and, as I mentioned, it just got to an unavoidable point where intimacy had become more depressing than it was pleasurable. My body would literally shut down and I’d curl up and cry. I’d essentially resolved to be celibate and surround myself with adorable friends galore rather than endure it - especially since there was no.way.in.hell. I was ever going to crack and head down the hormone/surgery route.
Fortunately I did crack and ran head first wildly down the hormone route. But, once this started, aside from feeling terrified of the prospect of dating due to experience and still being pre-surgery, I was also in an extremely me-me-me place (school, transition, my emotional well-being, planning for surgery, etc.). And since I wasn’t in a giving place, no dating for me.
Third, knowing that introducing a significant hormone shift to my body causes a lot of changes (i.e. testosterone receptors in the brain being clicked into, rewiring, changes in self-perception/emotion regulation, mood alterations, etc.), I worried about having a partner while trying to adjust to the “new” me. Again, me-me-me.
So after almost 3 frickin’ years of hormone therapy and post-surgery, I’ve felt above and beyond excited and confident and awesome. Still, didn’t plan on dating since I’m all obsessed with being creeper studious. And just a few weeks ago the mere thought of intimacy was still instantly outweighed by fear and self-doubt.
But then someone came popping out of an alluring bush and blindsided me. When I began to feel seriously interested in this person, that obnoxious residual fear haunted me. I wondered, did top surgery unravel years of experiencing intimacy as physiologically traumatic? Am I going to shut down again? Will it result in weeks of awful dysphoria? Despite these concerns, I decided to “let go” and to allow myself to feel vulnerable with this person.
And ya know what? To my surprise, it’s been so.wonderful. Absolutely no triggering. No dysphoria. Being touched rocks. I love my chest. And for the first time in my life, I can feel comfortable experiencing physical intimacy with someone. Entirely. It’s just, unprecedented for me and so amazing in ways I can’t describe yet.
In other news, The Doc:
Earlier this month I had an uphill battle to get my testosterone prescription refilled and to make an appointment with my doctor. Which means it was VERY relieving to finally weasel in to see her last week.
I had some blood sucked out and a physical (no pap! not til’ December!), which included a urine test.
Turns out my testosterone is 30% higher than the range she prefers me to be in (she screamed over the phone, “I don’t want you to stroke out, man!”), so my dosage has been reduced from .5 mL every week to .4 mL every week.
Look what I stumbled across! Mr. Transman Grid and Rocco (Katastrophe) in Allison Michael Orenstein’s Mr. Transman gallery .
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