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I can relate to that, I got started learning something as a kid but gave it up for a variety of reasons. Kinda interested in trying something again these days but it's hard to know where to start!

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I say pick any instrument you can and just start jamming. You'll know where to go from there!

 

Do you have anything in mind? Also learning by covering songs is so much better than straight up learning from books or tutorials. Chords are an essential as well, on practically any instrument. I never really picked up on the piano, but since I know most of the chords, it helped me cover any song I loved and by extension, I had a lot of fun :) 

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35 minutes ago, neo3000 said:

Also learning by covering songs is so much better than straight up learning from books or tutorials.

Honestly this sounds like more fun! I'd love to learn guitar, I can steal my brother's acoustic one to practice with. Maybe I'll just learn some chords to start out with. Thank you! 👍

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  • 3 weeks later...

Recently went on a hike, all the snow is melting so the rivers are way more wild than usual. As usual, nature is cooler than I remember. Gonna be moving soon so that's lots of fun (not really)…

 

Unnecessary question of the week: What is one song you enjoy, that you think other people DON'T like?

I'll go first: Dullscythe by Porter Robinson, not extremely coherent, but I can't stop listening to it.

 

What's everyone been up to! (Also, if there are any new visitors to this thread, don't be intimidated to jump in lol.)

 

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48 minutes ago, Roach said:

Unnecessary question of the week: What is one song you enjoy, that you think other people DON'T like?

 

"Indian Love Call"! 

 

I was so happy when it was used as a joke / plot point in the movie Mars Attacks! I think in that movie it might have been the Slim Whitman version.

 

I'm glad to see a post in this thread because I've been having a hard time getting back into being self-actualized instead of a cranky object the universe acts upon. I have gotten cynical and don't like making decisions. I figure why decide what I want if I might be wrong? But I'm trying again. I tried to think of something to contribute to this chat thread. Mostly my happy place lately has been learning Southern Vietnamese, and watching videos (mostly by Gutsick Gibbon and by Your Dinosaurs are Wrong on YouTube) about evolutionary science. I am out of touch with the world news.

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On 4/29/2022 at 6:15 AM, Roach said:

Recently went on a hike

That's so cool. I never went hiking, nature is beautiful, but i'm too much of a city boy - 

 

On 4/29/2022 at 7:10 AM, DonkeySocks said:

Mostly my happy place lately has been learning Southern Vietnamese, and watching videos (mostly by Gutsick Gibbon and by Your Dinosaurs are Wrong on YouTube) about evolutionary science. I am out of touch with the world news.

Yooo that sounds really interesting. I'll check it out when I run out of things to watch! 

Sometimes it's best to stay out of touch with the world news if one can. It'll come to you at some point anyways. 

 

On 4/29/2022 at 6:15 AM, Roach said:

Unnecessary question of the week: What is one song you enjoy, that you think other people DON'T like?

That's a tough one. I think I'd go with the U.N Owen was her? Ronald McDonald remix. The original song SLAPS, but I used to unironically listen to the remix.... when he goes dan-dan-dan-da-da-dan-dan... sooo true....

 

I haven't been logging in that much as I am slowly getting my -crap- together. It's hard but It looks like I'm getting there. This requires a great amount of time off the internet, but I must admit, I did miss this thread. I'm also seeing my favorite singer of all time very soon ^_^ Anyone here likes Mitski?

 

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On 4/29/2022 at 1:10 AM, DonkeySocks said:

I've been having a hard time getting back into being self-actualized instead of a cranky object the universe acts upon. I have gotten cynical and don't like making decisions. I figure why decide what I want if I might be wrong?

I know what you mean.   I get like this a lot.

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@Jandi I'm sorry this happens to you, but from my situation right now there's a lot to be said for solidarity through someone understanding how it feels, so I do appreciate it. :)

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17 hours ago, neo3000 said:

Sometimes it's best to stay out of touch with the world news if one can. It'll come to you at some point anyways. 

Yes, it does come around, and then I feel weird because a huge thing was happening I knew nothing about--but there was nothing I could do to help, and following the news at the time would have been bad for my mental health. I always get caught up late, when most of the dust has settled.

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On 4/29/2022 at 1:10 AM, DonkeySocks said:

 

"Indian Love Call"! 

Kinda goes hard, ngl.

 

Also DANG! Learning a new language is dope. What interests you in Southern Vietnamese, you got family there or something? Either way impressive stuff, keep it up.

 

On 4/30/2022 at 7:06 PM, neo3000 said:

I'm gonna be real, I was not emotionally prepared for this.

 

We always appreciate you popping into the thread Neo but no stress if you're getting stuff together IRL. Hope ya have fun at that performance! It's gonna be awesome!

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11 hours ago, Roach said:

I'm gonna be real, I was not emotionally prepared for this.

I CANNOT stop listening to this now 🤪

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22 hours ago, Roach said:

Learning a new language is dope. What interests you in Southern Vietnamese, you got family there or something? Either way impressive stuff, keep it up.

I don't even know why I'm learning it. I mean, I know the events that led to my studying it, starting with hearing a pop song and feeling strongly for some reason that "I could speak that", it had a sort of flow to the language that made it sound like something I could understand.

 

As to why, I don't know yet. I feel like it's one of those things you do, not knowing why, and then you find out, only learning a language takes a long time, so it'll take an extra long time to clarify.

 

Also, it's so much fun. I like watching my favorite video teachers on YouTube and learning things whenever and however I like, going back and forth, too advanced for me, backing up, etc. I love it because it's not like classroom learning at all. I got some French in middle and high school, which is super useful for studying English lit, but I never got into it the way some of the other students did. I was kind of meh about it. I am super into Vietnamese language, learning about the people, the Southern culture and accent, the history of the language, and there's zero pressure to do it for grades like in school. Plus it makes me feel smart when I find out I suddenly remembered something I didn't understand before.

 

Are you learning a second or third language, Roach? If so, which one? Or which one would you like to try to learn?

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@DonkeySocksDamn. That's some profound stuff! Keep at it!

 

I grew up with German and English so I can speak both relatively fluently. I'm currently trying to learn another language from my family. It's one of those situations where I'll fly out to visit relatives, everyone will be at the dinner table telling stories, and suddenly the entire room bursts into laughter.

 

Meanwhile I'm sitting here like "I have no idea what you just said but I'm going to laugh anyway." One of my parents teaches me a few phrases here and there, but I've never done anything as in-depth as you have. Kinda inspired now LMAO.

 

You can really learn ANYTHING from YouTube these days! Very good resources out there. I like your anecdote about how different it feels from learning something in a school setting.

 

Out of curiosity, do you remember which pop song it was that you heard?

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2 hours ago, Roach said:

Out of curiosity, do you remember which pop song it was that you heard?

It was this one: 

 

 

2 hours ago, Roach said:

Kinda inspired now LMAO.

Run with it! You can learn online and get help from your family when needed. :)

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@RoachI guess it didn't take and show the link? Anyway the song was "Bong bong bang bang" from a movie soundtrack a few years ago.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey friends. Hope you're all doing well today. So, the other day, top dysphoria hit me harrrrrrd. Remarkably, for the first time I am now seriously contemplating investigating top surgery. I thought this thread would be a good place to talk about it. Two main reasons for not considering surgery thus far: (1) I didn't want to put my body through the trauma, and (2) I thought it would be a MAJOR issue regarding my relationship with my husband.

 

Last week, I was in NY for a family bridal shower. Whereas guests of bridal showers are traditionally women only, in my mind it was for people with uteruses (or previously in possession of uteruses, for anyone who's had a hysterectomy). Fun times with uteruses, lol. Oh brother. Anyways, the party was actually super fun, although I tend to get hypomanic at parties - severely overcompensating for my introversion - and inevitably crashing later on, which I did two days later. The crash followed traveling by myself (which is increasingly difficult due to my disability), going to see my family, hypomania at the party, the "after party" which consisted of a selection of family members digging up old stories of trauma & airing out a lot of nastiness. Ultimately, that's for the best, there is a major legacy of trauma, abuse, mental illness & addiction in my family. It's a lot to process. The day after the party, I was feeling subdued, and the next day I was deflated by depression and scared to leave my room due to anxiety. My cousin with whom I was staying peeled me out of bed, gave me a cold cloth for my face, fed me leftover chicken wings, and took me to the dog beach with 2 out of 3 of her pups. That made me feel better. Btw, I came out to her rather matter of factly. I had already come out to her younger sister bc she came out to me as a lesbian & I wanted her to know she's not the only queer person in our very conservative family. My cousin was cool about it, although she called me "lady" a few times afterwards. I finally asked her to please not refer to me that way. 

 

SO! The top dysphoria. Couple days after the bridal shower, I was looking at the photos on facebook. There was one with me and all my cousins all lined up. I was standing in profile and it looked like there was a friggin watermelon attached to my chest. SUPER. YUCK. It really freaked me out & brought me down. (It also inspired an idea for some self-portraits emphasizing more affirming profiles and addressing the pain of digging into past trauma.) My little cousin and her girlfriend came back to Florida with me. I showed them the photo that grossed me out and was talking with them about it. My cousin told me a cis friend of hers had a breast reduction and was very happy about it. My cousin's gf told me one of her brothers is trans (!!!!) and had his top surgery in a city near me, coincidentally. My husband was there for these conversations & I asked him if I could get a breast reduction or top surgery. He said sure, as long as we can afford it. I jokingly, but not jokingly declared "my body, my choice!" I meant that to affirm to myself that reason #2 mentioned in the first paragraph of this story was something I needed him to accept and for me to get over. I asked him again later in private and he qualified that he would "miss them", but wants me to be happy. Sigh. Still working on reason #1. I am vasillating between "why would I put my body through that" versus "it's just a body, it will heal, and then I'll be able to go through the rest of my life with my chest out proud". 

 

I am definitely going to look into the details now. Going to talk to my therapist about it, and check with my husband's insurance (which I'll be switching to once I officially leave my job) whether they cover surgery as treatment for dysphoria. Will also read up on the local surgeon my cousin's gf's brother worked with. 

 

Thanks for listening and being there. 

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1 hour ago, Vidanjali said:

Thanks for listening and being there. 

 

 

Support and affirmation for each other is a main motivator for why we're here.  Hugs!

 

1 hour ago, Vidanjali said:

I am definitely going to look into the details now. Going to talk to my therapist about it, and check with my husband's insurance (which I'll be switching to once I officially leave my job) whether they cover surgery as treatment for dysphoria. Will also read up on the local surgeon my cousin's gf's brother worked with

 

Good luck with your coverage inquiries.  My impression is that, depending on the insurance company and location, coverage for dysphoria related surgery can vary greatly.  Crossed fingers that you have a positive result!

 

Astrid

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@Vidanjali thank you for sharing your distress and worries. They are honest and, having read many of your posts in the past, filled with your truth and I understand, though in my case it is the direct opposite need. I think that your husband's acceptance is extremely important and I'm happy he reacted as he did. If you decide to go forward, you will need that support. I think having the conversation with your therapist and doing your due diligence in researching the doctor and costs are very important and you have always struck me as a level headed and grounded person, who cares and gives a lot of himself to others. You deserve happiness and only you will be able to decide which direction you need to go in order to have that peace of mind you deserve. Know I am happy you are working your way through your issues and wisely seeking out the answers you need to move forward. Know that whichever way you choose, I'm in your corner. You've been a great help to me in so many ways, I am looking for words to express my gratitude and let you know you've made a big difference to me and I want the best for you.

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6 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

(1) I didn't want to put my body through the trauma, and (2) I thought it would be a MAJOR issue regarding my relationship with my husband.

The only time top dysphoria seems to hit me really hard is when I'm looking at photos of trans guys who've had it done, then I get strong feelings of various kinds. I haven't had it done for first reason you mention, and also, I'm not as top dysphoric as I am bottom dysphoric. I also don't know how I would feel about spending the money, even if I wasn't worried about that at all, it might cross my mind I could do something else with the money. I know my husband would approve, but also he likes them, and I don't dislike them enough to want to take that away. I think his response would be somewhat similar to what your husband said, only we would probably both be thinking of the trauma of surgery and whether it would be worth it, because we've had some hospitalization traumas this past year. However, overall, I'm just saying, pretty much same here, except I'm not looking into it, whereas it sounds like you're pretty much going for it! So I wish you the best with your healing and with what will amount to some grief on your husband's part. Best wishes!

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Thanks, everyone, for the replies. This is an invaluable community in that any of us can write about such things that maybe no one else in our day to day lives might understand, but here, we're accepted and understood. 

 

Thanks for the hugs, @Astrid . 

 

I am gratified my association is meaningful to you, @Heather Shay . The feeling is most definitely mutual. 

 

@DonkeySocks I'm actually surprised at how hard it hit me. Like you said, I didn't dislike them enough to consider "depriving" my husband of them. I'm asexual, so we don't do any intimate boob stuff, but he likes them for cuddling and such. On the surface one might think that consideration of the spouse's reaction to trans surgery is rather irrelevant or indicative of mild oppression. But, the weight of the value of the relationship is considerable, and therefore it is, to some extent (the extent to which the dysphoria is distressing, that is), a decision that should be jointly considered. I am now motivated to thoroughly investigate and continue to gauge how I feel about it. The only other surgeries I've had have been with an ENT surgeon & also with a periodontist. Top surgery / breast reduction is pretty major compared to that. 

 

I'll let you all know how my investigation develops. Thanks a million for the support. 

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6 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

But, the weight of the value of the relationship is considerable, and therefore it is, to some extent (the extent to which the dysphoria is distressing, that is), a decision that should be jointly considered.

I agree. And I think in turn, you should be able to trust your husband to be honest about his feelings, and you can show compassion and understanding to him while also supporting your own needs.

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Thanks, @DonkeySocks . I spoke at greater length with my husband last night about it. He said he supports me whatever I decide to do. He noted that he was already aware that I experienced chest dysphoria even though I never directly spoke with him about it - he said he recalls that I've made comments about feeling uncomfortable for many years. I'm very fortunate to have such a partner who is not only supportive, but who also pays attention and validates me. It's not always easy, but love wins in the end. 

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  • Forum Moderator

Amen - to have support and as you so eloquently said 

2 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

to have such a partner who is not only supportive, but who also pays attention and validates me. It's not always easy, but love wins in the end. 

it brings me to tears. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys!

 

At the risk of necroing another thread (which I've done already today...LOL), how is everyone doing? :)

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I don't think it's really thread necromancy if the thread was intended as an occasional check-in and chat thread. :) Personally I'm doing pretty well, although I had some hidden gender identity anxiety about a visit with my husband's family, and I realized that I was feeling exhausted and anxious about seeing them because we'll be meeting at a restaurant. I've asked most of my side of the family--I still have a brother and one very questionable sister in law to go, but let's pray she's actually more tolerant than she seemed last time this came up--to use the proper male pronouns for me, but I haven't asked my husband's family. And I'm not going to, in a restaurant. Given his brother's penchant for talking loudly about controversial subjects and being somewhat unkind when in a group (he's much nicer privately), I realized my anxiety was stemming from being in public and talking about pronouns. So I feel much better since I decided just not to bring it up with them. Talked to my husband about it and he gets it, he's had to deal with his brother his whole life. I'm standing up for myself and my pronouns around my mother, and that makes me feel good.

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