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Coping with the things you can't change


itsJoey

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How do you cope with things that give you dysphoria but that can't be changed through hormones or surgery (i.e. your height, your bone structure, your hand size, or anything else makes sense for you in regards to this prompt)?

 

I'm a trans male struggling with the idea that some of the things I hate most about my body won't change, no matter how hard I try or how much money I spend, and it gives me a feeling of hopelessness.  I'm curious to hear how some others cope with similar problems.

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I really think it helps to realize that many things one believes are bad about themselves are things that everyone wishes they could change, whether they are trans or cis or queer or non-binary or whatever or whoever they are.  Those characteristics, such as height, weight, bone structure, foot size, nose size, etc., are just part of human variation.  I have known cis women who are 6'3" or more, natal men who are 5'3" (I am one) or less, big boned women, small boned non-muscular men, men with pixie noses, women with big noses, ad infinitum.

 

I used to be self-deprecating about my height pre-transition.  Yet I was accepted for my physical type and limitations and had a successful career where I was respected and valued. I didn't go out for the workplace basketball team, but that was OK.  I bowled, I played softball, and I had fun doing what I could do.  You also might be surprised at how many things you think are immutable that you can change if you are resourceful and creative.

 

Acceptance of oneself is not always easy to achieve, but it is essential for good mental health, IMO.  A counselor or therapist can help with that. What I've found to be true is that others will accept you for who you are far easier, and far quicker, than you will learn to accept yourself.  That is a happy thing to learn about human nature.

 

Carolyn Marie

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3 hours ago, Carolyn Marie said:

I really think it helps to realize that many things one believes are bad about themselves are things that everyone wishes they could change, whether they are trans or cis or queer or non-binary or whatever or whoever they are...

 

Carolyn Marie

 

This whole response took the words out of my mouth, though perhaps more elegantly presented.

 

It can be a struggle, no doubt. As a man, my hands and feet were roughly the same size as many women. If anyone gives you grief about the size of your hands just remind them that small hands also means small fists... 😉

 

Ok jokes aside, I've found it helpful to focus on the progress rather than the hurdles. On occasion I'm still overwhelmed worrying about what the future holds. While it's great to have goals, I try to remember that today is all I have. When I do what I can to love myself today, tomorrow isn't as scary. The best way to prepare for tomorrow is by making the most of today. 

 

Some people will forever see me as a weirdo autistic transwoman with a noticeable tremor and really, they aren't wrong, but that is not all I am.

I know I'm a beautiful soul with a heart of gold, flaws and all. I don't need to depend on validation from those who will never give it to me to know that I am good enough. My friend used to remind me, "Those that matter don't mind, and those that mind don't matter."

 

Coming to terms with something outside of your control is a process. Especially early on, I leaned heavily on a few good friends and a support group. I also work with a therapist regularly. It took a few tries to find one I clicked with, but with persistence I found one that's a good fit.

 

I could have made this MUCH longer but I've rambled enough.

I'm glad you reached out and expressed your struggles. Unfortunately there's no easy silver bullet solution. (that I know of?)

The key to happiness is wanting what you have, not having what you want.

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Somethings you got to take with a grain of salt and deal with the cards you were dealt. I completely understand though as my body parts are huge but do know that there are small males and I know there are big females. I do appreciate what I have and have gained.

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I really, really REALLY love the pearls of wisdom found here. @Carolyn Marie, your opening sentence said it all. And @Liz-Liz, so did your last sentence!

 

I'm nowhere near being in the same league as most folk here but I still have body image issues. Oh, what I wouldn't give to have an hourglass figure! I know it won't happen though, so I just have to be content with what I have - at the end of the day I am significantly taller and somewhat lighter than my wife...

 

In my eyes, grooming, presentation and refinement are far more important than size or shape, whether whole-of-body or parts thereof.

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There is so much goodness and value in both @Carolyn Marie's and @Liz-Liz's responses. And, @Mirrabookayou are so right that grooming, presentation and refinement are also keys to overcoming the body challenges we all have,

 

I try to find clothing that highlights my good points and minimizes those I'm not as happy with. And, make-up can do wonders with that nose of mine. 🙂

 

Although, I just really beginning my journey, my therapist has helped me to be happy with who I am - not perfect, far from beautiful, but happy with the me who looks back at me each day when I look in the mirror.

 

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This is such ash important issue for us as well as it is for cis people.  I remember shortly after going full time feeling a bit sorry for myself.  There was a beautiful young woman living in a cottage on the farm.  In our conversation she warned me about getting caught in the trap of "needing to change my looks".  She told me about cis female friends who never felt comfortable with their looks.  Somehow that need to find self acceptance has stuck with me.  I do the best i can and try to enjoy what i have.  A 75 year old trans woman will never be a hot 20 year old but i can be a peaceful, smiling old lady and that is wonderful in itself.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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