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Situational body dysphoria

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Does anyone experience this? When I'm hanging out at home (usually in a beat up old t-shirt), or out with the baby, I'm pretty comfortable in the body I've got. I feel great about breastfeeding my son, I know in my gut it's the right thing to do and I'm comfortable doing it wherever we are. But when I leave the house sans kids, my chest bothers me, a lot. I feel self-conscious and awkward unless I've got a compression shirt on. For years I hid beneath extremely modest women's clothing; now I wear men's clothes and that helps.

Does anyone else experience dysphoria this way?

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Guest CariadsCarrot

Not exactly the same thing but I do experience dysphoria more in some situations than I do in others.

For me I find that I have less dysphoria when I'm involved in something that satisfies my male ego like working out hard or compleating a DIY project or something else that allows me to express my maleness in a way I wasn't able to in all the years that I was trying to fit into a female role (I want to be clear that I'm NOT saying that women can't do DIY or work out or whatever but they are things that I was always afraid to do while trying to be female because steriotypes made me feel that I would expose the true self that I was trying to deny if I excelled in those things).


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Guest Gregg Jameson

HI Ravin,

I understand to some degree.

You had mentioned when you leave the house sans kids, you feel more dysphoria.

Do you mean leaving the house amplifies this, or leaving the house without the kids amplifies this dysphoria?

(It may be you feel parental with your children, but then feel more of your sense of your own individuality when out without the children?)

I can tell you that I feel less dysphoria when I am with people whom see me as they have for years. My focus is different then, for some reason. I am focused upon others.

When I venture out alone, or am with someone whom knows me as I truly am, I am so grateful they see me and accept me as I am, but I also experience more dysphoria about things I have not yet fully changed. Also, when I am out by myself, I am more conscious of myself as an individual, which includes more of my own focus being on my gender, sexuality, all of who I am.

Thanks so much for sharing!

With Admiration,


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When I'm by myself at home I'm comfortable enough. I don't feel dysphoria about breastfeeding except sometimes at night when I'm too much with my own thoughts. Aside from then, it's like when I have a use for them, they're fine. The rest of the time I just want them to go away, and I look forward to the end of my son nursing in a way I did not with my older child, despite being determined not to let my own issues leave him short-changed. And when I'm out with just the older one it's the same as when I'm by myself.

I particularly have noticed it this week as the baby is now going to child care near where I go to school, so I take him there and for convenience wear more accessible clothing (i.e., no compression shirt), then have to change when I get to the school building (though I'm thinking about changing in the restroom at the child care center in future). I also detest pumping, which I won't have to do much longer (as soon as my body cooperates as the baby doesn't drink much ebm any more).

It's like lactivist me and masculine me have struck a balance. It's really inconvenient at times, though. I see the point about feeding the male ego--going to school/work is an at least gender neutral role in a way being "mommy" to an infant is not.

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