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King Arthur

What Does Dysphoria Feel Like?

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King Arthur

Okay, so I know everyone feels/experiences dysphoria differently, but I would like some first-hand accounts of what it feels like to others, so I can make sense of my own feelings. For me, I talk down on myself, saying stuff like, “You’re not as masculine as you think you are” or “No matter what, people will always see you as feminine in some way”. I also feel disappointment in some way whenever I look in the mirror, it’s kind of just a vague sense of unhappiness, but I really dislike how feminine I look, and if it’s not that, then it’s how I look like a 13 year old boy(I’m 17).

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King Arthur

Oh yeah, I also call myself a he, boy, son, etc. It feels so nice and it kind of comes naturally now. I dislike it when others call me something feminine, like girl or daughter

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Jackie C.
48 minutes ago, King Arthur said:

Okay, so I know everyone feels/experiences dysphoria differently, but I would like some first-hand accounts of what it feels like to others, so I can make sense of my own feelings

 

Wrong? Uncomfortable in your own skin. Like you're carrying a weight around your neck and you're not quite sure why.

 

Then there's the envy part: "I would have made a fantastic girl." "I'd murder a village of toddlers for her chest." "My <deity of choice> I wish I had her hips." "It's not fair I can't have her... um, butt."

 

And of course the crushing depression. Everything is hopeless. I can't be who I'm supposed to be. I'm suffocating in here. Just let it end.

 

Presenting female felt more like the sky opening up and letting me breathe my first breath of fresh air. Even with the anxiety. The first couple of times are always fun. You think, "Are people laughing at me?" "Is that woman calling the police?" "I'm not fooling anyone..."

 

In six word stories format. "Dysphoria sucks. You should find help."

 

I know, that's all kind of depressing. I'm mostly better now and my therapist is helping me move towards being a people. It's OK. Honest.

 

Hugs!

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A. Dillon

For me, it was literally everything, in the air I breathed and the ground I walked on. I told my dad that I was his son, I wanted to cut off my chest, the idea of me growing up to be a "woman" made me hurl, too many things to even count honestly. This kind of exemplifies it:

 

When I had just started going through puberty, like getting hips and stuff, my mom got my twin sister and I a book on the changes we would go through. For some reason, I had always assumed that my puberty would involve getting taller, getting a deeper voice, becoming hairier, etc. I even thought that I would just grow a penis, why I didn't already have one was very confusing. I basically only saw my future self as a man. Then, I read that book. I was crushed, I have trauma from just looking at those pages, talking about how all these changes would come and make me a woman. I almost threw up sometimes when I thought about it. I became incredibly paranoid that these changes, specifically shark week, could come at any moment and I was terrified. I also started to be suicidal, if my fate was to be a woman then I didn't want to grow up. It was intense, everything in me rejected it, it felt like being crushed from the inside out.

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Liam da potato

I was kinda all the time looking at boys trying to look like them. Whenever I had to look at some dresses and stuff I'd say "but why I don't want to  look like a girl" or whenever I read love stuff like manga shoujo I would be damn embarrassed, not manly enough I think I saw myself as a dude

But then people would look at me and say "but you can't, you're a girl", you can't do that, you can't do that, why do you act like a boy?, tom-boy, freak, all of these were not really.. amusing. My wish was to be a boy, but I thought it was a normal thing to think. When I was younger I saw my CM1 teacher, she had short hair, and I thought that was cool ya know and when it was finally cut for a microsecond I saw a dude in the glass I was so happy! When someone would "missgender" me, calling me a boy or something that made me so happy!

RN I am feeling quite dysphoric so I can tell : whenever someone looks at you you feel like they judge you, thinking "are they a boy, a girl?" all the time, when you are dressing and that your chest pops out even thou it is "small", you try your best to act feminine to look like the others and then feel like everyone is looking at you like you were naked or something. Whenever you want to be friends with dudes they look at you differently, they LOOK a lot! You just want to be like them. Girls have standards and you don't match it, and it feels gross, you feel gross when you try to fit in, and the worst is when you feel fake.

That feeling increased by the time and exploded this year, I didn't want to lie anymore, but lie about what? And I found the video, of a trans dude. Everything made sense after that. But now you know what you feel ,you know what it is, so your mind stays focused on it and it is awful you think about "I am trans, I am trans" even thou you don't want so you dont want to hear anything about gender.

That is pretty shtty I guess..

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Mx.Drago

Try imagining being buried in a box alive and feeling like that consistently.

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Mmindy
4 hours ago, Jackie C. said:

Then there's the envy part: "I would have made a fantastic girl." "I'd murder a village of toddlers for her chest." "My <deity of choice> I wish I had her hips." "It's not fair I can't have her... um, butt."

Well stated Jackie,

 

I'm always being called a lady watcher (1960s song in my head now) I am guilty as charged with a caveat. I've never wanted to be with the ladies I watched, I've always wanted to be the ladies I watched. I explained this to my therapist yesterday.

 

Best wishes everyone,

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

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Mary Jane

for me its more of a feeling inside i felt like the me now isn't the full me and well that lead to questioning my gender i still dont have an answer for my gender and the full me is still locked up but yea its a feeling inside rather than outside

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SaraAW

I always struggle to put this into words when talking to my therapist. I feel wrong when I can't be myself on the outside. Sometimes that wrongness is physically painful, but most of the time it's mental anguish and depression, which hurts no less.  Sometimes I just want so badly to be a cis woman. There is also the sense of yearning/jealousy that happens sometimes when I see someone with features I admire.  Then there's particular features of my body that I just despise and seeing them stirs anger and disgust.

 

Since I started therapy and more recently HRT, things have been getting better.  Most days now, it's just a whisper or quiet voice, not a roaring shout, and being busy distracts me from it almost entirely.  Some days it still hits hard and I just shut down, shut out the world, put on some music and try to lose myself in a good book or online story, a lot of times I just sleep it away.

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KayC

Hi King Arthur! and welcome!
I haven't been to therapy yet so I don't have an expert way to describe, but for me its like rolling waves of anxiety.  Like being tossed around on a boat on the ocean, with no rudder/direction.  Sometimes small waves and sometime BIG.  I only get depressed if it causes issues with my wife (going through that right now).

I've presented as a man for so many years its a familiar feeling and not debilitating, and I can easily fall into that roll.  But it doesn't feel natural either, and the dysphoria and my transfeminine side always comes back.

If you have the ability to seek out therapy I hope you can take that path.

Wishing you the best .. we're all here to help each other.

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TammyAnne

For me, it's a constant feeling of dread that something is wrong. Then I do things to try to feel better, such as removing all of my body hair - which brings me a sense of peace for a day or so, but then the fur keeps coming back.

My body has always embarrassed me.

It hasn't gotten better. No matter what I do, it's always something else that bothers me. The only real escape I have is doing my artwork, where I can just dissolve myself into the little world I'm creating there.

TA

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Erikka

Hating the lower half of your body. Wanting to be female and knowing you’re male. Until I came out I felt that I was a fraud during intercourse, that It should be the other way around. 

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Tessa

Being in a man’s body and being a woman is not a picnic. I was called a girl all my life. Recently came out to my mom and she told me she rejected me at birth because I wasn’t a girl! Maybe that’s where it all started in the womb. I wanted to please mommy so instead of taking on masculine features I took on feminine ones. I’m skinny, don’t have hardly any hair o my body, higher voice, but tall. My brothers are big muscular men. I was always comparing myself to boys when I was a teen. Why was I skinny and why can’t I grow hair on my body and lower my voice. For years I couldn’t even grow facial hair. I hated sports and was very emotional. I did dated girls but I always felt more like the girl was a friend and relationships never worked for me. I grew up being told you have to be strong and the man of the house. 
 

I saved sex for marriage thinking this would the most wonderful thing raising children! I got married but the woman I chose came against my feminine side. She would force the male out of me. She demanded more than I could give and she would put me down and tell me you act like a girl! So after 13 years the marriage ended and I struggled so much to find myself. We had 3 children together, House, vehicles, etc. One day it was all taken from me. Forcing me to change. That’s when I started buying woman’s clothes and it felt so good! But the guilt set in. I probably threw away hundreds of dollars of woman’s clothes to try to free me but I was never free. 
 

Then came Tessa. I don’t know how but she came out and I can’t put her back in her cage no matter what I do. She is the better side of me is how my therapist puts it. Tessa is beautiful, charming, intelligent, loving, flirty, and all around woman people love! No one really has judged me for being her! Accept myself. People have told me that Tessa fits me. They are more intrigued by her unique up beat personality then anything else. 

 

So when you talk about Dysphoria I have to say it hits me when I am forced to play the other side. The side that is always comparing and downgrading itself. When I’m Tessa I can take on the world when I’m the male part I feel weak and vulnerable. My Dysphoria is more in my mind. I work on the phones and I’m Tessa. My company let’s me say that I am on the phone. Most people believe it and they are drawn to me and want to tell me their problems. Some say my voice comes off sweet and others say sexy and yet others hear it as male. Dysphoria feels like you can never be authentic enough and you feel guilty of who you are. You feel life had given you a bad seed and your forced to grow it. However, you can take your Dysphoria and make it work for you! It reminds you how not to feel and all it takes is you changing course and saying It don’t have to feel this way” For me dressing up as a woman and just getting on the phones and being Tessa to my customers, I have come out to my apt complex supervisors, my Mom, a friend... not to everyone yet but be patient with yourself and love who you are! I could be dressed fully as a man and give all my woman clothes away but Tessa won’t leave. It’s not what we wear or what gender we present. It’s a personality. A living breathing person inside! A wonderful beautiful person! It’s me! It’s you! Be yourself and be the best you can be! 
 

Love to ALL 

 

Tessa👩‍🦰❤️

 

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Tori M
1 hour ago, Tessa said:

I’m skinny, don’t have hardly any hair o my body, higher voice, but tall. My brothers are big muscular men. I was always comparing myself to boys when I was a teen. Why was I skinny and why can’t I grow hair on my body and lower my voice. For years I couldn’t even grow facial hair. I hated sports and was very emotional. I did dated girls but I always felt more like the girl was a friend and relationships never worked for me. I grew up being told you have to be strong and the man of the house. 

Wow, Tessa, this was my experience exactly, except for the brothers.  My mother dumped me when I was 2 and took off with my half-siblings.  Around age 11-12 I remember 2 boy friends at the time asked me if I was "in love with them" due to the way I behaved.  In my teens and 20's I made girl friends very easily but not girlfriends.  Once, I was lucky I found a girl that liked to dress me in her undies, but she left me to be a soldier in the army (yea, I still wonder about her status, too).  At the end of both of my marriages I was told our relationship was more like a friendship than lovers.

 

King Arthur, for me dysphoria was looking in the mirror admiring my somewhat feminine physique until I encountered the male parts, which disgusted me.  From a young age, I tucked my junk to hide it from myself and tried anything to create the look of breasts.  Dysphoria felt to me like living in a void between male and female and neither side wanted me.  I'm still somewhat in that void, but looking out from that place now has it's advantages.  When a woman wants to be friends with me, it makes me very happy.  When a man notices me, I get a tremendous charge from it.

 

Hating my body and behavior turned into hating myself and so hating myself became part of my dysphoria.  I've lived with that hatred for 40 years.  Today, when I see young people such as yourself figuring these things out and having resources to discuss it and treat it makes me both envious and happy for you.  I believe the sooner anyone figures it out and starts living as who they really are, the better off they'll be.  It's not an easy journey but the self-hatred like I had only gets worse.

 

As others said here, I've always looked at the opposite sex (women in my case) not as a potential sexual encounter, but with envy.  I want her hair, her lips, her nose, her booty.  Cis women do that, too, which is one of the things that helped me figure out who I really am.  I point that out here because maybe you don't look at other women that way.  If you see boys as a collection of parts that you wish you had, then I'd say you are right to question yourself.  I sincerely hope you figure it out sooner rather than later!

 

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Suiraa

As previously stated, everyone experiences dysphoria differently. I've tried to study mine some to try and understand how it functions.
It is like an internal mechanism that is uncomfortable and knows exactly what is causing the discomfort. This discomfort is then translated into impulses that feel very similar to craving something like nicotine (but not quite). One of the things for me is that I will feel discomfort in my body hair and I will have to shave and make myself look pretty. Otherwise I will start to become distracted and irritable.

I need to study it way more and I currently consider my understanding of these mental processes to be rather limited.

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Susan R
47 minutes ago, Suiraa said:

This discomfort is then translated into impulses that feel very similar to craving something like nicotine (but not quite).

 

I can relate to this exact feeling although I never smoked, I have seen the affects on others.  After purging my entire wardrobe, the powerful feeling of ‘accomplishment’ would eventually wear off.  Then, during this state of suppression, the dysphoria would start to kick in, often triggered by singular events...seeing a beautiful woman, seeing a man act chivalrous to a woman, or some similar event. My mind would not relent on those images and the need to dress as myself would increase as it always had. Within a week, I found myself thinking about nothing else but dressing as myself.  Eventually, to calm my mind, I would break down and go shopping.

 

Acceptance of yourself and who you are seems to be a good way to stop this unproductive, painful and costly cycle...at least this is true in my case.

 

Susan R🌷

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MaryMary

I remember when I was a teenager the first years when I felt more intense dysphoria. I was starting my puberty (the wrong one). It felt like a mix of panic and depression. It was like a cloud that was setting in on top of my emotions and feelings. Without really realizing it I went from being relatively happy, listening to pop music and all that to being a trainwreck and just unable to deploy any effort on any projects and listening to very very dark music, suicidal etc etc lol I also remember when my voice changed because I remember the trauma and the panic. In fact I reacted so strongly that my voice didn't actually deepened. Later, doctors said it was because of stress...

 

Then as an adult, before my coming out it was like a general numbness and felt like I was turned off (like a computer that is turned off). I like the expression "crushing depression" that someone used, that's pretty much it.

 

Now I relatively don't have a lot but when I feel it it's no longer general numbness and depression. It's more like a knife stab, that sudden feeling you have the first second when you learn a really bad news.

 

Anyway, that's my way of describing

 

 

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Just Lee

There's already so many good answers on here that I don't think I could improve on any of them. The only different thing I can think to describe it is-- that's not me. When I was playing soccer (in UK it would be football) I was running, jumping and enjoying the feel of playing and being part of the team. I played hard, I sweated hard it was great and I felt a hundred feet tall and nothing beats that together feeling. Then we went to the locker room and I saw my reflection. That's not me. You saw me out there--I was just one of the guys playing sports, having fun and it was great. That tiny, little, delicate, chesty, feminine THING is not me. The nauseated feeling of self-loathing made it hard to breathe. I didn't look in a mirror for a month after because what was in the mirror was NOT me. Will never be me. And I still have a hard time looking at mirrors. And I don't look down. I can't. I won't. 

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Abi

Say I'm at work and some guy says, "That girl is sexy." I might look at who they are talking about. I might be thinking how this jerk is wasting time gawking at girls instead of being a responsible adult in the workplace. I also get pissed, because who are they to talk this way about anyone. It's sexist either way you cut it. Who would appreciate that really? I get sick in my stomach and literally have had to walk away before I cry over feeling like I'm caught in a hurricane. I wish someone would look at me that way, but I know they can't because of what their eyes tell them. Sure I wish I looked like her, she's stunning even without trying. She also has the right to be respected and not sexualized by creeps behind their back. I have literally gotten dizzy at how fast I run down this waterfall of perspectives. I get so emotional inside that I'm screaming and yet still have to be that responsible adult in the workplace, I was talking about. I have learned to walk away before falling for the drama trap this could create. I have told women in the past about these kinds of things if I thought it was necessary. These types of people do not understand what beautiful, pretty or sexy really means. I have literally left jobs that I loved, due to the feelings in these places that I could not keep enduring. I shouldn't have to explain what is going on within me that creates this feeling to feel safe either. These people don't see with a loving heart, so they are really not good for anyone in my opinion. I have many more subtle types of dysphoria moments but this one has had a significant impact on me... far too many times.

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Tessa

Dysphoria to me is more of a have to for my mental sanity. I have to dress like a woman or I just don’t feel right in my own skin. It’s like an urgency to get into the right body. I actually will be stressed out until I do. At my job when I worked in the building I could not express myself fully. I have told them I go by Tessa but I’m not relaxed enough to wear skirts and dresses to the office. 

 

Working at home had given me this freedom and I love it! I can wear what I want and not feel like I’m being judged. Really know one has said to my face that I look like a freak or ever made fun of me. I am harder on myself. 
 

Tess

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