Chain Reaction: Genetics, Body Image and Body DysphoriaPosted: May 27, 2014
Body Image and Dysphoria: I hate my body. Why are my mind and genetics at odds?
I quit letting Mary Jane dominate my life about a month ago. As a result, I am not able to disassociate as easily from the pain of having this body. Look at myself in mirror is painful. having the wrong genitalia is making me wonder if I will ever be comfortable enough in my body to have sex again. I know I will need many surgeries. Will I be ever able to afford the medical care I so desperately need?
I went on a hike this weekend with a local group of lesbians. I had a really good time, as I often do with friends who allow me to live in the relationship, but when pictures of me started to be posted online I was just reminded of how masculine my features are. People tell me I have a great smile. Wonderful. I wish I could feel the same way. It’s hard sometimes to not feel like I went from being a beautiful man to being an average woman.
I have always had a heavy build even as a baby. I have a rather nordic build, am six feet and two and a stout hundred kilos. This causes me to envy other transwomen I meet whose skeleton does not immediately out them. Although I have met other xx women my height, they usually have a much more delicate bone structure. And I always feel a kinship with them, knowing haw we both cannot find clothes off the rack easily. I come from tall people. On my maternal grandmother’s side they are five foot ten women and six foot six men. I suppose my massive bones have been a benefit when I’ve been hit by cars, perhaps pain in life comes from many vectors, and this scar on my soul is what has impacted me.
I feel like my size often outs me. If I speak on the phone people cannot see how large I am, so they often misgender me and I have to correct them. It’s annoying, but feels like a minor point compared having doubts I will never be able to enjoy sex completely and without reservation.
I also realize that looking at my childhood my chronic depression has been lifelong. It never really hit me until the trifecta of my mother’s cancer, my parents breakup, and her death hit me at ages 9-12. It feels like a genetic predisposition, which, considering my paternal grandmother killed herself a couple of years before I was born it is quite likely.
Compared to other genetic dis-eases mine would perhaps seem trivial to most. I wish I could feel the same way. That I am still generally able bodied has probably increased my internalized guilt, shame, and transphobia for being who I am. I hope that through this process of writing perhaps I can better understand myself, and the cosmos I experience.