hurting to become

I got that phrase from somewhere. Sounds like asofterworld maybe, I used to read them all. I don’t know. It’s what I think of as the unifying quality between a seemingly disparate set of activities I’ve done (at different times, not all concurrently) that seemed like they had something unhealthy in common for me. Here’s the set, at least as far as I can remember it right now:

  • Running 10-25 miles a week
  • Starving myself
  • Testosterone injections
  • Tweezing my eyebrows
  • Shaving

So like… what linked these things was that I felt like I was stuck forcing myself to repeat these rituals I was miserable (often in pain, always disinterested) during in an attempt (successful or unsuccessful) to create some difference in my appearance that I (publicly or very privately) ascribed an almost religious importance to. To the extent that I could see the change I was manifesting, I would look at it compulsively and ruminate very repetitively on the degree of my “success”.

I was doing all of these things in part to avoid social consequences, in some way or another. Running was about trying to lose weight and not pissing off my teammates. Starving myself was about thinking people would be nicer to me if I was thinner. Testosterone was about trying to escape the way I was treated as a woman. Tweezing was about thinking people would make fun of my eyebrows (in high school this would have been true… as an adult it really hasn’t come up, lol). Shaving my arms, legs, and armpits was about not being mocked for not being enough of a woman. Shaving my face was about trying to make myself more palatable to the people who knew I was detransitioned, and so I could feel like it wasn’t my fault when I still got read as male.

None of these things made me feel any better. Treating my body as the problem has never moved me towards healing. It just reinforced that I’m not good enough and that I don’t deserve to control my own appearance. This isn’t how I want to relate to my body anymore. I’m tired of training myself I’m shit by forcing myself to do activities I find painful and/or tedious and/or stupid with the objective of pleasing another person or group of people. If someone actually wants to bully me into doing objectively unnecessary shit I don’t want to do, they’re the freak, not me. At this point I’m just so done taking on somebody else’s hangups about my body. I’ve got plenty of my own.

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