How trauma caused dysphoria and made me hate being female
I want to tell my story of hating my sex and gender to the point that I genuinely thought I was transgender. First I want to put a caveat here though:
I recognize that gender dysphoria is real and that transgender folks are real and valid. I do not disregard anyone’s very real experience of being transgender just because I was “mistaken” about my dysphoria caused by trauma with gender dysphoria which transgender people experience. Both experiences are real and valid!
How trauma caused my dysphoria
It was the year 2017. I had gone through a rough break-up a few years earlier from an abusive, violent man. He did all sorts of horrible things throughout our 2,5 years long relationship. He was beating me up for being “disobedient” (it could be something as small as I forgot to buy bread or something), he raped me repeatedly and regularly (in the most absurd fantasies and hid behind the phenomenon of “BDSM” despite the fact that I never consented nor was I interested in that!) and he always told me I was the crazy one. It got to the point I believed I was going insane. He also messed with both my reality and my prescribed medication. So in other words, he was gaslighting me, physically and sexually hurting me, and not to forget; emotionally damaging my confidence to the point of non-existence.
This was how I started to hate my body.
Sadly it was not only my body I hated though, I especially hated the female traits of my body. Afterward, I realized I hated my female body so much because I was hurt because I was female. Women are hated and hurt just for being women alone. Men don’t experience hate just because of the fact that they are men, not to the same degree as women do. But I didn’t connect the fact that I was abused to my dysphoria and my hatred of my gender and sex.
I recognize that sex and gender are two separate things, but let me tell you; I hated being born female so much I had plans to take my own life every time I got my period because it reminded me of my female body so much. So I got on the pill just to get rid of my period. I cut my hair short just to be more androgynous.
Why I thought I was transgender and how I find out I wasn’t
I thought this had something to do with being transgender because I couldn’t come up with any other way of describing why I felt like I hated my body so much. I even got referred to a gender clinic by my psychologist and the people at that clinic were the ones who revealed that trauma might be the root cause of it all.
So I wasn’t allowed to go on hormones or do anything until I worked through all of my trauma. So I started trauma-informed therapy.
So where did I change my mind?
I changed my mind when I was in trauma therapy. I started to become more confident and understand my feelings and why I behaved the way I did. I started to understand why I felt like I hated my sex and gender so much and that it was okay that I felt the way I did. That is understandable that I felt what I felt.
Did I socially transition and it was a waste of time?
I did socially transition. I told everyone that I was a transguy, a transman. I don’t necessarily think it was a waste of time, but I sometimes feel embarrassed about that period of my time and I can’t understand why. Because I genuinely thought I was transgender.
It was difficult and many people didn’t understand. Many people abandoned me. They criticized me a lot. After all, that was wrong from their side. It’s hard to be transgender, and many people critique the entire phenomenon. I experienced it firsthand. So I will be the last to blame or be unaccepting of an actual transperson.
I think what I gained from the experience with dysphoria and my social transition was that I’m now a naturally accepting person of trans people. Completely, 100% accepting. Even if it was revealed that I wasn’t trans after all.
I will not lie, I have become fascinated with sexual- and reproductive health and the complexity of human nature
Lately, for the past year or so, I have become very interested in my own body and my own sexual- and reproductive health. From hating my monthly periods to embracing them (for example by getting a cute and comfy menstrual cup!). From feeling icky around everything that has to do with the human nature of pregnancy and all this stuff, to figuring out that although I’m child-free by choice I still want to learn about my body.
I even got a pelvic floor trainer to take care of my sexual health and started to measure my temperature every morning (or at least when I can) with Natural Cycles just to learn more about my body. I’m curious about my body and my health and I want to learn what I can and do what I can to take care of it.
I don’t know why I suddenly became so very interested in these things, but apparently I have! I think trauma-informed therapy has helped me evolve as a person and that’s why I’m reconsidering some stuff.
What’s next, then?
So now that I have established that I am in fact a cisgender woman, what’s next? Well, the next thing is what I’m already doing; exploring all my possibilities as the person I’m meant to be.
I feel thankful for my experience of thinking I was transgender because it makes me even more accepting of trans people. However, I wouldn’t wish my experiences with abuse on anyone and not myself either! That was not worth it. But the experience of socially transitioning was because it made me the person I am today.
I just wanted to tell my story because it’s one of the most important experiences I’ve had. I do still validate transgender people even if I wasn’t. Not all people have dysphoria because of trauma, some people have it because they’re trans. But the conclusion is that I appreciate my experience as someone who was once Tricio, a transman in my own eyes then, but now back to Tricia, a ciswoman and that is who I am.
I will still say that although I am in a heterosexual relationship I’m still bisexual though! That has not changed. LGBTQ+ rights are human rights. I might not be trans, but I am part of the LGBTQ+ community.