Integrating the feminine – a non-transgender perspective.

Below is an article from therapist Jim Moyers that illustrates some of the ideas I have been talking about with integration. He describes his relationship with his inner woman and how he was able to heal by befriending her and letting go of his toxic conception of masculinity which did not suit him. This did not manifest as cross-dreaming or any kind of transgender impulse but manifested in a different way. Nevertheless, the way he describes his journey has a lot of parallels to mine. He even invokes the myth of Attis and Cybele which was a myth I resonated with in the past. I have pasted his entire article below.

Impotent Rage & the Myth of Attis

An earlier version of this article was published in the Men’s Journal, Summer 1986 and reprinted in Yevrah Ornstein, editor, From the Hearts of Men (Woodacre, CA: Harmonia Press, 1991).

A number of years ago, in an undergraduate class on Hellenistic religion, I encountered the strange story of Attis. This complex myth, brought from Asia Minor to ancient Rome, exists in several differing, and rather bewildering versions. To simplify it somewhat, Attis was a young man with whom the Great Mother goddess, Cybele, was in love. Ignoring Cybele’s passion for him, Attis attempted to marry a mortal woman. Enraged by the snub, Cybele disrupted the wedding, driving Attis into a mad frenzy in which he castrated himself. His intended bride was killed by Cybele, and Attis bled to death from his castration. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attis for more details.)

While most of my classmates regarded this tale as another bizarre example of ancient mythology, I was fascinated, although not quite sure why. Only later did I realize that the myth of Attis represents a kind of impotent male rage that I knew all too well from first hand experience. I have also come to realize that this kind of blind, destructive rage is involved in many instances of domestic violence.

From early in my life, I had periodic outbursts of uncontrollable anger that seemed to come from someplace outside myself. In a sort of possession state, I would feel as if something that was not me had taken control. Fortunately I never did serious damage during these outbursts, but they would leave me, and anyone who happened to be in the vicinity, shaken and wondering what had happened.

The outbursts continued into adulthood. After my marriage my wife was often the object of my rage. While I normally felt a great deal of love for her, when in one of these states I was aware only of hatred. I several times came close to physically attacking her. Neither she nor I had any idea where this terrible thing came from or what could be done about it. I only knew that I seemed to be incapable of controlling it, and was very ashamed of my inability to do so. If a man was supposed to always be in control of himself, I clearly was failing to live up to expectations.

In my late twenties I began psychotherapy. While I didn’t go into therapy with the conscious intention of dealing with my angry outbursts, they did, of course, come up despite my resistance to talking about them. With my therapist’s support I began to explore what I experienced as a shameful aspect of myself. After much careful and painful examination of these seeming possession states, I came to realize that they were triggered by something, often a critical remark by my wife, that I construed to be some sort of attack on my competency as a man. I would desperately try to defend my image of myself relative to the masculine ideal that I unconsciously believed I should match, denying what I took to be feminine (because it was not part of my idealized masculine image) weakness. But since my wife’s critical observations were generally pretty accurate, refuting them was difficult. Despite my struggle to stay in control of the situation, my sense of powerlessness, and panic, only increased, further threatening the illusion of myself as a strong, competent male, making my attempts to defend that self-image all the more frantic. Unable to either win or give up my defense, I would suddenly find “something else” in control, completely unmanning me.

According to my wife, I would behave “like a hysterical woman” during these episodes. This of course did nothing to booster the masculine self image I was striving to maintain. My refusal to admit the existence of “feminine weakness” in myself paradoxically made me into the embodiment of the very traits I was trying my best to deny. Attis was driven to castrate himself; I was rendered impotent to control anything, especially myself.

My therapist, who had a Jungian orientation, introduced me to the idea of the “anima,” the feminine element within a man’s psyche. Jung’s ideas about masculine and feminine have been challenged as sexist and have been modified as ideas about gender have become less rigid. But I continue to find Jung’s idea that traits associated with the opposite sex tend to be unconscious within an individual’s psyche useful in both my personal experience and my professional work as psychotherapist. Just as with any aspect of one’s self which remains unconscious, when a man refuses to acknowledge his feminine side, it is apt to act as if it were an autonomous entity, taking control of him against his will. The anima-possessed man, according to Jung, behaves like a “second rate woman,” unconsciously acting out the negative characteristics he associates with the feminine from which he seeks to distance himself. So I acted the part of a stereotypical “hysterical woman.” It is interesting to note that the priests of Cybele, who followed Attis’ example of self-castration and dressed as women, were called “counterfeit women.”

In exploring the background for my rage, I realized that the idealized image I had been trying to emulate had little correspondence with who I actually was. My masculine ideal was formed around a childhood image of the rugged frontiersman who was equal to any task, always knew what to do and did it without letting his feelings show. There was no room for “womanly weakness” in such a heroic figure. But I do have many personality traits, which I have come to recognize are actually strengths, that are traditionally thought of as feminine. If I was going to be Davy Crockett (my childhood hero), I certainly couldn’t put up with such “shortcoming” in my masculine persona. In the service of an unrealistic masculine ideal, I tried to deny who I was, only to be reminded of my real identity in a most forceful and unwelcome way.

As I learned to more consciously acknowledge my other, feminine, side, the “anima attacks” became less frequent, eventually virtually disappearing. When I stopped attacking my inner woman as it were, she stopped attacking me. We became partners instead of opponents. Giving up my need to live up to an idealized and unrealistic male image, I actually became more of a real man, in contrast to the illusionary ideal I had been trying to preserve against all evidence to the contrary. I was better able to use both my masculine and feminine sides without being overpowered by either.

Conscious recognition of the feminine is not the same thing as unthinking surrender (as men so often seem to fear) to the power it represents. Attis’ mistake was not one of refusing Cybele’s demands; it was rather a failure to consciously deal with them. The myth seems to indicate that he didn’t say “no.” He just tried to ignore her, with tragic results. If one is to truly become a man, free from unconscious control by the anima, he must make an active decision to face and deal with the demands made on him by the feminine, especially those of the Mother, in both her personal (in the form of his actual mother) and archetypal forms.

All boys first encounter the feminine via their mothers. Attis’ father was unknown to him. This is often the case in myths of the hero (Attis is a type of failed hero). Men tend to form their identity as men more in relation to their mothers than their fathers. In order for a boy to identify himself as male, he must first realize that there are some radical differences between himself and his mother. At the same time, it is often his mother who tells him in so many ways spoken and unspoken what he must do to be her “little man.”

In order to be a “real man” then, a boy must somehow form an identity for himself as someone distinctly different from his mother while at the same time winning her approval by living up to her image of the ideal male, something his father, being only human, may well have failed to do. A mother overly involved with her son may elevate him to a sort of semi-divine status, a danger reflected in myths of the divine son-lover (such as Attis) who never achieves full manhood. Caught between the need to be differentiate themselves from mother while also needing her approval, it is no wonder so many men are confused about their relation to the feminine, both within their own psyches and as represented by the women in their lives.

In the Grimm’s tale of “Iron Hans” (see my “From Wildman to King”) a little boy frees a caged wild man with a key that had been placed for safe keeping under his mother’s pillow. As the fairy tale indicates, the key to unlocking primal male energy often comes through some sort of transgression of the mother’s authority.

It was very important for me to be a “good boy” for my mother. I was told that I should “be like Jesus” (another divine son-lover figure), an impossible ideal if there ever was one. I thought I had escaped this demand when I married someone from a very different religious background with whom I could and did do things my mother’s “good boy” would never do. But at times I still heard my mother’s disapproving voice, often mistakenly thinking it came from my wife.

I discovered that I had never consciously faced and dealt with my mother’s expectations of me. I tried to ignore them as Attis tried to ignore Cybele. But, again like Attis, I found myself overwhelmed and reduced to impotence, helpless before the power of the unacknowledged mother whose voice I continued to hear.

Cybele was the Great Mother goddess, an archetypal, non-human entity. We often make our mothers into goddesses (and goddesses are not always benevolent beings!), giving them an importance and power which does not belong to the human beings they really are. If we are to reclaim the power we have thus given away, we must see through the image of the Great Mother, in both her nurturing and devouring aspects, that we have projected onto our mothers as well as other women in our lives. It is impossible for a mere mortal man to have a sense of his own power if he is in a relationship with a goddess.

As I struggled with my mother issues, much to my surprise I discovered that she was actually quite different from the image I had formed of her. She really did not demand that I remain forever under her power, threatening to withhold her love if I do not do so. She was simply another human being, with good and bad points like all other human beings.

I must admit that I still do not always see it this way, but these days I manage to more often see through my projections than I used to. In the early days of my marriage, I often projected the critical maternal voice, the trigger for my rages, onto my wife. But I also hear that voice less often. Anger I may feel towards her now tends to be more clearly related to what is actually happening between us than with what I used to imagine was happening. As I withdraw my image of the archetypal mother from my real mother, I also withdraw my anima projections from other women in my life. My relationship with my wife, a relation Attis was unable to establish, is more real. In taking back the power I had given up in an unequal relationship with the archetypal Great Mother, I am able to have a fulfilling relationship as a real man with a real woman who is my equal.

© 2008 James Moyers May be reproduced with source credited.

27 comments

  1. I’m pretty jaded with the Jungian scheme of things – the “hysterical woman” I see isn’t an actual/literal being Freud dreamed up but a projection from the male psyche – but that doesn’t stop men from using it against women (variants of this being prude, frigid b*tch etc. – hysterical usually referring to “not getting laid” or being overdramatic and irrational). Even though Freud’s been debunked to high heaven.
    That or they’ll attempt to psychoanalyze when they’re not qualified professionals at all and say the woman has a repressed animus or feminine shadow. Men still believe anything “womanly” is bad, whether they openly admit it or not.
    I noticed THEY can strive for wholeness – males with females as helpmates or muses – but females are supposed to attach themselves to a male. In Freud’s view women are castrated or incomplete men. Many other men have echoed his sentiment – we don’t have souls, we are passive, etc.
    Still, you write something interesting and I’m inspired to re-read Robert A. Johnson’s work – it’s been a long time.

    1. I can’t edit my comment – in short, blaming things on “womanly” qualities – sometimes even a real woman, is a way of distracting from any attention on toxic masculinity and men’s own behavior. If “femininity” is defined as nurturing, emotional, empathic, creative, and intuitive, (all good human things to have) and “masculinity” as aggression, lack of empathy, cold and calculating, destructive and other things one might class as sociopathic, and it is masculine qualities favored in society, then that’s a huge problem.

      1. Yes, that is exactly the point. If you have a definition of femininity of all good qualities and a definition of masculinity as all bad qualities, then a good person is going to want to identify with the feminine and not the masculine. It is only by letting go of those definitions that you can be free of that.

        It is not that they are actually “womanly” or “manly” qualities but they are womanly or manly qualities as defined by society which can become manifest in the psyche as male or female figures. It is the very split that is the problem.

    2. Yes, Jung’s views are quite sexist and very much a product of his time. Of course these attitudes still exist today, and often are found in a stereotyped way, particularly in wounded parts of the psyche, and those that were laid down as child.

      I’ve read a few of Robert A. Johnson’s books, I remember one about dreams I really liked.

      1. That sounds like Inner Work.

        I’d be interested in reading more on Jungianism from useful sources. When I read stuff like this (below) presenting gender as “nature” or innate I was pretty much ready to ditch the topic altogether:

        “Male sexuality is essentially outgoing, a pursuit of the object in order to obtain relief from tension and discomfort through physical contact. It produces an urge to activity, a restlessness and drive that can be stilled only by detumescence. In contrast to this, a woman’s sexuality manifests itself as a yearning passivity, a desire to have something carried out upon her; it produces a burden of inertia that is the exact counterpart of man’s instinctive drive.
        Woman is therefore burdened with two measures of inertia, the primal sloth of unconsciousness that is the common lot of man and woman, and an additional quota that is the effort of unconscious and unrealized sexuality. Just as Trickster had to struggle with his phallic bundle, so woman has to struggle with her inertia if she is to be freed from identification with her daemon of biological instinct. It is this aspect of feminine psychology that is responsible for the heavy sensuousness of the cowlike woman.”

        — Psychic Energy: Its Source and Its Transformation, M. Esther Harding

        Believe it or not, in pagan and occult circles there’s a lot of sexist and Jungian stuff bandied about. It was in such circles I even became aware of the issue in the first place, having been a fan of Jung for years. There is even a concept called Kundry that literally states (to paraphrase) it deals with a “feminine shadow or even a literal woman.” Coincidentally, both Kundry and the slur “c*nt” have their origins in the Anglo-Saxon word kunnen, which means cunning or skilled. As you might know, “cunning woman” was another name for witch.

        What are some of your favorite books on Jungian psychology?

        1. That quote is pretty horrible.

          Yes, Inner Work, I’ve read that book twice, it is really good.

          As for Jungian reading, it has actually been a while since I have read Jungian works.. I read a lot more modern psychology these days. Still, Jung was my first love in psychology, and it was reading him that first knocked my gender issues loose.

          My primary interest has been reading Jung himself. Recently I read a book called “The Neurobiology of the Gods” which was interesting as it attempted to tie Jungian thought into neuroscience.

          I have spent quite a bit of time in pagan circles. I was active in paganism for some time, although now my spiritual tastes tend more towards Buddhism. I mostly practiced with ecofeminist groups like Reclaiming, which tended to be in reaction to the sort of sexism you describe above, but were absolutely full of the idea that the feminine was good and the masculine was bad, which matched my own schemas at the time.

          Which pagan and occult circles have your run in?

          1. Sweet, thanks!

            I was involved mostly with Thelemites and the occasional pagan circle – a meetup group in Georgia and a church in New York. But their sexism became apparent to me with articles and email exchanges online by the same people and others, and it was mostly males doing it.

            Ecofeminism can be neat. I’ve gone ahead and listed you in my Blogroll and will be an avid reader. Wonderful stuff you have here!

    1. It has to do with that my masculine self construct as a teenager was so far away from my nature that my female self took over rather than a process of integration. Now, I no longer experience any sense of distinct male and female selves.I see these kind of dual self dynamics particularly in the cross dreaming flavor of MTF, and I thought it might be relevant.

      1. I have some issues with my mom, too. To the point that she was literally controlling almost every aspect of my life. I often wonder if this has caused my identity crisis.

  2. “… my masculine self construct as a teenager was so far away from my nature that my female self took over rather than a process of integration.”

    I am sorry. I cannot believe that such confusion(?) about your personal gender(?), sex(?)…would/could lead someone to go so far as to attempt to change their actual physical sex. I really think that all this psychological introspection is just a distraction from what I see as the real culprit.

    The whole GID or Gender Identity debate is a red herring design to mollify and “normalize” a wide collection of psychological and personal dysfunctions. As many have already noted on this blog and countless others, the importance of the erotic target location cannot be denied. There is a sexual satisfaction involved no matter how much people attempt to deny that fact.

    It is this denial that prevents people from adequately addressing the consequences of that denial. Nobody wants to admit to a sexual fetish and so, the so called “care givers”, your gender therapists, etc. are careful not to offend anybody’s sensibilities or run afoul of the GLAAD politically correct “guidelines”. How can effective treatment be administered if such care is subject to political guidelines?

    1. Nobody was denying that there is as erotic component and I have addressed that other places, but neither it is the sole motivation for transition. If it were purely an erotic motivation it would go away when the sex drive is greatly reduced.

      I do think the political stuff a serious problem and prevents us from doing any research that we need to do, and I think the fact that fetishes are so stigmatized contributes to the problem as well. One of the allures to adopting a trans identity is avoiding the shame around having a fetish (and the fetish itself is eroticized shame), and having that fetish be greatly diminished upon the start of HRT serves as “proof” that the person is on the right path.

    2. “I cannot believe that such confusion(?) about your personal gender(?), sex(?)…would/could lead someone to go so far as to attempt to change their actual physical sex.”

      Well, here’s one CDer who finds this way of looking at things pretty helpful. Speaking only for myself, of course, I think I have a deep underlying attitude (or belief or thought-tendency) that goes something along the lines of ‘men are a big disappointment’. Looking in the mirror and seeing a man is not fun for me, to say the least.
      Framed this way, to look in the mirror when CDing and see an alternative me – the woman I could have been had I just been born ‘right’ – is fabulously uplifting, empowering, energising… and sexy, too. At low points in my life, it’s been the most incredibly positive feeling I’ve had. Voom! It’s like a bonfire of vitality, life force.
      I’ve tried many ways to explain the power of that feeling, and erotic energy certainly chucks petrol on the fire (no doubt about it in my mind) but I don’t think it lights in the fire in the first place.
      This blog’s author mentions shame below and for me this is central, not just about sex but more generally, about our ideas of what it means to be a man or a woman.
      I can imagine being proud of myself as a woman but I can’t even begin to imagine being proud of myself ‘as a man’. How crazy is that?? Surely that points to some pretty screwed up meanings I’ve endowed these categories with.

  3. I just came across your reposting of my Attis article and am flattered that you have found it worthwhile. I agree with the comments about the sexist slant of much of the older (the Esther Harding book was first published in 1947) Jungian material. Jung himself was very much a product of his time. Some of his comments about women, as well as some of the details of his relationships with them, are cringe inducing. But he did pave the way for the evolution of a more fluid understanding of gender, etc. that has happened in the past couple of decades. And as you are probably aware the views of most Jungians these days have moved a long ways beyond those of Jung. Most of the Jungians I know don’t make much use of words like “anima, animus,” etc. I would probably use somewhat different language if I were writing my Attis article, which was originally written in the 1980s, now.

    Again, thanks so much for honoring what I’ve shared of my experience.

  4. I am glad that we seem to find ourselves generally in agreement about the serious impediments to real, open minded research imposed upon us by the imposition Political Corrections. While I also agree with you that erotic target location error, (ETLE)/ “imprinting” at an early age is not the sole cause of this malaise, I think that ignoring it for political correctness, or not to “embarrass” people is a grave mistake.

    I look forward to exploring this further with you.

  5. Another great series of threads, discussions, insights, and reflections here. What I so appreciate about this site is the active encouragement toward a ‘this might be part of it’ exploration of trans identity, as opposed to a more rigid – and very often dogmatic – ‘this is it’ stance.

    Inner masculine / feminine? Erotic imprinting? A history of trauma and addiction? Pornography? Socio-political forces? The opportunity to relax a bit and actually explore these possibilities in my own situation has already had a significant impact upon my experience regarding gender.

    Bravo!

  6. Jools has offered us an interesting and IMHO, useful comment.

    “This blog’s author mentions shame below and for me this is central, not just about sex but more generally, about our ideas of what it means to be a man or a woman.
    I can imagine being proud of myself as a woman but I can’t even begin to imagine being proud of myself ‘as a man’. How crazy is that?? Surely that points to some pretty screwed up meanings I’ve endowed these categories with.”

    This comment raises the idea that it is our ‘ideas’ or ‘understandings’ of “what it ‘means’ to be a man or a woman” that is at the core of the discussion. From my POV this definitely lies in the psychological realm. How do we form those ideas or understandings. I think this is key.

    1. Yeah, that is exactly what I mean when I am talking about schemas. Though what I am talking about is more than beliefs, but deep-seeded patterns in the psyche that you may or may not be consciously aware of.

  7. I’m glad you found my comment useful, Sally. I find this blog – together with all the comments – really stimulating, and that in itself feels healthy (and anti-dysphoric?)

    When TTT speaks of “deep-seeded patterns in the psyche”, this is the point at which I lean forwards in my chair, because as I was writing my comment earlier I was thinking that none of my existing concepts feel like a big enough net to catch this particular fish. Is it a set of core beliefs, or thought-patterns, or attitudes, or inclinations – or is it all these things, wrapped together? Is there anything else missing?
    The bit that intrigues me and that TTT has (tantalisingly, for me) raised is the importance of the embodied nature of experience and how this relates to gender.
    I’m beginning to conceive of my gender experience as being rooted in a gestural, embodied way (taking from Judith Butler the idea that it’s performative, but not that it’s only performative ). I notice that when I CD, there’s a set of changes in my musculature – feet, hips, shoulders, knees, the way I balance, the whole lot – and that in identifying those things as a ‘set’ I bring a meaning, an abstraction, to them, for example I may value them – this set = good (or enjoyable), other set = bad (or shameful), etc.
    My hunch is that the ‘schema’ must include the body, but I’m not sure how. Inclinations to action? Movement patterns? Readiness to perform one set of muscle activations more than another?
    TTT has said elsewhere there’s too much theory and not enough personal stuff in this blog. Ok, so here’s a request – tie these strands together in a personal way…

    1. Jools: ” I notice that when I CD, there’s a set of changes in my musculature – feet, hips, shoulders, knees, the way I balance, the whole lot – and that in identifying those things as a ‘set’ I bring a meaning, an abstraction, to them, for example I may value them – this set = good (or enjoyable), other set = bad (or shameful), etc. My hunch is that the ‘schema’ must include the body, but I’m not sure how.”

      When I did my training as a shrink, many, many years ago, the emphasis was on behavior, which was/could be conditioned according to Pavlovian principles. I chose not to pursue that particular career path, instead opting for the much more lucrative opportunities available in the business world. The result is that I am not very familiar with the Jungian train of thought which I found long on theory and short on practical application.

      Nevertheless, I would tend to agree with your ‘hunch’ that, “the ‘schema’ must include the body…”. I cannot see how ones body can be completely divorced from one’s sense of self.

      Your other rather astute observation is that your behavior, your “musculature – feet, hips, shoulders, knees, the way I balance, the whole lot…”, changes. You have taken note of the fact that you have ascribed certain positive ‘value’ to this particular ‘set’ of behaviors associated with your CD’ing or ‘female’ persona. This, together with the undeniable erotic rewards is what IMHO has reinforced or “imprinted” this particular ‘schema'(?).

      What you and some others such as, http://joannabefree.blogspot.com/, seemed to have done, is to make peace with that particular wrinkle of your psyche. While I often, and sometimes rather strongly, disagree with Jo’s self-serving misinterpretations and plagiaristic mischaracterizations of the writings of others, I do applaud his methods of dealing with his own particular brand of gender dysphoria.

    2. Yes definitely! My engaging in embodied practice was a very important part of how I returned to myself. In your head you can be anything you want, but in the physical world there are constraints. I think learning to connect to your body is the key to all of this. I had a lot of tension in my body after going through hormones and surgery. It was the gradual dawning of the realization that in presenting female I was moving my body in ways it didn’t want to move and holding myself in ways that were not natural for it. I held my shoulders in and my butt out, tensed my facial muscles in a way that attempted to look more feminine and moved in ways that were also intended to convey the impression that I was female.

      However as I started doing movement practice there was a clash between my native embodied instincts and this holding. I remember during the first year of grad school in a somatic therapy seminar we did an interesting exercise where we attempted to move like another person in order to gain insight into how they experienced the world. We did this in a group. When people attempted to move like I did, they found it very difficult and said that it was almost like I moved like two different people, and that was how it was, two sets of movement competing.

      I think engaging in practices that encourage spontaneous movement can help with this. Some examples including Biodanza, 5 rhythms, contact improv and Authentic movement. These spontaneous practices can help connect to embodied desires. These practices can also bring up a lot.

      Towards the end of my first year of grad school my body began to spontaneously vibrate. I was worried that there might be a neurological issue, but eventually discovered that it was the frozen instincts of my body thawing out. Now my body is much less tense as I move in ways that are natural to it.

      Tracking what is dissociated and what is embodied is important too I think. Moving towards embodiment and away from dissociation is good.

      1. “Yes definitely! My engaging in embodied practice was a very important part of how I returned to myself. In your head you can be anything you want, but in the physical world there are constraints. I think learning to connect to your body is the key to all of this.”

        I do not understand what you are agreeing with. While I agree that it is not easy to “disassociate from one’s body, and probably not a particularly wise or healthy endeavor, I do not see the relationship or connections to Jools’ ascribing positive feelings to CD’ing and negative ones to his male self…..and “Biodanza, 5 rhythms, contact improv and Authentic movement.”

        Perhaps it is just that I personally do have a great affinity for abstract thinking, and tend rather to deal with the here and now.

  8. Corrected comment: “Yes definitely! My engaging in embodied practice was a very important part of how I returned to myself. In your head you can be anything you want, but in the physical world there are constraints. I think learning to connect to your body is the key to all of this.”

    I do not understand what you are agreeing with. While I agree that it is not easy to “disassociate” from one’s body, and probably not a particularly wise or healthy endeavor, I do not see the relationship or connections to Jools’ ascribing positive feelings to CD’ing and negative ones to his male self…..and “Biodanza, 5 rhythms, contact improv and Authentic movement.”

    Perhaps it is just that I personally do not have a great affinity for abstract thinking, and tend rather to deal with the here and now and those pesky constraints of the real world.

    1. I was talking about the holding of the body in certain ways. I was mentioning some of these spontaneous movement practices because I believe they can help connect to the natural instincts of the body whatever those might be. My own attempts to hold my body in a way so that people would gender me as female actually were an armoring against the native instincts of my body, and it was that conflict that caused a lot of issues.

      So I think Jool’s insight about having a different holding of the body is an important one, and attempting to discern how these stances feel in the body can help sort things out.

  9. Wow great article and I can relate with the story and its meaning. After reading this I examined my relationship with my mother and the disapproval we have for eachothers lifestyles. I can relate to the author having outburst on females because we feel that our mothers if im correct are godesses that have the key to our manhood and dissappointing our mothers( im not sure if im correct) but either it represses our femininity and denies us being regular men mabye. I have recently accepted my mother as a human being who makes mistakes and
    most importantly she was only being an over controlling mother
    because she loves me and wishes the best for my future. I am 22 years old and im gender confused to the point that I was considering hormones for next year even though I was not sure if I was just jumping the gun and my feminine desires/fantasies was not gender dysphoria but rather something that is being approved by internet bloggers who claim the best way to stop the confusion is to just transition because the feelings wont stop and will get stronger with time. God bless your blog because you are saying the truth no matter how disappointing it can be to some who want to transition and you are the sole reason that this week I stopped myself from making permanent feminization mistakes lol. I hope to hear from you and you can be a continuing responsible guide for young people considering transitioning. God chose you for a good reason and im hear to crusade with you because out of all the lies other bloggers share about transgenderism and autogenephyllia you are the only one telling the trut with no bias and I love you for that

    1. My mother was also over controlling and invasive. I do understand that it was rooted in love and it was the best she could do given her own history, but it still caused a lot of problems. It is great that you are able to accept her humanity, that is something I have struggled with with my own mother.

      I’m glad you have found the blog to be so helpful! It makes it worth writing.

  10. Hmmm…yes. It will be interesting to here Jools’ comments on this matter. Speaking of my own personal experience, I find very little change in my behavior except perhaps for a slightly greater awareness of improved posture.

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