Link between gender dysphoria and dissociation found

Here is an interesting study I just ran across from Collizi, Costa, and Toldarello, entitled “Dissociative symptoms in individuals with gender dysphoria: Is the elevated prevalence real?”, abstract pasted below:

This study evaluated dissociative symptomatology, childhood trauma and body uneasiness in 118 individuals with gender dysphoria, also evaluating dissociative symptoms in follow-up assessments after sex reassignment procedures were performed. We used both clinical interviews (Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule) and self-reported scales (Dissociative Experiences Scale). A dissociative disorder of any kind seemed to be greatly prevalent (29.6%). Moreover, individuals with gender dysphoria had a high prevalence of lifetime major depressive episode (45.8%), suicide attempts (21.2%) and childhood trauma (45.8%), and all these conditions were more frequent in patients who fulfilled diagnostic criteria for any kind of dissociative disorder. Finally, when treated, patients reported lower dissociative symptoms. Results confirmed previous research about distress in gender dysphoria and improved mental health due to sex reassignment procedures. However, it resulted to be difficult to ascertain dissociation in the context of gender dysphoria, because of the similarities between the two conditions and the possible limited application of clinical instruments which do not provide an adequate differential diagnosis. Therefore, because the body uneasiness is common to dissociative experiences and gender dysphoria, the question is whether dissociation is to be seen not as an expression of pathological dissociative experiences but as a genuine feature of gender dysphoria.

Disclaimer: I have only read the abstract for this article and abstracts can be misleading sometimes, this is actually a problem with a lot of blog posts around these issues. I have since read the article

This article is interesting because it shows a link between dissociation and gender dysphoria and notes a link between the two. Further people with dissociative symptoms show more distress than those that do not. There is also a high rate of childhood abuse which is also seen in a few other studies. I consider my own dysphoria to be essentially dissociation and I wasn’t able to become truly embodied until I accepted my body as it is and let go of my cross-gender identity. Here is an article by twentythreetimes from the female detransitioner perspective.

This study showed a high amount of trauma, and even more so for the people with dissociative symptoms. Also this article showed that after treatment for gender dysphoria these patients showed lower levels of dissociation. This makes a lot of sense based on what I know about trauma.

Basically, in order to reduce the distress and symptoms caused by trauma is there are three things you can do, often in combination.

1) You can learn to cope with the symptoms and how to tolerate them better. You can learn mindfulness, and distress tolerance skills. You can learn to come back to your body quicker. You can learn not to panic about your symptoms causing distress on top of distress. This can help reduce the severity and intensity of the symptoms but will not eliminate them.

2) You can work on reducing / eliminating triggers. There are various ways to do this. There are behavioral techniques such as Exposure therapy and newer techniques like EMDR These are ways to alter or even eliminate the traumatic imprints make triggers effect one less or even not at all this. This can be a quick or lengthy process depending on the type and severity of the trauma.

3) You can avoid the triggers. Trauma is contextual. A person with trauma is usually not continuously in a traumatized state. They enter into the traumatized state in response to a trigger, which is a sight, sound or other environmental cue that holds an association to the original traumas then placing the person back in the place and time where it happened as if it is happening right now. If you can identify these triggers you might be able to avoid situations where they happen, however there is a significant cost for that in diminished aliveness.

In particular if the trauma is gendered, you might be able to avoid the context of trauma and the triggers by not seeing yourself or having others see you in that gender. In my own case my trauma was around it being unsafe to be a soft sensitive man, so I felt like I couldn’t be myself and be a man. I was perceived as an atypical woman when I was perceived as a woman too, but that was no problem because it didn’t trigger the context of the trauma. Of course I instantly felt unsafe if I was perceived as a man by others or even if I knew that people knew I was trans because that meant that I could really be a feminine man and hence in potential great danger. So transition did help me be more myself in that sense, however it came with significant costs as I was disconnected from my body and constantly stressed about people knowing if I was trans.

So it doesn’t surprise me at all that we see relief after transition. It is also important to note that 70% of the subjects studied did not have a dissociative condition and 55% did not have a childhood trauma history. Trauma is only part of the etiology of gender dysphoria, but I definitely think it is a large part for some.

This doesn’t mean that people with trauma shouldn’t transition, this doesn’t mean that those whose gender issues arise partially from trauma are somehow “less real” We should appreciate multiple factors of causality as is typical for most things in psychology.

Again, transition and gender dysphoria treatment are helpful that seems pretty clear from the evidence. I just think that gender should not be treated as its own special box and should be viewed holistically and connected to other parts of the psyche. I am also not saying that those with trauma should not transition, but ideally it would be best to work through as much of that as possible before making permanent changes. Sometimes this is not possible, and people may need to ease some of their gender distress in order to even begin working on trauma. That is part of why these issues can be so complicated.

29 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this study!

    What I wonder is how much of the dissociation is due to gender-specific trauma and how much is due to generic trauma. My childhood was pretty traumatic in a general sense. My parents were physically and emotionally abusive. I was skipped a grade and bullied and shunned by my peers. It’s occurred that my cross-gender identification may be borne entirely from a wish to escape the trauma of being me. (I always call it an identification rather than an identity to call attention to the fact that it is a process that requires fuel to continue and not an intrinsically stable phenomenon.)

    However, I also think gendered socialization is inherently traumatizing to everyone. I discussed this in one of my first posts Perceptual Narrowing and Culturally Mandated Emotional Crippling of Children. Whether it’s a simple matter of being told to “toughen up” or “be more ladylike” or being dressed in sexualized or personality-muting clothing, or more violent matters such as rape which can be experienced by both gender-congruent and gender-variant people, or specific punishment for gender-violating behaviors such as clandestine cross-dressing, everyone is forced to disown and dissociate parts of themselves to fit into the molds demanded by our authoritarian society. People whose neurobiology leans toward that which is more typical of people with different genitals are some of the most traumatized by this process, and it would make sense that they would display dissociative symptoms whether they experienced what is more traditionally considered “abuse” or not.

    I think it’s important to let go of both the cross-gender identity and the assigned gender identity. They are both symptoms of dissociation from an integrated self.

    1. I don’t really see a distinction between gender-specific trauma and “generic” trauma. The gender-specific trauma is that which has gender as a triggering cue. Trauma can have multiple triggers also. This is another case of treating gender as if it were a weird special case of psychology, which is one of the problems I think that arises in thinking of these issues. The author of the study speaks of the difficulty of finding a clinical instrument to distinguish between dysphoria and dissociation, and I think that is largely because there really isn’t one.

      I think you are right about letting go of cross-gender identity and assigned-gender identity and indeed all identities. They are useful, but if you mistake them for your self then that is a problem.

      I would agree that people with traits that don’t match their gender socialization are more likely to be traumatized by the pressure of conforming, and creating a persona that conforms is dissociative. That was certainly true of my male persona prior to transition, my female self was an attempt by my psyche to become whole and break free of that shell, a good and healthy intention, but an extreme strategy to meet that intention.

      I like your use of “identification” to show that identifying is a continuous process rather than some object.

      1. Gender is treated as a special case of psychology because most people agree that locking your child in a closet is abuse, but erroneously believe that putting a bow in her hair and telling her to look pretty is not.

      2. Do you think there are differences between childhood trauma and trauma later in life? Gender nonconforming (nonbinary) people move naturally away from the poles of the gender-expression sphere but they may experience recurrent violent forces that try to push them back towards either of the poles, leading to more trauma and post-traumatic stress.

        1. I think that childhood trauma can potentially impact sexuality through imprinting, but once the imprint window is closed that is no longer true. Also when looking at childhood trauma there is more developmental trauma and chronic trauma which I think plays more of a role in some of these issues than single-incident trauma (otherwise known as shock trauma)

    2. The key word in your post is “escape”. Dissociation is usually a form of escape. When it is too painful for someone to be himself, he becomes somebody else. The alter persona is a form of sanctuary. It provides a relief from the trauma or stress that they cannot deal with. But the relief is only temporary. The underlying cause must still be dealt with. That’s why transitioning is only a temporary and superficial solution- it does not address the root of the problem, so the issues are never dealt with. Nowadays, therapists are discouraged from dealing with these issues, because any attempt to do so can be considered conversion therapy, which is becoming illegal everywhere. There is less and less serious counseling of these people, which will naturally mean more misdiagnoses, which will mean more regretters and detransitioners. The trans lobby can take the blame for that. – aps

      1. I agree.

        I am a transman who dealt with (yes, past tense) Dissociative Identity Disorder. When I first came out as trans thirty years ago, I had no idea I also had DID. As it turned out, childhood sexual abuse and emotional abuse by my parents in the ‘gender realm’ led to gender dysphoria; the extreme gender dysphoria then led to male and animal alter personalities in an attempt to escape my female body.

        Unfortunately, the DID diagnosis didn’t come out until about twenty years post-transition. If I had known pre-transition what I know now, I would have sought therapy over transition.

        Now, thirty years post-transition, I have healed from my DID but must now deal with the gender dysphoria, specifically how the childhood abuse led to all of this trouble.

        Transitioning was only a bandaid. While I do not regret my transition, per se, I now know the other option was the healthier path, hands down.

  2. Makes a lot of sense to me. In my own life, dysphoria sure as hell looks and feels like dissociation & trauma. Some of the most important people in my life have PTSD and I have always hada great feeling of recognition in seeing their dissociative and flashback states.

    I think there are a lot of things going on here. Being gender-nonconforming in a rigidly binary society is traumatizing in its own right; as people who are visibly “different” we are more likely to be targeted for abuse and violence; like anyone else we may face trauma in our lives for whatever reason; and, interestingly, it seems that dissociation can be a response to the trauma of gender dysphoria and/or dysphoria can be a response to dissociation & trauma of various origins, gendered and otherwise.

    I think in my case, I checked out from my body (i.e., dissociated) to protect myself from the pain of dysphoria and from the shame of gender variance. It was just way too painful to tolerate when I was little and had no vocabulary, support, role models, etc. For example, my mom has said that my response to puberty really frightened her, because I seemed totally disconnected, like it was happening to someone else.

    Transition has basically been one big process of coming back to my body, and it continues to this day. Acknowledging my dysphoria, ceasing the repression of my masculinity, honoring and inhabiting my body, and social/medical/etc. transition all emerged as one organic movement for me. I couldn’t untangle those threads if I tried.

    I am learning a lot from your experiences–thank you for your openness. Thank you also for your willingness to acknowledge that for many people, transition really is helpful. The twentythreetimes article you linked to asserts that transitioning is always a form of denial/avoiding reality; while I have no doubt that’s the case for that person, it’s not true as a blanket statement. I know that my transition has been a steady process of waking up to reality, including the reality of my body and myself as a gender-variant person.

    1. Yes, being gender non-coforming definitely leads to stress, even after detransitioning I still have this stress just in a different way as my body will always be gender non-conforming. My original transition did have something to do with being free to express things I felt I could not as a male such as affection, vulnerability or just being expressive. I see now it is possible to do these things as a male, but as a teenager growing up in a conservative suburb I didn’t have access to the wider world.

      I do acknowledge that transition is helpful to some people, the evidence shows this also. I have empathy for the sentiment expressed by some detransitioners too, I know there is a part of me that is angry about the whole thing, and I did lapse into the idea that no one should transition ever when I first was detransitioning, but developed more perspective over time.

      It can be a big tangled mess that is part of what makes it hard to work with.

  3. Nearly 50% of them have reported childhood trauma?
    I knew that only a bit part of transexual were abused, and when they go to a therapyst for resolve it, they want to transition anyway… so I think “good, the trauma is indipendent”.
    But when I read this research and have seen this percentual I immediately think:…transexuality is not completely indiendent”… over 100 people are involved in this research! Not just 20-30…
    the conclusion is: i need more research for understand if it is true that childhood abuse can cause transexualism or it is only an illusion. If it would be true, transition is not ethically correct!

      1. I actually looked at the table for sexual abuse specifically it showed 9.3% but 20% of those with a dissociative condition.

        I think it is pretty clear that trauma is > 0% and < 100% of the causes of gender issues. I also don't think that much says anything about the ethics of transition, the condition is not less real if it caused in part or whole by trauma versus some kind of genetic or hormonal issue.

        1. TWT- I would be interested to learn how they defined who was “traumatized.” Did they use the ACE score for participants? (www.acestoohigh.com) I say this, because “trauma” is such a relative term:

          For example, I have an ex-husband who has a schizotypal mental illness. He occasionally has very different perceptions than many people, including delusions and hallucinations. He feels traumatized by the people on the street who whisper at him “you’re a faggot” and the people who look at him like they’re going to hurt him- none of which the rest of us can see or hear.

          He feels traumatized by a childhood incident in which he believes that his mother tried to kill him by leaving him in a hot, locked car. However, other details (which he overlooks) might lead someone else to draw a different conclusion: this happened when he was 11 and big enough to roll down a window or open a door, and this happened when his mother went shopping- from her perspective, she has stated that he was such a handful that she couldn’t leave him home or take him into stores.

          His child, who I raise now, also has bipolar disorder and type 1 diabetes. He often feels bullied and persecuted when he experiencing mood swings. He often does not remember his own instigating actions for other’s aggressive reactions, and feels terrorized by other people who tried to control his outrageous behaviors. He feels traumatized by having two chronic, life-threatening illnesses.

          My stepkid’s ACE score would also be pretty high, with being raised for many years by a desperately poor alcoholic single mom after she left his mentally ill dad. I believe he experiences dissociation from the kid he was, who was always dressed in camo or spiderman gear, who seemed to revel in doing and being masculine when he was hyperaggressive and hypersexual, and in trouble at school and always the scapegoat for mom’s drinking.

          Only when he was finally somewhat stabilized on meds at age 12 is when he declared that he was trans (although this is neither persistent nor consistent, and more dysphoric feelings track with mania.)

          1. They were measuring levels of dissociation rather than the amount of traumatic events that a person experienced. This makes sense to me because everyone doesn’t respond to trauma the same way. Some people can go through a relatively large amount of trauma with no symptoms, while others can go through a realtively small trauma and suffer a lot of symptoms. I would guess the level of psychological trauma would be more connected with symptoms than the level of objective trauma although there is certainly a relationship between objective trauma and psychological trauma.

    1. Note, some 45-50% ‘report’ childhood trauma.

      Very few trans survivors want to admit to childhood trauma because they are afraid it will cause therapists to both deny them the right to transition and also delegitimize the trans community as a whole.

      So, this means ‘at least’ some 50% of trans people are survivors of childhood trauma. I suspect the true number is closer to 100%

  4. Have you heard of the Examination of Anomalous Self-Experience? It is a semi-structured interview manual constructed from the experiences of people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. One notable thing is that many people on the schizophrenia spectrum have lots of experiences in common with patients with depersonalization disorder, as a literature review found here:

    https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=anomalous-self-experience-in-depersonalization-and-schizophrenia.pdf&site=42

    However, they found that self-other and self-world confusion, as well as erosion of first person perspective, were more characteristic of schizophrenia, or vulnerability thereto.

    One trans woman posted her experiences of gender dysphoria, Zinnia Jones, and many EASE items matched:

    http://dev.wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=247621&p=5916172

    She said transition helped relieve those.

    The EASE can be found here:

    http://www.nordlandssykehuset.no/getfile.php/NLSH_bilde%20og%20filarkiv/Pulsen/Kunnskapsbygging/Tekstfiler/EASE.pdf

  5. I have to say, I was born with Male genitalia and transitioned at 32 and lived and a trans woman. I did this for 5 years, on Estrogen and the whole thing. I had my testes removed. I transited back. 15 years ago. Yet I did it because a religion told me I was wrong. I ended up having a double mastectomy and eventually getting on Testosterone. I have been struggling every since.

    I have to say I have had childhood abuse. Sexual, mental and physical. I basically had to raise myself. My dad was severely abusive and my mother divorced him when I was five. My brother and sister left him as they were 9 and 12 years older than me. I was left with my mom. Eventually, shortly after an alcoholic man became the new male role model. Not good. Lots of nights alone or hearing screaming and fighting. Scared and feeling alone.

    I had to learn the hard way. On my own as the rage and anger of adults had a presence in my life. I remember at a young age, 8 years old maybe, cross dressing in my mothers clothes and her makeup. I hid it. Puberty was a night mare and I hated developing.

    I was alone and depressed most the time. Hated who I was and believed I was wrong for being a boy as my mother had anger towards my father and men. How her boyfriend didn’t like me as I was in the way. I was my fathers son. Constantly I was treated like I was pathetic and left alone while they had fun.

    I had turned to hurting the animals and hurting myself. Wanting to be a girl and hating life.

    As I got older I decided to go into the Army. I signed up for Airborne schooled and then ranger school. I guess I wanted to prove myself some how.

    I served over seas and saw action. I came home messed up. I eventually got out and self destructed. I started cutting and mutilating my genitals. In and out of the hospital.

    Time goes on. I lose my mom. She had cancer. I lose my girl friend. I eventually transition to be female. I live what I think is happy. Time goes on. I feel alone, disconnected and unhappy wth the life I have. Abuse form the public and the isolation due to my childhood abuse and my PTSD from the military. I meet some one. A Jehovahs wittiness. They show me attention. I eventually transition back as they show me the bible says it is wrong to be who I am.

    I eventually become a JW. But now I am considered gay. I am harassed by some of the Male leaders and treated with Misogyny. Some times the women get better treatment than me. I feel betrayed and leave after 12 years. I end yup trying to kill myself. In coma I wake up and realize I have been living my life for others and to try and prove some thing to myself for others.

    I now struggle with self worth issues. Identity issues. I have been on T and E. I take both now. I read your article and wonder if I have underlying psychological issues that caused my Gender Dysphoria or maybe I have Gender Dysphoria related to my brain and have results of psychological issues as a result of abuse. See this link. It may help explain why abuse does not cause gender Dysphoria.

    I dont think there is any one explanation to why all people have gender dysphoria. We all vary in some way. We are like the pot of stew. There are may pots of stew and made by many people. Each is similar and yet they all differ to some degree. Some more than others. It depends on the ingredients and the cooks. So we have the ability to look at ourselves based on our parents, our bodies, life experiences and ourselves as a whole. What I think is important is to pay attention to others, especially those who tell us what they see or observe. People who are considerate of who we are as a human being.

    I thank you for sharing this. I am slow at picking up on things at times. I will be reading it again and again. Hashing over in my head. I think you are very intelligent and have contributed very good information to consider. Although I think the Transgender community may be a bit hot to listen to you, they cannot deny all information related to who we are. You me and others who have and have not transitioned. It is a healthy part of science and life.

    Best wishes.

    TK.

  6. I agree that it is critical to address trauma, in particular sexual abuse and physical abuse in childhood. A person may grow to feel completely (body and gender) dysphoric as the result of sexual abuse and the only perceived escape may be to dissociate from one’s body – and perhaps, to take this a step further and identify physically (and on all levels) with the opposite gender/sex.

    With physical abuse (absent of sexual abuse) a child may still develop body and/or gender dysphoria for a variety of reasons:
    1) they may not be able to tolerate their own resemblance to a perpetrator,- their own reflection, voice, hands or body may actually be a “trigger”
    2) they may fear that they will inevitably grow to be like their same sex parent and may reject their gender in an effort to avoid growing to be like their mother (if they are a girl) or father (if they are a boy)
    3) or if they were raised with extreme sexism and gender-bias toward their own birth sex, they may feel that the only way to avoid the confines of this given sex and related gender stereotype, is to live as the opposite gender. They may also have internalized the negative stereotypes that were associated with their birth sex and determined that because they are not identifying with the negative stereotype that they must not be that sex/gender and so, there must have been a “mistake.”
    (to describe a few possibilities)

    It seems that a person’s feelings toward their body should be discussed carefully and the patient and therapist should be allowed to explore any possible links that the patient’s traumatic history, cultural upbringing, religious background, family dynamic etc. may contribute to their physical unease and extreme discomfort with their body and related socially imposed gender expectations. These factors should be considered, explored and processed in a thorough evaluation to screen for dissociative symptoms and the possibility of comorbidity. It may make sense to support particular patients with healing from trauma, “getting into one’s body” and avoiding (no longer needed and presently dysfunctional) dissociative states rather than changing the person’s body.

    I did not realize that dissociation was the key issue in my own gender/body dysphoria until I was into my early 20’s. I am grateful that I was able to find these answers for myself as transition would have absolutely been the wrong decision in my case. Furthermore, for me, dealing with “transgenderism” would have derailed me from doing my most important work of coming to terms with my past while finding a way to become empowered in my life today as an adult woman.

    1. I think that is is important tot add here:

      I think that for me, what has been most helpful is to focus on my strengths … and to not be labeled as “broken” or defined by any pathological condition but rather to be seen as a human being with the innate capacity to heal an olive a meaningful and healthy life.

      Psychotherapy was not the answer for me and at times it was actually very damaging because there was often so much of a focus on what “went wrong” or what needed to be “fixed” when I really needed support in discovering who I am, what resonates best with me and how I want to proceed in living my life more fully.

      For me, I realized that my experience of radical non-binary gender expression was part of my natural inclination toward strength, leadership and athleticism and that although society often neglects to recognize these characteristics as “feminine” they are as feminine as any other characteristic that women may possess.

      Over time, I also grew to appreciate that while dissociative experiences were (at times) extremely inconvenient, uncomfortable and even dysfunctional (in certain contexts), my inmate ability to dissociate was a gift in that it helped me to survive extreme trauma.

      So, with the Social Justice model – I think that one can validate and honor a person’s life experience, coping mechanism and reality without the need to reduce or restrict that person’s experience/expression/reality to the confines of a diagnosis. I would encourage, instead, to see and appreciate each as a one who holds (or holds the potential to achieve) balance, wellness and health.

      Ironically, I learned all of this from friends who have survived similar traumas, not from psychotherapists. I have found Osteopathic Medicine and Eastern Philosophy to contribute in supporting these values in my process as well.

  7. TWT, I needed to correct typos and strengthen a few points. THANKS!

    I think that is is important tot add here:

    I think that for me, what has been most helpful is to focus on my strengths … and to not be labeled as “broken” or defined by any pathological condition but rather to be seen as a human being with the innate capacity to heal and to live a meaningful and healthy life.

    Psychotherapy was not the answer for me and at times it was actually very damaging because there was often so much of a focus on what “went wrong” or what needed to be “fixed” when I really needed support in discovering who I am (at my core), what resonates best with me and how I want to proceed in living my life more fully.

    For me, I realized that my experience of radical non-binary gender expression was a part of my natural inclination toward strength, leadership, courage and athleticism and that although society often neglects to recognize these characteristics as “feminine” they are as feminine as any other characteristic that women may possess.

    Over time, I also grew to appreciate that while dissociative experiences were (at times) extremely inconvenient, uncomfortable and even dysfunctional (in certain contexts), my inmate ability to dissociate was a gift in that it helped me to survive extreme trauma.

    So, with the “Social Justice” model – I think that one can validate and honor a person’s life experience, coping mechanism and reality without the need to reduce or restrict that person’s experience/expression/reality to the confines of a diagnosis. The person can be seen as a whole person, complete with complexities and subtle intricacies that are not related to their gender or dissociative experience, traumatic history, etc. I would encourage, instead of focusing tightly on pathology to see and appreciate each person as a one who holds (or holds the potential to achieve) balance, wellness and health and to focus on this.

    Ironically, I learned all of this from friends who have survived similar traumas, not from psychotherapists. I have found Osteopathic Medicine and Eastern Philosophy to contribute in supporting these values in my process as well.

  8. My 18 year old daughter is going through this. She’s a junior in HS and lives with us at home.
    She has expressed having breast dysphoria. She is not as openly dysphoric about her gender, but it seems to be the case.
    She was homeschooled by her mother for a time, but that turned out to be a traumatic experience for her (her mother was too harsh on her). She (daughter) is a very empathetic and caring person, who spends most of her days drawing and developing fantasy characters. She is performing extremely poorly in school (18 in 11th grade).
    She is trying to develop an alternative persona. She calls herself by another name (non-gender specific), dresses in male clothing, keeps her hair short…
    She has gotten a little better about being referred to in the feminine, but that’s about all the progress she has made. (This surfaced about a year ago, and she has made this “improvement” in the last few months.) I see her as clearly dissociative and perhaps her dysphoria stems from her dislike of her mother (who is also living in the same house – we are still an intact family). Perhaps it was traumatic enough to throw her into this spiral.
    I’ve been as loving toward and supportive of her as possible, but I refuse to play along with her disassociation. I have lovingly explained to her that I am incapable of denying the objective truth of her gender. However, I acknowledge her pain in her dysphoria. My efforts have largely been in helping her to cope with the pain, rather than attempt to assume a false identity. For example, I don’t see how a double mastectomy (or an ambiguous name) will improve her self worth, especially if she has a complete turnaround in the future and desires to have children.
    I could go on, but hopefully I have shared enough to receive some input from someone whose been in her shoes (so to speak).
    Thanks.

    1. It sounds like based on what you say that you are doing a good job of having empathy for her while also having some clear boundaries.

      One thing I would recommend if you haven’t already is to check out the blog 4thwavenow.com, which is a community of primarily of parents with similar concerns.

  9. Thanks for posting this. I had issues with dissociation in the past. It went from a more mild “my body doesn’t feel like it’s really mine” to detachment from reality; not fun. Transition has pretty much eliminated the dissociation. The estrogen seems to be the main force behind that. Now I am feeling like my body is my body. It’s pretty awesome. It’s great that you have this site. It’s important for people who detransitioned to share their story. If it keeps just one person from making a mistake. It’s worth it.

  10. i came here cause ide been dealing with dysphoria for about 2 years now. at first i wasn’t sure what i was feeling, i just knew my body no longer felt like my body, and its been really difficult living this way. i felt like i was no longer myself at all, but a completly different person. growing up i think i had a pretty usual childhood despite moving alot, not knowing my birth father and physical and metal abuse. over time i learned to let go of all the pain and hurt others had imposed on me, even in relationships, yet i feel as though what had stuck with me for a while was the trama. well two and a half years back or so i really got into buddhism and meditation to help get over the trauma of a tramatic relationship, or lose of the relationship. for a while everything was great, even better than great. in all of it i felt as though i come out with a deeper love and compassion for everyone, for my fellow humans and humanity after the breakup, but then it felt as though something went “wrong” after that, and has left me again questioning myself, humanity and religion again. for the longest time ive been feeling an extremely low self worth for feeling that i may be a different gender than i had grown up in, or as. been racking my brain for so long trying to figure it out, trying to get out of the rut so to speak, and while all of this, i have expressed to family and friends my concerns, and that i might infact am or might be trans. well some are supportive and others are not, and even those who are i suspect have some doubts about it since i never showed tell tail sings to them in the past while although i never felt a disconnect from my body or birth gender, i did at times desire to be a woman. i had fetishes for cloaths although i never wore womans cloaths in front of any of them, or even that often, i always loved to buy my mates fancey cloaths that i loved to see them but also stuff i would have loved to wear myself had i been born a female. while in the past i did express a wish to transition to female to my most recent ex before we became a cupple, i put it all aside at the time to take care of her and her child. well she eventually decided to end it to persue someone else. this actually was the most devistating thing i had even gone through since only a day or 2 prior, she expressed a deep love and compassion for the relationship, wanted me to adopt her child. well thats when i lost it, started soul searching within and found myself genderless at the time, i felt a deep calm and peace in it, but as i said, for some reason something seemed to go “wrong” or whatever in meditation, and i felt myself, or my soul pulled back into a body of gender, or gender dysphoria. for a while when i would look in the mirror was just a body, but my mind made no destiction to gender or lack there of, nore did it look into other folks with eyes of boy, girl, male, female, trans or whatever else. all i saw was humanity. well as great as all that experience had been at the time, and seemed to be what my soul needed then, right now i find myself needing to embrace a transness, or a transitioned body, transitioned life style. while i love so many people in my life right now, at the same time i find a difficulty being around them knowing that they want me to be male, while at times or most of the time i find it wanting to be female. been wondering am i delusional, or do i owe it to myself to transition? a big part of me keeps saying do it, while another part tells me to think of the ones who love you. i feel extremely torn as though i might get over the disconnect to my body, i feel as though another part of me feels as though if i do not transition, i might always live in wonder and regrett that i never followed my dreams, and i will for the rest of my life hate myself for passing the oportunity to truely be myself, to truely be free and be the woman ive always wanted to be even as a child. i find myself agitated alot by the thoughts, i get anxiety and also due to religion and spiritual experiences, the dysphoria seems so intense at times, and it seems that the only way to correct it, is to just say F it to everyone, to all of thier opinion’s, societie’s opinions, and to just do it. forget everyone else and just be the person i want to be, but as i said, i wonder if these thoughts are delusions, or rather self preservation from the negative opinions and thoughts surrounding it both inside and out. its not so much myself that i want to escape, but myself that i want to run to. its the negative opinions that i want to escape, not to prove anything to anyone else, but to prove to myself that i can be who i want to be and be happy with it. be happy in it without regrett, without perseqution. a big part of me enjoys being a loaner. not in a sens that i dont love others, but that i dont need others to define who i am. i feel as though my whole life, that is who i was, always needing the acceptance of others to be happy. part of me loves this way of thinking and feeling, but another part of me wonders if im just being arrogant and uncaring of others if i live with that type of mindset, or if that is exactly what i need in order to gain respect and love from others in my life. i still love them, i just don’t wish to be pushed around by negative emotions twords the way i might choose to live my life. i feel as though if i allow myself this freedom although in the begining it will def be a struggle, that in the long run it might be what is needed to build strength and mend relationships and create a happy world around myself which i would love to see. i love to laugh and have fun with others. crack jokes and just not take life serious at all while at the same time being present and responsible. i love to see others laugh and love, and i love knowing that i had some part in it….. well i think i just answered my own concerns about transitioning. 😛 im thankful that these sites exist and we can all come together and talk about these issues. i hope whoever reads this or comes to this site can find the answers they are looking for. ❤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s