Distancing Brain from Body
Age: 31 years old
Identifies as: Transman/FTM
Sometimes I use the bathroom and everything is fine. I go in, do my thing, and leave. No big deal. And then there are the times when it feels just awful. I sit down on the toilet and start to urinate and I can feel the urine run along all of my parts that aren’t supposed to be there, that aren’t supposed to be shaped like that. It trickles down, outlining the labia that are supposed to be my scrotal sac. And it comes out of the wrong place. It’s supposed to be coming out of my penis, but something is wrong and instead it is coming out of the middle of my body. It feels like it’s coming out of the middle, instead of the tip, of what should be my penis. These sensations make me feel so weird. I want to stop urinating as soon as possible. I want the stream of reminder that my body was not formed as it should have been to end. I try to push the urine out faster so that I can stop feeling these sensations. My body seems to take an eternity to finish. I sit there on the toilet thinking, “Please make this stop! Please make this stop! Please make this stop!” over and over until it does finally stop and my body relaxes again in relief. Now I can pull my pants up, wash my hands, and return to a world that sees me only as male. I try as hard as I can to forget what I just experienced.
I tell my therapist I am fine with my body as it is. I’m perceived as a man in the outside world and that is all I need. I’m happy. I don’t need or want any more surgery. But he and I talk more. And more. And suddenly I am crying and I don’t know why. Suddenly my body tells me that I actually hate my uterus and want to rip it out of my body. My brain starts to imagine me taking a long, sharp knife to my uterus and removing it myself, since I cannot afford surgery and insurance will not pay for it. This seems like a very good idea, even though I know that it is not. I try to protest against myself. How could I possibly hate my uterus? I can’t even see it, feel it, touch it. How is it possible to hate a part of my body that I don’t even have confirmation that it is really there? And then it reminds me how I know it is there. Ouch! A cramp. And another. Oh, crap. I am going to start bleeding again. I hate bleeding. And then my brain switches and says, “Whatever. I don’t care.” I don’t feel anything when I bleed each month. It is as if my brain goes on vacation and I just don’t feel any of it. I am empty. I am gone. I am no longer habitating my body. This is how my body seems to have figured out how to cope with itself. I lie to myself that everything is fine and then mentally check out, because I am too scared to live in my own body when it acts like a woman’s body.