The Circus Comes to Town
American Trans Man
Age: 51 years old
Identifies as: Man, Transsexual Man, Transgender Man, FTM
I was 47-years-old when I realized that I was trans. Prior to that, many of the thoughts and emotions that would have come from the mismatch between my gender and my body had been pushed way down and repressed by my subconscious. (Well, except the ones related to anger and irritability – I felt those just fine. Ask my family…) It may sound like a bad novel, but it was my experience.
And so once the genie was out of the bottle and my subconscious mind had released its stranglehold on my true self, my brain’s new-found freedom was manifested in some ways that were profound and, to be honest, kind of scary. They were scary in that when these “unique” mental/physical incidences occurred, they were very… um… strange. My mind wasn’t used to dealing with strangeness, especially its own.
When these strange things happened, I referred to them as times when “the circus comes to town.”
Once, the circus came to town when I was in the shower.
I had returned the day before from a business trip to Europe and I was tired and jet-lagged and was enjoying a nice, hot, relaxing shower. At one point, I turned and reached for the bottle of shampoo that was sitting on the corner of the tub, and my hand brushed alongside someone’s ass.
Who’s ass was that?
It was a LADY’S ass…. ! (gasp)
THERE WAS SOME LADY’S ASS IN MY SHOWER!!!
I hesitated, but couldn’t resist the urge. I reached back and put my hand on that lady’s behind. Ooh – it was nice.
I gently felt it. I even gave it a little bitty squeeze.
Yup, that’s a lady’s ass alright.
It was nice to touch this lady’s ass. Of course, I could see that it was a part of my body, but still, it didn’t feel like it belonged there. My ass wouldn’t have been a lady’s ass. My ass was a man’s ass! I don’t know who’s derriere this was that I was feeling up in the shower, but the fact that it was attached to me didn’t mean that it was mine. I mean, physically it might have been, but mentally, I was very much disconnected from it.
And as if this wasn’t bad enough, things took a turn.
From that moment on, over the span of about a month, I would feel that thing back there. I would feel it move. I would feel it just be there, hanging on my body. I would feel it when I walked. Or when I stood still. Or when I sat down. I sat on it. I could feel it under me.
I cannot tell you how incredibly uncomfortable these sensations were.
I asked my therapist about this phenomenon and the feelings that went with it. Was I losing it? Should I be worried that I was having this very odd mental-physical experience? He assured me that this was all “normative” considering how long my subconscious had kept my thoughts and feelings at bay. The release of decades of mental repression had consequences. Now that I could really feel the dysphoria, I was feeling it in spades.