I haven’t been posting very often for the past month or so. Thing is, I’ve been pretty overwhelmed with my college courses (even though I’m only taking 9 hours), and I’m not coping as well as I had been. My depression seems to be getting worse again. Hopefully it’s mostly just a stress thing… but I am noticing some things that tend to be red flags for things going downhill. Like wanting to cut myself, randomly thinking about suicide (non-obsessively, without intent), missing classes, and feeling like everything is starting to fall apart and I am going to fail everything, forever.
At least my college has good resources for getting help with this sort of stuff. And I’ve actually been using them! And, like, talking to professors and stuff. It’s almost like I’m being responsible or something. And if I talk to my professors about having trouble and maybe getting extensions or something then I have less things to freak out and stress about because then the work I need to get done starts looking do-able again.
The needle phobia and every other week T injections thing has continued to be… interesting. Weirdly, I end up being more nervous in anticipation now that I’ve done it several times and it has been less of a big deal every time. I was really anxious this time, but I managed to use some meditation stuff to calm myself down, so my muscles were relaxed when I actually got the injection. Which is good. It hurts less when you are relaxed than when you are tensing the muscle that the needle goes in. I want to start trying to do them myself, but I’m not there yet. I said I’d try it today, and I got to the point of being shown where I’d need to inject myself before I was like “nope”. But I did watch as they filled the syringe and that didn’t make me anxious. Which is good.
I think maybe I should try watching some videos of “this is how you do an intramuscular injection” to help de-sensitize myself. Previously, I had a syringe that I left out on my desk, and I tried to “play” with it every now and then so I could at least be able to look at and hold a syringe without freaking out. And by play, I mean I would pick it up and see how it didn’t bite me, or fidget with it, or role-play the self-injection thing without actually doing it. Like, mime going through the steps. It definitely seemed to help. And it really helps that the staff at my university health center are understanding and sympathetic and willing to work with me.
Anyway, I’ve been on T for two months, now, and I have noticed some delightful changes (if you don’t want to read blunt statements about anatomy, feel free to skip the rest of this post). My voice has dropped noticeably, and I have not gotten my cycle this month. Hopefully, it will never, ever happen again. Getting injections as a needle phobic every other week is worth it just so that doesn’t happen again. I did have a little bit of spotting about a week ago, but, well, when I say little, I do mean little. Also, my libido is maybe a bit higher, but it’s still not directed at anybody (I still hate that my asexuality was dismissed by a couple people saying “it might change when you start on T”–even if that did happen, it wouldn’t negate my current experiences!). My clitoris seems to have grown a little bit, as well, though I certainly won’t be winning any dicksize competitions any time soon. That’s pretty much it for changes I’ve noticed so far. No beard growth, yet. I would know if there was any, I’ve been checking every day. But, like any pubescent boy, that hasn’t stopped me from shaving.
So… of course it is now that I am starting to wonder if maybe I am a bit non-binary again. When I first started questioning what my gender really is, I thought at first that maybe I was agender or something. But then I found with trying stuff out that, as appealing as androgyny seemed to me, I did not like it when people mistook me for a girl. While my identity feels like “not-female” more than anything else, I fit in the “male” box well enough, so I started just calling myself male. My body dysphoria pretty much goes right in line with the “not-female” identity, though. I have the worst dysphoria about having female-typical characteristics. Having a monthly cycle has been the bane of my life since puberty. And ever since I started binding, I cannot stand not binding. I hate that my body needs breaks from binding, that I don’t get to wear my binder when I am sleeping or in the shower. Accidentally touching or looking at my chest fat is unpleasant and I go out of my way not to do so. I hate that my bathroom has so many large mirrors, because it makes it harder. And, as you may have noticed, I cannot even stand using the usual words for these particular body characteristics.
On the other hand, missing some male-typical characteristics doesn’t bother me that much. I’d like to have a beard, but that’s mostly so people will stop mistaking me for a girl. It would probably also be nice if people stop mistaking me for a teenage boy. My voice bothers me insofar as people identify it as female, not insofar as it isn’t deep and manly (I’ve actually been rather insecure about my voice for a while–it’s the one thing most likely to get me mistaken for a girl, these days, and I hate that. I’ve even had a couple of really bad experiences because of my voice in the past year). It really doesn’t bug me that I don’t have a dick. I mean, I think it would probably be nice to have one, but I’m okay with my current equipment. As for chest hair… I actually want not to have chest hair. But if it comes as part of the package, then I can deal.
And lately, I’ve been going out of my way to always use the gender neutral restrooms. I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe because all the ones I know of are single stall, and it gives me more privacy. Maybe because I don’t feel comfortable in the mens room. But that discomfort could be due to that time I got security called on me for using the mens room (I was rather shocked this actually happened to me–that’s something I usually only hear about happening to trans women). Or it could be that I don’t entirely feel like a man (even though feeling extra, super, very not-female ends up being almost the same thing, in practice). I don’t know.
I have been thinking I’d like to grow my hair out again once I have a beard going. I’ve always thought long hair on guys was awesome, but I cut off my hair a while ago because it made me look too feminine. But, I don’t mind having some feminine characteristics, as long as people don’t think I’m a girl. And I really don’t want to be one of those hyper-masculine guys. But there is a difference between having (or not minding) some feminine characteristics, or not wanting to be hyper-masculine, and being not exactly a guy.
Anyway, I’m not quite sure it would really change much if I’m sort of on or near the borderline between binary and not. Maybe things would be different if being male weren’t the only socially acceptable (and socially acknowledged) way to be not-female.