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the suit of armor

I had already prepared this post before I saw Calie feature Jodie Dawson's excellent write up on late in life transitions over at T-Central. Jodie's post only reinforces what I wanted to say in mine.

We hide our true selves to fit in and repress until we can repress no longer. When we are growing up there is no barometer for normal and you think that the feelings you have inside are just part of your growing pains. Only when you begin to get older do you realize your dysphoria is something that other people don’t have.

I was very good at suppressing; in fact I was excellent at it.

It allowed me to build my mental discipline but it also took its toll because I could never let my guard down, relax and be myself. You have to try that much harder and that effort encouraged a level of self-consciousness that might not have otherwise been required.

You don’t have words for gender dysphoria when you are small. I just knew that I was different and that people would reject me for it. It is all I needed to know. The way back to finding me has been long and arduous and has cost me countless hours of the type of reflection that is being regularly expressed in this blog.

I sometimes don’t know what being myself is anymore because I have fashioned a suit of armor to get me through life. Yes it deflected harm but it also restricted my movement and stifled an expressiveness that was screaming to get out. After all these years of wear it has fused itself to my person such that I don’t know where it stops and the rest of me begins.

Trying to understand yourself after years of denial can be like unraveling a tangled cord; you almost don't know where to begin. But after a while it gets easier and if you are very fortunate you might discover the person you always should have been all along.


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