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Dysphoria and a means to an end

Who do you see in the mirror? Who do you want to see?

My therapist and I talked about a lot of things this week. It was a rambling discussion, covering a lot of ground, but we did spend some time on the topic of shopping and clothing. Feels a bit like a stereotype in the making...

So, I really do like to shop. I am not a focused, purpose, shopper. I enjoy browsing, finding new things, and exploring stores. It's fun for me. I do have a large collection of feminine clothing, which I wear from time to time, but the challenge today is that it doesn't really fit quite right, not without a lot of pushing, pulling, and squeezing from very uncomfortable shapewear. That takes a lot of the shine off, I'm at the age where comfort comes before beauty for most things. The exception is leggings... I adore leggings and wear them a fair bit.

Do I "dress" up a lot? No, but there's another reason: dysphoria.

Clothing and makeup are a means to an end, really, they are not the end. The reason I wear some of these (not including leggings, see above) items and the reason that I wear makeup is to bring my visual appearance into congruence with my internal perception of self. More importantly, I do that for myself. In other words, the goal I have is to allow myself to see the real me more accurately and alleviate my dysphoria.

So, why does dysphoria inhibit that? It is hard, right now, to achieve my goal. I want to see my inner self, but it is hard not to see the effects of a hormone I would prefer not to have, even with the clothes and makeup. When that happens, the dysphoria I have actually gets worse, it feels more discordant.

Thus, as I go along, I wear what fits and what is comfortable for me. I generally cultivate an androgynous appearance today: long hair, pierced ears, non-distinct clothing for the most part. Eventually, what fits best will change, that day is coming, but I will still wear what is comfortable for me.

After all, it's not about clothing, it's about me.


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