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Tag: disassociation

Massages + Disassociation

In July I had this thing where my neck/shoulder muscles didn’t want to move, so I got a massage, and I’ve been getting them every couple weeks since to try and loosen up the (apparently insane levels of) tightness, and I noticed something…and someday I’ll draw something to illustrate this better, but, when I’m on the table, I feel connected to myself and my body.

I can tell how the muscle in my right shoulder impacts my left toes, and how every piece of me is connected to everything else. For an hour, there’s no difference between me and my body, we’re the same, connected, one – I am muscle and flesh and bone and blood, and interestingly, gender doesn’t come into play here. And maybe, it’s because I’m naked in the dark but not seen or judged, maybe it’s because massages go deeper than skin, and reach the core, the ungendered center that everyone shares, so I’m not lost in my parts, because they’re just parts, epidermis that doesn’t really say much about me or who I am…

It’s not something I’m used to experiencing, but I’m trying to find ways to ground myself, to feel less like a floating sentience in a breathing corpse. I realized, while we were checking out the Universalist church last weekend, that, I center myself to the earth, which I think is normal, but what if I centered myself to…myself? maybe if I paid attention to how my skin felt around my bones and listened to my senses, maybe that would help with the generally disconnected feeling I usually have towards my body?

Most days I feel like I’m a sentience walking ghost-hand in hand with my body, or circling around in my skull that from here looks more like a cage. On bad days, or bad nights, really, I feel like I’m a balloon and like I’ll just float away unless I’m held or touching someone to ground me and pull me back down to the earth, to my skin…but, when I’m being massaged, it’s like someone is helping me put my body back on, like a coat, and helping me back to myself.

It’s weird in a good way, but also weird. I don’t know if any of this makes sense, and when she asks me how I’m feeling after (apparently I hold up really well) I want to tell her how much it helps on a psychological level, but I don’t know how to, or if she’d even understand…but it does, it helps a lot in a way I never expected.

 


Then sometimes things happen, and I’m around people who tend to make me question my worth and whether or not I should even bother doing things that actually do help me. Who make me feel like a burden and like I should just suffer and I don’t deserve to try and have a healthy relationship with myself-body – who leave me reeling for days re-evaluating whether or not I’m a decent human.

Being triggered leaves me feeling like the pile of dirt I was told I was worth growing up, and it makes me feel guilty for getting massages, and taking care of myself. Because who am I to have things, to have value, to have worth, and to be worth caring for?


But I am human, and I have value because I exist, and I’m not just trouble, or burdensome, and I am worth caring for.

So next Friday I get another massage, and it’ll be good for me, because it’s okay to value and take care of myself.

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Living outside the binary

In August I wrote a post for Caleigh’s I Have a Voice project about gender – gender identity, gender expression, specifically mine. It’s been interesting since then – nice to have finally gotten it out there, because it had been welling up inside – I think I’ve come to understand myself a bit more and I occasionally write addendums in my head.

Today’s kinda started off on a not good foot(?). I feel sick, I’m sleep deprived and (I think unrelatedly) I feel so tired of feeling like my very existence is both a threat and threatened. Not physically, but because…. I don’t know. Live alternative to the way you grew up, get married, do not have kids, and watch as your friends get married and have kids, and try not feeling the pressure from everyone and the world and your upbringing to conform and join the rest. Try not feeling vulnerable when your existence flies in the face of everything you ever knew and were taught; and while you wouldn’t trade it for the world, sometimes, it just, gets old. Because even this has stigmas attached.

I don’t identify as a woman even though I have female anatomy. I don’t really connect or feel at-one with my body most of the time. It’s a weird state of flux – I often feel as though my body and I are at odds if not all out war, but also, like, I still feel “fat”(thanks hormones!) and sick and hormonal and self conscious and all of those things. I occasionally disassociate, and holding my partner’s hands keep me tethered and grounded (this really doesn’t happen that often, but, it’s happened).

I identify to myself as gender-neutral or genderless, for ease when talking to people, I use genderqueer. I don’t feel like I am a man the same way I don’t feel like I am a woman. I don’t embody the binary roles we try to split people up into at birth. I am me, I am human, I exist, the end.

I frustrate myself though, because gender identity and putting people into categories of binary gender is so ingrained that even though I don’t accept it on a personal and logical level, it’s still a thought pattern that I’m trying to unlearn. I still find myself trying to categorize people – the way it kills me to be categorized – instinctually, which is when I stop myself and step back and say “that is a beautiful person” end of story. Because gender really doesn’t matter – not as a category and certainly not as binary.

Gender is a social construct that we force people into because we can’t accept that people don’t fit outside of our two boxes. Which leaves those of us who exist outside the boxes feeling broken and wrong. We either learn to suppress it and squeeze into the box, or we change and let ourselves live – but it’s lonelier out here, and the people who either embrace or have squeezed into the boxes don’t really understand.

Gender presentation is often mistaken for gender identity, but they are not the same thing. Just like not everyone who wears plaid is a hipster (and not all hipsters wear plaid). I present myself in the way that gives me confidence. I spent far too long hiding my body in baggy clothes and layers, so I present as femme. I accept female pronouns because existing is complicated and I don’t feel like correcting people (not that it’s not a valid thing, because it is, I really want gender neutral or genderless pronouns to become common – I just don’t have the emotional energy do it; I don’t even have the energy to correct people’s pronunciation of my name, which is largely why I go by Kiery now), but, if you use hen you will win all of the things.

The idea of women are this and men are that is soul crushing. The idea that your life and path and interests are chosen for you at birth because of your anatomy is ridiculous.

The culture we breed of women must want babies or something is wrong with them and all men care about is fucking and their own pleasure is archaic. We are human, and we are more than that. We are more than one organ of our body. But try accepting that and living as though your life’s worth does not depend on the use of your reproductive system, and you’re bombarded with social stigmas of something is wrong with that person.

I’m 99% sure that guys deal with this too. Nice, considerate, empathetic guys are ridiculed and shamed for their lives – not being manly enough. Like women not having children are shamed for not being womanly.

WE ARE NOT THE SUM OF OUR PARTS.

OUR VALUE IS NOT IN OUR REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS AND HOW/WHEN/AND HOW OFTEN THEY ARE USED.

However you identify, however you present yourself – your worth is not (well, should not be) in your anatomy.

But that doesn’t make it any easier.

I’m still fighting old thought patterns and habits, I get angry because I’m not where I want to be. When I think I’m making progress accepting myself (and others) something happens and I feel like I lost it.

I don’t know how comfortable I am sporting the genderqueer label, but it’s better than getting angry whenever someone refers to me as a woman (strangely enough, _lady_ doesn’t bother me, but that’s probably because I say it in a sexy voice…laaadeeey and it doesn’t hold the same connotations for me that woman does and as I said before she/her are okay, because I present as femme but hen is best).

Or maybe it’s because I don’t feel queer about it (even though that’s kinda the best term we have atm). I am a person, gender doesn’t apply.

STOP FORCING ME IN YOUR WOMAN BOX.

Background in chronological order (AKA previous posts on the subject. It’s like you can watch the evolution and how I’m still dealing with the same things a year later!):

Insignificance

Women are less

A Freeing Realization

Because of What it Means

Coming To Grips With Gender (Profligate Truth)

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