Distress Tolerance and Dysphoria

So, I got into the DBT group room all ready to try one more time without my sunglasses and Charon just marches in and turns on the overhead lights and says “Okay, so The Sarcastic Autist has sensitivity problems and may need to wear sunglasses.”  I’m grateful, yeah, but seriously?  What the fuck.  I guess it’s because Charon could finally see that I was in a lot of pain in the group room.  Just.  Bloody hell.  I don’t understand why she was so adamant and then suddenly went “nah, whatever”.

I had a talk with Flapjack the other night about gender stuff.  She doesn’t seem to quite grasp the Nonbinary thing.  She kept asking how I feel and I tried to tell her but she doesn’t seem to understand.  I think it’s because she’s binary and thus doesn’t get that wearing a binder helps with the dysphoria and my main issue is that I look very girly and I want to look more androgynous.  The periods are what give me the most dysphoria.   When I said I think I could survive without HRT, I just wouldn’t be happy, she truly didn’t understand.  She said that most of the trans people she’s met need HRT or surgery or whatever or they are so depressed they would rather die.

I didn’t know how to describe it without sounding like an asshole, but suicide isn’t an option for me.  Not for anything.  I still get really depressed and suicidal once in the blue moon, but I don’t actually act upon the ‘kill myself now’ urge.  I focus on things that do make me happy or I calm myself down from that Red Alert feeling.

Yesterday morning, I felt really dysphoric about my body.  Nothing I put on made me feel androgynous, even with my binder on. I looked and felt I looked like an utterly feminine girl.  I teared up and almost cancelled going to group because of it.  Instead of allowing those feelings of worthlessness and wrongness and ugliness to overwhelm me and say “fuck it, I’m not going anywhere because I’m wrong and fat”, I took a deep breath in, held it, breathed out, and focused on putting on my makeup.  (I attempt to do makeup in such a way that makes me look more Androgynous.  I like to pretend it works.  It makes me feel better.)  After I calmed down, I went back to clothes.  I accepted that I’m not going to get as good a look as I want, so I did a look that made me feel as good as possible.

That’s Distress Tolerance.  Maybe a bit of Emotion Regulation, too.  I don’t know.  I do know that Distress Tolerance, calming down or distracting myself from an intense situation, is why I’m able to be so chill about my current transitioning status.  I don’t have to do HRT.  I can tolerate not doing it.  I just don’t want to have to continue to just tolerate my body.  I want to be able to look in the mirror and go “yeah, that’s who I am.”

I feel kind of proud that I am able to look back and go “look!  I actually have learned a thing from Charon and DBT and apply it in real life!”

Distress Tolerance is what we covered yesterday in group.  That’s why I’m able to describe why and how I can calm myself down and center and stuff.  Because we literally just went over it.  I have a hard time putting words onto things.  Describing is hard.  I like to go “it is a thing.”  I am not wrong, but I am also not entirely right and I know it is frustrating for people who work with me.  I sometimes (a lot of times) need a lot of guidance and to be told “yes, it is a thing, but it’s a thing because of XYZ and also because ABC so we should work on G.”  Which often leads to me being confused.  I’m a bit of an idiot sometimes.

I don’t know.  I was excited about being able to describe something.  I hope you are all well.

-The Sarcastic Autist

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