The Breakdown

breakdown1

Yesterday I crashed hard. And I am not done crashing yet. I spiraled into a complete state of anxiety over my body, trying to control it, failing, getting angry and trying to control it more. You can see where this is headed. The hyper-focus on specific zones just made it worse, and my body protested, as if saying “just let me be”.

I can be a complete tyrant and a despot towards myself. This might be difficult for other people to understand. They probably don´t get how this dysfunctional behavior could ever benefit me. The answer is it doesn´t. But due to situations I experienced in the past, my brain is hard-wired to resent any type of powerlessness.

When I get in a state like this, attempting to adjust the situation means to introduce thoughts that are opposite to my gut feeling, that directly conflict with the way I have always handled these situations, and that directly conflict with the teachings that I had as a child, whether they were deeply dysfunctional or not.

Sometimes I´m not able to stop the overwhelming push to exercise control over myself, and it always ends up headed in the same direction, namely complete exhaustion and self-destruction (sometimes literal). The paradox is that I want to be free and by trying to achieve this I lock myself up in a personal police state.

However awful and horrible my own police state may be, when I´m in it I get a sense of being protected from things that I find hard to stomach, such as having been born with this body. Letting go of my own inner tyrant, at times, is so demanding for me that I completely zone out and start feeling sick to my stomach.

I don´t know how long it will take me to be easier towards myself. To not be such a dick. I genuinely want to stop tormenting myself so much, but maybe I will not be able to do so until I get top and bottom surgery. Today my doc said that I was doing well considering the circumstances. That at least I am managing to survive.

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5 thoughts on “The Breakdown

  1. The mind is far more capable of self-alteration that people know. Due to a combination of reckless meditation, drug use, puberty, and severe stress, I developed a number of self-destructive –mental– habits when younger. These were not habits that translated into outward action, but patterns of thought. One of those patterns was that I would simply forget my problems – even as I was aware of their slipping away, constantly attempting to retain awareness of them, and knew that they were being repressed due to my fear.

    There were other, far more insidious patterns of thought that also developed – I lived on the brink of a perpetual breakdown, though was thankfully sheltered from the world by family at the time. After years, I mostly mastered them, though impactful remnants remain due to my laziness and cowardice. What allowed me control was not clinging to comforting hope, or outside influences [as most people rely on] but a great deal of self-reflection in isolation. Over time, I developed more and more self-awareness and self-control over my thoughts and emotions.

    Though I would suggest my method as a practical solution, and feel that these degrees of self-awareness are a central component of maturity, their possession has consequences. Aside from tinkering with one’s mind being dangerous, established control sets one apart from the majority of people – whom mostly float through their lives without much awareness of what they’re doing or why.

    Also of import is that, when coming to understand one’s self, you may find components of yourself that you are unwilling to accept – that the awareness of would lead to further problems. What, for example, would you do if you discovered your dysphoria may be entirely psychosomatic? Having heard the opinions of many transsexuals, I imagine you to be convinced of this being an impossibility. I don’t mean to call the legitimacy of your dysphoria into question by saying this, but I’ve seen such possibilities in my meditations.

    The overarching point: devote a great deal of time exclusively to self-reflection, but be cautious and understand that proficiency –will– isolate you.

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    1. Thanks for your feedback. I know what it´s like to live in a state of perpetual breakdowns. I´ve developed my own tools over time, but since you´re familiar with the degenerative tendencies of the brain you´ll probably understand the concept of a loop – once you start behaving or thinking according to a pattern and reinforcing it. The only way out is to become conscious of it and to stop the thinking or behavior and replace it by an opposite behavior (i.e if your brain is urging you to freak out and lose it, ignoring the impulse to do so). That´s my way out, usually.

      I understand why you would propose that dysphoria could be entirely psychosomatic, but this is a question that I gave thought a long time ago, that I´ve resolved and left behind.

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  2. Shrug, forgive my prodding. Psychology is a serious interest of mine, and trans people are very objectively interesting – my admitted attraction to FTM’s aside [no, I am not flirting]. My general observations of the trans community hasn’t produced leanings in either direction of dysphoria’s legitimacy, unfortunately.

    That aside, I know very well how uncooperative the mind can be, as well as how to make it cooperative. While I’m not trying to steer the conversation back to the dysphoria, its related: the trans tendency to reject their bodies confuses me, as the best way to change a psychologic pattern is to “embrace” it – I do understand, however, that dysphoria is said to be biologic and thus prevent that embrace, and that I have little personal experience withwhich to relate to dysphoria. But that’s digression.

    My point is: though ignoring an impulse or thought pattern is a necessary beginning, we have to completely understand the thought pattern to permanently prevent recurrence – perhaps this is what you meant by, “become conscious of it?” If that’s not what you meant, then allow me to elaborate, as I simply enjoy discussing the subject.

    When repressing awareness of my problems, I was preventing myself from understanding and thus controlling them. In the physical world, where bills need to be paid and shit needs doing, the expression of that avoidance is obvious: I fail to understand the world around me, and thus fail to find ways to pay my bills.

    The same holds true for the psychologic realm: To change my psychologic patterns, I have to face, not merely repress them. As I said before, repressing them is initially necessary, but I have to eventually to face them. Not merely acknowledge they exist, but fully explore my mental processes, so I can understand and thus control them.

    I feel like I’ve been unclear, so let me give an example. There are emotional motivations that discourage me from facing my problems. To change those motivations, I don’t merely will them away by force. Instead, I relive the experiences which created those motivations; while reliving them, I perceive the emotions they spawn, and seek ways to change them. If I’m successful in changing those emotional motivations, my behaviors are thus changed.

    A severe summation, but I don’t know how interested you are in all that, or if that wasn’t what you meant in the first place. Anyway. Do you know of any trans literature that discusses similar cooping patterns, when people attempt to address their dysphoria? I would be extremely interested in that.

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