Shark week was high on the long list of things that make me dysphoric. I have a post I haven’t shared, and probably will not at this point, detailing why – all the little and big factors that put it well in the running for the no. 1 spot. 

This one has been different though. Knowing it was coming, I bought a box of pads and a box of cups. I bought a fresh container of Pamprin and a pack of wet wipes, and I left to go on a sort of vacation that, damn it, wouldn’t be ruined by dysphoria, because, damn it, I was going to be prepared, materially and psychologically, to deal with it.

And I was prepared, battle ready, until I stepped out of the shower and into the view of the full length mirror I forgot was there, the one that hangs counter to ceiling, wall-to-wall above the sink in the bathroom of my in-laws’ house. 

I could suddenly see myself, from mid-thigh up, wearing a pair of tight briefs and nothing else, and I waited for the dysphoria to hit. 

It didn’t. 

No sudden, painful discomfort. No sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. No dissociation. 

I don’t know what’s different now, but for the first time almost ever, I didn’t hate what I saw. I looked it up and down and saw potential. It certainly doesn’t have the parts I want, but I am starting to see how it could, someday.

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