I like to frame things in terms of war, but this is more like detective work.
Slow, painful detective work, that makes me imagine slowly crouch-walking along, working at rough, twisted ground with sore fingers to find something that moves when I apply pressure.
Sometimes, I know what’s wrong. The weighted echo in my chest tips me off about what I should be, and I pad my feet with so many socks it’s hard to feel them and silently, intently work a pair of shoes onto my feet and think of them as hooves as I go for a walk. I lock the bathroom door and draw little blue windows spiraling up my body. The anxiety, or the discomfort, or whatever it is today, goes away for another random period of time.
Occasionally, I actually learn the cause. Enough “developmentally disabled” always makes me want to be taller, and broader-shouldered and heavier, with less acute vision and large breasts and even a large clitoris, when I don’t even know what a clitoris is like, don’t know what having a cunt is like. But that’s how I think of myself, with enough “developmentally disabled”.
That’s how I act, though I know that other people don’t see me as I should be. Or maybe I don’t act. I’m not sure if I really do become slower and clumsier, or if I just act. It feels real enough that I’m content, because for once I’m defined.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s the only time I have a body. This? This isn’t me. The hands are me, a little. The coloured, dancing static filter over my vision is me, and sometimes the voice is, a bit. But the rest? It’s the body of some avatar. Like in a game. Just a visual model with a hitbox that shows up in your vision and any mirrors in the world, if there are any.
But when I’m like this? I have a body. It’s an ethereal body that I try to represent, granted, but it is a body, that simple & most basic of identities. It is a body. I can’t explain the simple satisfaction of that to someone who has one, or stubbornly insists that I do.
I used to look in mirrors and try to reconcile this (I.E, what most people would call “my” body) with me. Either nothing happens, or I just freeze. I become aware of my own existence in a light-speed thought loop of things I can’t articulate, and I just sit or stand there until I can get the willpower to stop it. Now, I worry I’ll understand it or get stuck like that, so I don’t.
I still look in mirrors, though, because I can never remember how this looks, and how it might look is always interesting. I always worry it will be thought of as vanity, that someone will think I *like* this.
You must understand, though, that I don’t hate it. This isn’t some disconnected escapade of bodily loathing triggered by a few years of this body being a hormone-pumping, self-mutiliating poison factory, despite what armchair psychologists might think. This is no frenzied denial of ugliness. Indeed, I’ve begun to find this form somewhat attractive in recent months, and those that I’d prefer are often less physically attractive.
But they are me. That is ultimately what this is about. Not beauty, not uniqueness, not notions of norm-defying radicalness. From here, it’s honestly a dull, gray and mundane reality, like the concrete driveway outside the door or the rain beyond the windows.
There’s nothing fantastic or special about something that happens every day of your life.