“We are the ones we have been waiting for”
― June Jordan
Note from the Author:
Gender Dysphoria and Body Dysmorphia are two separate conditions that I struggle with. The multidimensional issues that come up for me and dual feelings that I experience can sometimes be difficult to convey. This month, I am writing about the ideas of what we are taught to look like; and specifically about how I feel I look. My gender identity and how I feel about its assignment and presentation is also delicately weaved into this issue as well, often playing a role in further exaggerating my perceptions. I am still navigating my body, my mind, my healing, and balancing that with how much I am ready to share in a very public way. I have made some edits to this piece for the sake of clarity. Thank you for your love and patience as you follow my journey!
I get mad at the limitations of my body, instead of embracing the body that I have.
Walking around my body in the heat is one of my least favorite things to do. It’s disruptive because it makes me confront myself—not with an awareness, but with disdain.
Besides the feeling of not quite being in the right body because of how I identify within the spectrum of gender, every time I feel the grease between my legs, the chafing that results because of it, the way I feel my ass shake against the humidity—something inside of me feels off. It feels as if I’m going against the actual requirements of my innate design. And the body I do have, I feel like I’ve decided it needs to be sleek and thin and tight and perfect, as in a body not like mine. So, in the summer, the feeling that my body is wrong or has failed me is at an all time max. I get mad at both the limitations and accentuations of my body, instead of embracing the body that I have.
These are some of the things that Lisa and I have been working on this past month, how to essentially bring awareness to myself so that I’m not always working against what I have.
Instead, I’m embracing all of my self-perceived “foibles.” It’s so interesting to me that women, femmes, trans-folks, non-binary folks have been bred to believe that what they have, what they were born with, is not accurate. That perhaps there’s something wrong.
Entire societies have been governed to make others feel like there’s something deep inside of them that they need to fix in order to be acceptable. This teaching, whether subliminal (vis-a-vis every women’s magazine, for e.g) seeps into your pores, and into your bloodstream, and very soon you begin to believe that your body is working against you. Instead of accepting what you are, or what you look like, you begin to punish yourself for not being the correct self that you believe you should be. This has been taught to us through many different ways—whether it’s through being not white, not cis, not straight, infertile, asexual. The list is endless.
It was confronting to see how I had been bred to think of what beauty is.
Everybody struggles with jealousy, because everybody wants what the other has. I’ve found that this jealousy existed primarily when I would look at other bodies, comparing myself to skinny women, in particularly, getting angry over the privilege of others and their ability to navigate the world being thin. In my head, from years of suffering from both dysmorphia and dysphoria, I had exaggerated myself to the point of monstrosity. Some days I’d be walking on the sidewalk and feel like I was taking it entirely over. That people must, must be staring at me, thinking about how ugly and gross I must be. I now understand that none of this was real, and how fat-shaming, or fat-phobia had also seeped into my psyche. It was confronting to see how I had been bred to think of what beauty is, and it’s been a process of unlearning that every day. Of changing my perspective of myself, but also of what we’re societally told is acceptable as a body. It’s unfair that our conceptions of beauty are so limited.
A small, but mighty change.
Over this past month, that has been my journey of acupuncture. Of confronting both my truths and my perceptions head-on, and reminding myself that I have value and worth outside of just how I look. So, Lisa has begun to use the technique known as “sky window” (to bring unity with my mind and my body) so that the dislocation with how I feel about myself begins to meld with how my body feels physically. As well as using “the tallest mountain in China” points to bring my energy towards the ground, again, to not be too in my head. Coupled with cupping, and weekly gua sha there’s a palpability in how I navigate my day-to-day life. It’s still early days, but I’ve noticed, at the very least, that when I walk around, I feel less focused on self-conscious. I feel more in me. A small, but mighty change.
About The Author
This guest post was authored by Fariha Róisín, a talented writer based here in Brooklyn. We are indebted to Fariha for sharing this experience. We are humbled to be in service to such a brave, strong & beautiful human and it is with great gratitude we are able to share Fariha’s writings with our community.
Fariha Róisín has written for Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Vice, Fusion, Village Voice and many others and additionally has previously written a self-care column on The Hairpin. Fariha will also soon have two books published and currently has an astrology column for them. We encourage you to discover more:
Visit Fariha’s Website.
Follow Fariha on Instagram.
Learn More About Fariha on Passerbuys.
A Note From Garden Acupuncture:
If you would like to be notified about Fariha’s future contributions to the Garden Acupuncture Blog on The Evolution of My Healing, we invite you to sign up for our newsletter or you can follow us on Facebook.