Detaching_ A Poem For the Dissociated
“So what’s in your pants?”
I guess it depends on how I felt when I woke up today.
Did I wake up and feel that my body isn’t betraying me?
I have a vagina today.
Did I wake up with an aching in the pit of my stomach that something isn’t quite right?
I have a dick today.
But oddly enough, both are detachable, though not in the same way.
I grew detached from my vagina first.
It started off slowly- a gentle discomfort that grew into an abrasive disdain.
Something that used to cause pleasure and wonder,
had suddenly turned into a mockery- a reminder
that I will never be comfortable in my own skin again.
Don’t want it anymore? I detach from it mentally.
The dick came more recently.
I’ve finally found an attachment that makes me feel like
more of who I am- more of who I want to be.
Sure, it’s not “real” and it’s not “connected to me,” but does that make it any less mine? No.
Don’t want it anymore? I detach from it physically.
“So why don’t you just have a surgery to change what you have to the other binary?”
Because binary is something I am not.
My dick is not an attempt to be a man (because not all men have dicks)
My dislike of my vagina is not a jab at women (because not all women have vaginas)
I don’t follow any of your transphobic rhetoric about what parts I should or shouldn’t have.
How I choose to pee doesn’t put me in a binary category.
I am genderQUEER and so are my parts- no matter what they might be today.
I change my identity like I change what’s in my pants- freely.
But some days, it doesn’t work that way. Some days I’m trapped.
Most days, I can choose what I want to see when I go to the bathroom,
but some days like today, I can’t make my own decisions.
These are the days when I can’t detach from my vagina
When I have to constantly be reminded that it’s there
That I have to acknowledge and feel and see all that I don’t want to see,
all that I don’t want to feel, all that I don’t want to acknowledge.
Weeks like this one, instead of detaching from a body part, I detach from my head
When I’m bleeding, my dick is rendered useless
I can’t bring myself to use an STP while I bleed
It takes too much care and attention to handle a period.
On a normal day, I can mentally detach from my vagina,
But these days, I can’t detach myself enough.
All of the attention that I have to pay to myself is muscle memory by now.
15 years of handling myself in these states comes in handy because
when I step into the bathroom, I turn into an astronaut- a space cadet.
I turn into a disembodied spirit- my body left behind- on autopilot to do it’s duty.
The second my pants come down and I spy even the tiniest,
smallest, most insignificant speck of blood, I am dissolved.
I am no longer in my body. I don’t know where I am, but I am no longer present.
My vagina becomes this black hole of dysphoria and dissociation
causing me to shut down my brain until my pants come back up and the sight is gone.
These days, tampons are out of the question,
I don’t like the feeling of them being pulled out. I don’t like my body well enough to remove one.
These days, menstrual cups are out of the question,
I don’t like the feeling of them going in. I don’t want to know my body well enough to put one in.
I don’t like any sensation of feeling inside my body.
I wish I could be external. I wish every day that I could go back to the very beginning
and come out just a little bit different. Why can’t I stop my body from turning on me?
Sure, I could get an implant that stops my periods.
Sure, I could get a surgery that will cause them to end forever,
But knives and needles scare me more than my dissociation
And nothing scares me more than the thought of something going wrong.
I’m bad at being a risk-taker, but there’s a risk involved, no matter what I do.
I can either stay dissociated forever
Or I can take a chance on changing myself into something that I may regret.
So for now, I take a pill every day that delays me by three months-
gives me relief from the pain I feel now only four times a year.
But these times that used to be three or four days
have turned into two or three weeks.
Weeks outside of my body. weeks of weakness.
The medication isn’t helping anymore
Now it’s dragging out the inevitable so long that I forget who I am.
It’s not that I don’t want a vagina, it’s that
I don’t want this reminder that I have one.
So in these weeks of hell and loss of control,
as I find myself outside of my body, watching in horror, in a triggered panic
Begging for this to be over soon, I wait.
Until I can pee the way I want to again, looking down at what I wish I couldn’t detach
I’ll hold my breath and try not to think too much about it.