Change Your World-NOT your Body

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Topics Tuesday: Feeling "Different"

Todays topic for discussion is feeling different, some possible questions:

1) Did you feel different growing up?
2) Do you still feel different as an adult?
3) What informed your feelings of differentness?
4) What is about you that you feel makes you different?
5) Did/do you feel good or bad because you feel different?


And on a more serious note, what is your favourite xmas movie/song????

dirt
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28 comments:

  1. 1. Yes. I had health problems, and I was very short. Other kids and even some teachers would make fun of me and bully me.

    2. Yes. I still have these health problems, and I often feel alone as a pacifist in a town of military contractors.

    3. Getting picked on. Having trouble understanding the people around me. Having the people around me say things about "us all" or "everyone" that excluded me. Getting beaten up. I started thinking I was nobody. Harassment from cops. Catcalls from random men.

    4. I honestly don't know. I'm short, mildly disabled, and living with Aspergers'.

    5. I felt alone, and sometimes scared.

    6. "Xmas Story" (from *Futurama*)

    P.S. I am trans, and that probably encouraged the bullies to target me. Most of their insults were misogynistic, homophobic or transphobic. But being trans never made me feel different, because I thought everyone else felt the same.

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  2. I suspect everyone feels different, but different from what?

    Home for the Holidays. Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr.. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and touching, and it speaks to the imperfect perfectness of every family. I watch it every year with my friends and it always makes me cry.

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  3. 1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. My interests, my stature, my ethnic background
    4. Try as I might - and I have tried - I just don't fit in with the mainstream. I have been socialized / learned how to keep things to myself (like absurd comments or random observations that may be deemed "weird" or inappropriate).
    5. I felt bad about it for a long time, esp as a kid. I tried to work with it as a teen and then in my 20s, I wanted to fit in again and really suppressed a lot of myself to try and do that. And when I realized that I *still* wasn't passing for mainstream or fitting in, then I slowly was able to give up those attempts and just be myself.

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  4. Anon@3:18,

    How do you feel today? Have you manage to get beyond others negative opinions of you?

    And as long as you read this blog, you are never alone.

    dirt

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  5. Anon@3:54,

    Different from your perceptions of what you perceive others to be like.

    dirt

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  6. DD, Glad you were able to move on and glad that we're friends! You're an awesome Femme!

    dirt

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  7. 1) Did you feel different growing up? Most definitely! My grandmother told me all the time that I need to play with girls but I always told her that all they want to do is play with dolls or play dress up and that I wanted to play football with my brother and his friends and so on.
    I had students as well as teachers in school make fun of me...mainly from grades 6-9. I quit when I was 16 due to all of the harassment and bullying. It was hard enough to come out as a lesbian let alone come out as trans. My guidance counselor in the 8th grade had a conference with my mom. She told her that I wanted to move to London, England so I can have a sex change. I never told her that but I suppose the friend that I told that to went and blabbed!




    2) Do you still feel different as an adult? Yeah I suppose I do at times. For instance when I start going to the gym. There's no bathrooms outside of the locker room to change in. That is what has stopped me from going to Planet Fitness. I may have to join the YMCA again. All of my friends accept me as trans and have never put me down ever. I pass 100% of the time but I feel different because I am only 5'2" tall so I am small. My shoe size is only a 5 in mens and that's small.



    3) What informed your feelings of differentness? I would have to say from being bullied in school so much. I looked up to the teachers to stop it from happening but they too would make fun of me, laugh, and snicker amongst themselves. Not only did I dress as a boy but I also was a punk rocker (Still am). I had a long mohawk, wore black all the time, did my own piercings (No one really had them in the mid to late 80's), and I wore spiked belts, spiked collars, and spiked wrist bands. That just didn't go to well in school in SC where I was living at the time.
    I'd always have queer or freak written on my locker. I was seen as a gay guy in school. Hell, I even got pulled out of the girls bathroom in the 8th grade by a teacher and when I told her I was a female she didn't believe me. I got suspended!

    4) What is about you that you feel makes you different? I feel like the odd man out a lot of times in public because I'm so short. I sometimes hear people laugh at me and hear them say crap like, "Look at that faggots hair", "Look at that faggot", or crap like, "Fucking queer!" but they try to say it amongst their friends thinking I can't hear what they say and hear them laugh.



    5) Did/do you feel good or bad because you feel different? I have very low self-esteem and the reason is is because in the past 3 1/2 years I went from weighing 135lbs up to 188lbs. I'm at 177 lbs right now. I've never had a weight problem before but I do now. A lot of times I feel very alone because all of my trans male friends are on-line. I have a few trans women friends but no trans male friends. If my fiancee and I go to the gay bar there's a trans guy that works there but we just say hi and bye.
    My fiancee always tells me that I am hot but I don't see myself as hot by any means. I have big gut and my face seems to be more pudgy. She says that I am fine just the way I am. Just the way I am sucks right now but I plan on working out at home starting Monday Jan. 3rd.


    I would say one of my favorite Christmas songs is Elvis's Blue Christmas. I also love Band-Aids, Do they know it's Christmas.


    P.S. Good Topic! Have a good night!

    Yeah, this is the same Brandon who has been commenting on your posts lately. I just added my middle and last initial.

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  8. 1. Yes. I grew up in a rural part of Michigan, where if you weren't heterosexual and religious, you were dead meat. After my mom got killed when I was 10, things began to change for me. At first, other kids ignored me, then soon they started to bully me. By the time I got into high school I was literally fearing for my life every day. Many days I came home bloodied and the school refused to do anything about it, stating that if I wasn't such a dyke, kids would leave me alone. So I did what was logical at the time and dropped out. I could go on and on about my life growing up in a rural farming community, but I wont bore anyone.

    2. Oh I know I'm different. The best damn thing I could do was drop out of school. I may have health issues but I grew as a person better than if I would have remained in the hell of high school. I'm blunt, honest and opinionated. I'm one of the few people that I know that feels someone's word is their honor.

    3. I don't think anything really informed me. It's just something that you know is there.

    4. I know I am noticeably different because I have a wheelchair and a speech problem due to a TBI when I was 18. I'm in a wheelchair because one of my ex girlfriend's assaulted me and now I can barely walk. That's really the only thing that makes me different from most people is my chair. But my chair gives me the freedom to do more than if I never had it.

    5. I'm proud to be different. I'm proud that my dad supports me in being so different.

    Oh and I love Snoopy VS The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsmen :)

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  9. Brandon,

    I'm sorry to hear you were so bullied at school and that counselor sounds like a nosy nutcase!

    Brandon, you have to let that shit go in one ear and out the other. You dont have to be tall to walk tall!

    And if you need any workout tips, feel free to hit me up.

    dirt

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  10. "Anon@3:18,

    How do you feel today? Have you manage to get beyond others negative opinions of you?

    And as long as you read this blog, you are never alone.

    dirt"

    Thanks. I'm mostly okay. It's hard to get work.

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  11. 1. Yes.

    2. No, i don't feel different than other people now, because it seems to me that everyone feels different and separate, and that makes us all the same in some way. Of course, I don't *know* if that's true, but if you ask most people, they will say they felt different. It's all in the perception.

    3.I felt more sensitive than other people and lived in a constant state of shock/adjustment to how cruel kids could be to each other. I was spacey and lived in my head, and in my fantasies, while other kids pushed each other around and manipulated each other. Girls were so mean and wicked, while boys were always trying to dominate each other. I had no understanding that I was a part of either group, but at least the ranking methods amongst the boys was simpler. Both groups singled out "losers" to take all the heat, which turned every day into a living hell for those people. At puberty, i realized that both boys and girls were moving on without me into a realm I didn't understand or find appealing. Intense sex differentiation, flirting, acting dumb to attract boys all seemed so forced and intense. I was supposed to wear a bra and take showers, but went home after school to play army and star wars with kids who were years younger than me.

    4. I don't feel different any longer, but not because of gender or sexual orientation. Everyone is different from each other, and if we continue to focus on those identities and differentiate, we may not be able to come back together to understand what make us human.

    5. I guess for awhile I felt bad that the world saw me as so different from them. That was very alienating and isolating. All I wanted was to be able to connect as a human, but society's views of what's normal put me on the outside. Me, with my intelligence, humor, love, compassion, and understanding for so many people. I had to bear the burden of differentness, only because I was born in a certain time, in a certain culture. This broke my heart, because so many different kinds of amazing and wonderful people-trans, butch, femme, black, poor, disabled, old, native, on and on must spend some portion of their time and energy fighting back against this force. Just to have peace and dignity.

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  12. ASUFTM2010,

    Sorry to hear about your ma, thats terrible. Mine died in childhood as well.

    Terrible school was so bad you had to quit, seems to be a pattern unfortunately.

    Patti Smith said that "misfits are the ones who are true and troubled and filled with shining blood".

    Shine.

    dirt

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  13. 1) Did you feel different growing up?
    Yes and No. I had certain feelings that which I now know not everyone has, I just thought I wasn't handling them as well as others were.

    2) Do you still feel different as an adult?
    As an adult, I've come to realize that everyone's different in some way or another. There are a thousand things that make up "me". Just cause 4-5 of them aren't shared with that guy or that girl doesn't make me less of a human being deserving the same human rights and same respect.
    I still "feel" like I'm not "the same" as the next person, but now I just know it's "normal".

    3) What informed your feelings of differentness?
    Comparison.
    I was stressed, and knew I was stressed and knew it showed, even when all others seemed just fine.

    4) What is about you that you feel makes you different?
    Depends on the situation. In some situations, I'm different cause I'm taller, in some cause I'm shorter, in some cause I'm smarter, in some cause I'm dumber, in some cause I'm better read, in some cause I haven't read, in some cause I'm weaker physically or mentally, in others cause I'm stronger, in some cause I'm sexy, in some cause I'm ugly, in some cause I'm tired, in some cause I'm hurt. In some the difference is physical, in some it's mental, in some it's emotional, in some it's spiritual, in some it's psychological. etc,etc,etc,...
    It doesn't matter though, cause the same applies to everyone else.

    No two human beings are "the same".
    We are all beautiful and unique snowflakes and so is everybody else.

    5) Did/do you feel good or bad because you feel different?
    Utterly and completely neutral... 99% of the time.

    I'm only human, sometimes I blame myself, kick myself, scold myself, for being stupid, ignorant, exhausted, in pain, whatever it is that makes me feel like I can't quite keep up.
    I know it's not fair to myself when I do so over things that are beyond my control, but I still slip into that bad habit now and then.
    Like I said.. I'm only human..

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  14. 1. Absolutely. I could tell I was different from a young age, and that made me feel very awkward. My father has since forgotten or refuses to acknowledge a time when I was an effeminate, sensitive boy (up to about the early pre-teens). That was shortly before the environment at school teamed up with him to embarrass, bully, and beat my true nature into repression, because it wasn't 'manly' enough.

    2. I suppose that what I am will always be rather peculiar, in a manner of speaking (I would personally rather be thought of as a woman, than ever as a transsexual). Despite my differences, I feel far more well-adjusted to being a person; it's like I have finally joined the human race with everybody else.

    3. A process of elimination, really. I slowly eliminated the possibilities over the years, such as being a gay man, a 'just' effeminate man, and an androgyne. Nothing else felt right for me.

    4. I am a woman who is attracted to and deeply cares for other women (whether others believe that or not due to my born sex is irrelevant to me, because I certainly do). My body is still playing catch up.

    5. I used to feel absolutely terrible; I wallowed in depression and misery while I flirted with suicide for many years. I did not want to be alive at all, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. It's not really so much that I feel good about being different now either, per se. If there were some way to render me female in sex, I would use it and never look back at having been transsexual again. It is the means to an end, rather than the end of my means.

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  15. [Sorry to hear about your ma, thats terrible. Mine died in childhood as well.]

    My mother went nuts instead of dying; she was never the same in her head after I was born. My conservative, religious fundamentalist of a father has had a constant alcoholism and attitude problem (that is, he's a dick), the latter of which resulted in our falling out recently. I refuse to let him make me miserable anymore.

    [Terrible school was so bad you had to quit, seems to be a pattern unfortunately.]

    Same here; I dropped as well.

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  16. I didn't just feel different, I knew I was different. I was the girl who never looked or acted like a girl. I was always the one who had just moved to town and was the new kid in school (we moved 13 times in 17 years). I did what I wanted and said what I wanted - I had nothing so I had nothing to lose. I loved being different and I was terribly lonely, too.

    I grew up working things out by moving on and staying separate. I remained lonely to the seat of my soul. I've had over 45 lovers in 35 years of being a dyke. Part of me is proud of that. I've never met anyone who has lived that kind of life among women.

    It's been over 2 years since I was with a lover. She was the one that I had been waiting for. I had no idea. Now being single makes me different in a new way. Different from my self of the past. It's another way of being on the outside looking in. I never pined for a relationship until I had fallen in love and knew what I was missing.

    Now I feel so different that I wonder if I'll ever come in from outside. But knowing you and your community are around, dirt, does make it easier.

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  17. 1) Did you feel different growing up?

    Yes, I did but mostly because of how my mother treated me. Not because of gender issues, as I live in the countryside and in my "hillybilly" schools all girls were "tomboys", but because I learned to read way before school started and my elementary teachers told my mother I was a "genius" (I don't really believe it, I've seen people smarter than me and anyway it doesn't really matter). Since my mother dropped out of school because of an illness and deeply regretted it (coming from a worker family, education was seen as the only real mean of emancipation), she put a lot of pressure on me to ACE school. If I took a B+/A-, she would tell me off for days. So I did homework all day and read for my own pleasure, which I guess made me different than the children around me. I read 300+ books in my childhood, some aimed at children, others not. I especially liked anything about Ancient Egypt, dinosaurs and anthropology. Though I also liked Pokèmon and other "normal" stuff, hehe. My elementary school days were pretty much bliss, because no one teased others for their differences. I also was the "leader of the pack" in our own little "gang games" we used to play in the school courtyard. Sexist expectations just didn't exist and I was free. I signed myself as "Fox McCloud" because I really liked the character but I didn't think that made me "male".
    My "gender troubles" started in middle school when everyone else around me acted in unrecognizable ways, and all my girl friends became strange. From then onwards, with some exceptions, most of my friends were boys. I blame the "science" that is evolutionary psychology and other pop-science crap for making me believe I was really "male".

    2) Do you still feel different as an adult?

    I guess so? I don't care, as long as I get along and everyone treats each other with respect. Everyone is different.

    3) What informed your feelings of differentness?

    I guess I already wrote it above.

    4) What is about you that you feel makes you different?

    While I don't think I'm that strange in the place where I study now, compared with the population at large I tend to critically examine things more (no tarots and horoscopes for me). I am also once again FREE of gender as I was in my childhood. I wish others could be like they once were about this.

    5) Did/do you feel good or bad because you feel different?

    Well, I felt excluded sometimes, but the pain of exclusion also increased that stupid feeling of "specialness" many outcast people have. I don't think I am "moar speshul" anymore.

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  18. Hex,

    Sorry to hear that stuff about your mom/dad. Perhaps you are better off with him out of your life, as difficult as that can feel.

    dirt

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  19. Uh, I forgot the most important part!

    Favourite christmas movie: the Futurama one (I love Futurama!)

    Christmas song: Oh Happy day (the blues song)

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  20. Close to the bone,

    Everything you were and did as a female child was girlish, regardless of others ignorant perceptions! Never let others rob you of who you really are!

    dirt

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  21. Hey dirt,

    I read your reply to Brandon. And I would like to hear your workout tips. I have a thyroid problem which made me gain like 70 lbs. I can't seem to lose it. Do you know of any workout tips? Thanks.

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  22. Nic,

    Few question...is your thyroid problem under control now? Besides losing weight, what would you like to accomplish? Such as changing your physical shape through building muscle? Minimizing how your breast (if you have yours) appear? Have you ever worked out? Are you working out a little now? I can help you create a workout program, just need to know what you want and where you are at.

    dirt

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  23. Nic, I am no expert on workouts and hormones but I too had a hormonal condition which made it impossible for me to lose weight.

    Well, that's what I believed at least.
    I found out that by eating well (natural, low but not impossibly so caloric intake, many little snacks instead of few big snacks), drinking 1.5-3 liters of water a day and especially doing aerobic exercize like running (build up slowly)I could lose weight. And I did lose it!
    Now I'm not exercising as much as I should, but I'm still not gaining weight while in the past I would have.

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  24. (Nicole is my name hence my nickname Nic)

    Yes, it is under control. I have to take medicine for it. My thyroid was barely working before I started this medicine the doctor put me on. I don't take T or anything. Just my thyroid is screwed up.

    I would like more muscular arms. Not for looks, but to lift heavy things for my grandmother since she can't.

    And my stomach. I have a lot of weight there that I could lose. It's my main problem area. My breasts are rather large. 40 D. Before I gained all of this weight, I wore like a 34 C. If I could go back to that, I would be happy.

    When I work out, I try to do exercises that I remember from school. But they don't work. I try to work out twice a week. And I can only work out at home since the only gym here is too expensive.

    My main goal is to just lose fat. Around my stomach, double chin, and the flab under my arms...everywhere pretty much. Just to be slimmer. I'm not looking to change my body shape, I just want get rid of all this extra.

    I've tried diet pills, they don't work either. I'm a big girl at close to 200 lbs. I went from a size 5 to size 17 in a few months. I want to go down to like 140 or so.

    Thanks so much.

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  25. Imho, twice a week is too little to affect your metabolism. I run 5 times a week for 50 mins, maybe excessive, but it worked (don't go overboard, especially not too soon).
    I never went to a gym either, I did some running on the street. I don't know how to make your arms more muscular, but with this method your leg muscles will become killer, and they are the most important muscles we have.

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  26. [And my stomach. I have a lot of weight there that I could lose. It's my main problem area.]

    Putting on stomach weight can also come about from a serious lack of Vitamin D. I take a Calcium + Vitamin D complex twice a day, because of them being complementary to each other (and women can always use more calcium!).

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  27. 1) Did you feel different growing up?
    Nope. Just a regular kid who preferred dirtbikes, snowmobiles over playing with dolls -altho I did do that and also play dressup from time to time.

    2) Do you still feel different as an adult?

    Nope. I feel like me. I'm tomboyish and that's almost the 'norm' for where I live, in the country.

    3) What informed your feelings of differentness?

    I remember when I'd go out with a girlfriend and get upset that the only reason she wanted to be out was to look for guys. It was frustrating and I'd get pissed off that she could barely manage to pay attention to me...but that she put so much of her self esteem on how many guys she could get to talk to her/kiss her/dance with her.

    4) What is about you that you feel makes you different?

    I think I'm different because I don't think I'm different. :-D
    I don't care what others think or me, online nor off. I do my own thing. I don't broadcast personal details about myself unless I;m prepared for discussion/backlash.
    Knowing my body is whatever I make it to be (through working out, eating healthy), I'm very happy to of stopped my transition.

    5) Did/do you feel good or bad because you feel different?

    I feel good. Conforming to 'normal' goes against everything in me. So actually accepting and loving who I am physically and how I present feels right. I don't feel uncomfortable or that I have to hide a side of me or that "omg, I look like a girl when I smile so I won't smile"

    And on a more serious note, what is your favourite xmas movie/song????

    The one from the cartoon...the misfit song. We're on the island of misfit toys...la la la la laaa

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  28. Bluetraveler, Hi, you can find a lot of advice about working-out at http://www.youtube.com/user/beefheadsfitness

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