Emasculation Trauma and Autogynephilia

I can’t remember now who gave me this link, but it’s pretty interesting.  I’m not familiar with the authorship nor their stance.  They seem to be very accepting of transgenderism compared to me.  But this article is thought provoking – Emasculation Trauma and Autogynephilia

I was definitely not abused as a child, but I did experience what the article speaks of here:

There is no doubt that young males can be traumatized when their sense of emasculation is intense enough; when they feel they are irrevocably unable to measure up as males. This depends as much on “where the line is drawn” in what constitutes acceptable masculine behavior in their environment as their actual levels of actual masculinity or femininity.

Due to continuing patriarchal attitudes it is still a serious social “crime” in many modern societies for a male to fail to “measure up” as such, with punishments consisting of ridicule, abuse, exclusion, rejection, assault and, in extreme cases, murder.

As the article describes, I also experienced quite a lot of bullying, being called gay a lot, and I did go through puberty late.  I was very self-conscious as a child about these things.  How did I deal with this?  I don’t think, as the article suggests, that I tried to “overcompensate” and be more masculine.  Mostly I just was myself.  I did certain masculine things, but because I enjoyed them, not to try to fit in.  But perhaps this would fit in my case, though I’m not sure I completely buy it:

One means of relieving trauma is to repeat it, to embrace it, to own it, to control it – just like the masochist who seeks out abuse or the molested girl who becomes promiscuous.

However, it is then likely that he will still be driven to embrace his perceived femininity (control his trauma) in private. This approach may involve crossdressing, thoughts of physical feminization or homo-erotic fantasy.

Of course this is all just theory.  The facts are that people like us developed addictions to crossdressing, and that people like us perhaps felt insecure in our masculinity during childhood.  But exactly how the two relate to each other is still somewhat of a mystery.  I’m not a psychologist, but it seems a stretch to say that I dealt with trauma by embracing what it is that gave me trauma.  Though we are fallen human beings, and we are all sinful and wretched and broken, and sometimes to deal with our brokenness, instead of going to Christ, we make ourselves more broken.

To me though, it seems my crossdressing was more about sexual pleasure than comfort or reprieve from trauma.  But even if this theory isn’t true for my history of crossdressing, perhaps it’s true for others?  What do you all think?

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3 comments on “Emasculation Trauma and Autogynephilia

  1. Daniel says:

    I agree with the article in the aspect of trauma and dealing with it through cross-dressing.
    (“However, it is then likely that he will still be driven to embrace his perceived femininity (control his trauma) in private. This approach may involve crossdressing, thoughts of physical feminization or homo-erotic fantasy.”) People deal with trauma in their own way, either through drugs or some other addiction. Some reenact the abuse without knowing they are. The adult is stuck in that moment of abuse. For example, if it happened at the age of 9 the adult is stuck at the sexual development of age 9.
    (Unforunately the link is not working.)

    As for another note, some Christians (I used to be one of those), can say everything is sin and point towards Christ, it becomes over indulgent, blame, and generalization. We do not think about the hurting in this context (I showed a lack of love for myself with this belief). How can I say this? Easy. Experience with abuse and the harm summarization can do. I have found this more hurtful towards my healing from abuse than helpful. It is this from which I am also finding help and healing from along with the abuse.

    There is a polarity here, or maybe some would call it “hypocrisy” with what I just said, yet from experience and reading Scriptures, and trying to find healing with God and help from the church, I found more from one than the other. I have slowly found freedom from the damage religious generalization, not the people who go to church, has brought on me as well as abuse. From no longer believing that everything I struggle with is caused by me, which the abuse and “Christianity” taught me.

    Yet what I struggle with is a result of the abuse and skewed belief of myself as a human being. (“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” To put it in a shaky context.) I was born with the propensity to sin, but the beginning of sin is not the result of my birth. I am held accountable for my actions, but I am not the driving force behind the evil in me or the world (James 1:13-18). (Should we blame the child, let alone the adult, for causing someone to sin against them? Are they to blame for the abuse? There needs to be a fundamental difference between the sin someone does upon another, and the sin someone acts on their own. I do believe Scripture does yet the religious generalization diminishes this aspect and we can fail to see the difference of love outside of the context of condemnation). I find freedom in realizing this, and this gives me strength to change what I can with the help of God. “By the grace of God go I”, as the saying goes. I am saved from sin and through Christ, I have the power to change, but how deep and in which way depends on me and how God directs it. “His word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path”.

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  2. thorin25 says:

    Perhaps try using a different browser, like chrome or firefox and see if the link works for you.

    I don’t fully understand what you are saying about sin. But if what you mean is this then I agree: We should not say that we deserve abuse from other people because of our sin. A lot of people who are abused end up blaming themselves, thinking they deserved that abuse, that is wrong. But on the other hand, we are all sinful before God, and we all need Christ in order to be forgiven for that sin. The Bible’s view of sin is rigorous, to the point that even doing something that is basically good, can still be sin, if we don’t do it out of faith and for God’s glory. Thus the Pharisees did lots of good things but for the wrong motivations and were therefore still sinning.

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  3. Travis63 says:

    I recently came across this site and wanted to offer a tip that I hope might help others find peace. My cross-dressing addiction ruined my first marriage, and nearly wrecked my second. I took it about as far as one can without fully transitioning – i.e., I was on and off hormones for years, and lived parts of my life as a “woman”. I even “dated” men, on occasion. I even once flew to another city, en femme (despite being just over 6′ tall, I could pass reasonably well).

    I tried many times to quit, but the feelings always came rushing back. Therapists always seemed to have a vested interest in encouraging me to take things further. I didn’t seek religious counseling, largely due to the sense of shame that I felt.

    Throughout those years, I sought various treatments for depression. It was the usual trajectory of suicidal thoughts, sometimes unable to leave the house for days. My cross-gender addiction provided a way of climbing out of a funk. It gave me a temporary high that allowed me to forget for a moment that my life was crashing down all around me.

    About 6 years ago, I was looking to get off of Effexor, which was having unfortunate side effects (the withdrawal effects were a literal nightmare from hell). My psychiatrist (who knew about my transgender behavior but did not profess to have much knowledge of the topic) recommended Wellbutrin (generically known as bupropion). What I didn’t know at the time is that one of the off-label uses for bupropion is the treatment of some addictive behaviors, such as smoking.

    After about a week or two on bupropion, the urge to cross-dress went away. I don’t mean to say that I didn’t think about it; I did. But that overwhelming compulsion, which I’m sure you all know, simply died. The thought of going to all the trouble of cross-dressing simply lost its appeal. My psychiatrist was amazed by this “side effect”.

    I am convinced that bupriopion can be an effective treatment for compulsive cross-dressing behavior. I realize now that all of those health professionals who encouraged me to fully transition did not have my best interests at heart. I liken it to a gambling addict whose therapist advises him to quit his job, sell everything, and move to Las Vegas.

    I have been clean for almost 6 years, and have no desire to go back. I have thrown myself into more wholesome pursuits, and have rediscovered a passion for my work, as well as for being a good husband and father to my kids. My body has been permanently disfigured by the hormone therapy, but thank God I have a loving wife who appreciates my efforts to be a better man for her.

    I hope this helps someone.

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