For me it all started when I changed school. I always have been gender-non-conforming before. But happy and proud in being so. The new school didn’t think so. The other pupils thought of it as strange, that I, a girl, who walked around in boy’s clothes and short hair. Also I wasn’t really thin. The girls talked a lot about boys, and I wasn’t interested in boys. I was much more interested in one girl in the class. The boys stopped talking with the girls. It was two separate groups and I really missed my male friends from the groups before. Also, now I was separated from the working class and they’re basis understanding of how things work.
I cried every evening during that time and my mother eventually wanted to put me in a different school form. But my father wasn’t interested because it would mean losing social status and I simply was afraid of losing the few friends I still had. (it didn’t occur to me, that I would make new friends at the new school).
One year later I was anorexic. I had a tonsillitis and because of that wasn’t really hungry. So I kept up my tonsilitis by going outside in too thin clothes to keep up eating less. I weighted 30kg by a height of 1,60m. my family’s GP said to me, that I would cause damage to my inner organs if I would go on. My mother told me in passing that I wasn’t allowed canoeing and climbing if I wouldn’t eat. So secretly I started eating again but promised my inner self not to eat too fat in the future.
I kept on falling in love with girls. And I really didn’t want to. I talk myself into believing I fell in love with boys from my class. I didn’t. I felt like a pervert for falling in love with girls. I never talked about it. I had the inner feeling, that being who I was, was ok, but succumb to my inner desires was not (Like openly flirting and kissing). In fact, coming out at that school would have been a social suicide and I wasn’t sure I would have been emotionally backed by my parents and family. So, for me it was about surviving.
My mother at that time had an underactive thyroid and got depressed. She somehow changed her personality. Before she supported me (even when she didn’t see the obvious anorexia). She stopped with the supporting and now became that mean person I didn’t recognize as a mother. She kept on making me bad in front of relatives. She said I was egoistic and would never help etc.
During that time, I went to a psychotherapist. The psychotherapist listened to me patiently. And then she wanted to arrange a family meeting. That to say, the family meeting didn’t go well. There just were a lot of tears and angry shouting and afterward the psychotherapist told me I should try to get out of that family. She also told me it wasn’t practical to go on with psychotherapy with her, when the family wouldn’t be involved. (she didn’t believe school also had a big impact).
I went to the social service of my city as a naïve 16-year-old does and told them I wanted to move out. Of course, they laughed at my face. So, I went to another city and stayed in a shelter for teenagers and young adults, who lived on the street. The social service and my parents didn’t know where I’ve been for 2 weeks. That worked. I moved into a social service shared flat for teenagers. Which really didn’t help my mental wellbeing at all.
Then a lot happened in between. But with 19 I decided to live on the street. I kind of had ptsd symptoms and anyway decided the street and the young adults there (punkers, squatters etc.) were much more interesting.
I found a group of people, who hitchhiked through Europe and decided to join. Later I hitchhiked by my own from Germany to Greece and was shortly into Bulgarian prison (because I’d lost my passport).
Later back in Berlin I decided, that the told experience, that I heard from a trans men I’ve met in Vienna, who was original from Hungary, was exactly my experience. So, I started looking into transition. I was not at all in a mental place to start a transition and also some psychotherapists told me so (they said my feelings had a different cause). But it gave me back some feeling of everyday sense. So, I started an apprenticeship as electrician, always went to the local trans meeting group and continued looking for testosterone. In my apprenticeship there only were men because I was working on the building side. I didn’t have any women perspective. I just knew these men, who never had my discrimination experience, and I knew the local persons from the trans group. I was completely isolated. I started to believe in the mantras they were telling (like you’ll be so much happier, when you transition). It was my only social connection.
I found a GP who prescribed me testosterone without psychological counseling. Three years later I still hadn’t managed to get into good psychological therapy. I met one psychotherapist every week, but we just talked about everyday life. Not once about my past.
I decided I wanted to have a mastectomy and that it might solve all my problems. Because the person in the trans group said it would. I started to look at doctors. But I didn’t have the mandatory therapy time to get the mastectomy paid by the German health care system. So, I decided to pay it by my own. It was difficult to find doctors, who understood that I wanted to pay and not have it paid by the health care system. So, finally I found one, I decided to go for it.
That turned out to be a bad idea. I had internal bleeding (i had to go to surgery again) and the surgeon probably cut some nerve (or he sewed it in), because now I have everyday pain (sometimes even in the left arm). It’s probably what they call post mastectomy pain syndrom (pmps), but i never heard of it before the mastectomy (so much to informed consent). Also i can’t deal with the strange new feeling from the areola. In your mind you have a map of your body and now it’s changed and hard to deal with.
But this pain also was my wakeup call. That all I was doing was big bullshit. I changed the city after that. I changed the people I surrounded myself with. I stopped Testosterone a year later. Currently I’m studying, but honestly, I’m just doing this, because I’m not sure I’d be mental stable enough to work.
I think transitioning often has a lot to do with self-harm. With trying to destroy a part of you. Mastectomy feels for me, like I cut away a small part of my soul. I don’t want to lose more. Nowadays I try to stay in contact with working class and with a lot of different people from different echo chambers. I think that’s really important to stay grounded. I also found radical feminism even when I don’t believe in everything they’re saying. I find it ridiculous that feminist nowadays support pimps and self-harm.
I guess I still need to do therapy. I guess I have trauma from feeling like i was in mental prison when i was at school. Everyday i just needed to survive the day. I also need to face internal homophobia, gnc-phobia and accept that I have a body dysmorphia disorder and work on trusting persons (that persons usually don’t change their personality).
What happened to me, could have happened to everyone, who looks a bit GNC.
Sarah is a 27-year-old female Detransitioner. She’s currently a STEM student in Germany. Usually, she spends too much time in social Media and really likes the unguarded food of her flat mates (but usually rebuys the things taken).