On dreaming of being a boy in middle school

I used to think I was a boy born into the wrong body.

Seventh grade, everyone was starting to get curious about their sexuality.

Gay guys were cool, best friend-type people. Gay girls, however, were ostracized.

Being the kid who always stood out because she was a little bit different, the absolutely last thing I wanted was to stand out. But I couldn’t help that I was starting to have feelings for girls in my class instead of the boys.

Figurine of girl and boy sitting on bench, looking opposite each other
Photo © J U N E via Pexels

I also couldn’t stop dreaming about having a boy’s body.

It was more than that — the changes going on in my own body gave me nightmares. My brain told me that this was my body, the body’s name was my name, and that I needed to keep my personal feelings about that hidden.

I didn’t tell a soul.

Instead, I found an online community of people called role-players where I could express these other parts of myself that I didn’t understand. Sometimes, I was aware; most of the time, I would zone out and find myself still on the sites hours later.

This isn’t a story about trans kids, at least not directly. I was never trans, but I had seen The Gwen Araujo Story enough times to know that that was not wrong. I’d not been raised to believe that being trans was wrong — just that the people who invoked violence against trans people were wrong.

Indirectly, I brought it up to certain friends a few times who suggested it — some people in that role-playing group who suggested I at least consider it, because we’d related to some feelings.

But my experiences did not fully encompass the feelings I had.

  1. I’d been raised to believe that only boys liked girls, and girls only liked boys — though some girls also liked girls, but that I was not to be one of those girls.
  2. I was a girl. That other feeling in my head was not a girl — but he was also not me. I liked my female body parts, though I didn’t like the changes.

But I’ve already screwed up by the usage of “I” by default. It wasn’t me, Izzy. It wasn’t even Jane.

It was her, the identity that identified with the name of the body with the brain that used dissociative identity disorder as a coping mechanism for the ridiculous amount of trauma the body had endured before the age of eight.

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Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable piece. I can only imagine how difficult it may have felt to deal with those emotions and feel like you cannot be honest and open about them. Has it gotten better over the years?

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I am a dissociative identity disorder system, so it’s complicated. Without getting into DID system politics, the males simply do not front. We do still communicate, which we explained in this post, and it lessens the blow of the overall experience.

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I don’t know your whole story, but I can’t imagine how tormented you were with that inner struggle to try to define yourself. I’m not surprised that you were ‘fractured’ in an attempt to give protection and security to yourself. I hope that you’ve found some peace and understanding within yourself and are among people who care for all of who you are.

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I’m not fractured. A dissociative mind is not one that broke. No one is born with a complete identity, and a child’s sense of self doesn’t stabilize until age 9. From 0-8, a child’s identity is in parts the same way as DID systems. The mind did not break; it simply did not form into one collective sense of self and instead remained in multiple pieces.

As Beauty After Bruises articulates it:

A dissociative mind is NOT a whole that breaks. It’s one that just never came together into one, fully-communicating mind like it does for everyone else. EVERYONE starts out as scattered pieces when they are infants.

Healthy child development, absent of trauma from 0-8, prevents DID from occurring.

It’s essentially the non-socially acceptable version of having a twin, or perhaps even more akin to vanishing twin syndrome (though not every DID system absorbed their twin, of course).

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