On Having a Love Affair with Myself

The last month has been pretty transformative.

I’ve started chipping away at the mountain of Self Work that has been present in my life for much too long now.  One of the great blessings of top surgery has been the fact that I now have the time and the energy to devote to this process; before top surgery I was mired in an exhausting and unrelenting cycle of depression, dysphoria, and anxiety.

I still don’t love myself the way I want and need to.  That’s okay, though; I know that I will get there.  A huge part of this process has been learning how to be more patient and compassionate with myself.  I have a long-standing habit of holding myself to impossibly high standards and then loathing myself when I fail to meet them.

Learning how to truly love myself is hard.  There is so much to unlearn, so much internalized transphobia and homophobia to dismantle.  There are so many deep-seated issues to deal with.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed; how do I know what to tackle first? The internalized transphobia? My dysfunctional relationship with my father?  My body image? My other insecurities?

I am committed to this, though.  I am committed to myself.  I am committed to dismantling this house of old wounds, one brick at a time.  I’m committed to building something new and powerful, with my love for myself as the foundation.

As I’ve started this journey, I’ve been surprised to find that my love for others has expanded in step with my love for myself.  The more I cherish myself, the more I cherish the friendships in my life.  The more I appreciate myself and my abilities, the more I appreciate others and the things they have done for me.  I think that I feel more full of love now than I ever have before, and that’s a beautiful feeling.

It’s not all easy, by any means.  I’ve had some really rough days in the last month.  I’ve had days where my frustration makes me want to throw everything to the ground and walk away.  I have days where I just don’t care, days where I don’t want to do the work because I don’t want to do anything, period.  I try to just let myself have those days, to value them as part of the process instead of seeing them as a backslide and feeling guilty and angry at myself.  It’s on these days that I am able to practice the art of forgiving myself and being compassionate with myself.

It’s on these days that I am reminded of what it means to truly be committed to myself.  That I will see myself through the hard times and be a better person for it on the other side.  That in my darkest hours, I can trust myself to pull through.

I am committed.


About butchonbutch

A 20-something year old butch who has recently come to terms with their attraction to other butches (and studs and tomboys and androgynous dykes). I'll be discussing my experiences in the world of butch on butch dating, love, and sex. If you want to know more about me, click the "About" tab at the top of the page.

Posted on March 31, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I can totally relate to where you are at with learning to accept yourself and root out the remnants of homo and trans phobia. It’s an intense and lifelong effort; so much gets buried beneath layers of what we are told is “proper” or “acceptable” or “normal” or whatever other categorization flavor of the day is popular. For a large part of my life I identified as a lesbian feminist. I was an avid reader and devotee of the folks like Mary Daly and Andrea Dworkin. As I look back (and yes, it’s a long look back for me – I turned 50 this year) a number of the messages I internalized back then was that anything “male like” sprang from the patriarchy and bad – bad for me and all womyn. I internalized this, and as a result, suppressed my butch-ness and denied my wish for gender trans”gressions”.

    I wish you well on your journey to you!

    • “So much gets buried beneath layers of what we are told is ‘proper’ or ‘acceptable’ or ‘normal'”– That’s such a perfect way of putting it. That’s exactly how this feels; like I have layers upon layers of of harmful, internalized messages to work through. It really does feel like chipping away at a mountain!
      I’m so sorry you’ve had to struggle with those internalized messages that masculinity is inherently patriarchal/problematic. I know you’re not the only in your generation that has felt this way. It is one of feminism’s many, many past fuck-ups as a movement. It’s so awful that people like us were made to feel ashamed of their masculinity, as though we were part of the problem.
      I’m so glad you’re in a place where you’re able to work through that stuff! I wish you well on your journey, too. (:

  2. Ashton,

    I’m with Tam: unlearning the hate is a long and winding road, and one I am glad I am on (almost) every day. You know this already. I find it hard to give you any sage advice because you already are in a good place to continue this self-work. You already know what you need to do, and so you are doing it. And you should be proud of yourself for that. And so, my words of advice?

    Keep going.

    I will repeat the above sentiment as needed. 😉


  3. angelique mcintyre

    You are a wise And beautiful being.been through a Bit myself.so good Tony relate Tony someone

  4. I prefer a love affair with a hotie

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