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My Toxic Ex-Boyfriend Made Me Hate My Body. Now I Don’t See Myself As A Woman.

My Toxic Ex-Boyfriend Made Me Hate My Body. Now I Don’t See Myself As A Woman.

“I don’t want to look like a girl!” 

I never liked having a feminine look on my body. When I was young, my mom would often try to make me wear dresses. There was one time she even forced me to wear a dress for church and I had a meltdown. I didn’t want to leave the house so I sobbed and banged my head on the wall out of frustration. I hated it.

Today, my gender identity doesn’t align with either male or female. It exists on a diverse spectrum, where I don’t identify as a guy or a girl. I consider myself as something unique, a secret third entity, you know? I’m attracted to anyone who doesn’t identify as a man. 

Awhile back, in a desperate attempt to prove to myself that I could be attracted to men, I went on one last dating experience. I did it to appease my mom, a devout Christian who constantly emphasized the importance of building a future with a man. So, I agreed to go out with this guy.

The first thing I told him was that I’m non-binary – not a girl in any way. He assured me that he was completely fine with it.

I just sat there and I let it happen

Trigger Warning: SA

We went to watch a movie and get dinner. But in the cinema he got excessively touchy without warning. Without asking.

He casually put his arm around my shoulder, but then he went further, sliding his hand under my loose top and into my bra, groping my breasts. It caught me completely off guard, and I was deeply shocked. He didn’t bother asking for consent or giving me any indication of his intentions. He continued touching me throughout the entire movie, even going as far as reaching below my waist and placing my hand on his genitals.

I just sat there and I let it happen. 

But after the movie, he was all gentleman about it. He sent me home. It was incredibly confusing to be violated like that and then being treated so gently after. 

He would constantly tell me that I look prettier if I dressed more like a girl

From that point on, things only went downhill. I continued to see him after that, because he said he really enjoyed the day. And I thought, okay, maybe I’m out of touch. Maybe this is what I’m supposed to do on a date with a guy – which it really isn’t.

He would constantly tell me that I look prettier if I dressed more like a girl. If I wore more skirts. If I wore more dresses. At that point, I wanted to impress. I wanted him to find me attractive. If doing all that will make him love me more, then so be it. 

So I started to look more feminine for his sake. Grew out my hair more for his sake. But as I continued to make these changes, he would invalidate my sexuality. ”You’re always gonna be a woman, you’re always going to have a vagina.” He just kept driving that insecurity into my head. He would start referring to me with the wrong pronouns. When I tried to correct him, all he said was, “It doesn’t matter.”

He told me that he will be sad. That he will miss my boobs

Throughout our relationship, he constantly reminded me of how much I hated my body and how I never belonged in this vessel. He rejected it openly when I brought up my intentions of going for top surgery and taking testosterone.

One time he told me to come over for a hang out. We were all alone in the house. He brought me to his room. He puts on the speaker. Took off his shirt. I put my hands on his shoulders to hint him that I am not sure about this. I needed to think about it. But he just kept going. I didn’t know how to say no because we were all alone. I didn’t know what he would do to me. He was bigger and stronger than me. 

I found out that he had a history of behaving this way with his exes

Later on, I found out that he had a history of behaving this way with his exes. I ended up befriending them who all shared seemingly similar stories. These girls are heterosexual cis women.

I didn’t disclose the sexual assaults to anyone until months after our breakup. It took my friends explaining things to me for me to realize that there was no consent given. Suddenly, it all clicked, and I understood why I had felt so disgusted and objectified throughout the entire relationship. But by the time, it was too late. There’s nothing that I can do.

It was a hell of a ride for 5 long months. I realised he just couldn’t give me what I wanted. He didn’t care about me as a person. It was very clear that he didn’t give a sh*t. Eventually, I reached a breaking point and when I looked at him, I realised that I couldn’t continue down this path for the rest of my life. I deserved better. So I ended the relationship.

Expectedly so, he didn’t take it well – he got angry and called me a “fucking horrible woman” repeatedly. 

My body is just a temporary vessel

After the breakup, everything seemed to fall apart. I had to rebuild myself from the ground up. I lost touch with reality and became deeply insecure about my gender. It felt as if I could only be a girl forever. I can never look the way I want to look. I can never look androgynous. I can never be masculine.

But I slowly understood that this disconnect was not permanent. I recognized that my body is merely a temporary vessel. I know that one day I will be able to afford the gender-affirming surgery I need. Even if I don’t, I acknowledge that my validity as a person isn’t tied to physical appearance. The only person who can define who I am is myself. I didn’t choose this body, and my gender identity remains valid, even if my thoughts and desires fluctuate.

Have you ever had a traumatic experience that made you hate being in your own skin?

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