binding

Binding again! I never should have stopped

I put on my binder this morning – for the first time in well over a month, and maybe the second time in the last three months or so (though I do still wear a sports bra semi-regularly) – and was amazed by how immediately comforting it was. A lot of the time these days it’s not a great option anyway; my primary job right now is reasonably physical-labour intensive and also involves 10+-hour days with a 1.5-2 hour commute each way and those days are too long to bind – even the bra gets a bit much by the time I get home.

But I have also been sort of semi-consciously avoiding it for a while, because it had gotten tied up in weirdfeels and general undercurrent of distrusting and/or disliking myself. I don’t think I felt like I deserved it or something. I couldn’t be trusted with it somehow, in a way that ties back into what I wrote about a few months ago around my reluctance to explicitly state boundaries. I’d been gently and obliviously pressured into taking the binder off on occasions when I didn’t want to (I mean, not really pressured – just that it was gently suggested to me as a thing I might want to do in a situation where I was really quietly and passively avoiding it and the other person reasonably didn’t notice/understand that, and once it had been explicitly brought to bear I wasn’t able to just be like “no, I don’t want to do that” even though I’m sure it would have been totally fine for me to do so?) It is all very theoretically unimportant and almost silly even, and yet I have been avoiding internally addressing what happened and what I did, to the point of not ever thinking about it directly, and apparently this extended to the point of not binding anymore for a while. I hate that that is a thing that I do, and I hate that it apparently affects me so deeply.

I don’t know how to be stronger. I don’t know how to trust myself, or other people, in moments like that. I am so good at being strong and level-headed and stubborn and direct about so many things, but then I crumble so easily around others.

Old wounds, do they ever heal? I would like to be more functional than this.

Anyway, at this point I’m just going to focus on the fact that right now, it feels really good to be back. I honestly love my binders!

Brief Thought: Chestfeels

It recently occurred to me that over the past 3 years or so, I have from from:

A person who didn’t feel comfortable when not wearing a bra; to

A person who, upon putting on a bra on a random whim, immediately took it off and couldn’t believe they used to wear to that uncomfortable (and to be honest, probably poorly fitted) shit every day, and usually just wore a tank top under everything; to

A person who doesn’t really feel comfortable going anywhere public without some kind of chest compression going on.

Which, I don’t have anything intelligent to say about that. Just, that’s been happening apparently.

About my chest

I think it’s accurate to say at this point that I am generally uncomfortable with having visibly noticeable breast-shapes under my clothes when I am out and about. Sometimes I just suck it up, but most of the time I either just wear slightly baggier clothes than I am otherwise wont to (I am fortunate enough to have a small enough chest for this to be an effective strategy), or I bind if I want to wear clothes that don’t themselves obscure my chest.

A lot of people really hate binders, but I super don’t. My one just kind of feels like an all-day hug, or something, though I suspect that, again, my level of comfort while binding is very much related to the smallish-ness of my breasts in the first place.

Here’s the thing, though: my desire to bind/obscure my cheat in public isn’t actually related to me disliking or generally having any kind of dysphoria around my body. When it’s just me, or just me and people I love and trust, it’s not all that important. The reason I don’t want the natural shape of my chest to be available for public consumption is based not on the chest itself, but on the ways in which I know other people perceive, and ultimately respond to, that shape. It impacts my everyday interactions, (or at least it feels to me like it does, although it is not at all clear to me that the actual change in my body shape is even significant enough for most people to notice) in ways that I can’t actually articulate, since a lot of the time I bind but wear feminine enough clothes that I am still generally perceived as a woman, albeit one with a flat chest. I dunno, maybe that’s enough to actually impact the way people see and engage with me.

Anyway, I have been idly speculating about whether I might ever want chest surgery. And I honestly can’t say either way. As it stands, it’s certainly not a thing that I am enthusiastic about. It would make choosing clothes in the morning way easier – I wouldn’t have to determine what subset of clothes I could choose from based on whether I had a clean binder available or not. But other than that, I’m not sure it would be a great advantage to me?

I mean, there are times when I would prefer to have my chest be flat even unclothed, in ways and for reason that I haven’t really figured out. But there are also times when I just kinda idly cup or jiggle or generally enjoy what I’ve got. So, it’s hard. I can’t have both, so probably I will always tend to err on the side of avoiding all of the administrative and medical hassle and red tape (and GID diagnosis, and …) that would be involved in getting surgery.

Basically, I don’t feel at all confident in saying it is never a thing I will want that badly, but it’s definitely not where I’m at just now. It’s a complicated thing to navigate, though, even now.