My Squishy Brain

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Seriously! I realized yesterday that I believe I am stupider now on T than pre-T. (I realize that saying I’m stupider on T is sooooo un-PC. But who cares?!)

My thoughts muddle through molasses and lack all profundity. My visual acuity is much higher and so is my spatial sense.

What changes have other folks noticed on hormones? Folks on T ~ say something besides “more horny!”

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13 Comments

  1. wow, that’s really weird. because virutally every trans woman i know has reported that when they started hrt, they lost their sense of direction (and thus had to start actually asking for directions), could no longer do math (i never was good at math or spelling), and experienced reduced driving skills.

    oh yeah, and we all now get scared of bugs, snakes, and mice.

  2. I’m guessing nexyjo was speaking tongue-in-cheek. I’ve been on hormones for 10 years (give or take) and I’ve noticed no discernable difference in anything other than the obvious physical stuff (well, ok, except for “less horny”). I still ask for directions when I am going somewhere new, despite a keen sense of direction, I can still do basic math and I’m a better driver than most people I know. I emote at just about the same levels that I always did — with some expceptions (for example, I’ve noticed that I will sometimes get “depressed” or cry for inexplicable reasons; I’ve always been emotional, but I’ve generally been able to relate to *why* I was emoting).

    Having said that, I’ve imagined that I’m better at multi-tasking than I used to be. I’d like to think that my intelligence level has risen, but I’d say that’s *really* reaching. 🙂

  3. I remember reading somewhere about about a medical study that showed that MTF’s experience a reduction in spacial skills with the induction of high levels of estrogen. In my experience, that’s bull. My sex drive lowered significantly with estrogen and I’d say that my emotional shell is a lot weaker. By that I mean that I get hurt by people much more easily and I also get uplifted by people more regularly.

    The one thing that struck me as odd and unexpected is that I notice people’s facial features and what they’re doing with their faces more now. That little crinkle of someone’s eyes or how they’re holding their mouth really hits me now.

    That’s my two cents.

  4. I remember reading somewhere about about a medical study that showed that MTF’s experience a reduction in spacial skills with the induction of high levels of estrogen. In my experience, that’s bull. My sex drive lowered significantly with estrogen and I’d say that my emotional shell is a lot weaker. By that I mean that I get hurt by people much more easily and I also get uplifted by people more regularly.

    The one thing that struck me as odd and unexpected is that I notice people’s facial features and what they’re doing with their faces more now. That little crinkle of someone’s eyes or how they’re holding their mouth really hits me now.

    That’s my two cents.

  5. It’s interesting to hear that estrogen lowers your sex drive; I don’t remember being _less_ horny during my first adolescence. And from what I’ve heard, the horniness from T settles down after several months–right around the time your body decides you’re no longer sixteen.

  6. no jay, i don’t believe you are kidding.

    unfortunately, neither am i. ok, perhaps i’m exaggerating a bit. though i do have a hard time believing that hormone therapy actually changes a person’s brain to the degree that their intellegence changes though.

    i think it’s also very difficult to attribute a specific effect to a specific cause, particularly while someone travels through transition. there are *so* many things going on, and many of them influenced by simply allowing ones self to engage in behaviors and thoughts that they never permitted themselves before.

    i could claim that since i started taking estrogen, i cry a lot more, i hug a lot more, i love a lot more – basically, i’m more focused on my emotional state. but i’d be lying – i spent my childhood and teenaged years training myself to repress and ignore those feelings. i’ve always been very much aware of them – i’m an emotional person – i just learned to never express that.

    of course, at about the same time i started taking estrogen, i started allowing myself to express my emotions again. and the floodgates opened. the way i feel has not changed – i just feel a lot more comfortable expressing that now.

    i wasn’t kidding about the bug and snake thing though. something about having a cavity in ones body where such creatures could crawl in and hide.

  7. I’ve noticed crazy, stupid amounts of unasked-for casual respect from people who would have thought me a freak 6 months prior—- barbers, for example. Sexism in action.

  8. Jay, I am a bit surprised that you are concerned with whether your pesonal experiences on T are “PC” enough for the masses. You never claim to be representing anyone’s views, opinions or experiences other than your own, so why then does some random person’s perception of the validity of your experiences matter?

    Internalized shame does this – when we’ve been beaten down so often for speaking our truth that oppression’s shorthand enters our language, even in our “safe” spaces. Could it be that even now you feel defensive against the onslaught of ignorance? Or do I read too much into your prose?

  9. nexy jo~

    I agree with you. No one act or activity can explain why we are the way we are.

    Your thoughts about feeling more okay about letting some things out on hormones, things that had previously been shielded, seems true for me.

    Thanks.

  10. I’ll kick in my nickel’s worth (inflation, you know) here. After almost a decade on estrogen, I’ll say that I haven’t seen any changes in my intelligence level, my spatial skills or my driving ability. I AM much more outgoing now than I used to be and my sex drive is diminished. Emotionally, I have to somewhat echo what nexyjo said. I’ve always been an emotional person, and while I never drastically repressed my emotions, I wasn’t totally free with expressing them, either. Now it’s much easier for me to touch them, to understand them and to express them. It’s as if before my emotions were somewhere on the other end of the couch from where I was sitting and now they’re snuggled up next to me.

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