Dysphoric Reality

TW: Suicide (potentially), dysphoria

People talk about dysphoria as if its a monster. This looming beast who lurches over us, slowly pressing its weight into our bodies. This creature that lurks around every corner, in every shadow. This Blood Mary who waits in our mirrors to strike if we dare to catch a glimpse. Dysphoria is described as dark and monstrous, something ready to rip out hearts and minds out the moment we dare to acknowledge it, feeding on the small triumphs to bring us back down. Those watchful eyes that never leave, that phantom breath down our necks.

What if I were to tell you that for some, dysphoria really is a monster. It really is a creature lurking in the shadows, sucking on happiness and leaving a hollow shell. What if I were to tell you that it may kill me soon and is just waiting for the right moment to strike with blade sharp fangs and claws? If the hushed ways we speak of these feelings manifests. It twists. It warps. It becomes real. Welcome to my world. I do not only have to deal with dysphoria, I have to live with it.

Every time I get dressed, it’s a battle. Any ounce of love for myself I have is sucked away. That cold and empty feeling put in its place. This hulking beast that refuses to allow me to live my life. Others can see it too, I know they can. I see it in their eyes, their smirks, their words. I hear it in their whispers. Comments said behind back not so quietly.

And mirrors… Oh those glossy gateways to the soul. I dare not even glace. I cover my eyes as to not see this shadow following me. I can feel its claws digging into my shoulders ever tighter as the days go on. That breath, with its stench of decay and rot, turning my stomach. Every mirror is just a reminder of this looming monstrosity in my life. How close it lurks to me. How close it clings. Soon. I see it spelled out in that crooked grin, hear it hissed from that foul-smelling hole. Soon.

People talk of ideas becoming real, manifesting into shadows that swallow you whole. It’s just an old tale, something to scare children. Something that…you never think in your wildest dreams. Then it happens. It comes to you, slowly slipping into your life. It wraps itself around your mind, taking sips from your happiness and growing in your sorrow. It starts to consume you. It starts to become you. Soon this…thing is you. Lines blur like a shadow, reaching out and melding.

I do not know how of me continues to exist and how much of me belongs to it. When I go to bed, its there. It watches me all night. I can’t sleep. My thoughts race until they can’t move, with the rest of my body. It just feeds, lurking. When I wake up, it’s still there. I know one night I will not awaken, or I will, in the middle of my bloody and violent death. I know it will devour me. This is not a matter of if anymore, it has become when. I struggle with this thought.

It won’t leave and I do not know how to make it go. It has become part of me, part of my very bones and DNA. It has enwrapped itself with me… or I have enwrapped myself with it. Either way, it is not leaving. It takes every fiber of my being to keep going. Every spot of happiness is gone. All that is left is this creature, pressing into me. It will be with me for the rest of my life, until the very day it kills me. I cannot separate myself from it. It will become the very thing I am.

I am no longer human. I’m more creature now than I ever was before. It just gets worse as time goes on. I don’t leave anymore. I can’t leave. They will all see it, this loathsome beast. They watch as it devours me. They even feed it. I’ve watched them feed it with their eyes and their tongues. Why? I can never guess, but probably because they know. They know that I am not longer human, or never was potentially. This creature is me now. I am a creature.

Everything is black. Everything is dark. I cannot see through this beast anymore. It obscures my vision, clouds my thought. This manifestation of everything has become my everything. It takes up my room now. I can feel the weight, slowly crushing me. What is there left to do? Give in, I guess. It was inevitable. When something becomes such a part of you, how do you separate yourself from you? How do you prevent it from consuming you? All I can say is soon.

Soon Dysphoria will take me. This monster that has taken over my body and my life. This creature that consumes my flesh. This vampire that feeds on any ounce of happiness I had until only sorrow remains, then it feeds on that too. This werewolf that shifts to whatever my current nightmare is. It is alive and it will consume me. What can I do?


Author: Lucian Clark

Lucian Clark was born and raised in South New Jersey. Recently they published their first novel, a dark romance, titled Cemetery Drive. Their works have been featured across numerous platforms such as The Advocate and in anthologies like Werewolves Versus and Postcards From The Void. They've also been featured on several podcasts to talk about horror, activism, and their writing. With a passion for all things spooky, horrific, and queer, Lucian can often be found on social media talking about werewolves, rats, and My Chemical Romance. When not actively writing or reading, Lucian is also the curator of the queer horror website, GenderTerror, which features original art, stories, interview and more. They can also be found playing video games or with their pets (currently some rats and a cat). They are active in local and national social activism with a focus on LGBTQ+ rights and reproductive justice.

4 thoughts on “Dysphoric Reality”

  1. Very powerful. Sure everyone with gender dysphoria can relate to this. It actually gave me some relief to know that someone else knows this feeling, I couldn’t have described it any better myself. I think gender dysphoria should be given much more attention by the medical community although things are improving. I wish people didn’t generally think that it’s a choice or give you the funny looks and wide bearths. But I guess if you have no idea what it feels like and you are born with cisender priveledge you are going to treat those who are different AS different. Nature is great when it gets it right when but my God when it gets it wrong it gets it wrong. I just pray everyday. I ask God to help me deal with this burden and sometimes it helps. The Lord knows thy soul so if you are a person suffering from gender dysphoria and feel like a monster know that God knows who you are even if others don’t. He knows all the pain and joy. He knows the good things you do too. One day he will set us all free. Keep the faith.


  2. Gender dysphoria seems like a subset of body dysphoria. I used to feel all the time that I was too fat and disliked my body, felt unaccepting of it. It took a long time to get over it and for it to stop being a large focus of my life. Do you think there is any connection?


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