Brain and body

Human beings are a trinity. We are comprised of a brain, a body, and a spirit. A person cannot be a whole human being without all three being present. Yet, when I speak of my body, I do not speak of 1/3 of me. The same applies to both brain and spirit.

My brain is me. My body is me. My spirit is me. Each is a whole, yet none exists by itself. Three in one; one in three.

Christians easily recognize that we mimic the Holy Trinity. I find our creation a tremendously wonderful way in which the Lord made us so that we might better grasp by faith that He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three distinct persons yet one God.

For this discussion, I will focus on the brain and body. When, last spring, I was first asked why trans people always claim to be born in the wrong body and not with the wrong brain, I wrote, “Born in the Wrong . . .” (https://eilerspizza.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/born-in-the-wrong/) I acknowledged that I would prefer to correct my brain to match my body if for no other reason than that I have built a life as a male.

Now that I am where I am, living as a female, how am I viewing things? Even with my Real Life Test going so well, if I had something tangible on which to grasp by which I could live as a male with some measure of stability, I would take it. Because I have not found anything nor been told of a way to achieve this, I remain where I am.

My entire life, I had no idea why I felt that I should be a female. I searched myself, my memories and experiences, to try to figure it out, never coming up with anything out of the ordinary.

It did not occur to me that something might have happened to me in the womb. Since 2013 and my deep study of the past thirty months, I now know about endocrine disruptors. I have evidence in my body, along with plenty of reason, to believe that my mom was given the drug, diethylstilbestrol, which is an artificial estrogen, which is a known endocrine disruptor and which studies have shown often to be behind people in my age-group having gender dysphoria.

My endocrinologist tells me that an MRI would not be able to see my brain in enough detail to show whether it is mapped more female than male, that it would actually have to be cut into. You can imagine that, at this time, I have decided not to seek the autopsy option.

Unless I learn something different, I believe that I was born with a male body and a brain that either was mapped female or largely so. Thus, here I am in a mismatch with the two physical entities of which I am comprised. Since both are wholly me, and I have reached the point in my life where I can no longer exist with their not matching, how would I decide which one might win in order to bring them into unison?

In 2013, I set out working to bring my brain into union with my body, making use of psychotherapy, practical exercises, pastoral counseling, prayer, and just plain determination. After two-and-one-half years of the back and forth battle finding me crashing worse and worse—to the point where I feared the result would surely be insanity or suicide—I elected to see if living as a female would provide me with some measure of mental peace.

Since my brain is now tranquil, I will continue on this path unless something changes it. This begs the question: why does the brain win over the body? Why does the brain win when they are equals?

Let’s go back to the Holy Trinity. We Christians profess that each person of the Trinity is equal—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—yet, since sons do not beget fathers, the order is important. The Father comes first, even if the Father is not more God than the Son.

As a person cannot have life without a father, a person cannot live without a brain. We can live without many different body parts. Not so the brain.

The brain is the quarterback of the body. The body is the running back. The quarterback barks the plays and runs the action; the running back carries it out. Never the other way around.

We return to the way my brain has been mapped and introduce the affects which hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are having on me. The following is supposition on my part, my playing the role of detective in assembling evidence to reach a conclusion.

Before beginning HRT, my testosterone and estrogen levels were in the normal range for a 56-year-old male. Now that my testosterone, while not yet as low as that of a typical 58-year-old female, is low enough, and my estrogen is nearly in the normal range for a female my age, my brain feels right. What’s up?

Do these seem like reasonable conclusions?

  1. Though I had normal hormone levels for a male, they made me feel wrong because of the physically-different-from-a-male way in which my brain was formed. In short, I did not have the right dosage for the way I am built.
  2. Now that my hormone levels are near to normal levels for a female, I feel right because, in the womb, under the affects of the artificial estrogen my mother was given, my brain was shaped female.
  3. Finally, that this peace is taking place, does it provide confidence that I have been assembling the evidence to come up with the correct conclusion that I am both physically male and physically female and, even more, since the brain quarterbacks a person’s life, the brain finally wins the battle with the body?

I find these to be reasonable conclusions.

I will continue to study.

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