Pre-transition, gender only factored into my dreams and internal monologue when I had no choice. I was so deeply uncomfortable being gendered male that in most of my dreams I had no noticeable body. When thinking of myself or talking to myself to figure something out, I tended to imagine people talking who were not me.

I suspect a part of this comes from writing fiction, but the idea of mumbling something like, "Damnit, dude, wake the fuck up" when I made a mistake... well, that just never happened. (I wrote a bit about this before in a previous blog post - the 'gendering yourself in an inner monologue' thing, anyhow.)

This, of course, isn't hugely surprising. Lots of people I've spoken to have essentially genderless self-images in dreams, and their gender identity or pronouns rarely factor into their subconscious expressions of themselves.

The rare exception to this for me where in some dreams (not enormously frequent but still common enough to be memorable) I would be female. The dreams often centred on very feminine-centric events or experiences. Once I dreamt I was pregnant. Another time I had a very vivid dream where I was in a female body and found myself moving through a cave, naked, feeling soft vines and leaves brushing along my body, electrifying every sense and making me hyper-aware of every part of my dream-body.

What was notable with these dreams, beyond sheepish thoughts of "Why did I dream I was a woman?" (look, I was REALLY deep in self-denial at this point, okay?) was how it affected my day.

I'd feel unsettled. Sad that I was awake and back in my real body. Sometimes I'd even start crying.

What's particularly interesting about this for me, is how it's shifted. More often than not now, when I remember a dream, I have a body - and it reflects my own. I have the moderately curvy, feminine body I now inhabit. Even if my body / gender doesn't factor heavily into the dream in question, I tend to be aware of it now.

It almost feels like my subconscious was avoiding it before, as when I did have a notably-masculine body in my dreams before I'd wake up feeling uncomfortable & stressed. Self-correcting seems to have happened relatively quickly.

However, it goes a step further.

I have had numerous dreams now in which I have clearly already had lower surgery. Only one was sexual, too - the rest have been incidental aspects of other dreams.

This can be a little depressing in itself, as the further I get into HRT the more I feel I do need lower surgery. However, it's also objectively quite fascinating to me - my subconscious is now correcting for the body it increasingly expects, and only 95% has.

I've found similar shifts in my natural tendency to use gendered language when "talking to myself". "Damnit, girl," or similar things now happen a few times a week, at least I notice them a few times a week. It's not something I've really worked myself INTO doing - it's just begun to happen.

I'm even subconsciously 'ret-conning' my life. I've caught myself twice now saying, "when I was a girl" in lieu of either genderless ("when I was a kid") or masculine-gendered ("when I was a boy") phrases. The former doesn't quite seem right, so I tend to stick to genderless. Either way - my brain is compensate. Almost over-compensating.

In summary? Before I was uncomfortable enough with my gender that it was often suppressed or written out of my subconscious or conscious idea of myself. Now, it's often a very active element in my subconscious sense of self.