Unease: Returning to Reality

I woke up this morning realizing I am wasting away.

I have been totally unproductive at work this week. Well, maybe a little productive, but just enough to avoid any negative opinions about me (hmmm…side note, I really do focus on what others think…I mean, like a lot). But I have been spending a lot of time trying to escape from my life.  I mean, in ways that aren’t necessarily good for me, I think.

For example, as much as I hate to admit it, I have spent the last 48 hours – off and on through out my day – exploring and indulging in certain sexual fantasy that I refuse to discuss openly. Don’t worry, it’s nothing that involves hurting woodland creatures or children. But it would probably be considered wrong in a lot of people’s view points. Ultimately, I know it is focused on something I am self-conscious about…or is it?  I dunno, it’s not really the point. The point is that it has consumed my thoughts, my mind and my time. And I engaged in it online, in discussion forums, watching certain media that would be…hmmm…naughty. I have been trying to escape. I had a fellow blogger suggest to me that I might be a sexual submissive…if she happened to know what I had been viewing the past few days, she would be convinced.  I’m not going into any more detail…

Sex is powerful. And it has certainly led me to use it to escape from many things in life, as well. I even feel it has gone one step further and allowed me to look at relationships from a sexual point of view – the story of my sexuality and understanding it all has certainly convinced me that I have managed to escape from the facts of my life by burying myself into sex and/or relationships. It has led me to believe I do not understand what healthy is for me.

I escape from things. I don’t understand why…

It’s not the only time I’ve done it, but it got me to thinking about the other ways I have managed to avoid my life, ways that I felt I needed to keep my mind occupied so I can handle everything. It brought me back to thinking about drinking beer too and when I truly thought I was an alcoholic. I began to loathe going to AA meetings, because I got sick of hearing people say, “…if it weren’t for this disease, I wouldn’t have done…”  Fuck, I hate lack of personal responsibility. If you’re fucked up, you got nothing to blame but yourself. If you fucked up, you fucked up and you need to own that shit.  Speaking of owning shit, I’m still drinking, but it’s when I’m away from work and I’m away from everything. I stop on a whim, mostly because I discovered it really doesn’t give me the reprieve I seek in life. I can no longer drown out my thoughts, feelings, emotions and all the other garbage that goes on in my head. I could no longer escape.

This week, I received an email from someone I have been corresponding with about God. On the one hand, I truly appreciate someone wanting to help me out, on the other hand I can’t help but think that what she is really doing is exposing, at least to me, another from of escapism I am doing: wanting a same-sex relationship. She had suggested that part of the reason I am wanting and desiring an intimate relationship with a man, is because I lack one with God, the Father. I can’t help but listen to the compelling argument and it made me contemplate if I am on this current path, this current exploration of my sexuality, my gender identity, my path to understanding myself is really a façade for avoiding all of the responsibilities I should be facing in real life. She hasn’t, directly stated, that my desire to be in love with a man at this point in my life is wrong, but rather she implied that relationships have a way of telling us about our failings in seeking God out as the provider of a good life.

Of course, I could be way off base…but what the fuck do I know?

I have been corresponding to someone else in the past couple of days. He answered a personals ad I have. And you know what?  He’s nice. And he seems to want to provide the kind of relationship I think I want. But then again, it is so hard to tell, because I know, deep down, that I am the kind of person that looks for happiness in the wrong places. And it makes me super anxious to even remotely think that this is possible. And then my mind races and I begin to think that this is all a façade too. That I’m still escaping…

Even my blog is an escape…

And all I want to do right now is run…

I want to get fucked.

I want to drink.

I want to get in the car and drive forever.

I want to be loved.

I want to know if there really IS a God.

And I want to be fucked.

And I want to drink.

And I want my mind to stop racing.

And I’m beginning to feel a major fucking panic attack come on.

I’m feeling fucking risky today. And none of it is healthy.

So, I’ll probably eat…

Another way I escape.

I just want it all to stop. I want my mind back. I want control over my life back.

But then again, I want all of the other stuff to make me stop thinking.

A lobotomy?  Yes, that would make me stop thinking.

Okay, I’m becoming incoherent in my ramblings. I’m not going to do anything…except eat some fucking Nutter Butter cookies at 4:45 a.m.

Keeping Me In Your Prayers…

God never intended for you to be treated like that”.

This line stood out in the email I received this morning from a fellow blogger.  And truthfully, it means a lot to me to receive compassion and kindness from people – unfortunately, I feel the world can use more kindness and compassion.  But this was truly meaningful and this blogger was referring to an event I had blogged about, where I had been sexually assaulted when I was a lot younger than I am now.  I truly believe this blogger wants the best for me and she offered to include me in her prayers.

She isn’t the first to offer prayers for me. I’ve had a couple of other wonderful bloggers here offer the same.  Sometimes, I think they pray to help me find peace from my depression or anxiety. Sometimes, I believe they hope I find a resolution to my sexual hang-ups. Sometimes, I wonder if they hope I become more of a believer in God – in Jesus Christ. Whatever the reason, I am always thankful and appreciative of the sentiment.

But, I would be lying, if I said I believed the same.  I simply do not.  Of course, there is this part of me that wants to believe the Pie In the Sky, that there is some sort of Higher Power.  I have mentioned in many of my posts that this is something I believe I will always struggle with understanding. I’ve even mentioned that I have made my Higher Power – or my God, if you will – some very unsavory things: alcohol, money, sex, etc. Having been raised as a Catholic, I have a fairly good knowledge base of what the faith of my youth teaches and requires – of course, I have had many a confessor explain to me that development of my personal relationship with God is of the utmost importance, over the ritualistic practices of my faith. The reality, for me, is that I have found peace in a lot of the things I have participated in, when it comes to practicing that faith.  Unfortunately, however, I can’t find a way to make my sexuality coincide with the faith of my youth. I can’t find the requisite reconciliation of my sexual preferences and I find that attempting to “force” it, makes me miserable – I’m growing quite fond of accepting myself as I am.

I won’t link each and every post I’ve made about my struggle with God, because it would take me forever, but simply searching for God or Religion on my blog, you can find quite a few things I have posted. I will always be aware that I have a connection to God on some level. I can’t simply ignore God as a myth or something made up. I even have a scientific understanding of God – and won’t go into detail about why I believe it to be the case, other than to say that the same reasoning that a lot of scientists use to not accept a God is the exact same reasoning that many believers use to accept God. But I also think that there are things about human nature that can not be ignored outright either, but seem to be in direct conflict with the God of most religion’s understanding – namely sexuality.

I can not accept that sexuality is a man made (or human made) construct – there have been a multitude of situations where people were not influenced into their sexual preferences. Of course, I would be a liar, if I did not accept that there are some things that influence sexual behavior. I mention this, because of the sexual assault I described on an earlier post and linked above.  There are most certainly, situations that have an influence on how people view sex. I can even remember times in my life that I have questioned sexuality and have been told there is nothing wrong with impulses and urges, as long as some were not acted on.  But that is part of the conundrum I have with the matter – who dictates that?  Some say God dictates this, but the references they use are the documents that have been scrutinized for as long as their existence and they have all had mankind’s direct involvement in their creation. The nature versus nurture debate goes right along with this.

I have always felt that there is some truth to both a natural existence of sexual orientation, as much as their is a nurturing understanding of human sexuality. I can give specific examples from my own life where I felt both of these forces at work – granted, it took the totality of my life to really begin to grasp the concepts. I have been slowly arriving at a place were I peacefully know more about myself than I did when I was a 12 year old, a 15 year old, a 21 year old or even a 35 year old.  I can’t ignore my attractions to women, just like I can’t ignore my attractions to men. I have a basic desire to be loved, and I don’t want to question if it comes from a woman or if it comes for a man.  Sometimes, I feel masculine and yet sometimes I like the way I look in a skirt. I don’t want to feel the conflict of doing something evil – especially when there are real atrocities in the world.  I want to believe in a God that loves me, but I can’t ignore scientific principles.

And, I want the feeling of sexual fulfillment.

And I value my friendships – especially those that keep me in their prayers.

Sometimes, Tears Say It All…

Yesterday, a friend of mine posted this. It’s dedicated to yours truly.  Sometimes, I am overwhelmed with the emotion when someone is so incredibly supportive of me.  It seems so cliché to say “I’m different” in a world that, although still struggling with the acceptance of diversity, is much more diverse than it used to be. I consider myself “different”, although so many of you accept me as I am.

I tend to fluctuate back and forth on who I am versus who I should be versus just effing it all off.  There is this dire need in me to achieve something in life, and I have lost a sense of what that something might be.  I find myself struggling with my sense of self as a result of all of this.  There was a time when I felt I knew exactly how to be, exactly what I wanted to be, exactly what was decent to be and it seems like my world has changed so drastically in my life.

I used to be an idealistic dreamer and someplace along the line I feel like reality hit me in the face and it spun me around in circles. I became a pragmatic realist and looked at things in black and white. I became bitter and began to look at things with jaded glasses. The world was no longer someplace for dreams, it became filled with responsibility and obligation – causing my dreams to turn to nightmares. I sought comfort in things that were destructive, but relieved me of the burdens of my stresses.

My nightmares began to change, and as they did, I began to see myself in a different light. Even the words of my last therapist ring in my head, “You are going to be okay. You are worthy of love”, somehow means that I became unworthy of love and I am not going to be okay. I became unable to see anything positive in my world – every criticism, every setback, every perceived wrong began to hit me to my core. I began to question every aspect of my being – my philosophies, my religion, my politics, my relationships with people, my interests in life, my sexuality, and I even began to question my own gender and what it means to me in the long run.

I no longer have answers. I no longer have a definitive understanding of morality. I no longer have a grasp of what it means to be decent. I can’t comprehend if my own actions are self-serving or in the interests of others or even the appropriateness of fulfilling rational obligations.  I seek answers in God, in religion, in culture, in people, in politics, in science, in blogs, in online advice columns, in so many things.

Unfortunately, I trust nothing anymore, because of the multitude of information available. Of course, it’s been stated so many times to me, to seek the answers from within. Even my friend’s post (linked below) is focused on me trusting my inner being, but as I mentioned above, I can’t possible seek those answers from within, because I no longer trust what’s within.

There was a time, when I believed I would make a great leader – not of a country or anything like that, but of any group or cause I might be associated. I felt confident in who I was and in my abilities, but that is no longer the case as indicated by the entirety of my blog. I didn’t maintain the strict discipline in life that I once had and I feel nothing but regret about many actions I have taken in life. I can’t make any decisions without questioning them and without seeking someone else’s advice to tell me if it’s fucked-up or not. I worry constantly about my impact on others’ – especially those closest to me.  I do not know my own reality or my own truth.

What comes from within me is nothing I trust…

 

 

 

Meditate on this for a while my lil’ brosis! Then tell Salad Sucka to kiss your thong-laden ass. You see, lil’ brosis, it doesn’t matter at all what others see or believe you to be. It ONLY matters what YOU see and believe about yourself. You’re the one with the power. Stop letting others take […]

via Stephanie’s Song — Flawed Pearls

“Stephanie, where have you been?” – an update.

Today, I opened an email, among many, asking something that many of you who have emailed me have asked, “Stephanie, where have you been?”  And it truly touches me to have you all ask me where I have been.  I’m sure, on some level, based on some of the conflicts I have been mentioning in my most recent posts, I had a few worried.  I’m okay…physically, I’m okay.  I’ll be honest though, I am still struggling.

I don’t know why I do that…

I suppose, I might be leaning towards accepting that me not accepting myself is my normal.  I don’t understand how to function without stress and turmoil, I guess. I’ve done nothing drastic, however, but I am just trying to live each day as it comes and just accepting that I will continually question myself and ponder what might be my true and authentic self.

I have noticed, the dichotomy of myself is even extrapolated to many of you.  I have some of you email me with the name my mom gave me at birth (some might call this my real name) and I have notices some of you call me Steph or Stephanie (Obviously, this is a real name, as well), and yet a lot of you also call me Tar (ahem…short for Tarnished). I receive so much encouragement from so many of you that I feel more content with myself during those times.

The reality is, of course, that my life is in turmoil. I’ve been back and forth with my wife lately. We talk, we argue, we agree to continue with the divorce, we continue to reconcile, we are obviously nuts. I am trying to work my way through school. I am working a job I no longer enjoy, but doing it because it is important. And trying to manage the various hats I wear with my differing relationships.  The only thing I have taken any peace in is focusing on doing the best I can, praying (even God might hate me or the sins I commit), focused on being the best me I can muster for the current day.

I take pleasure in knowing that there are great people here that follow me and encourage me.  But I don’t feel on solid ground and I feel like I’m floating along and just trying to pick up pieces. My public persona is highly masculine and yet I am still desiring the softer, more feminine nature that I feel is a major part of who I am.  I am not engaging in any relationships, although I still get messages on dating profiles I opened when I assumed my marriage was over. I just don’t feel like I’m capable of giving myself to anyone right now.  I’m simply unstable in my life and it’s not fair to anyone I would make a horrible boy/girlfriend right now.

What I know is that I like who I am online, but I am quite comfortable not bucking anything in my real life.

I am becoming accustomed to anonymity…

…no one knowing me.

There is no obligation to please anyone.

 

Moral Relativity

I think I’m a professional student.

No, seriously, I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t involved in learning something.

Some might consider this a good thing, but I’m seriously starting to think it is a bit of an addiction. Because I always feel the need to learn more about something. For example, lately, I’m truly trying to gain a better understanding of my Higher Power. I’m trying to relate to the ideas of my catholic upbringing and understand how I can accept myself, in spite of the perception of sexuality and gender. It seems like an unending battle, since I see myself as a bisexual male or a possible transgendered woman but I also ascribe to many of the precepts of my catholic upbringing and Christianity.

I’ve mentioned numerous times that I struggle with my sexuality and with my gender. Many times I have convinced myself that I am something other than I feel; but I have also wondered if I run from responsibility on many things. Today, I mentioned to my wife (I have not mentioned it, but she called me and we have been talking again) that the one major thing I struggle with in coming to God is that I believe it involves instant responsibility – something I don’t know I am capable of meeting – or I am unwilling. We were discussing the ideas that there are definitive rights and wrongs, and that these definitive rights and wrongs stare the ideas of Moral Relativity in the face.

I have always understood the catholic understanding of any sexuality besides heterosexual is a state of disorder. Disorder requires compassion, but not conviction. For Catholics, hating a homosexual is as much of a sin as the act involved in homosexuality. The catechism explains that homosexuals have a special cross to carry and, as a result, must abstain from sexual relationships – i.e. remain chaste. In other words, being a homosexual is not wrong, but engaging in sexually homosexual acts are sinful – because they are not done within the domain of a marriage. This is where catholic doctrine denies a relative morality.

Although my wife has loved me, regardless of my sexual inclinations (she is unaware I see myself as non-gender specific), I am unsure about my ability to fulfill the requirements of any romantic relationship right now. Granted, a married couple that discovers that one of the people is not heterosexual will open the marriage to being annulled, it is still a complex matter for either person. The heterosexual person will be “allowed” to remarry as a catholic, whereas the non-heterosexual will be required to commit to a chaste life and carry a “special cross” and receive compassion from others.

Truthfully, I struggle with this for a number of reasons. I don’t care to go into them in much detail today, but the ideas they present in my mind are interesting matters and something I feel I will spend time trying to understand. But I am quite aware that the ideas of Moral Relativity are directly related to this topic.  Moral Relativity is the idea that what is right for me is right for me and what is right for you is right for you.  I find the idea to have some major problems and when I have engaged in friendly debate with people about the flaws of Moral Relativity, they find my arguments to be repulsive – I’m sure Hitler felt the eradication of Jews to be completely moral. To me, this idea has some problems because there must be some absolute rights and absolute wrongs or else all of humanity devolves into destructive chaos, arbitrarily chosen by whomever is in charge – typically oneself.

But I can’t find any ability to see the love shared between two consenting adults as disordered. To me, the idea of two adults loving each other is a beautiful thing and an example of love for humanity. I understand the counter arguments to the idea, but I struggle with the concept that it is somehow evil and I can’t find a way to convince myself otherwise. I know some would wonder why I am even bothering to convince myself of the alternatives, because it seems to hurt my mind in some ways. But here is the thing I truly have always believed – and it is a quote from the book of Alcoholics Anonymous – “Either God is everything or He is nothing”.

But I always try to keep my mind open to arguments, but I would be lying if I said it would bother me to have to give up on some things.

But is it a sacrifice, I should make?

“What return shall I make to the Lord…

…for all that He has done for me?”  (Psalm 116: 12)

 

Truthfully, I’m struggling with gratitude, lately, but I also believe that my attempt to focus on a higher power and praying daily is a step. I am struggling with understanding my true nature, but I am hopeful that my willingness to live each day as it comes demonstrates my gratitude for life…

Second thoughts and doubts…

You might have noticed, but I question everything about myself…

I have been on a mission to find greater peace in myself, and a week ago I made the decision that it might be time to let this blog go.  Truthfully, I don’t think I can do that. And I am not so sure I can change who I am – mostly because I really, really, really love dresses!  I like wearing them and I like feeling like my inner girl can escape and not feel so trapped. I really do feel like a woman trapped in a man’s body and as much as I don’t like it, I also love it.

Does any of that even begin to make sense?

Today, I read Psalm 25, which is a prayer asking God for forgiveness and freedom of sins.  I know religion is a controversial topic for a lot of people and the concept of sin and sinful behavior even more so.  I find myself enjoying praying more and more and I find that I can appreciate God loves me, but I question so much about my sexuality and gender identity. Growing up catholic, there is distinct “rules”, for lack of a better term, that defines sins and sinful behavior and I used to accept all of these in stride and assume that any of the desires and temptations of such things are simple human nature.

Now, of course, I’m curious about the nature of sin and what it truly does to a person. I can recite all of the text book answers, of course, and I love the encouragement I receive from so many people here on WordPress. But I can’t find anyway to not feel like a damaged and disturbed person. Even in my feelings of serenity when I accept what I have come to believe is my true nature, I also feel conflicted in realizing that I don’t meet any normal standards of acceptance. Even being a scientist, I conceptualize things like gender and sexuality in almost concrete terms – the idea of categorizing as a means to explain.

Last week, I “accepted” that I am a man and that it is not up to me how I live my life, but it is up to God. I felt like I made that realization freely and felt comfortable with it, but yesterday as I saw all kinds of women wearing all kinds of different outfits and dresses, I couldn’t help but experiencing the desire to be a woman. I wanted to feel girly and feminine again. I always take some sort of twisted fun when someone assumes I’m a girl, because it makes me feel like it’s natural instead of me forcing something untrue about myself.

Anyways, I’m rambling and I just wanted to say I’m sticking around…even if it’s only sporadic appearances.

I have not given up exploring myself and I am happy admitting that I love God and that I hope he loves me – even if I am unorthodox…

Hugs & kisses! ❤

~Stephanie (Tar)