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)

 

Lacking Emotional Motivation…

One of the things I have noticed most about my mental health is the constant, never-ending ebb and flow of my emotions.  I can go from such extreme highs to such extreme lows. I enjoy the highs so much, because I feel happy and energetic and motivated, but days like today I wake up wondering if there is a point to any of this thing we call life.  I have a few stressors (sometimes referred to as “triggers”) at the moment and I’m trying to decide how to address them all.

I’ve spent a little too much out of my monthly budget this month. I’m currently about $600 over what I need to spend this month.  Normally, it’s not a major deal for me to make-up a difference like that, by taking on my part time job – I drive for a couple of ride-shares. The problem is that I don’t feel like doing it, since I have this week off, before heading back to my normal job.  I want to be able to relax and enjoy some days off, before going back to work.  I already have errands I need to get done and I have to do some home maintenance kind of things to prepare for the summer.  Time and money are NOT my friends this month. In fact, I think they are both evil-bitches!

Another thing I’m irritated about today is working on my BYJ. Today’s exercise is something to do with not having unrealistic comparisons to others. It goes on to mention that the Beauty Industry is unrealistic and the author suggests Google (or other search engine) search “Photoshop before and after images”.  It’s pretty amazing the transformations people can have when using a tool like Photoshop. Granted, I saw some amazing differences with some of the images, but I found that there were some that only minor changes had been made.  For me – and what is triggering me – is that it’s making me feel like I am never going to be what I would like to be and I want to accept it, but I just don’t know how.  What I don’t want to do, however, is have another emotional meltdown over something so obvious.

And it creates in me the inner turmoil I constantly fight over my sexuality… On the one had, I used to feel like I was coming to greater resolution with my sexuality – accepting it as it is – I am capable of loving either a woman or a man. I felt like I was at a point where being who I was as a bisexual man was feeling “okay”, but as I began to explore this within myself, I found myself more comfortable with my sexuality in terms of my gender-identity. I have always felt feminine, although I did a damned good job hiding it behind my masculinity. Or did I?  I take comfort in some aspects of feeling feminine, but there are other aspects that simply remind me how far removed I am from being a woman.

Another thing setting my mind into negativity today is that I have a routine check-up at the doctor’s office today – specifically with my endocrinologist.  (I’m a type 1 diabetic, for those of you who don’t know. I have had insulin dependent diabetes since I was 8 years old – about 36 years). I do this every 3 – 4 months, as a nice reminder how I’m not healthy.  Okay….um…that’s my interpretation, and not the doctor’s.  I had some goals I wanted to accomplish the last time I was in and I’m frustrated that I haven’t accomplished them.  I am 6 pounds down from the last time I went, but I was hoping for 10-15 pounds down.  I do believe my blood sugars are better than last time, but they are still not where they need to be.  I have also realized that the last time I went, I was not drinking at all and I have started again…even if, not as much.  I also realized, that there are two medications I am supposed to take regularly, that have been sporadic on. Again, I’m doing better than before, but it’s still sporadic.

I think the only saving grace I feel, right now, is that I have been walking. I have been making it a point to walk on a daily basis. I know I want to change things, but I also know I am no where near as wonderful as I once thought I was…hahaha!  But I receive encouragement and I am trying, really hard, to make some changes in my life.  But with everything I am waking up to today, I just feel overwhelmed and burdened. I feel responsibility on my shoulders at all times and I feel kind of alone in all of this.

And to top it off, I received a phone call from my maybe-soon-to-be-ex last night.  We argued, of course, about how much responsibility is mine over the failure of our marriage. I’m now at a point where I have lost my desire to care. I listened to the ranting for an hour and when I was asked what I had to say, I simply and calmly said, “I have no idea why anyone would stay or be married to the person you described me as… I would end it immediately.” And I hung up. I guess, if you hate someone, then it’s your own responsibility to choose to stay or not, right?

All I know, today, is that I have to get through it and I haven’t figured out how. There are so many days where I wish someone would do it for me. But I know this is my life, this is my challenge, this is my chance to come out on top…

…some way, some how.

 

SARD: Part 18 – When the Questions Never End…?

I have these times when I have a sudden urge to “Get right with God” – you might have noticed it.  I go through a series of mental games with myself where I fall back on assumptions I used to have about sexuality. These assumptions amount to ideas of mind over matter – in other words, I convince myself that I don’t have to be bisexual, if I don’t want to be. I go on these missions to understand WHY I have engaged in certain sexual behaviors – because there MUST be a reason, right?

I remember when I first began to question my gender, as well. I remember wondering if my sexuality and gender are intimately connected in a lot of ways. I know the common understanding is that they are separate issues, but I have always wondered about how they might be connected. I’ve said before, that in my experience I am feel more masculine when I am with women, but more feminine when I am with men.  To me, it seems readily obvious that my so-called gender identity is connected to my sexuality.

But speaking of gender identity, I’m even beginning to question that.  I ascribe to science in so many ways, and science has already determined that the genetic make-up of men and women are different, based upon the shapes of their chromosomes.  There are anomalies, just like anything else in nature, but anomalies are rare – I even read the other day that there are only like 0.023% people in the U.S. that are Transgendered (Assuming a population of 320 million, that’s still  73,600 people. I could be misquoting the statistic, but that’s still as many people that would fill up a small city like Casper, WY). So, I question who/what I am and these questions conflict with any sort of faith I may still be struggling

The problem with this is that I get overwhelmed. Some of you have seen me literally obliterate entire blogs, because of it. I’ve deleted blogs I’ve had for 2 or 3 years, sometimes, because I get so sick of the online image I present of myself, that it is so far removed from the one I have in “real” life. I’ve even posted my picture once and I had someone email me and tell me what a “great looking man” I was.  It bothered me, actually, because I don’t feel great looking and I don’t feel like a man. But the sad reality for me, is that I don’t look or feel like a woman either. I realize I’m not androgynous looking – my physical features are extremely masculine. And sometimes I feel like I want to be Dexter St. Jock, swinging my penis around like a rope and slinging it across my shoulder onto my back as if I’m the manliest stud to walk the face of the earth. And yet, I still dream of fitting into a pretty dress, squealing like a girl, and doing other feminine things.  Are my pains the results of social constructs? Some would say so. Or are my pains the result of not living within acceptance of my true self – whatever that might be?  And there are others that would think that. And, what about living how God would want me to live?  Oh, I think that would be a resounding “Yes” from some.

The problem is that I have lost myself. I have lost myself and just don’t know how to get back to feeling happy, content, peaceful, confident, etc. And these questions make me contemplate just checking out from everything – not actual life, but checking out from the current path I’m on and finding another one.  But I also feel like these feelings are temporary. I find little bits of ironies in life a lot of the time – of course, 9 out of ten times, they’re an irony in my own life. And as I feel these things, I sometimes happen upon something like this post, which gives me hope that I’m not the only one who struggles from time to time.

BYJ: Day 31 – Know Your Rights

Continuing in my BJY, the author gives the link to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I have to admit, I found this section to be almost boring. In fact, there are a lot of paralells to the U.S. Constitution – not surprising since the U.S. had major influence in creating and forming the U.N. But I noticed one particular thing that stood out – rather, didn’t stand out.  I read every single article and there is nothing addressing human sexuality. Granted, each article addresses “all people”, “all humans”, “everyone”, etc.; but there is nothing about alternative sexualities.

All this did is make me think that my teetering yesterday, is not without cause. Maybe, some more soul searching is required…