I had a crummy weekend.
I know, I know…same old story and a different day, huh? I spend a lot of time whining and crying about my life and not a lot of time making changes. Of course, the reality is that I am making changes. And I’m struggling and fighting through them. To say I have been less than perfect is probably an understatement. Honestly, it’s been kind of an ugly process and I find myself trying to get back on track, regardless if I fall and bruise my fragile ego along the way.
But this past weekend had Hilda on full scale assault. She was not just creeping around the edges of my mind looking for a way inside. No, this time, she came at me full blast, flailing and blasting her negativity in a huge and monstrous way. My emotional well being sunk, deeply. And, honestly, I ended up stepping out of sobriety, yet again. I wouldn’t say it was the worst I have ever felt and I won’t give the details of why I felt this way (I will someday, add this all to my S.A.R.D.), but suffice it to say that Hilda’s ugliness dominated me this weekend.
Today is feeling a little unsure, but I had been discussing my blog with a friend from Twitter and she had mentioned she had read about my posts on Hilda and Stephanie. I don’t discuss Stephanie too often, but this friend’s recommendation is that I should cultivate her a little more. I linked Stephanie, but to give her a little more description might be warranted. Where Hilda is my negative inner voice, Stephanie is my positive inner voice. She is positive, warm, complimentary and encouraging. She is the exact opposite of Hilda. Stephanie provides me some iota of happiness that I don’t feel very often. So, I can easily see why this friend is encouraging me to cultivate Stephanie.
So, why is it I don’t let Stephanie out to play more often? The reality is – and it’ll be controversial to some people – but I believe the concept of gender identity is completely a matter of mental health. Although, I understand that chemical imbalances exist in the brain, and sometimes medicine is required, I also believe that the overwhelming majority of us (though a very small percentage of people exhibit multiple chromosomal patterns) exist as biologically male and biologically female.
So, why am I mentioning this seemingly side note to Stephanie? Well, I had a few little periods of my life where I truly contemplated and mentally explored my own gender identity and it did NOTHING to help my mental health. I hated that I didn’t feel fully masculine and I hated that I looked so masculine that I couldn’t look feminine. I had a small period, a few years ago, when I was embracing what I saw as a more feminine side of my personality. I would even cross-dress in private and had posted some pictures on my blog (not this blog, but my last blog). I felt, at the time, that God fucked up and made me a man when I should have been a woman. I have even discussed in this blog the various times I had cross-dressed and felt like a girl instead of a boy. But I knew, deep down, that no matter how I felt inside, it didn’t match what I felt on the outside either. I came to the resolution that it was best for me to just be who I was and accept myself as I am.
For me, this acceptance meant realizing that I am male. I was a husband and father too and I felt like anything extreme could have deep emotional scars on the people around me who love me and enjoy the aspects of myself that they saw as male. But I also realized I didn’t have to reject the traits of myself that I saw as feminine. I just felt like changing anything about myself would have had an effect that created a larger gap for Hilda to enter. And my larger goal was to keep Hilda from gaining a foothold in my life. And embracing an idea that I was something other than what I was, meant Hilda would have won a major battle for my heart and soul.
So, I don’t engage in behaviors online or in my real life that portrays me as female. Is it wrong? I don’t know, but I suppose on some level I have rejected Stephanie and I can see that there are aspects of her I could/should embrace. Why hate something/someone that builds you up and makes you feel good about yourself? And I realize as I write this, that I live in the shadow of other people’s opinions about me. That’s Hilda at work, and I know that; but in some aspects of life I think that there are things that can’t be just about me and I can’t ignore what other people (I’m referring to family, here) need from me. So, I make an attempt to live in a way that is not selfish. And at the time, a few years ago, when I was embracing Stephanie, I also began ignoring some of the masculine things about myself that I enjoyed and felt comfortable being, I didn’t want to let go of those, either.
I also see some of the benefits Stephanie provides me, with respect to my self-esteem. I mean, who doesn’t like feeling good about themselves? And sometimes Stephanie encourages so many positive feelings, that I don’t want to ignore her. But cultivate her? I’m not sure I know how to do that. I have had a few of friends online – both here and on Twitter that have encouraged the feminine within me. I have appreciated the feminine persona they have cultivated within me and those girly aspects of myself have not felt wrong. At the same time, however, I don’t want to ignore or forget that I’m male and have a very masculine expression outwardly.
Okay,,,,I’m stopped in thought right at this moment and feeling a little fucked up even traversing these thoughts. I don’t like any of the conflict I feel within myself when I begin discussing this, but it’s there. And I think it boils down to this one simple fact: I recognize that I have a bit of femininity to me and I want to embrace that; at the same time, however, I like being male and want to honor how I was born.
Now I feel completely stupid writing this.