To say I have self-esteem issues, is an understatement. If you’ve read any of the things I’ve written about Hilda, it becomes quickly obvious how self-deprecating I am. I struggle, I think, for a couple of reasons – I think I suck at inter-personal relationships and I suck at my sexuality. Truthfully, I’m not even sure how to articulate what I’m trying to say, but I’ve been having some negative feelings attached to my sexuality lately. Namely, I’ve been feeling like I go over the top in trying to express my bisexuality and what I feel is some feminine characteristics. I feel, almost, like I’m trying to force how I feel – kinda like I need other people to accept it about me, so I can accept it about myself.
That is the epitome of the problem, isn’t it? For some reason, I’m putting the validation of myself in other people’s hands. But, I think it’s deeper than that. I seek this validation online – supposedly the safety of anonymity. I’m terrified to have anyone I know in real life know anything about my sexuality or my desire to express myself in a feminine way. And there is the essence of “What if I am wrong? What if I am fooling myself?” in my self-doubts. The truth of the matter is that when I look back at different times in my life, there are times when I feel really at ease with myself within traditional norms. But, there has always been a nagging doubt that maybe that is not who I am authentically. My point is that I want others to validate me, because I can’t seem to do it myself.
Couple some of these feelings and thoughts with my sobriety, and I find a dichotomy in the validation I mentioned above. I’m learning a lot about acceptance and I’m beginning to think that maybe my thoughts and feelings are in conflict with my ability (or inability, as the case might be) to accept life on life’s terms. What if I feel at odds with myself, because I somehow created something incongruent with my life as an escape from reality – much like I did with drinking? I have gotten to a point where I felt okay being bisexual, I felt okay with wanting to be feminine too. But, what if that is merely a way I have tried to compensate for how horribly I felt about myself but had hidden with alcohol.
I have no doubts my sexuality is bisexual, but maybe that’s not how I am now. You can read many of my experiences in my section on Sexual and Relationship Development, or the things I’ve admitted to doing in Bi the Way, but I tend to be a little more straightforward – I have enjoyed sexual experiences with men and women. To me, that is the sheer essence of being bisexual. To me, the only way that one can define themselves as straight or gay, is if they are exclusive to one gender – even if there has been experimentation and they discovered they only enjoyed one gender. So, even if I have not been with another guy in many, many years, I feel I am bisexual – even if I do not want to admit it to anyone in my real life.
It’s me feminine feelings I tend to question a little more rigorously, I suppose. I’m male. I have a penis. I have no inclination of ever having it removed – even at times when I have truly desired to be a female. I like traditionally feminine things – dresses, skirts, heels, flowers, softness, bright colors, pastels…I mean, you get the idea, right? But I have also liked traditionally masculine things – strength, ruggedness, the feeling I get when a woman mentions my broad chest, ego, etc. I have this strange dichotomy about being one thing, feeling another way, looking in a mirror and not liking anything. It’s within this aspect of myself that I wonder, if true acceptance is to let go of the thing that can never be a reality. Or is the acceptance that it is okay to feel the other way without letting go of myself? Sometimes, I have day dreamed about being a woman, but other times I find myself very judgmental about certain societal changes (I’m not going to detail it out). So, what is it? What do I need to be? Am I troubling myself over something that doesn;t need to be worried about?