Time

It’s still my Saturday which means I had another therapy session this morning. Sometimes I look back at how things went, what we discussed and I wonder how we got onto some of the subjects we did.. yet, not matter what I feel as if I have achieved something, even if it is small, some bit more of understanding who I am. Being able to talk with someone about all the things in my head has been a bigger help to me than I thought it would be. I have made progress in learning how to deal with issues when they come up, in redirecting the negative energy into more positive channels. Though it doesn’t always work and there are time when I am blindsided by sudden downturns r like this week when it has been one thing after another, each pulling me a little deeper into the darker side of my mind…

Part of the issue is there still many scars which have never fully healed and a lot of anger I have yet to deal with. So much I have dealt with as I have time and again, pushing it down until it is out of sight… out of sight, out of mind, right? No really of course, it just finds some little nook to hide in and deter until it can either undermine my confidence or explodes in some unexpected way. I don’t know yet how to deal with these things, but maybe with time I will…

I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise to find once you decide to face your issues you would find a daunting amount of baggage which often seems impossible to deal with and overcome. Yet this is exactly what I need to do. It will be a matter of breaking it down into manageable pieces and working through things one step at a time. The difficult thing is getting a grasp on the size of the problem and then coming up with a plan…

And time.

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Fear

I’m sitting here, trying to decide what to write… I’m a tad distracted from one simple, silly thing but one which is driving me a tad nuts. I had a nail break on my index finger of my right hand and now when I type it feels like I have to go twice s far to reach that one key, and yes, sometimes I stop a bit short which drives the auto correct crazy. Hard to believe something so small can be such a pain, but there it is…

Of course this was simply the topper to a week I would gladly forget. It started with a down, really down… day which I had to struggle through. I didn’t want to even breath at some points… but I have responsibilities which cannot e ignored which I think helped to push me through. Then there was one of “big” days… you know, the one which begins with a B, ends with a Y and is altogether an emotional disaster. This year seems to have been worse than I expected and every time I thought about it, it was to realize this was “his” day, really and not mine, with a lot of male pronouns…

I claim the same day for myself simply because it is easier than trying to explain why I celebrate a different date. Still, it is another reminder my life has never really been my own, and maybe never will be…

This is something which is difficult to talk about, in so many ways I still haven’t come to terms with my own feelings. My whole life I have watched from the shadows as “he” celebrated holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays, terrified someone would notice me in the background and doing so bring an entire life down in flames. I hid myself away, tried to let him forget I existed… it was so much simpler to live in fear than to step into the light and be true to myself. I sometimes wonder at what point I pushed him to the forefront and gave him all of the power because I simply couldn’t over come the fear which held me frozen.

I know this line of thinking may seem strange, be almost delusional because in the end, I am that person as much as I am myself, yet in some ways it is almost as if I have had a split personality, separating what was happening to one part of myself from the rest, pushing it back until it was little more than an image etched in vapor waiting to be blown away at the slightest breath of air. It wasn’t until things reached a point where the illusion was shattered and I lay there exposed that I was forced to take responsibility for myself. To acknowledge the truth of myself and to stop hiding behind a curtain of lies. Still, having lived n such a way for so long I now find it difficult if not impossible to break free of the very shadow I created. So much of my thoughts are tangled with his, it is his image I see in the mirror, his body I have to live in… nothing is truly mine. I am left with the ruins of what he built and I have no idea of how to be truly, fully, myself.

I don’t know if I would even know how to live if it was as me… It is something I think about, dream about. It is never far from my thoughts, what could be.. and yet, there is so much which leaves my blood running ice cold. I know this is much of the reason I have not driven forward. Fear is such a power thing and I still haven’t learned how to over come it.

Today’s Playlist

“Always” by Tony Lucca

“Always Be You” by Matthew Mayfield

“Among The Grey” by Cheyenne Mize

“And What Remains” by Josh Garrels

“Ask Me A Question” by Minipop

“Awaken” by Peter Bradley Adams

“Beautiful Girl” by William Fitzsimmons

“Beekeeper” by Aoife O’Donovan

“Better Now” by The Vespers

“Cities Burning Down” by Howling Bells

Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a landmark victory for gay rights on Wednesday by forcing the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage in states where it is legal and paving the way for it in California, the most populous state.

Today the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a key part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, (DOMA) which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in the state where they reside.

As expected, however, the court fell short of a broader ruling endorsing a fundamental right for gay people to marry, meaning that there will be no impact in the more than 30 states that do not recognize gay marriage.

The court struck down Section 3 of DOMA, which limited the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of federal benefits, as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

“DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others,” Kennedy wrote.

“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy, 76, appointed to the court by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1988, was the key vote and wrote the DOMA opinion, the third major gay rights ruling he has authored since 1996.

In a separate opinion, the court ducked a decision on Proposition 8 by finding that supporters of the California law did not have standing to appeal a federal district court ruling that struck it down. By doing so, the justices let stand the lower-court ruling that had found the ban unconstitutional.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the Proposition 8 opinion, ruling along procedural lines in a way that said nothing about how the court would rule on the merits. The court was split upon unusual lines, with liberals and conservatives in the majority and the dissent.

My Two Cents:

I have long felt DOMA and the many efforts by the states to restrict marriage were morally wrong and unconstitutional.

Marriage as recognized by governments; local, state, and federal  are sectarian, based in law not on religious dogma, which is as it should be given the basic tenet of separation of church and state. As such it should been seen as an equal provision for all, no matter their gender and should never have been restricted by what are clearly the direction of religious agencies.

That is not to say any religious group should be forced to provide a service which stands against their beliefs, yet the freedom of a group to deny such services should in no way affect a persons opportunity to have such services provided by the state in a nondiscriminatory manner.

Brain Mapping Gender Identity: What Makes A Boy A Girl?

A recent brain mapping study investigates gender identity in a new, more scientific way.

An article written by Susan Scutti and posted at the Medical Daily reports on a study published last year which explores the extent to which brain anatomy is associated with gender identity.

About the study;

“Specifically, the UCLA researchers chose to investigate potential neuroanatomical variations associated with transsexualism; in particular, they applied a “whole-brain approach” in which they would compare the thickness of the cortex across the lateral and medial brain cortical surfaces at thousands of surface points.”

I’ve downloaded the PDF of the study.

From the Abstract;

“Background: The degree to which one identifies as male or female has a profound impact on one’s life. Yet, there is a limited understanding of what contributes to this important characteristic termed gender identity. In order to reveal factors influencing gender identity, studies have focused on people who report strong feelings of being the opposite sex, such as male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals. Method: To investigate potential neuroanatomical variations associated with transsexualism, we compared the regional thickness of the cerebral cortex between 24 MTF transsexuals who had not yet been treated with cross-sex hormones and 24 age-matched control males. Results: Results revealed thicker cortices in MTF transsexuals, both within regions of the left hemisphere (i.e., frontal and orbito-frontal cortex, central sulcus, perisylvian regions, paracentral gyrus) and right hemisphere (i.e., pre-/post-central gyrus, parietal cortex, temporal cortex, precuneus, fusiform, lingual, and orbito-frontal gyrus). Conclusion: These findings provide further evidence that brain anatomy is associated with gender identity, where measures in MTF transsexuals appear to be shifted away from gender-congruent men.”

Included is a list of references for further investigation.

Sometimes A Song Just Fits…

“Been A Long Day”

By Rosi Golan

It’s been a long day
And all I’ve got to say is make it strong

It’s been a long day
And all I’ve got to say is I’ve been wrong

So take a leave of absence
Tell me you’ll be gone
I don’t want to see your face

It’s been a long day
And I just want to hide away

It’s been a long week
And all the lines come down heavy on me

It’s been a long week
I’m finally feeling like it’s okay to break

into a thousand pieces
no one can replace

only I can find my way

It’s been long day
And I just want to hideaway

It’s been a long year
And everyone around me’s disappeared

It’s been a long year
And all this mess around me’s finally cleared

So can I have a moment just to say hello
Can you let your anger go?

It’s been a long year
And I’m finally ready to be here…

Putting The Spotlight On The “T” In LGBT

For more than forty years now we have watched as the Gay and Lesbian communities have seen a increase in public awareness and acceptability. During the same time Transgender people and issues have remained in the shadows.

Today we are seeing being Transgender and Trans issues gaining public awareness. Yes, we are in much the same place as they were twenty, thirty, forty years ago and we are going to experience many of the same things. This means having to stand against prejudices, ignorance, and bigotry. We are going to have to speak out against misinformation, misconceptions, and misunderstandings.

It isn’t going to be quick or easy. In fact it is going to time consuming, emotionally and physically draining. It is going to seem endless and hopeless, yet it is something we are going to have to do every day for ourselves, for those who follow.

I could write post after post discussing the issues, but it would be only from my point of view and experiences. Just like the rest of the world, each Trans person is different and their stories must be their own. Yes, there is much we share in common, yet each of must speak only for ourselves. In the same way, it is to each cis gendered person, (those not transgendered), to educate themselves. To take the time and invest the effort to understand, just as they would regarding other LGBT issues and people or another nationality, another religion. It isn’t that people don’t want to be helpful, but like you, we have other responsibilities, other people who depend on us and in the end we only have so much time and energy. It helps everyone when they are willing to make an investment in being open minded and understanding.

There is a number of resources to be found online with a simple search. Just going to Google and typing in “Transgender” gave me the following:

Wikipedia

Huffingtonpost

American Psychological Association

Transgender Care

There are many more links to be found with this single word. There are many other terms you can look for which will yield  considerably more. Try some of these as well:

Gender, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Transgender 101.