Tag Archives: Lesbian

Response to the new LDS policy on Same-sex parents.

I was prompted to share the thoughts that I shared on facebook.

Pulled from the article through LDS Deseret News. While this does not generally affect me individually — Unless my father starts to think this means disowning his children (again, yes he has done this before for less specific doctrine) It is still wrong.

”  “a natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing.” Although children are not officially considered members of the LDS Church until they are baptized at age 8, the blessing of a child creates a membership record

The handbook addition also states that “a natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting,” can only be baptized, confirmed, ordained to the priesthood or serve a full-time mission with approval from the Office of the First Presidency. A mission or stake president may request approval and determine that: “the child accepts and is committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage”; and “the child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.”  “

What this means to LGBT LDS? If you have children with a same sex partner. OR if you had a opposite-sex marriage and later a same-sex partnership or marriage, than your children CANNOT be an LDS member. ALSO you will be “disciplined” by the church.
While many members believe that disavowing the practice of same-gender marriage is for themselves only. If you continue, the child had to be of legal age and not living with a parent who has.

And I ask, HOW IS THIS NOT PUTTING RELIGION BEFORE FAMILY.

Growing up, I was raised LDS. We were taught to love one another and to love and accept our neighbor regardless of differences. (older it was “If you neighbor is not LDS, try to force them to go to church with you. We will give you candy if you bring someone new to church.” Bribery is not religious.)

This to me is not showing love or respect. It is not showing putting the family first. It is not supporting family at all.

According to teachings, God created us all. I was born gay. My first crush was when I was 4 years old. My first love was when I was in 3rd grade. Though being brought up LDS blinded me to what my feelings were. I have NEVER ONCE BEEN ATTRACTED TO A MAN.

This does not mean that I do not want children. It does not mean that I do not want love. My father assumed that my being lesbian meant that I was Promiscuous. HA! I have only had sex with two people. One of them I was MARRIED TO!!!!!

As a lesbian, I am just like any other woman. I want love, I want a family. My life isn’t controlled by sexual feelings. I tried for a damn long time to convince myself that I was straight and it almost killed me.

So no, What I am feeling is not a sin. If I were to believe in your god, I would live knowing that GOD MADE ME GAY AND LOVES ME BECAUSE I AM NOT AFRAID TO BE MYSELF OR CONDEMN OTHERS FOR ACCEPTING THE GIFT THAT GOD GAVE THEM.

If you are going to hardheartedly support this new ordinance, than please remove me. My LDS friends posting how “Accepting” and “Tolerant” that this is. You are blind to your faith. I am not “Over reacting” and I am not “reading too much into it”. I read it all. I did my research. I was not affected first by my peers. I Read this from Deseret news, not fox news.

This makes me extremely GLAD that I am not LDS. Because a loving god, a benevolent god, or a family oriented god, would NEVER have asked this of his children.

I believe that this is inherently WRONG. And I am not saying that out of anger. I am saying this because of how people are reacting to it.

Family first always.

There are families already tearing apart because of this. One parent trying to make sure that the other parent will never see their children again because of this.

The friends I am referring to. You know who you are as we have had issues in the past.

LDS SUPPORT

Advertisements

Comments Off on Response to the new LDS policy on Same-sex parents.

Filed under Uncategorized

Letter to my Father for Father’s Day

It started with a card… It starts that way every year. Each year I try to write in a limited amount of space my feelings for the man who raised, abused, and doesn’t fully accept me. . .

This year went a little differently. I couldn’t figure out how to get my thoughts out on such a small amount of white space.

The card read:

“It’s Father’s Day, do relax and take it easy! … If you still remember how, that is. Have a Good One!”

With the note:

“Dad, 6/18/2015

It looks like we still have a long way to go. Our current relationship is still rocky… I know you love me, however, I need your acceptance of my life. I do see what effort you put forward, I really do… But you still have the wrong idea of who I am… And I am still afraid to talk to you openly.

Please read my letter.

XOXO

I love you. Happy Father’s Day

<3/ The Daughter that needs to know she is Accepted for who she is.

*My name removed”

What follows is the four page letter that I wrote to him and placed inside this card. I hope this time he took the time to “listen” and understand what I meant…

“Daddy,

There is much that I want to say, though I know that I have said some similar things before, I really need you to take the time to read and understand what I am saying. It is really important to me that you read everything that I have written here in this letter. And remember, I love you.

Recently (Fall of 2014) a study was concluded about homosexuality. For hundreds of years homosexual people have lived with the ridicule of being called “unnatural” in their way of life. This study proves something about this statement. It is wrong. According to a study published by Psychological Magazine (a credited scholarly journal) Two regions of the human genome were located that have specific patterns as compared to the rest of the human genome. These patterns were found on the X chromosome and on chromosome 8.

While this biology may seem complicated—and truly is—It is a major scientific breakthrough. However, this study only covered homosexual males. This study was even talked about by the Huffington post.

To further counter the argument of homosexuality being unnatural, we take a look to the animal kingdom—our closest neighbors. While it was widely assumed that humans were the only species exhibiting homosexual behavior, we find with research that really isn’t true. Mammals alone have at least 21 species that openly exhibit homosexual behavior. This list includes—but is not limited to—bears, rats, cats, chipanzee’s, dolphins, elephants, horses, Lions, and raccoons. Among birds there are over 8 species and in fish there are over 15 species. Reptiles, over 30, Amphibians 4 documented, over 60 types of insects and, at least 8 kinds of other invertebrates. In total that is over a whopping 150 species on earth that show homosexual behavior.

According to BBC.com: “Animals have been observed engaging in same-sex matings for decades.” … “Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection implies that genes have to get themselves passed on to the next generation, or they will die out. Any genes that make an animal more likely to engage in same-sex matings would be less likely to get passed on than genes pushing for heterosexual pairings, so homosexuality ought to quickly die out. But that isn’t what’s happening. For some animals, homosexual behavior isn’t an occasional event-which we might put down to simple mistakes-but a regular thing.”…”in one population…31% of the pairings are made up of two unrelated females.” … “Homosexual behavior doesn’t change Darwin’s ideas, instead there are many ways it can evolve and be beneficial.”

So in saying, it would come to mean that homosexuality, while genetic, is a recessive gene, able to be passed along the gene pool until a child inherits this gene. However, even two people that are fully homosexual (ie. A homosexual man who donated sperm to a homosexual woman so that she could have a baby) does not necessarily mean a homosexual child.

Let me try to make this a little simpler to understand. My mother is a red head, neither of her parents and none of her immediate grandparents had red hair. She herself did not produce any pure red-heads of her own. Let’s say that she had married a red head as well. There is a slightly higher possibility of her producing red-headed children, but because of how the genes are inherited, it is actually MORE common for those children to NOT have red hair at all.

I feel that I need to clarify some things about being a lesbian. First an explanation of the LGBTQ etc. people.

Lesbian: a woman who is sexually attracted to women and may romantically love a woman.

Gay: a man who is sexually attracted to men and may romantically love a man.

Bisexual: An individual who can be sexually attracted to either gender and can have romantic love with either gender.

Transgender: An individual who was born in the wrong body. Psychologically they are the opposite gender of what they were born as. Some of these children were even incorrectly identified as the gender that they were meant to be while in the womb. These people are immensely unhappy and generally unhealthy until they decide to become who they were meant to be.

Queer: a term used to describe anyone who does not fit in to society’s binary definitions of what life “should” be.

So let me explain to you where I am in all of this. I am a lesbian; this does not mean that I want to be a man. It doesn’t mean that I want to just have sex all the time. It does not mean that I am abnormal, evil, promiscuous, or seeking attention. I just love women.

You told me once—yes I still remember every word—“I feel that if you keep going in the direction that you are going, that you are going to pass up the perfect man.” I don’t think you realized how much those words hurt me. I have never once been attracted to men.

I am going to share something with you that I have only shared before in vague and short snippets.

When I was 3 or 4 years old and in day care at F*’s, I had my first crush. How could this be acting out, small crushes are completely normal in childhood. She was so sweet and I was smitten. I didn’t understand what I was feeling, I just knew that I couldn’t tell her “no”. She asked me to tie her shoes once, and because I couldn’t tell her no, I ended up tying her shoes in several knots… She proudly showed them off to everyone, and I was so happy…. Until F* made me sit in time-out for 15 minutes for pulling a mean prank—it wasn’t meant as such.

In second grade my friends did something very mean. Three of the girls decided that we needed to play tag; the four of us and J*. What I didn’t know is that they had talked him into playing kissing tag, so that he would kiss me. They knew that I wasn’t comfortable with boys. When he tried to kiss me I smacked him and went and hid in the older kids playground where we weren’t supposed to go. I was hurt that my friends had done this, and I was thoroughly disgusted with boys at all.

In third grade, there are two events. The first one, I fell in love for the first time. She was so amazing. Bright red hair and would rip a head off of any snake that tried to bite me. Of course, I still didn’t know what I was feeling and got confused when she moved away and my heart broke. The other incident is that I was friends with a boy, S*… and we were good friends. Until the class made teasing jokes about us dating by singing that damn tree song. I was so disgusted and nauseated that I punched the innocent S* in the face.

6th grade, I fell in love for the second time in my life. A new girl transferred into my class. She was so beautiful and talented and smart… And I had to keep a dark secret for her because I was afraid of losing her. You know who I am talking about, but I am leaving her name out. I found out that she had feelings for me too, but not until very much after everything was long gone.

Senior year of High School I finally started to figure myself out. I realized that I was attracted to women (which explained why no males were attractive or all that interesting.—I did date some because my friends kept telling me that it was weird, and other people had boyfriends’, so I followed their example.)

As a note, you should remember that I dated A*, when he kissed me, I dumped him. You can ask him about that one.

I finally met someone that I knew that I cared about. And she cared about me too. It was the happiest time of my life… Up until I got raped. I do have PTSD because of that situation. A year later, I met C*. We spent three years together. I don’t know if you realized that. Besides money issues, the schizophrenia, and the abuse that the schizophrenia caused, I wasn’t unhappy. It was amazing and I truly loved her.

Also, I have only had sex consensually with two people. And I have only been raped by the one. I am NOT in any way promiscuous. Nor am I a bad example to my sister. Hell, I think sometimes she is a bad example to me and she has said as much to me. That stink XD. Also, keep in mind that she is a teenager and it is normal for her to push boundaries. I did, but no one really gave me any limits. I was also a strangely well behaved child/teen. I didn’t steal, do drugs, have sex, or deface anything. I DID go out past curfew a couple times (to sit with my friends and talk, seriously, the only thing we ever did was report someone paintballing a school in Springville.) and I ran away twice when I needed a friend and to be away from stress. AND it was only ever just down the road, not even a mile. So please don’t compare me to my siblings. At all, it is not fair to any of us to do that.

My life is nothing like porn. Many people seem to believe that it is. This is part of the reason why Chris’s parents were so rude to us. Even in my relationship with her, we hardly had sex, and we were married. I need you to understand that I am not evil and I am not just sleeping around. I DO go to clubs and dance. But that is to be around people that love me for who I am and will support me as a person. I might wear some clothes that are a little more revealing, but mostly that is because it gets damn hot!

So, now you should know what my community means to me. My community is not a group of people going around and telling people to do bad things. It is love. It is a family. These people have been there for me through a lot. I have actually gotten a lot from them. Friendships that will last me forever, a hug anytime I see any of them, calls and messages to see if I am doing okay… I know this isn’t fully clear, but it is an amazing family atmosphere.

I went to Salt Lake Pride with my gay family. I marched in the parade wearing a shirt proclaiming Provo LGBT community family. I received so much love from being there. I was really close to losing myself before I found all these people in my life. And even if you cannot accept them, they helped save my life and kept me going. Without some of these people I would not still have been fighting to the point of even surgery. I would have given up.

Moving on to another point, I’m not unhappy because of my choice of religion. In fact, I never felt any spirituality while I was attending the LDS church. Now, I am not going to go into detail about my chosen religion, I would like to request—again—that you please do not give me religious gifts or preach to me. I know that it is your belief and I will respect that. I will even let you give me a blessing if you believe it will help me get healthy. But it is not something that I believe at all. Religion is a personal thing and I do not believe that there is any right or wrong religion. As long as it is bringing positivity into the lives of its believers and it is not causing anyone or anything physical harm. Just know that I found what makes me feel spiritual and it is about respecting all life.

My life is an amazing kaleidoscope of individuality and the people that I chose to be a positive part of my life. My life is made up of who I am and how I have grown. Just because I am a lesbian, it doesn’t mean that I will not give you grandchildren. My life choices have not taken you out of my life. They almost did for a while, because of certain things that you had pushed me to. But I forgive because I love you.

I know that right now you do not understand everything that I am… I just hope that one day you will be able to accept me for who I am 100%. My marriage would not be something to “rub in your face” but a manifestation of who I am and what I plan to become. I hope that when I find another partner, that you will be there enough for me that I feel comfortable even asking you to walk me down the aisle.

I want you to be a part of my life. I want to be able to call you up and talk to you about anything. Currently I cannot do that.

When I was little, you were my favorite person in the entire world. I would wait by the window, watching for the work trucks because I couldn’t wait to see my daddy. And now, half the time I feel like you couldn’t care less about me.
I am so thankful for the steps that you have made in trying to still be in my life. I know that you love me and always will. I will never forget that. But, what I need is for you to accept me and support me in my life. I tried for a long time to be the daughter that you desired and it almost killed me. That part of me will never change. I will always be gay. Always. And I hope that you continue to be a part of my life.

I love you daddy. Happy Father’s Day.
Love,
Your Daughter”

~The Resident Femme~

Comments Off on Letter to my Father for Father’s Day

Filed under Uncategorized

#9 Mental Illness – Part 4: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

(Read part one)
(Read part two)
(Read part three)

It’s hard to help people–who just don’t understand mental illness–to grasp what it is like to experience what someone with a mental illness goes through routinely. I am going to share some personal things, not just for those that do not understand mental illness at all, but also for those that I consider my friends. Some of the people that I care a lot about have said some hurtful things to me. Now, I know that they don’t mean them to be hurtful, but to them OCD is a joke of sorts.

I am both hurt and frustrated every time someone tells me “oh, next time your OCD acts up, come over to my house, it really needs to be cleaned.” Seriously? I know they don’t understand, and a lot of the time I will just try to laugh it off but…

Beads of sweat trickle down my spine. My heart races, pounding in my chest. Gotta wash, gotta wash, wash them, wash them, wash them. Dirty, dirty, dirty, wash, wash, wash, wash, wash. My thoughts are racing. I can’t breath. I can’t think. I try to fight the growing insanity. I can feel myself rocking, but I’m not there. I’m trapped in my head, just trying to find an escape from all of this… Do it, do it, do it, now, now, now, wash them, go,wash them, now, wash them.

Tears are flowing and hot water is burning my hands. I don’t remember moving, but I can’t stop now, I have no control. I’m shaking and crying. I am telling myself to stop, please stop. But I cannot. My head feels like it is exploding.

Wash, wash, wash, wash, wash, wash, wash. Can’t stop. Want to stop. Need to stop. Wash, wash, wash. STOP!

Shaking. Crying. Shaking. Sobbing. Burning. Please. Stop. Please. Crying. Soap. Hot water. More soap. So much soap.

My hands keep foaming now, even when I keep rinsing and rinsing. The soap won’t get out of my skin. The bad won’t get out of my skin. Get out of my skin. Get out of my skin. Get out. Get out. Get out. Leave me alone. Help me. Someone help me. Help me, help me, help me, help me.

It hurts.

I tell myself repeatedly, I don’t need to wash. And my head responds: wash, wash, wash, wash, wash, wash, wash…. Insanity. I fight. I lose. I fight. I lose. I fight. I lose. I fight. It hurts. I can’t win. Can’t, can’t, can’t. HELP ME!

In the past this is when her arms would wrap around me, pull me away and hold me tightly as I struggled incoherently to try and get back to the insanity. Wash, wash, wash, wash, wash, wash. Arms tight and loving, rocking, soothing. Come back home. Wash… wash… wash… Soft, warm, safe, home. Clearing, but still there. Anxiety throbbing through me.

It is a struggle to keep control. This isn’t the only type I suffered. But this is the most traumatic, the one that I had the least tangible control over. The last episode I had, I recorded part of it. I watched part of it in tears after and wondered, “why doesn’t anyone help her?” Well, because no one was there to. She had to fight for control. Breaking her mind into pieces to rip herself away from the burning pain. Nausea and fear. I ended up having to call the crisis line for my therapists office. They talked to me calmly for a while. Explained to me that my hand washing was a form of self-harm. NO SHIT! It’s not like I was doing it on purpose. I didn’t have control. I didn’t have any control.

Every time someone jokes about my OCD as a “clean freak” thing, it hurts. Please, please, PLEASE, do not ask me to clean your house under the pretenses of my OCD. OCD is very scary. Having to live through that fear even for a moment feels like hours. It is physically and emotionally draining.

When I complain about my OCD, it is not funny. I am not making a joke. When I am talking to someone else who has OCD, it is a breath so fresh air and the. Someone walks up and jokes about it, making both of us pull back into ourselves and stop connecting. Even then, some people with OCD do not understand Other types of OCD either.

And those of you that do not actually have OCD, but are just anal about things being clean, please top calling yourself OCD. If you don’t have the constant anxiety and fear and obsessive compulsions running through your head. You. Are. Not. And do not have OCD!

I have an intense fear of losing control. I have a fear of loss and a fear of contamination. These are not things that I can easily explain. I cannot clean my bathroom without gloves on. I cannot touch animal waste. I don’t try to, but I avoid situations that I think might put me in a place where I will be around people and have OCD issues. I feel insane and out of control.

I will not go into all the details of my OCD. If you would like to learn more about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder you can visit the following websites:

http://iocdf.org/about-ocd/
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml

I encourage you all to comment and discuss. If you want clarification, I am happy to talk to anyone about anything I have mentioned in this post.

The Resident Femme

(Read OCD Part 2)

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

#7 Friendship

For most of my life, I have not had many friends. I had a couple here, a few there… But they were always moving in and out of my life for various reasons. I have had more than my fair share of users in my life—people that pretended to be my friends only to stab me in the back later. People like that really make it hard to trust others.

However, if we do not learn to trust, we will not make any friends in life, and friends are important; in my life especially. Without friends, I would not be alive today. A few very important people in my life have helped me to be who I am and where I am today. Without them in my life, I could be a very different person, or possibly not even exist.

I have been lucky in my life. When I needed support the very most, someone came out of the woodwork and was there to help me through some of the hardest times of my life. I may feel alone sometimes, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason.

Friends are in our lives for both us and them. Being a good friend means helping them as much as they help us, sometimes more; and we help each other in different ways. A friend who helps me with rides around gets emotional support and a lunch buddy in return. A friend who offers me times of laughter gets a baby-sitter as payment. A friend who supported me in many ways emotionally gets a patient friend that will always be willing to help in a time of need.

Friendship is a symbiotic relationship. It is about give and take and without both you have a rotting core that will give out eventually.

Eh

I’m not sure where I was going with this. Hope you all find something to be positive about today.

Goodnight.

The Resident Femme

Comments Off on #7 Friendship

Filed under Uncategorized

#6: Mental Illness – Part 2: The difference between “Emo” and Depression

(Read part one here)

As a life-long sufferer of dysthymia (chronic minor depression), I have experienced the phenomenon of being referred to as “emo”. My goal today is to explain the difference between “emo” (emotional) and depression.

These two terms are widely different, almost opposite.

Emo: the act of being overly emotional. Using “heightened” emotions as a possible way to find both positive and negative attention. This sort of behavior CAN stem from depression based on certain problems, but is generally just teen angst.

Being “emo”, one is generally fairly /active/. They—those that are considered “emo”—are fairly forward in their actions and behavior. Everything tends to be a melodramatic, over-exaggeration and over the top reactions. Everything is intensely one thing or another and there is never usually an in between. Everything could be considered a tragedy.

I will repeat: teen angst.

Depression, however, is much more complicated. Depressed is not the same as sad, or emotional. Sad is a specific emotion, and depression consists of … duller? emotions; sometimes a lack of proper emotions at all. There is a huge lack of motivation, energy, hope, etc. . . One is trapped in what seems to be an endless cycle of internal pain, confusion, hopelessness, and sometimes fear.

When people who are depressed “react” things are generally less dramatic, but more helpless. They are not fishing for attention, just feeling hopeless and lost. There are few people whom they will feel motivated to talk to, usually they won’t even let people know of their symptoms. These people tend to be quiet, reserved… And accused of being “emo”.

I speak from experience here, though my words may seem distanced. My depression has basically been my whole life. I didn’t really know that there was more than my lack of “normality”. I was diagnosed with Dysthymia February of 2014. I was sitting in the psychiatrist’s office and he asked me when my last happy memory was.  I couldn’t immediately pull up a happy memory. I sat and thought for a long while and still couldn’t really bring anything up.

Now, let me  go off for just a moment, not everyone understands depression. I have been told by several different people to just “get over” my depression. For some people, as I have mentioned in a previous post, depression hits as a “one off” thing. They have a passing down-ness and can get passed it rather quickly. However, every single person deals with life in a different way.

For one thing, our bodies are built differently. Balances of emotions, hormones, life experiences, and more, help to determine how we can handle our lives. So those that don’t understand the overwhelming control that depression takes over its sufferers should not criticize those that are there.

Now, to return to my story: The psychiatrist asked me several other questions and determined that I have dealt with chronic depression since early childhood. Though I didn’t want them, I was prescribed anti-depressants. My first couple days I felt very strange… I felt like something was wrong with me, and this was wrong.

Even now, if I want to remember something happy from my past, I have to think really hard for several minutes, and even then, the memories are short and vague.

In high school I was a little melodramatic, most of us are. However, I kept mostly to myself. I didn’t have many, if any, friends. Either I did not eat lunch or I ate alone. Typically I either sat in my class or reading in the library. I honestly kept to myself a lot of the time. I tended to wear darker colors because it was easier. Fewer decisions and bright colors got you noticed.

I was not, however, an over-the-top attention-seeker, not intentionally.

Taking this to the next step, I also have PTSD. The symptoms of this caused me to sometimes act out in strange ways, these could appear to some to be attention-seeking behavior. These actions were usually reactions to my anxiety, flashbacks, high stress levels, and trying to find ways to make the internal pain go away.

After I was raped, My behavior got more confusing. Brace yourself, this is where I get “crazy” though I am not supposed to use that word… in the raw sense of the word, at the time, it was true.

My logical self didn’t know how to make sense of what had happened to me. My OCD intensified. I was “dirty”, I was “broken”, I was… those were thought of a self-punishing, PTSD-triggered OCD, Dysthymic, scared woman.

I was alone for the first time, living in a freshman dorm, and for a long time I was “that strange girl” (honestly I have been that girl all through my school career, because I didn’t know why I acted the way I did. I own it now and thrive off of my differences.) It took me overly-long to admit to myself that I wasn’t at fault. Sadly I kept my secret for several months more, wondering why no-one liked me, why I wouldn’t make friends.

One night, a hall-mate burst into my room while I was crying and demanded that I talk to her. Bless her heart. I finally had a support. My story flowed out of me through broken memories that couldn’t have made much sense to her, but she pulled me into her arms, held me while sobs racked my small body. She repeated to me again and again that it wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t broken. I wasn’t dirty. I was strong, and beautiful, and confused. It was the first time I had gotten so much out and I had gotten love in response.

She gave few enough details to others in the hall that she considered close friends, just enough for them to understand why I was so “strange” but not enough for anyone to have any ammo to judge me. I honestly don’t know what she told them, but suddenly I had friends. Over the next few days I was approached by different people insisting that if he ever showed up to the school, they would tear him apart.

For the first time in my life I felt accepted, welcomed, protected, by friends. I think I have gone off on a tangent. The point of all of that was to attempt to give you an insight into how I lived with my depression. Understand that even now: I struggle with my depression every day. I have a combination of both therapy and anti-depressants… but that doesn’t make me weak. Even though I am still fighting my depression, I am not a lesser person I am still fighting. I am strong.

The most important thing to understand: depression is an illness and it cannot change overnight. Those with depression need support and love. Do what you can to try and make their day a brighter one by being supportive. KNOW that they may not have a different attitude that day, but know that they felt your love. I know that it’s a tiring process. Trust me: I know. But do not doubt that they are also tired of being depressed. If we could change at the drop of a hat, we would.

If you yourself, or someone that you know, has issues understanding depression or how depression affects others, and this post did not help, I urge you to read or share part 1 of the mental health series. Thank you.

I encourage you to comment: agree or disagree with me. I will try to explain everything in a scientific way if needed.

Thank you.

(Read part three)

The Resident Femme

*Note: I may not be a medical professional, but I have lived with depression my entire life.

Comments Off on #6: Mental Illness – Part 2: The difference between “Emo” and Depression

Filed under Uncategorized

#5 Mental Illness—Part One

This specific post was originally written in June of 2014.

I am just going to come right out and say it: Everyone has issues. Not everyone’s issues are of the same caliber. Some people only deal with mental illness once in a rare while, maybe it’s a wave of depression, a really anxiously lived day, a random moment of insanity. . . But there are those whose lives are controlled by Mental Illness.

Mental Illness Is not an attempt at attention, and some people deal with similar situations in different ways. Some people take the pain inside and it festers. It turns into a black poison that tears their soul apart. THIS DOES NOT MAKE THEM WEAK! This means that they are dealing with this pain again and again every day until they learn how to work past it. This makes them strong.

It may seem hard for some to realize this; however, I read something on my Facebook yesterday that I would like to share with you all.

“I don’t like the phrase ‘A Cry For Help’. I just don’t like how it sounds. When somebody says to me

‘I’m thinking about suicide, I have a plan; I just need a reason not to do it, ‘ the last thing I see is helplessness.

“I think: Your depression has been beating you up for years. It’s called you ugly, and stupid, and pathetic, and a failure, for so long that you’ve forgotten that it’s wrong. You don’t see any good in yourself, and you don’t have any hope.

”But still, here you are; You’ve come over to me, banged on my door, and said: ‘Hey! Staying alive is REALLY HARD right now! Just give me something to fight with! I don’t care if it’s a stick! Give me a stick and I can stay alive!’

“How is that helpless? I think that’s incredible. You’re like a Marine: trapped for years behind enemy lines, your gun has been taken away, you’re out of ammo, you’re malnourished, and you’ve probably caught some kind of jungle virus that’s making you hallucinate giant spiders.

“And you’re still just going: ‘Give me a stick. I’m NOT dying out here!’

“ ‘A cry for help’ Makes it sound like I’m supposed to take pity on you. But you don’t need my pity. This isn’t pathetic. This is the will to survive. This is how humans lived long enough to become the dominant species.

“With NO hope, running on NOTHING, you’re ready to cut through a hundred miles of hostile jungle with nothing but a stick, if that’s what it takes to get to safety.
“All I’m doing is handing out sticks. You’re the one staying alive.”

I read this and cried. It is a very true thing for most people. It is a constant struggle to feel normal while trying to live with the world around you

I personally have PTSD, OCD, Conversion Disorder, and Dysthymia. I have been living with consistent anxiety and depression: pretty much my whole life.

I have finally gotten to the point where I was able to accept that I needed to seek help and my current agreement with my therapist is that I will not currently discuss what has caused my issues. Yet. I can let people know that I have the issues, but it is not healthy for me to tell anyone details as to why or what happened.

What I will say is that I have three major things that happened to cause the PTSD, things that I need to figure out how to work through so that I am no longer afraid of the world around me. I sometimes feel like it has been forever. I honestly had no real idea what happiness was even supposed to feel like. I was started on anti-depressants and I remember telling a friend: “I feel like I am malfunctioning. I am glitching and I need to be sent in for repairs.” I did not feel like how I knew myself to be for so long. I was finally being pulled out of my depression and being put into a healthier mental cycle and it felt WRONG.

It should never feel WRONG to feel enjoyment in your own life.

For a very long time I believed that I did not matter. Everyone and everything came before my needs. Because of this way of thinking, I became very sick. I was in a situation where I was living in pure anxiety for several weeks on end. I could not eat, I could not sleep, I couldn’t take notice in myself or anything around me. I was close to 130lbs and I lost almost 30lbs in 2-4 weeks. I was had already had stomach issues and could hardly keep anything down, and now I wasn’t eating.

My moods got worse and I continued to fall deeper and deeper into both mental and physical illness. It has been almost a year and I am still working on getting my stomach back to the size it was before. I have to forcefully remind myself that I have to eat at least three meals a day. (I have alarms on my phone for crying out loud!)

I do not know how to explain how my life is to people. I need the medication I am on right now to survive. They are keeping me in a place where I can value myself and not let myself be buried deeper and deeper in other people’s crap.
I was told in sixth grade that my only weakness was that I cared too much about others and not enough about myself. She never saw me as a broken human, she always saw me as a whole, beautiful, human being that was helping people so much I was hurting myself. It took me a long time and many people repeating these same words for me to understand what they meant.

My life is helping others, but if I do not take the time for me first, then I will not survive. I will wither away and die—literally.

Mental Illness is not something to be taken lightly. If you know someone who struggles with any at all: (Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, Schizophrenia, Anorexia, or one of many other mental disorders, etc.) Please be a support to them.

It is a mistake to accuse them of acting out for attention. In most cases, people are not trying to get you to see them, they are trying to follow what their brain is telling them to do. They hurt and they are afraid. Offer love and a kind shoulder. Offer healthy activities and just be a friend. I know that when I had the loss of friends around me, life got a lot worse. I had nowhere to turn, and so when I needed people and support the most… I locked myself away.

Now that I have friends in my life, people that are willing to sit and help me through my downs… I find myself still having issues with reaching out. It was impossible for so long that it is hard for me to ask for help now.

To my friends: Please understand that I am not trying to hurt you if I start to push you away. It is a safety mechanism. I am afraid. I know that I am hurting and that I do not want to end up hurting you with the $#!+ that I am going through. Sometimes it’s for the best to insist on being in my life, on MAKING ME get out of the house and distract me from what I have been dwelling on. ASK  me if I am working on my senses—hell you don’t even need to know what it means! Just know that it is important to my mental health right now. Ask me if I am alright and if I need some time to breath. Ask me to be a friend, because even if I am not reaching out for it… I need friends more than I ever knew I did.

This kind of turned into a strange rant about mental health. I hope that this post helps people understand that mental illness is not an act. LOVE THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE WHO HAVE THESE ISSUES. (Also, do not take possible mean things personally; we learn that to survive, it may be safer to be alone. Usually we do not realize that we are pushing/have pushed people away until it is too late.)

(Read Part 2)

~A Girl on the Edge of the Wild~

AKA
The Resident Femme

Comments Off on #5 Mental Illness—Part One

Filed under Uncategorized

#4: On coming out and being a lesbian in today’s society (In Utah)

Coming out

I first posted this on a different blog in April of 2014. The server for that blog went down and I only recently was able to regain access to the files. I wanted people to be able to gain something from my writing—if possible—so I am reposting it here.  (With a few alterations.)

Coming out is a lifelong process. Once you come out originally, you have to continue to come out again and again: to your family, peers, classmates, new friends, old friends from long ago that you have come across again… The list goes on. And you have to decide if it’s the correct decision to come out or not to your co-workers and at any new job. Do you test the waters with one or two people? Do you keep it all to yourself? Or do you come out to everyone as fast as possible? Honestly, this can depend on where you live and where you work.

It is hard to determine if you will be safe, in your job security and from personal attacks if you do come out.  Will your employers find a way to get rid of you? Will you be attacked on a daily basis? Sometimes taking that risk is worth having at least one person that you can trust at work… and sometimes it is not.

I, personally, find it hard to even establish my sexuality with the current community in which I am living. I look like a straight girl. Guys hit on me and when I tell them I am a lesbian they accuse me of lying. WHY WOULD I LIE ABOUT THAT? (Even now, almost a year after writing this post, even now when marriage is LEGAL in Utah, It is hard to “prove” that I am gay.)

There is so much damn stigma associated with being gay/lesbian/trans etc. Do you think if I could choose that I would have CHOSEN to be a lesbian? My life would be so much easier if I could just CHOOSE. But I can’t. It is biologically impossible for me to change who I am attracted to: I know, I tried. Nothing worked. I was so unhappy with my lift and how “messed up” I must be. Knowing and accepting who I really am helped me to find some happiness in my life.

I am not a lesbian because my father was absent or because something shitty happened in my life. I am not a lesbian because I was raped when I had just turned 18. I have been attracted to females since I was THREE YEARS OLD. I got the biggest crush on another little girl at day care. I fell in-love with my best friend in third grade (my heart shattered when she moved away and I didn’t know why) and another best friend in sixth grade.

It took me until the end of high school to realize that what I had been feeling was attraction to women. I spent a lot of my life trying to understand why boys weren’t that attractive. I would tell people “there’s just no one hot at my school.” while I “admired” the women. I would ignore the shirtless men in movies and on television while enjoying the movies about bad-ass women. I pretended to have crushes on boys that I really didn’t like, just so that my friends would leave me alone… I have been a lesbian my entire life.

My mother figured it out when I was five. I came home from kindergarten and she asked me “were there any cute boys at school?” I answered plainly “No.” so she asked me “were there any cute girls?” to which I turned red and said in embarrassment “MOM!” From this it seems, my mom knew. But it still took me a long time. She decided it was best for me to figure it all out on my own.

Coming out to my mom was the easiest person to come out to, even though it was still very hard. I called her up on the phone while walking across my college campus in the spring (I was attending an all woman’s private University for a while.) and told her as calmly as I could. “Mom, penis’s are gross.” My mom almost pee’d herself laughing at me. My response was “I love you, knew you were gay already hon. I am proud of you and so glad that you have finally gotten to the point where you accept it in yourself and could tell me.”

Coming out to my father was much harder. “Dad, I think I’m gay.” His response? “Honey, I love you, but I feel that if you keep heading in the direction that you are going, you are going to pass up the perfect man.”

-.- Dad, just in case you read this: My perfect man… is a Woman.

I came out to my friends one by one. I lost a few but grew closer to others.

The hardest experience I had while coming out, was to my Aunt. She was someone that I really looked up to. I did not know how to tell her without her cutting me out of her life. I was terrified.

I pulled her into my grandparents front living room. We were alone and no one would over hear. I started slowly “Aunt Jenn, there is something that I need to tell you…” And I burst into tears. Her face showed immediate concern. I tried to take a couple deep breaths and just ended up crying harder. Jenn took me into her arms and rocked me as I let my stress out on her shoulder.

It took several minutes for me to calm down to the point where I could finally tell her what was on my mind. “Aunt Jenn. I’m gay.”

She pulled me back into her arms and held me tight. And then told me that she and my mom (her sister-in-law) had discussed the possibility when I was five. -.- Geez Mom, thanks for letting me know who already knew!

So I came out to—almost—everyone when I was 18, and have continued to come out again and again. I came out to my critical literature class today (April 2014) while doing a presentation on Lesbian, Gay, and Queer theory in class. So many people seemed shocked. Yes, I look like any other woman, I act like any other woman, I am just another woman. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH ME!

I am a lesbian. That does not define who I am. I want to get married and have a family, just like anybody else. It is not something that should be stigmatized and I should not have to come out so much, just to correct assumptions about my life.

**Continued thought.**

So when I share my “Coming out story”, it is never just an “I came out and that was it.” It is an “I came out and I will keep coming out for as long as it takes, again and again until people understand that I am aloud to be different and they shouldn’t make assumptions or judge me about who or what I am.”

To go into more of the critical theory and philosophy of our current society I am going to share a few definitions with you—Within the text—so that you can better understand some of the things I am about to go into. All definitions, unless otherwise stated are according to Critical Theory Today, A User-Friendly Guide by Lois Tyson Second Edition.

Living in Utah causes some interesting issues in the gay community; especially when you live in Utah Valley (aka Mormon Ville). Now, I am not saying that Mormons are bad people—I know some very accepting and loving people that are LDS that are fully accepting of who I am—however there are many people that like to selectively chose their hate and judgmentß this is what I am against. Many Mormons are Heterocentric, they hold the assumption, often unconsciously, that heterosexuality is the universal norm by which everyone’s experience can be understood. (Making the lesbian, gay, and queer experience practically invisible to the general public.) Or basically, they believe that everyone is essentially heterosexual (attracted to the opposite gender.)

Because of the Heterocentric views and teachings of the church—and its followers—the youth grow up in a compulsory heterosexual manner—a weight placed on the youth to be heterosexual, that heterosexuality is the only “correct” way of living. Many of these youth grow into adults that still believe this life-long lie, those that do have homosexual attraction end up with severe cases of internalized homophobia—self-hatred of a homosexual of ones’ own self and similar people. Generally caused by adolescent development in homophobic societies that use religious views as an excuse to belittle or abuse homosexuals.

Utah has a very high rate of homophobia, or A pathological dread of same-sex love—also used to describe anyone who is against homosexual relations with an obsessive view. This homophobia doesn’t just lie in the churches, it is perpetuated in homes where parents teach their children that being different in this way is wrong, in schools—my brother was actually taught in his health class that homosexuality was wrong because they could not procreate. I had a long conversation with him about the different ways that homosexuals could have a family and why those ways weren’t wrong.—, in social groups: in the closet? Well what if your best friends just criticized another homosexual in your community? Now you feel like you need to keep living a lie, like you are wrong in your attraction… This is wrong.

All of this behavior has laid the path for the overwhelming heterosexism in Utah—The institutionalized discrimination against homosexuals and the privileging of heterosexuality that accompanies it. Being a “Right-To-Work” state makes it so that I can be discriminated against at any job that I may acquire. If my employer discovers that I am a lesbian and doesn’t like that, I can get fired and be given NO reason. This is a heterosexist discrimination of the homosexual.

Many of these people are Constructivists. They believe that being homosexual is a response to the environment. A choice. We are products of the environment and our choices. This is a very limited and incorrect view of sexual orientation. The only way that one can “choose” whom they are attracted to(gender) is if they are actually attracted to BOTH genders—effectively bisexual—and decide to date a specific gender at a specific time.

Now, more people should believe as Essentialists: that gay people are biologically gay. They are born and live gay regardless of their environment. Now, this is important for those that believe that gay people raise gay children. As a straight couple, your child was born gay. (S)he lives a gay life and has a same-sex partner. They have children together. There is the same statistical probability of them having a gay child as any straight couple. There is no more likely hood of their children being gay than anyone else in the world. However, it IS more likely that they will be more honest and emotionally healthy in their lives because their parents are more likely to accept the differences and the sexualities of their children. To love them no matter what, without judgment.

These problems aren’t just Utah. These issues are happening all over the world. The fight for equality continues in several states in the US and we become minutely aware of Minoritizing Views (trying to understand gay and lesbian experiences by focusing on their minority status) instead of trying to further Universalizing views (trying to understand homosexual experiences by focusing on the homosexual potential in all people). This is particularly negative as the Minoritizing views lead many people to believe that we are asking for “special treatment” and “extra rights” instead of equal rights.

If more people were universalizing their views , than they could see different scenarios: “What if my child was gay? Wouldn’t I want them to be happy and be able to get married and have a family of their own?”

Now, I know that everything I have said so far has to do with critical theory and my own opinion accentuated by my education; however, being able to be a part of the gay community in Utah has helped me to strengthen my views. I have been at the first two years of Provo Pride. I have gotten to meet others in the community that live varying lives. I have gotten to feel the love and support of the people around me.

I volunteered for Provo Pride last year. I stood at a road block at one end of the park. Throughout the few hours that I was there people stopped and asked what was going on. Again and again I told passersby about pride. Many people were shocked or offended. I would suddenly be ignored or given incredulous or rude looks. But some of these people returned later out of curiosity. Several people learned just what the Utah gay community was like.

We don’t push people away or judge. We welcome with open arms and kindness. One woman commented to a committee member that she was shocked that we were so different than she imagined. We were all just normal people.

That is my whole point here. We shouldn’t be treated differently because we are all essentially the same. We are human beings. We deserve equality and to be treated equally. I should not have to argue the fact that I AM a lesbian. I should not be harassed when I go to gay night at City Limits because I’m “too sexy” to be a lesbian, “too feminine” to be gay, that I look “Too damn straight.”

I am a lesbian, and I am human. I am a strong, beautiful, smart woman that just wants to be able to be myself and not have to face the discrimination and judgment around every corner. Let me be free.

Comments Off on #4: On coming out and being a lesbian in today’s society (In Utah)

Filed under Uncategorized