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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 5,379

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I think I should share my story (in the spirit of the season of love)

Hello DU,

I'm a longtime member but kind of retired from actively posting here. I've experienced some life events in which I came to reflect on DU and what it did and does for me. Here goes.

A couple of years ago, while I was mostly at home and on disability because of bipolar disorder type II, I was very sad. Here I was, after trying to work as an engineer, failing repeatedly because of inadequate stress response (fleeing behavior), having found out that I could not even stay working with a firm I had first been a super-volunteer for. It aimed to be a cooperative bank, so you see my Occupy spirit wasn't far. I understood that I had to tackle my behavior (again) because I wouldn't accomplish anything requiring prolonged effort otherwise.

So I saw a psychologist specialized in behavioral therapy and we worked to define the problem and counter it. This involves me understanding the basic mechanism: fear -> avoidance -> negative self-image, and also stepping out of my comfort zone. That comfort zone for someone who is almost always depressed is a place of isolation. I've never felt quite so alone as during the Bush* years and the invasion of Iraq. I would have gone literally crazy if it wasn't for DU, back then. The fact that IN Bush*'s America, DU existed, made me hopeful.

In this process of changing behavior, I also start to listen to music again. And something weird happens. Something deep in me stirs when particular songs trigger me. Songs about freedom, about or by strong women, and about nomads. One day for no reason I can remember, I shop for high heels in a 9 1/2 size. And something peculiar happens again: I'm not too ashamed or fearful to tell my wife. On a side note: It's only because my wife and I had some great marriage counseling that we finally learned to speak from "inner child" to "inner child", or from vulnerable soul to vulnerable soul. Anyway, our sex life changes for the good in a big way.

I do not know nor care what exactly I'm to be called. I feel like a man and/or a woman at the same time. I've put "fluid" on my Twitter profile. I think without reading DU and the progress of non-binary and transgender people like Danica Roem, I would not have dared to come forward and speak up.

In this process, I've started to sing. Now I want to be on a stage and want to play with stage personas. I go and tell my parents. They react negatively, my mom very strongly so. I wither the storm, helped by a call from my wife. And now, finally, 3 years after the first major conflict with my father, the bond with my mother is normalized / cut to an appropriate degree. These conflicts have to happen for the identity to be fully formed.

So, hello again DU. I'm 44 and just out of puberty. And I could not have done it without you, I think.

Thank you, and may the spirits be with you.
Posted by BelgianMadCow | Wed Dec 27, 2017, 06:29 PM (48 replies)
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