Medication Blues

O

GOD.

MY

MEDICATIONSpill-bottles-4

ARE

NOT WORKING.

I

WILL

GO

MAD

WITH

SAD.

I’M

EXHAUSTED.

I

HAVE

LOST

MY

MARBLES

AND

MY

BALANCE.

PEOPLE

ARE

PICKING

ME

OFF

THE

FLOOR.

MY

BRAIN

IS

LAYING

BESIDE

MY

BODY.

EVERYONE

STARES.

 

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The Burden of Lifespan Integration

I believe in the neuro-plasticity of the brain. I believe that what was hardwired as a child can be rewired as an adult. I understand that one of the premises of Lifespan Integration (LI) is that many of us get stuck in certain behaviors and modes of thinking that served us well as children, but are no longer useful or healthy as adults in our relating to others. Therefore, LI can be used to show people who are open to this form of therapy that they are no longer stuck in their circumstances as a child, but in fact they have grown up and new ways of responding, being and doing are accessible and lead to life instead of a powerless existence. Well and good.

Sometimes belief in something does not necessarily turn into reality. For instance, I have been participating in LI with my therapist as my coach for nearly 4 years. At times I have felt this was very successful at alleviating tanger abandonmenthe horror of some childhood memories. Today, however, I felt mired in my own fear and even my time-line, which is a vital part of the LI process, betrayed me. Every memory that was the timeline cue for the passage of time, became infused with fear and anger toward the person who had wronged me. I don’t recall ever having this person’s approval for anything I have ever done and yet I was so terrified of being abandoned that I made it my aim in life to continue to seek her approval. For some reason this felt like a double bind today instead of being released from the grip of fear that has made me feel that my one responsibility in my life is to make everyone around me happy (or at least happy with me). I have never tolerated not being liked, and when hurtful accusations are made against me, I just want to curl up into a ball of self-protection.

I believe in God. I believe that He will restore the human spirit and everything on this planet. He will recreate Eden in all its glory and humans will thrive in His light and life. Then, there will be no fear, no anger, no crying and no need for bearing the tremendous weight of responsibility that comes with seeking approval of all people and avoidance of unpleasant encounters with them. Even now, I have an understanding that I can trust God to turn my fear of man into a respectful fear of Him-one that empowers instead of belittles, one that gives life instead of death. But I am not there yet. I have not broken free from the chains that keep me locked away in a child’s mind. I don’t know if LI can help me this time. I only know that I am dying one breath at a time, ever since I had the wind knocked out of me as a kid. imagesCA6PF50C

Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction (SSA)

SSA bookJanelle Hallman

Earlier today, I checked out a lot of blogs whose main topic was bisexuality. I was looking to see if I could find anyone out there who is bisexual, like me, but whose identity in life is so much more than that. I didn’t find a single one. I feel like Charlie Brown when he shouted from the stage during the Christmas pageant, “IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE WHO CAN TELL ME THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS?”

Let’s keep this simple. Our lives do not consist of mere labels. Or if it does, being bisexual is not the umbrella over which all other labels are covered. First we are infants, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends, etc. At some point we begin to realize our sexual orientation, whether or not we have chosen it for ourselves. Somewhere along the way, we simply realized that we felt attracted to either the opposite sex, same sex, or both sexes. I am just beginning to learn about all the other gendered possibilities. What I’m saying is that there is so much emphasis on one’s sexuality that it seems it is the only thing that matters. We do eventually go on to find stable, and I hope, monogamous relationships. Children may be born from these and the cycle begins again. Then we become grandparents, great grandparents until we run the course of our lives and return to the earth.

We are all gendered beings and we are all sexual. Our sexuality can be a rich and rewarding part of who we are and how we express ourselves in our relationships. Personally, I believe that the expression of sex in a monogamous relationship can be a very good and spiritual experience. If sexual expression is offered for the pleasure and well-being of the other person in the relationship, and desert hopein a non-selfish manner, it can serve to solidify the relationship and bring true joy and contentment.

Enter, my belief in God, Creator of all that is. I am not asking that you embrace my personal belief, but please note my struggle. I desert growthrefuse to believe that there isn’t another person out there in the world of blogging who doesn’t have this same conflict. When God first created the world, IT WAS PERFECT. He created two genders–male and female. PERFECT. He gave them the command to reproduce. PERFECT. Then evil entered the picture. God did not create evil. He created angels and the highest of His angels decided he wanted God’s place. God cast Him out of heaven altogether. Some of you don’t even believe in Satan, though you have no trouble believing in evil. Where do you think it came from? To make this short, Satan was able to manipulate both the man and the woman to sin. They agreed with him that much more could be gained if they began thinking of themselves as gods, rather than God Himself. As they say, the rest is history. We are all products of a fallen earth, a fallen nature and the result of all of this is total chaos and confusion which crosses over into every aspect of our lives–yes, even into our sexuality.

It wasn’t until I ended my marriage of 26 years, to a man, that I began learning the reasons for my sexual confusion and my attraction to females. I consulted the internet for books on same-sex attraction with a Christian bias and was delighted to find Janelle Hallman’s book, titled The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction. I devoured that book like I had been deprived of all food and water for all of my life. I may have mentioned this in another post, but I mention it again for those who may have missed it before. Reading this book and then following up with a therapist was the best thing that I could have done. Make no mistake. I still struggle as there have been some very engrained patterns of self-protection. However, my therapist is helping me work on these one week at a time.

 So, with regard to the same-sex attraction. Did I ask for this? No. Do I blame God? No. Do I have a choice? Yes. I choose to believe that I am still made in God’s image and though I am broken and bear labels I do not want, I can purpose to know God intimately and seek His highest good for my life in spite of my limitations. I can help others who have this same problem, by offering hope and a future that though life will be difficult to live here on earth, it will be so much more rewarding when Christ returns for His own, or when He calls me home–whichever happens first.

We are not told how many days, weeks, months or years we have on this earth. Maybe 70+ at the most. What is that compared to all eternity? Do you want to spend it as an activist for a label that will turn to dust in your coffin or will you live to the fullest and seek what is healthy for all of your person–your mind, your body, your spirit and soul?

I encourage you to visit Janelle Hallman’s website and her organization: Desert Hope Ministries. They can be found at: www.janellehallman.com. If you live in the Seattle area and desire a therapist who has been trained in Janelle’s program for helping women who experience unwanted same-sex attraction, I would love to share mine with you. You can contact Lisa on her website: www.wilkinsoncounseling.com.

Maslow and My Needs

imagesCAPF6FH5My therapist and I talked about my needs today at our session. We have talked about this before. I am familiar with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and can easily point to where I stand on the pyramid. I’m at the bottom. In fact, scraping the dirt.

I breathe, I drink water, I eat (too much), and I live alone (under a roof). The rest of the pyramid is frosting on my unfrosted cake. In other words, I have a lot of unfulfilled needs. To complicate matters, I am a Christian and I know that Christ wants me to realize a greater identity in Him. In Him, my needs are fulfilled. In Him I have peace. In Him I have redemption for my sins. In Him I have security. In Him I have unconditional love. That is a whole lot more than what a lot of other people have. So, if I have God, the Creator of the Universe, the one who breathed His very breath into me, what could I possibly lack?

So, here is my homework for next Friday. My therapist wrote on a piece of paper, “When all my needs are met, I am able to glorify and enjoy God, myself, and others.” She wants me to pray about that, pray that God will show me Himself and that I can honestly talk to Him about my needs and get some answers from Him. I have everything but I feel like I have nothing. Does that make sense?!

So, now, I’m appealing to you, my fellow-bloggers, to help me with this assignment. I know what Maslow says about what I need. I need to know what God says I need. Do you know what I need? (Besides a swift kick in the butt?)

The End of Therapy (How do you feel about that?)

imagesCA5XFSRUAllow me to make this clear at the outset. What I have put in the lines below are not necessarily a reflection of my own experience with therapy. I happen to admire my therapist a great deal. She is a godly woman and I do believe she genuinely cares for my soul. But some of my frustrations with the therapeutic process do come out in these verses. No doubt, those of you who are in therapy or have spent a good deal of time with a therapist, will see your own feelings here as well.

Cast me aside.

Can you do that with a straight face?

Do your years of training prepare you to discard so easily what you took in so warmly?

How do you feel about that?

I was reeled in little by little to keep me from fighting, to prevent me from snapping the line.

But the hook is still in my belly.

I will bleed to death slowly until I die.

How does that make you feel?

You caught me but I am of no good to anyone.

My insides are torn and bloodied, though you tried to heal me.

You didn’t heal me at the source. You couldn’t risk being pierced by my hook.

Tell me more about that.

Does my brokenness remind you of your own?

Does my sexuality arouse in you what you fear in your own?

Does my depression drag you down your own slippery slope?

Would you like to talk about that?

You want me to be honest with you. Well, I am.

You may be the therapist, and I the client.

But this is how I feel. Abandoned to die.

Can we take a moment to breathe, then address this issue, please?

I came to you looking for answers, and you gave me some.

We are still working at finding the others, and sometimes the questions, too.

But I feel as though you have packed up the equipment and thrown away the bait.

Are you feeling this, too?

Will you really leave me on the shore to die?

Will you teach me to take oxygen into my lungs, when I crave water to quench my thirst?

Is it against the rules of professional ethics to love beyond a specified limit, to care for only so long?

This must be very difficult for you.

This is what I wish. I wish you were as honest with me as you want me to be with you.

Instead of not answering my emails, I want you to tell me that you will not answer them.

Tell me that you are uncomfortable with my dependency and you want me to stop.

Tell me the truth.

I also wish you were not afraid to touch me.

My need for touch is not the same as my need for sexual intimacy.

You used to touch me occasionally, reassuringly. Now you don’t touch me at all.

Will you tell me the reason for this?

I am a child who is not yet weaned.

I have a mother who despised me and despised the womb that bore me.

Will you also abandon me before I am ready to fly?

Would you please answer why?

Of course I will see you next week at the regular time.

We will both pretend that all is well, that progress is being made.

But one day I will stop coming because I will have bled to death.

The hook that neither of us could talk about will finally have had it’s way.

I can’t tell you how awful that makes me feel.

How do you feel about that?

How does that make you feel?

Tell me more about that.

Would you like to talk about that?

Can we take a moment to breathe, then address this issue, please?

Are you feeling this, too?

This must be very difficult for you.

Tell me the truth.

Will you tell me the reason for this?

Would you please answer why?

I can’t tell you how awful that makes me feel.

Excuse me, but do therapists realize that we are actually human, like they are?