Sunday, May 2, 2010

That's not very "Lady Like!"

I'm so sorry that it's been such a long time since writing... I can only blame it on myself. It may feel like a lack of time or lack of privacy at home, but in reality it is procrastination, lack of commitment, lack of prioritizing, and fear of being labeled as "selfish" and not putting the family's needs before my own.

While growing up, and pretty much through out my life, I never liked or identified with typical male mannerisms. I just couldn't identify with or feel appropriate with being rough, gruff, burping, farting, being loud or boisterous. I was quiet, reserved, polite, submissive, "lady like." I would notice when something was pointed out as "not being lady-like" or "girls act this way, while boys act that way...," and despite my guilt at succombing to the "devils evil influence" in my feelings, I'd take note of how girls should act and present.

When I learned that guys cross their legs with their ankle on their knee, but girls crossed their legs at their ankles, or at their knees, I started crossing my legs more female like. While serving a Mormon mission in Japan, I learned that "proper women are expected to eat every grain of rice from their bowl and they cannot "scoop" it into their mouths like men can;" I started to eat every grain of rice from the bowl without "scooping." Also, in Japan, when I learned that there were "male" kimonos (called Yukata), I did my best to come up with a couple to wear during leisure time because it was like wearing a dress. (Actually, they're more like wearing a light robe, but in my mind, it felt like wearing a dress because their shape, cut, and style of wearing was similar to kimonos.)

After I married my first wife, I would sometimes, (on rare occasions when no-one was home nor expected home any time soon,) put on one of her skirts, just to experience it. For me it was not erotic or sexual, it would just feel right: normal, nice, pretty!

While in the fundamentalist religion, it was accepted for men to wear long hair; after all, in ancient times they did, including Christ! So I was able to grow my hair long. I loved it so much! I was able to wear it in a pony tail (a "masculine one" of course), and I could wear non-feminine hair things to hold my pony tail... and I could wear it down and wavey (I loved that! I called it my "christ look"), and, when no-one was around, after a shower, I could put it up in pig-tails, or try out some of my wife's hair things.... and even though I had a full beard at the time, it helped me feel, just a little bit, pretty.

Of course, during these times, still believing in my theology, anytime I did feel or entertain thoughts of being girly or pretty, I was simultainously wracked with guilt for giving in to the devil's temptings and I would have to pray to god for deliverance and forgivenenss.

The dichotomy of my life was torturous, confusing, and frustrating! This whole period of my life I kept feeling "God, why have you forsaken me? I am trying my very hardest to overcome these feelings (of what I now understand as dysphoria) and yet you will not relieve me of the temptings or even minimize them for me to allow me to rest!" I wondered if God was abandoning me or if he was testing me to the limits of my strength.