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#238264 - 07/15/08 11:36 AM Trouble with Gender
LW1527 Offline

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
I never told anyone this. This is one of the shames I carry with me. It hit me last night, "What about mom?" One of my MS Brothers mentioned several days ago to take a look at good old mom that there should be issues there too. Okay, so she was cold, removed, unemotional, but then it hit me. Dad was the dispenser of punishment and sexual abuse, but my mom was the dispenser of shame and guilt. I don't understand it much, but she and my older sister would always make me feel guilty and shameful because I didn't love my dad.

But my mom also hated men to the point she did what she could to de-masculine me. When I was little, she dressed me in girl clothes when I was really young, up to about seven, and she didn't think there was anything wrong with it. This only happened when good old dad was over seas, which was a lot.

I remember being very confused by the time I was in first or second grade. I didn't know what gender I was, but it was pretty obvious that I was born a boy. I was beat up at school a lot when I was elementary school. I had an old tv in my bedroom that I would watch at night when I went to bed. I would study how men would walk and talk and act hoping that would help. I guess it did. Even when I was a teenager, I still struggled wondering what gender I really was. Pretty gross, I know.

I figured out last night that being abused by my dad made me not want to be a man because men did bad things. My mother's insistance that I not be a man, made gender identity a struggle. I felt shame to be a boy. When my dad would come home from over seas and see that I was acting like a girl, he would beat me some more because I shamed him.

I no longer have this problem, but it is still part of this secret and shame that I keep. I felt like I was the shame, although we know that wasn't correct, right? Later in my teens, when I got my act together gender wise, I went off with other boys and men in experimental sex. We weren't gay, just sexually free. It didn't make much difference who I slept around with. The problem then was that I was stuck between being a girl and being a boy. Being stuck is awful.

I do pretty good now, and no one would suspect because I keep watch over how I talk and behave. I do the typical man stuff, sports, camping, outdoors, building stuff, but even now, a day doesn't go by that I don't feel like I ever got fully into manhood. I just sort of act like a man instead of feel like one.

I feel robbed of being a real man. I still feel stuck being somewhere around 13 and I don't know if I'll ever grow up. I want to very much.

#238308 - 07/15/08 04:35 PM Re: Trouble with Gender [Re: LW1527]
Sans Logos Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5796
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
lw, boy do i ever relate to your situation. i was born the second of the same gender in a family of 6 boys and two girls. my older brother who molested me came first, and my mother was tickled with that, but wanted a girl next. then she got me. she likewise dressed me in girls clothes just 'for fun'. (are we having fun yet?) then my sister was born after me, and i was dropped like a hot potato for the real thing. i felt lost in between the first born son who was worshiped and the first born daughter who was adored.

well that's all water under the dam or over the bridge or however that saying goes. i have worked thru that and accept myself as simply me without apology.

now for the soapbox:

as i age, and having worked thru many of the cultures 'maleness' projections, i came to realize a long time ago that the measure of american man is over rated. he is definitely not a character that i strive to live up/down to. because the truth is, all the pictures that lived in my head contrasting me against the ideal failed to paint a picture of a human with depth and breadth, and real substance. we are all flawed, even those that seem to 'fit the bill' for uber maleness.

this dualist perspective fails to recognize and honor the amount of variation along the continuum between the polarities of ulta female and ultra male characteristics. and these, like other celebrated dualisms such as big/small genitals, macho/wimp, et al, stand in stark contrast to the other end of the spectrum held up in movies and stories as characteristics to be ridiculed. where do we learn to inculcate these faulty one-sided narratives in our own value system, these stories that we keep repeating to ourselves day in and day out as gospel truth? they are imported in verbal and non-verbal catechetical style, in churches, schools, playgrounds, bars, community clubhouses, and families!? it exists to keep supporting and regenerating ideas about our identity which, sadly, we bought into years ago when we were powerless to make such important determinations on our own, before we were duped into thinking that we were not intelligent enough, adult enough, grown up enough, worthy enough to reach meaningful conclusion ourselves. we were all branded with the same iron and herded off to the same pasture where 'only the strong survive'.

what makes 'strong' strong? its ability to overpower? it's capacity too loom larger than life like a goliath towering above the heads of us mere men-wannabee's?

look at men over 60: all that striving and what they get? old and useless and eventually put out to pasture in this culture that demands so much fabricated maleness of its youth. look at how we are made to suffer because in the mind we have not risen to the benchmark level: all the john waynes, the john pauls the johnny wiessmillers and all the rest.

jeez, this sounds cynical, but i ask, what does all this have to do with being a male survivor? in the fertile soil of recovery i have learned to say no to all the impositions that raped me body, soul, mind and emotions along this life path. all the people, places and things that tried to make me over into some autonomoton that would live to serve their will and pleasure; live up or down to the version of 'me' that lived as a thought generated in their minds.

yes, i have become cocky with my average height, goofy looks, average gentials, ambiguous gender, non-affiliated political position. yet in this recovery of my heart mind soul and spirit, i have never felt more fully hu-man, never more whole and in balance with all i was created to be in this fleshly frock.

by ceasing to invest my self-currency in all that has been decreed, i've transcended all the expectations and have become simply at peace with what i am at this point of my life.

i could die now without regret.

ok, down soap box.

i don't know exactly what all i said has to do with your post, but that's my story and i'm sticking to it! \:D

your bother in recovery, [yea, i made a typo and i kinda like it that way]


Ron Schulz, MSPC, NCC

#238314 - 07/15/08 04:53 PM Re: Trouble with Gender [Re: Sans Logos]
LW1527 Offline

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
First, you are not a "bother", but a good and wise "brother". Thanks for your thoughts. I was glad to see you responded. I feel very exposed because of my remarks and hope that it doesn't repulse anyone here. Thanks, Ron.

***Lance W.

#238350 - 07/15/08 08:56 PM Re: Trouble with Gender [Re: LW1527]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA

You didn't say anything that would make me respect you less. In fact I respect you more as I get to know you through your postings.

I had some gender complications also, perhaps not as troublesome as yours. My mother was the "queen" in her family until she was 6 1/2 years old. Even though they didn't have much she got a lot of attention from her parents. Then her brother was born and, as she reported it to me, all the attention went to him. This made her a dethroned queen.

Mother's family (my grandparents)lived next to a sociopath who would openly beat his own children. He had 6 boys and one girl. The youngest boy was the "victim" of the family. They would all beat him. That father was beating him out in front of their house one day, and my grandmother yelled out from the porch: "Mr. Myer, you'd better quit beating that boy or I'm going to call the police." It takes a lot of courage to confront a sociopath. They will get revenge. They have the conscience of a 3-yr-old. Mr. Myer also had a single daughter. According to mother, the daughter was totally scared and would cower in the corner. She probably had been CSA by her father.

When my grandmother had their second child, the boy George, my uncle, my mother was "cared for" for several days by the Myers family. He must have raped my mother during that time and possibly on other occasions. This resulted in my mother becoming quite paranoid. She may have had DID. She also felt as though she was the deposed queen. This is a bad combination: A paranoid, deposed narcissistic queen.

When my mother then gave birth to my sister, my sister had to be made the princess that my mother thought she should have been. So my mother showered upon my sister every possible favor. She had a closet full of gorgeous clothes. At the same time I was more or less ignored. My sister's birthdays were celebrated with parties and cake and ice cream and lots of presents. My birthday (I was 3 years younger than she was) was celebrated with a single cake and a single present and no party. Mother subconsciously was trying to even the balance. Her brother had been given everything and she was given nothing (in her own eyes). Now she was going to reverse the order for my sister and me. So my sister was treated like a queen and I was the pauper. Actually I'm glad I didn't have a whole lot.

Mother was also afraid of men and so she leaned over backwards to impress me with the need to be very polite and accomodating towards women. I was given lots of instructions. She even mentioned several times about the English guy who threw his coat down in the gutter so that the Lady wouldn't have to step in a puddle. That was to be my role model. I think that her treatment of me could have emasculated me but somehow it didn't. It may be that she entertained a duality. She may have been attracted to my budding masculinity while at the same time wanting to put it down. She would put me down in front of dinner guests. Then, as I entered my teen years she saw all these deficits in my personality and she would taunt me: "Why don't you become a real boy. I fantacized the signiture logo you LW1527 have at the bottom of your post:
Quote: "To become a real boy, you must prove yourself, brave, truthful, and unselfish." Pinnochio

Then on top of that came all of the abuse I experienced outside of the home. I don't know how it all worked out this way, but mother was always the one who was behind the circumstances in which I was abused outside of the home. When I was abused at 4, she had sent me down the road to borrow a cup of sugar. When I was 5, she retired to bed, leaving me alone with my abusive grandfather. When I was 6, she was at home while I was being abused by older boys after school. When I was 10, her lady friends were having a party for her and I couldn't go in the house. When I was 12, she got me into the boy scouts and left me at the camp where I was terrably abused. Etc, etc. I don't think any of this was intentional. It was "circumstantial".

Meanwhile, my father was struggling with abuse which he experienced as a boy from my grandfather. So my father had a strong duality about his own sexuality. So father wasn't a strong role model for me. In many ways he was a negative role model.

I was abused outside of the home by men and boys. So there I was. I hated myself because of the abuse. I hated women because of my mother and also because of women school teachers who hated boys. I couldn't be like my father. I was abused by other boys. So who could I be? It has taken me years to sort it out.

This is more than enough for now.


Edited by pufferfish (07/15/08 09:09 PM)

#238355 - 07/15/08 09:14 PM Re: Trouble with Gender [Re: pufferfish]
LW1527 Offline

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
Yeah, I think it would take awhile to get through it. There are layers. Every day I find more layers, like it will never end type of layers. Thanks for the update, Puffer and thanks for sharing.

- Lance W.

#238367 - 07/15/08 10:28 PM Re: Trouble with Gender [Re: LW1527]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2709
Loc: durham, north england
Just to put my own point in here, and to say i'm not repulsed in the least.

It might be growing up in a family that wasn't overly genda conscious, ---- or just reading and watching programs fairly omniovrously, including Victorian romantic literature when i was nine and ten, especially with a father who was a nurse, but I never had a particularly strong masculinity complex anyway.

My boarding school was so small, that there was probably much more interaction betwene kids of both gendas than normal, and some of my best friends were girls, ---- I even fell very seriously in love at age nine.

As a teenager, I felt apart from everyone else, boys and girls included. everything everyone else was interested in was superficial, from football to hair styles, and beeing very seriously bullied and abused including virtual gang rape by a bunch of girls on a weekly basis by the time I got to be 15 probably didn't helpp.

Now, i literally considder myself an androgine, though I know anatomically I'm male and interested in girls.

People tell me that I come across as fairly neutral and actually treat people of both gendas the same. Physically, i'm fairly male looking, though for a long while I did have a pony tale, and I ware fairly none de>


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