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This topic is currently very sensitive to me. With my dear friend’s recent suicide, I believe this contributed to her depression. Therefore I feel the need to reiterate. The path to happiness, the quest out of depression, is personal.

No two people will find their peace in life in the same manner.

For some, it will be religion, for others, it will be family, or friends, or finding their passion and embracing it with open arms. It will be similar for many people, but two families are not alike, two friends are not twins. As people are so vastly different, so must their journeys be.

This means that you cannot force your path to happiness on anyone else. You cannot tell them that the only way to happiness is “blank”. It is simply not true, and sometimes it can even make things worse for others.

I will say that those of religion are often the biggest offenders in this matter. I believe that it is because religion gives many people such a sense of peace that they do not see how it cannot give others even a small piece of it. The path to happiness through God or through religion is often so dramatic, so instant compared to the others, that it is easy to see why one would believe that it is indeed the best path.

And while I will not go into the folly of an absolute religion, those who tout theirs must realize that many people find their happiness in other religions, in other methods. There are people who found their happiness through Christianity. Some through Judaism, Buddhism, even Atheism. Some found their happiness through their family, some through their best friend or lover. Some have even found it in solitude, in passions such as acting, running, or painting.

The paths to happiness are as varied as the people seeking them. Always remember to keep that in mind when helping others on their quest. You cannot force them onto your quest.

Continued from “Camping Trip“. I said I would put it in a separate post.

I realized something while talking to two of my guy friends.

I keep to myself about certain things- mostly those things that a lot of people find easier to talk about with friends. For example? I do not share my beliefs with my friends as a general rule. This came up because we were talking about one of my guy friends is the most faithful person in the group, and it came up that well, I have never shared in any real detail, what I have faith in.

And I kind of refused to explain it to them. Not in a rude way, but I explained that I don’t talk about such things with a lot of people. I may have offended my ‘faithful’ guy friend, however. He didn’t push too much, but he said “well I’m not just anyone” or something to that effect. Whether he actually was or not, I don’t know, it’s hard to tell with him. Either way, I can understand it. He’s the faithful/religious member of our ‘group’, I am [or to him, I claim to be] much the same. [Though I see it as more spiritual than religious, but we’ll not get into the details of the difference.] And I am pretty much refusing and avoiding telling him about my beliefs.

It shows a lack of trust, which is obvious. Though the why isn’t. There is a long story and a better explanation in some of my previous posts, but the short of it is that I have been mocked because of my faith. So, since I consider it personal regardless, why bother sharing it with others?

Especially since my friend, as much as I care for him, is prone to being judgmental himself. He also mocks me [in a friendly, joking way] often, and I have become quite convinced that he [in addition to my other friend, the two are roommates], has a very specific idea of who I am, and it is not who I think I am. I act rather playful, ditzy and oblivious. I don’t often show them much of who I am for two reasons:

The first is they tend to like to talk. And talk, and talk. Right over my own quiet voice. And of course, they’re always right, and fairly sure of it, as well. The second is because they continue to make comments that confirm what I believe: that their idea of who I am is already quite firm. Apparently, I am easily distracted by shiny things and immature. Most of this came about from our first campaign in D&D, where that was the character I played. Now they seem to transpose this on me. So I feel the need to continue this charade.

A third, which may seem a bit silly to some, is I do not hug them. I don’t know why it ended up this way, but the truth is, I do not hug them, I often times even feel awkward about it. I feel awkward wanting to give a hug, and I also feel awkward not hugging them. It’s fairly essential in many of my friendships and I don’t know where it got cut off in my friendships with either of them.

No, just busy. There is a few updates to follow through here.

First off I have, it seems, somewhat gotten back together with my ex-boyfriend. Long story there, but we’re sort of trying it casual. Or we were supposed to. It hasn’t really worked out that way. Due to his family life, he doesn’t want to spend time with them, instead, he spends time with me. Not his other friends, and this is because he only has a few at the moment. I need to get him to hang out with his other friends, because I have little time when for writing when he is here.

There are a lot of reasons for this, but the basics are: I do think it’s rude of me to be writing when I have someone over, and I do not trust him not to get upset by what I write. Especially when it comes to this blog, and obviously, that does not lead to a happy person. Being worried about what you’re writing is making people upset. Having to try and hide the computer screen. It’s definitely not something I like doing.

I definitely need to talk to him about this. I am so stressed when I am wanting to write and he is around, and I feel guilty, and concerned and agitated. When he is around in general, to be honest.

So, secondly, there was another boy who I was sort of dating, and he too has become more stressful than fun. Texting and at time almost nagging to hang out, or chat.

And a third person who is more often stressful than fun for many of the same reasons.

My issue is figuring out whether it’s because I’m introverted (and therefore I am more relaxed when by myself) that they’re stressing me out with their presence, or if it’s because they’re simply too dependent. Or if it’s a mix of both. I’m simply unsure.

My interactions with people, I will freely admit, have always been a bit messed up. It got significantly worse when I went through inpatient treatment.

Why would an inpatient treatment center give me such issues? Well, sadly, it is because I was mocked.  For many different things, most of which stem from expressing myself.

I’m sure that the counselors were well intentioned and did not mean to mock me, but the patronizing tone they took when I said I was bisexual [and having it “explained” to me that I was not bisexual, but ‘try-sexual’] was liking not meant to be harmful, but his honest belief.

The mocking, chuckling disbelief when I explained that I believe in reincarnation [in a center filled largely with Christians, or at the very least, of the Abrahamic religions]. The constant questioning of my spiritual beliefs and the constant push towards a more ‘acceptable’ religious viewpoint. The constant opinion that I won’t be happy until I join the religion that my parents belong to. [Despite that it has caused me endless grief and sadness.]

The constant shaming of anyone who was different.

I understand that it is because of the program. That because many of the people who went through it were drug addicts, or otherwise genuinely troubled in such a way that the ‘tough love’ method worked.

I was not one of these people. I came into the program where my biggest issue was low self-esteem and depression.

I do believe that this affected how I interacted with people. For example, I was always shy, but until then, I had never had a panic attack due to social situations. Now people scare me. While before it was largely more crowds than anything else [being trampled, to be exact]. Now I become fearful in many social situations.

I’ll explain more later, perhaps. Once I’ve had time to think of it.

For those who don’t know, circumstances have dictated that I live with my parents. At 22, it’s a bit odd, but with my mood disorders, it is hard to hold a high-paying job as usually these high-paying jobs are stressful. Due to some not too happy life incidents I have debt and such which makes it hard to move out. Not impossible, but with a strong desire to finish college and get a Ph.D. without getting a student loan, it isn’t easy.

So I live with my parents. Not the worst situation, however I have begun to find it more stressful to live with them than not. Let me explain.

One of my biggest problems with friends and with relationships has been with fear of people not accepting me. It hit me very hard today that this is because of my family. While they are not overly condescending, abusive or hateful, there is a distinct lack of acceptance. I do think part of it is because they don’t understand, but there is, again, more to it than that.

This came up because I was having a conversation with my dad. While I do bring up topics that him and I don’t agree on*, I don’t always feel looked down on when I express my opinion with these sorts of things. Well, mostly.

However, during this conversation, he mentioned that I should either “filter my facebook or de-friend him”. I didn’t know what he was talking about, so I asked him why. He said that there were things on there that he thought were offensive/inappropriate and that he didn’t want to see.

I just kind of ‘hmm’ed because I didn’t know what he could be talking about. Well, I later checked my facebook. The only things I post on facebook that could be deemed ‘offensive’ or ‘inappropriate’ are gay-rights and women’s-rights articles.

Now I know it’s not the women’s rights articles (or most of them) that he has an issue with.

It’s the gay-rights stuff.

I am a bisexual woman. I am just as likely (if not more likely due to personal preference), to marry a woman.

My dad has issues with me having the same rights with a woman as with a man.

No, I don’t think he sees it that way. He doesn’t believe that I am bisexual. He never has. It does not help that the psychologist that was assigned to my case while in in-patient treatment while I was 16-17 directly told me that I am not bisexual, but rather try-sexual. As in, “you’ll try anything once”!

Yes, my psychologist told me that when I came out to my family.

My psychologist blatantly and insensitively disregarded my feelings and sexuality when I ‘came out’.

And my parents, I believe, have continued with that belief. I have since had issues telling people about my sexuality as well as getting into relationships with women (because I am afraid of my family finding out and ostracizing me for it or otherwise making me feel worthless for it). I like women, emotionally, more than men, but I am afraid to enter into a relationship with a woman. I have dating bi women, and despite that we are still friends, it was never serious. Any woman who I might enter into a serious relationship with I have not pursued for fear.

I have slowly been opening up to people about my sexuality, but it has been tough.

I had a friend who introduced me (without my consent) to a girl as bisexual, where upon she told me not to have a crush on her because she wasn’t into girls.

My ex-boyfriend had trust issues because he was afraid that I’d leave him for a woman.

I’ve had lesbians say they would never date a bisexual woman.

I’ve been told that I just say that to get guys’ attention.

I have had my sexuality disregarded by many people. My parents included.

I am afraid of what will happen when they realize that I really am bisexual. I do not suspect anything abusive, but I may be kicked out. After all, when they found out that I was sexually active, they sent me to an inpatient treatment center for 17 months and we moved to a different state.

So I am going to be saving my money, paying off my debt, and moving out as soon as possible. Then when I ‘come out’ to them again, I won’t have to worry about ending up with no place to live.

 

 

 

 

*(in this case the whole debate about making religious employers cover hormone contraceptive pill, which is largely because it would effect me, as a sufferer of PCOS who medicates with birth control in order to have the chance to have kids someday)

Male or Female?

Male or Female?

Alright, so this blog is also partially, to contain some philosophical and social thoughts. Especially as they pertain to myself and my emotional and mental health.

One of these topics is gender binary, and to a lesser extent, sexuality.

Let’s start out with one thing: I am a bisexual, gender-neutral ‘female’. Thought perhaps ‘pansexual’ would be a better term, but I prefer the sound of ‘bisexual’. Anyways, let me explain.

I was born with female parts and have no desire or belief that I should have otherwise, therefore I am female.

However, I find the idea that my ‘gender’ is defined by what’s between my legs to be laughable. While I usually tend to refer to myself as female in public, I also do not find it odd to call myself a ‘gentleman’ or a ‘boy’ either. We’ll come back to gender in a moment.

And bisexual means I like both ladies and gentlemen. As I said, pansexual is likely the proper term, as I don’t care if they are transgender, transsexual or genderqueer.  As I find gender silly and sex to be a personal matter, I don’t think of it as more than ‘ladies and gentlemen’. I prefer to call my friends either ‘my friendlies’ or ‘my lovelies’, and prefer the neutral term of endearment there.

So, there is the background. Very good. Now, Gender binary is the idea that there are simply two genders: male and female. It often accompanies the idea that your gender and your sex and one and the same.

Women have vaginas and like to go shopping and wear pink.

Men have penises and like to go hunting and wear whatever is clean enough.

The idea of gender binary never made sense to me, even as a child. My best friend in kindergarten was a boy who would play barbies with me and we’d dress up together and then go catch snakes and play in the mud. You could say that it’s just that we were children and such, but I still like dressing up and catching snakes.

‘Boy’ and ‘Girl’ were just words, though I learned that certain actions were considered ‘manly’ while others were considered ‘womanly’. As I grew older and became more aware of my sexuality, the idea of gender identity also began to come and I realized… If I were to be so black and white as to list my own activities and attributes under ‘male’ and ‘female’, I would come up pretty evenly matched (often times leaning more towards ‘male’).

Again, as I do indeed identify as female sexually, I was a bit confused by this. Instead of dwelling on it, I ignored it and decided it really didn’t matter.

So ever since I’ve defined myself as gender neutral, without gender, or both genders, because my identity is not determined by the plumbing. I will also note that I have only recently actively sought out the gender-neutral world, and I still tend towards there being only two genders and two sexes. I know this is not true.

I won’t go on trying to convince people to agree with me on that, so I’m going to finally arrive at what brought on this rumination.

The idea that women need to be ‘pretty’ and not ‘slutty’ and all the implications therein. My friend recently linked to and discussed the article ‘The Death of Pretty’; the idea behind the article is that women are no longer striving to be pretty, but rather to be ‘hot’, and the author distinctly identifies ‘pretty’ as portraying innocence and beauty, while ‘hot’ is portraying yourself as a sexual object.

My friend (or more accurately, my friend’s sister, who posted This Article in response), covers the innate wrongness of the articles assumption that your worth as a woman is determined by how you are viewed by men, and she states that beauty is more your strength of character than your physical representation. Which is something I wholeheartedly agree with.

The problem is, and I’ll say it straight out: I am a slut, a whore and a sinner. I like sex, I like tight clothes, lowcut shirts and miniskirts. And I don’t see anything wrong with that. Yes, I understand that some people may see me as a sexual object when I dress and act in such a manner, but we, as humans, are sexual beings. I have a bundle of nerves between my legs that serves no other purpose than sexual pleasure. Whether your believe in creation or evolution, we were designed to enjoy sex. It’s as simple as that, really.

So the idea that my sexuality is anything but my own business is a little insulting, really. I was given these parts, and I have the knowledge to use them. I’ve had more partners than is socially acceptable and I don’t see any of it as a problem. I consider myself a sexual being. I came to terms with this a long time ago, when I was shoved into an inpatient treatment center and branded as a ‘sex addict’ for my sexual proclivities. I do believe there is a such a thing as a sex addict, but being a sixteen year old girl who is emotional and just finding her sexuality, I don’t think I was, or that I am to this day. I like sex, but I have no overwhelming need to have sex with someone to get them to like me. Nor do I believe that I use sex to escape from ‘reality’, at least not anymore of an escape as a nice run or a bubble bath.

Sex is a fun activity to share with someone you trust. At least it is to me. So when I see these articles that lead women to believe that we must be pious, virtous and innocent in order to be loved, I think it’s a load of rubbish. I am a wonderful, loving woman regardless of who I spend the night with. I don’t belong to anyone because I have sex with them and I damned well and not ‘inviting rape’ by wearing a low cut shirt. ESPECIALLY since I have a very hard time avoiding low-cut shirts in general. (Any large busted ladies know this.)

And so many women who find themselves against the idea of being treated as an object don’t seem to see the other side of the virgin/whore dichotomy. So many of them decry the objectification of women, often ignoring the objectification of men, but also ignoring the fact that it doesn’t matter if I’ve stripped down to nothing and am strutting around naked. No one deserves to treat another person as an object. For any reason.

We are people. We are all people, who deserve to be treated as such. No matter what it is that differentiates you from others, you are still a person, and we would all do well to remember that it’s the same with everyone else we meet as well.

I realize something that is a major contributor to my depression. My family. While they are not cruel or mean, there is one major thing that I feel lacks with them. They don’t really listen. Which I find slightly ironic, I suppose. My name is Samantha, which means (usually) ‘Listener’ or some variant. And I suppose that is the truth. I listen to others very well. Of course, I’ve become far LESS interested in listening to others as of late. Partially because I’m currently friends with people who either a) don’t really listen to me or b) I’m not entirely comfortable talking to. Either because I don’t believe they’ll listen, I think they’ll judge me, or I don’t know them well enough (which goes back to the judging part).

I find the anonymity of the internet comforting, but still just as impartial and frighteningly lonely.

Because that is what frightens me. To be alone. Not so much in the sense of romance, as I switch between caring little and caring not at all, but I miss having true friends close at hand. When my latest relationship was in the midst, I found myself drifting from the friends I did have. None of whom were true, mind you.

Gossiping behind my back, considering me cruel and evil for not LYING and actually being an adult.

My true friends, at present, are in Washington, and I feel as if I’m bothering them.

Because I can’t see them in person and talk to them as such. Disheartening as always.

So I suppose a big thing that people don’t realize is that you need to listen to others. Your friends, your family. It’s important to everyone to be heard. Even if it’s a small thing. It shows that you care.

I have had abusive ex-boyfriends. They made me feel worthless, they made me believe that all I was good for was sex, and they would get physically aggressive. I’m hesitant to use the words ‘physically abusive’ because that’s not exactly what it was. Neither J nor N ever actually hit me.

(Hereby I decree for ease, to refer to J as Jack* and N as Neil*)

Jack would threaten, and he would punch walls and other objects when he was mad. He would get angry to the point that I could imagine it being me, but he never hit me.

Neil was grabby. He would grab my wrists and hold them so tightly that they hurt, and he would choke me. He claimed that it was for ‘my pleasure’ (erotic afixiation), but I didn’t like it and he seemed to enjoy it a little too much.

But neither hit me or left bruises or broke bones. And I see domestic violence as such a big deal that while I will call them abusive, and while I will say that they were physically aggressive, I will not say that I go around telling people that I am a victim of domestic violence or anything like that.

Because there are too many women who will claim to be physically abused for far less of what I experienced and tarnish men’s names because they’re trying to get back at them for a bad relationship.

I hate it when people (more commonly women) will claim to have been abused, or raped, or assaulted, as a way to get back at the man. Or because they regret their decisions or they want to put the blame on someone else.

It is women like that who make real victims afraid to report. Who make the justice system so suspicious of real reports. Who make it so real abusive man and rapists go free.

And it makes me sick. I never reported Neil or Jack because I know, that since I was dating them at the time, it will be largely ignored. That because it was even someone I know, that it will be ignored.

And it’s because of these people who will lie about it that these things go unpunished.