To help you understand the role of the ego in a bisexual man with a personality disorder with confusions in gender identification, we will turn to a case study. Me. Most of us bisexuals have some of these issues but experience them in different degrees.
My body was working against me. It wanted to avoid the pain; it wanted to explore all the pleasures of my senses, especially gay, erotic pleasures. It was working overtime trying to prevent me from gaining access to my mind and inner soul. Because of all the abuse and pain of my religious background, it was trying to deny the existence of the soul. It was saying, ‘”Baby, this is it. That is all there is! This is all we have to work with!” It was trying to say that everything erotic was “Okay!” It was saying, “Enjoy or die!”
I tried to justify my body-driven behaviour, but another part of my soul would not let me accept that this was the best I could do. It wanted me to move on from eroticism and find love again. Unfortunately, my ego had a personality disorder; it could not feel or give real love. My fragile inner child was lost, and alone, and tortured by feelings of detachment, rejection, and abandonment. I had to somehow dismantle these constructs, but I had nothing to replace them. I had no true foundation of my own. I lacked the one component that would allow my ego to thrive: unconditional love of the self, by the self, for the self.
My faulty beliefs were the foundation of my insecure ego. I had no self-concept; I never believed in my abilities. Anything I had accomplished, short of perfection, I viewed as failure. I did not believe I had any right to respect, because I could not respect myself. I did not believe that happiness was attainable, because every moment of happiness was linked to a foundation of pain. I ignored the feelings and desperation of my soul. I allowed my ego to be the only expression of who I was and who I thought I wanted to be. I focused on other things to believe in like family, career, and church rather than on my own wants and needs. When I crashed and these crutches were taken away, I could no longer stand up and face the world.
After my crash, I could no longer hide behind the beliefs I had borrowed; I had to build my own personal, true set of beliefs. Of course, this rebuilding process was a ludicrous proposition, because all the tools I had, by their very nature, were borrowed and conditional. I had no guiding compass of my own to guide my ship of fate through the mother of all storms.
I had never had a true social picture of myself that would allow me to relate confidently with others. I was vulnerable to their words and opinions. When I crashed, I turned to my ex-wife, friends, and church members for emotional support. I found out that I was alone. In my communication with them, and in the things I heard being said about me, it seemed that some people that I had tried to love were downright mean and nasty. They felt they had to take sides and support my ex-wife by hating me. They actually seemed to be enjoying the pain I was in. It was the turning point, isolating me from everyone else, leaving me with the most intense pain I have ever felt. I am thankful for their cruelty, because I was able to use it to turn self-hate into righteous anger. I was able to use this anger to separate myself from my relationships. It was really my first opportunity to actually get to know and be true to my inner self.
What I Used to Believe
And what do I believe,
Now that the closet door has been smashed down,
And the tiny room has been inspected and purified,
And the ghosts that used to dwell there
Have been set loose to wander the halls of time,
Moaning and groaning,
And bearing the cold iron chains of shame.
Those secret confining walls are gone,
The self-dignity built brick on brick in achievement,
That never allowed itself to hear the praises of others,
The security of a religion of rules and earned mercy
Given stingily by a god I had created,
The comfort of conditional love evaporated
With the careless madness of a moment of honesty.
These walls have all crashed around me
Leaving me exposed and naked.
The secret room is gone.
There is no comfort of darkness,
No support for what was not,
Just me and my sadness,
And a terrifying endless string