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Bisexuality and Borderline Personality Disorder

ASHIRT & TIE [small] (final)s I was searching for something intelligent to write about, I revisited the research section on bisexuality. After reading yet another study on whether or not we exist, I asked myself why I was still looking at this stuff.  We know we exist, so where do we go from here? The answer, of course, is that we should be looking at the issues we face, so that we can somehow finally get past our sexual identity crisis and learn how to enjoy the lives we have been given.

Twenty years ago, I was having a mental meltdown, largely because of my bisexual orientation. I loved my wife and was very much attracted to her; we had a great sex life. But I also had developed an obsession and compulsion for engaging in gay sex. During one counselling session, my therapist conducted a survey in the DSM4 on Borderline Personality Disorder (the 5 had not yet come out). First of all, let me explain. Borderline Personality Disorder is not “borderline”; it is a dysfunction involving significant impairment of self-identity, the ability to relate to others, and difficulty with impulse control. When sexual identity issues are involved, self-loathing, feelings of emptiness and worthlessness, and unhealthy impulses are usually centered on our sexuality.  She looked up and said, “Amazing, you have all the symptoms except sexual identity issues.” She stared at me for a few seconds and said, “Oh my god, don’t tell me you are gay too.”  Well, I can now say I no longer have sexual identity issues. I know and understand my sexual orientation. I am not gay. I am bisexual.

Looking back, I think it is important to address the issue or borderline personality disorder.  In an analogue study[1], 141 psychologists evaluated a hypothetical client with problems that resembled borderline symptoms but were also consistent with a sexual identity crisis. In this study, client descriptions varied by sexual orientation and gender. Results revealed that male clients with bisexual attractions were more likely to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Therapists were more confident and willing to work with female bisexual clients and gave them a better prognosis. In other words, the clinical community believes that we bisexual males have severe issues in dealing with our bisexuality resulting in Borderline Personality Disorder. This means that our belief system makes it difficult to make changes through traditional therapy, and difficult to function in our society. Women on the other hand seem to be able to assimilate their bisexual desires into normal life patterns with or without therapy.

If we have indeed overcome our identity issues and we know and understand that we are bisexual, than what comes next? I think the answer may lie is taking a closer look at the borderline personality symptoms. In my case, I may still have a Borderline Personality Disorder, but I now understand it and have learned to live with it. Somewhat like in the movie, The Beautiful Mind, I now know when my disorder is throwing false information at me, and I can simply reject it and function with the truth: I know who I am; I love and care for myself, and I appreciate my mind and body with their bisexual desires. But that was a long and painful journey. The next few blogs will be devoted to the steps we can take to overcome our borderline personality symptoms.

My five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. We accept the fact that we are psychologically and biologically bisexual. If we are sexually attracted to both males and females, then we are bisexual.
  2. We get comfortable with it. We keep telling ourselves its okay to be bisexual.
  3. We recognize our negative feelings, enter into a state of mindfulness, and allow our higher self to soothe our mind until we begin to see the amazing qualities we possess because of our bisexuality. It is truly a gift.
  4. We deal with negative thoughts. We don’t suppress them, we convert them to positive thoughts. We can do this by simply taking a negative statement and turning it into a positive. For example “I cannot control my sex drive” becomes “I can control my sex drive”.
  5. We look for ways to appreciate our bisexual body and brain. We keep an ever growing list of things we are thankful for. When we have doubts, we simply check out list and recite all the things we like about ourselves.

[1] Eubanks-Carter, Catherine and Goldfried, Marvin  R. . The impact of client sexual orientation and gender on clinical judgments and diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychology. March, 2006

Creative Imagination and Bisexuality

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)(This is the sixth in the series on applying Napoleon Hill’s principles for financial success to how we can shape our bisexuality into creating a life that we would truly love to live.)

According to Napoleon Hill, there are two types of imagination – synthetic and creative.[1] Synthetic imagination involves the arranging of old concepts, ideas, or plans into new combinations. To use this form of imagination, we have to rely on the words and actions of others combined with our own past experiences. This is what the brain typically does best. It takes in new information and uses synthetic imagination to build on past experiences to make moderate changes to enhance life. This works well if we love the life we are living; however, if we feel a deep discontent with our past and present, we will need to make a paradigm shift. This requires creative imagination which inevitably will bring us into conflict with our ego mind which wants to maintain the status quo with only moderate changes.

This yearning and discontent can then be transformed into desire and become a powerful energy source for change. This activates our higher self which will always operate for our higher purpose. It then sets to work using creative imaginations to create new ideas.  Eventually, these ideas can come together to formulate specific goals and plans. Hill suggests that when we put our plans into detailed writing with a specific time frame, the higher self then connects with the infinite intelligence causing our minds to vibrate at higher frequencies. The universe or infinite intelligence then seems to give life and guidance to our ideas that can help us transform our plans into reality.

So how does one then apply creative imagination to our sex life? As bisexuals, we often feel strong discontent with ourselves and the lives we are living.  We often feel powerless in making the changes we will need to make in order to bring about the necessary changes. In fact, it is change that we fear most. This is where we have to allow our discontent to transform into a desire for change. Once this desire is strong enough, our higher self will get engaged to bring us back to our life purpose which is to grow and expand through love for self and love for life. Once this desire grows in vibration, the higher self will begin to call in direction and knowledge from the infinite intelligence. The higher self then employs creative imagination to turn these vibrations into ideas. From these ideas we can begin to make plans to change our lives and create the kind of life that we would truly love to live.

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. We can allow our discontent to surface until it becomes a desire for change. We allow our higher self to take control and employ creative imagination to formulate plans for change.
  2. We put them in writing and set a timeline for change.
  3. We put these words someplace where we will remember to read them just before going to bed so that the higher self can work with the infinite intelligence to bring this plans into reality even while we sleep.
  4. We review the plan again in the morning and wait upon the higher self to give direction through hunches and insights. We can act upon these insights and keep doing this until the plans have all been brought into the physical world.
  5. We celebrate our victories and make new goals and plans. We are now in the process of creating the life we would truly love to live.

 

 

[1] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications INC.. New York. 2015

 

Knowledge and Bisexuality

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)(This is the fifth in the series on applying Napoleon Hill’s principles for financial success to how we can shape our bisexuality into creating a life that we would truly love to live.)

“Knowledge will not attract (our desire) unless it is organized, and intelligently directed, through practical plans of action to the definite end of (living the life that we love to live)”.[1]

If you are reading this article, it is probably because you are seeking knowledge about bisexuality. But how much do we actually have to know in order to live the life we would love to live? What we are seeking is not knowledge but to actually educate ourselves. The Latin word educo means “to draw out or develop from within”. That knowledge on how to live the life that we would love to live is already there inside of us; we just have to draw it out.

According to Hill there are two types of knowledge – general and specialized. What you are seeking in this article is specialized knowledge. I am a psychologist and a bisexual; therefore, by processing the information I have gathered and applying it to my own life, I hopefully have some specialized knowledge to tell. In truth, yes, I do have some specialized knowledge, but my main goal is to help you educate yourself by helping you draw out what you already know and applying it to your own life.

First of all let’s decide on the sort of specialized knowledge we require and the purpose for which it is needed. Yes, it helps to know that we are not alone, and approximately five percent of men and 15 percent of women heterosexuals have at some time experimented with same sex relationships. If we do the math. one of every ten people may be considered bisexual. Knowledge will also help us know where we can meet other bisexual people for relationship, companionship, and just general support in developing new thought patterns. But what else is really necessary?

What we really want to do is develop our general knowledge. We need to somehow come up with a new thought about ourselves and how we can handle the circumstances of our present situation. If we are burdened with a bunch of negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves, we have to somehow change the way we think. We have to overhaul our general knowledge mechanisms. We need to think new thoughts.  This new thought then has to be nurtured and organized into a new self-concept that we are indeed worthy, powerful, and beautiful.

The place to start is with our discontents and dissatisfactions. What is impeding us from being the people we want to be? We need to take inventory. Every time we have a negative thought about ourselves, we have to challenge it. We need to apply some good old cognitive therapy. For example, “I hate myself,” becomes, “I have a negative feeling whenever I think about gay or lesbian sex”. Okay, we are making progress. Now we can challenge that thought “Why do I feel bad whenever I think of gay or lesbian sex?” The answer might be, “Because my friends make a lot of gay jokes, and if I want to be with my friends, I have to stop having these thoughts.” Aha! Now we are getting somewhere. Where do these thoughts come from? Well they come from our basic biological make up and have developed over time to being a core part of our being. We can therefore conclude, “If my friends are real friends, they will have to love me for who I am, if not they are not real friends anyway.” Whenever we challenge our negative thoughts, we should always come back to the essential core belief of generalized knowledge, namely, “I am in complete control of my mind; I can control and direct all my thoughts; I am powerful and I am beautiful; and my bisexuality is a gift to be nurtured and enjoyed”. All our thoughts have to be in harmony with this core belief.

We can then use the power of our imaginations to organize and put this new knowledge to work. The next step is to take action. We tell our friends how we feel and engage them in some honest discussion. They may respond with their own feelings and fears. Women do this naturally, we men have to work at it to make it happen. Above all, we make a commitment to ourselves to live honestly, walk tall, and speak from the heart. In other words we have “organized, and intelligently directed” our thoughts and formulated “practical plans of action to the definite end” of living the life we would truly love to live.

[1] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publication, Inc. 2015. (Page 64).

My five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. We challenge our negative thoughts and turn them into positive ones.
  2. We develop our self-concept by understanding ourselves, the way we think, and how we organize our thoughts. If our self-concept is negative we change it. If it is positive we celebrate.
  3. We refuse to accept anything that lowers our self-esteem. We actually should learn to admire ourselves for what we have accomplished and the hardships we have overcome or are in the process of overcoming.
  4. We put our new self-concept and our new self-esteem into action. We deal with issues and with our relationships with confidence. We do not fear criticism; we welcome it. It is our opportunity to grow.
  5. We plan our life and take steps to make it the kind of life we love to live.

Auto-Suggestion and Bisexuality

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)(This is the fourth in the series on applying Napoleon Hill’s principles for financial success to how we can shape our bisexuality into creating a life that we would truly love to live.)

According to Napoleon Hill, auto-suggestion is “the agency of communication between the part of the mind where conscious thought takes place, and that which serves as the seat of action for the subconscious mind (higher self).” [1]

Most of us live continuously within our conscious mind. Biologically, it is the constant process of sensing, turning senses into perceptions, and then processing the new information in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). The OFC does this by referring to past mind sets involving memories and emotion. It then sets plans of action and carries them out. Once we have completed the task, the new information is connected through creating neural pathways to past mind sets. Thus we continue to experience and grow. But is that all there is?

Hill suggests that there is another part of us that functions apart from the conscious mind. He refers to it as the subconscious. However, we now know that the subconscious is merely mind sets, or neural pathways, involving implicit and explicit memories attached to strong emotions. Frequently these emotions are based on negative experiences and fears that serve as guides or blocks to taking actions into the unknown. However, we do not grow unless we are willing to take some risks. This leads to my thesis that we have a higher power that drives us on to become better and better human beings. It operates in the realm of imagination and by taking steps into the unknown. It wants to experience and grow.

We can perceive life then as a battle between our conscious mind with its subconscious fears and our higher self with its desire to grow. According to Hill, the way to move from the conscious mind to the higher self is through the power of Auto-Suggestion.  Hill states that we do this by forming a plan under the intuitive guidance of the higher self and developing a procedure to bypass the fears of the conscious mind. He suggests that we put this plan into writing, and repeat it over and over again until a clear picture of the plan is formed in our conscious mind, thereby removing the fear of the unknown. This includes the pleasure feeling of what it would be like to obtain our desires. Instead of fear of failure or the unknown, the conscious mind now has a desire and an expectation for the hoped for outcome. But we still have to battle against the old paragigms of the subconscious mind.

Hill suggests that our ability to use the principle of auto-suggestion will depend upon our ability to concentrate upon a given desire until that desire becomes a burning obsession. Once that obsession is in place we can expect the higher self to connect with the Infinite Intelligence to intuitively provide the conscious mind with a step by step plan. The law of Attraction will then come into effect whereby The Universe will provide everything that is necessary to bring our desires into material reality.

According to Hill we employ the following three-step process for auto-suggestion:

  1. Make a plan including the goal, time limit, and what you will give in return
  2. Create a written copy and post it where you can see it and read it just before retiring and upon arising, until it is memorized.
  3. Repeat this plan vocally day and night until you can see in your imagination the money (desire) you intend to accumulate.

For example, here is the plan on which I am now working:

By June 30, 2019, I will have sold 1000 copies of my latest book, The Room, which is about the emotions and feelings associated with depression. In return I will give readings, book launches, and whatever service needed to market my book. I will then submit my book for provincial and national contests and receive the Governor General’s Award and the twenty-five thousand dollars that goes with it. 

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. We call up our higher self by getting into a state of mindfulness and dreaming up what it would be like to live the life of our dreams. We stay in a state of mindfulness allowing our higher self to formulate a step by step plan  to achieve our dream.
  2. We write and post that plan where we can see it and recite it day and night until it is memorized.
  3. We continue reciting this plan until we can feel what it is like to have the desires fulfilled.
  4. We will begin to receive hunches on what we have to do to achieve our desires, and we immediately act upon them.
  5. We follow these intuitive suggestions step by step until our desires and dreams become a reality.

[1] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications Inc..2015. (page 57)

Bisexuality and Belief In Ourselves

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

(This is the third in the series on applying Napoleon Hill’s principles for financial success to how we can shape our bisexuality into creating a life that we would truly love to live.)

How do we build belief in ourselves? Napoleon Hill seems to have the answer. He calls it auto-suggestion, which is essentially the power of positive thinking, with the emphasis on thinking. Thoughts are bursts of mind energy and therefore powerful tools in building the life we would love to live. Hill suggests that we can change our present reality through repetition of positive thoughts. He instructs us to formulate a positive thought related to a specific goal and “repeat it in audible words, day after day, until these vibrations of sound have reached our subconscious mind.” He further advocates that we make “a simple arrangement of positive thought impulses stated in writing, memorized, and repeated, until they become the working equipment of the subconscious faculty of our mind.”[1]

There are three aspects to this formula that I believe we should underline and note. The first is the faculty of our subconscious mind. Hill was no doubt influenced by the works of Sigmund Freud, a psychologist who believed all the ills of a troubled mind were located in the subconscious. Of course, he was dealing with mental illness, but what about the rest of us that are only half insane? We now know that the subconscious mind is a collection of mind states that involve complex neural pathways based on past implicit and explicit memories that are linked to powerful emotions. Whenever the orbitofrontal cortex is evaluating a potentially threatening situation, it will juggle negative and positive mind sets looking for a possible solution. Because the negative neural pathways are loaded with negative emotion, they will frequently override our positive feelings and desires. As a result, we will be reluctant to pursue a path that could lead to positive outcomes because of the fear that is embedded in our neural pathways.

In order to move forward with our lives, we have to find a way of subduing these powerful mindsets with positive feelings. One of the ways of doing this is through creation of positive thoughts, but these thoughts have to be loaded with the energy of positive feelings. Hill suggests that one way of doing this is to view the desired outcome as though it is already being experienced.

Which brings us to the second point of note which is Hill’s referral to vibrations. In order to make the positive thoughts vibrate at a high enough frequency to overcome the energy supplied by the fear mechanism from the  amygdala, we have to really feel the energy coming from the nucleus accumbens in the pleasure center of the brain.  In other words we have to magnify this vibration by really feeling and experiencing the hoped for pleasurable experience.

I would suggest that we have yet another source of positive energy that is from the higher self,  is spiritual in nature,  and is connected to the ultimate source of positive power that comes from the universal intelligence. This vibration is slower and deeper and can be accessed through mindfulness where we shut down the main function of the orbitofrontal cortex and just experience the feelings of success and well-being which will automatically engage the pleasure center of the brain. While in this mindful state we can engage in positive thoughts about the wonderful person we already are and we can call upon the powers of the universe to bring into physical reality the object of our desires.

The third factor centers around repetition. By repeating these pleasant thoughts and feeling several times a day, the neural pathways are reinforced and become stronger. By constant repetition of thought and feeling, the subconscious mind will automatically access the more powerful pleasure vibration rather than the lesser fear vibration whenever the environment sends us a new problem connected to these thought patterns. We can now employ our subconscious mind to work for us instead of against us.

 

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals; again we will rely on the suggestions given by Napoleon Hill,[2] but we will adapt them to successful living rather that monetary success.

  1. Through mindful connection with our higher self, we realize that we have the ability to achieve whatever our heart desires. We can now engage our thought energy to accomplish our goals.
  2. Hill suggests that we commit ourselves to spending 30 minutes a day to thinking and feeling what it would feel like to be the person we want to be. I have not been able to sustain 30 minutes, but fifteen works really well for me.
  3. We spend ten minutes a day developing our self-confidence by repeating over and over again that through the power of our higher self we have the ability and the power to do whatever it is we have to do.
  4. We do this day after day until we become the person we want to be, achieve the goal we wish to achieve, and live the life we want to live.
  5. We make a commitment to do no harm to anyone else. We will cooperate with others in reaching their goals. They will believe in us because we will believe in them.

[1] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications. 2015.  (page 41)

[2] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications. 2015. (Page 42)

Bisexuality and Desire

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” [1]

(This is the second in the series on applying Napoleon Hill’s principles for financial success to how we can shape our bisexuality into creating a life that we would truly love to live.)

I remember our basketball coach saying, “ya gotta wanna to be a winna”. So true. Desire is the life force of the human mind and soul. Desire is the drive to get or do something or to be someone. Desire is the emotional electrical charge from the amygdala that empowers our thoughts and provides the motivation to take action. There are two basic emotions that we can experience as human beings – desire and fear – and all the other emotions are somehow related to these two. Desire is our life force that  propels us forward to a hoped for pleasure, and fear is our safeguard that limits the extent of our desires and keeps the pursuit of pleasure within the boundaries of what is perceived as safe by the ego. Our goal should be to be creatures of desire rather than victims of fear, creatures who live by the desires of the soul rather than the fears of the ego.

Napoleon Hill lists six definite and practical steps by which our desires can be transmuted into the ability to achieve what we are striving for. The first step is to fix clear in our minds the exact form of what it is that we desire. If we could step into the perfect life right here and now, what would it look like? What would it feel like? In other words, what is the dream life that we would love to live? The second step is to decide what we would give in order to achieve that desire. This might mean a heart to heart discussion with a partner or perhaps a move to a new location to be with someone we love. It can be big changes or small changes. The third step is to establish a date by which we will obtain whatever it is that we desire. The fourth is to create a plan to achieve our desire. Step five is to write out a statement that includes the desire, what we will give, the date, and the plan. The sixth and final step is to read this statement every morning and every evening and visualize and feel what it would be like to live this new life.  We repeat this every day until it becomes a reality.

This six step process is known as the law of attraction. If we desire something and can imagine and visualize it with emotion and feeling, the life-force of this universe will begin to shape our reality according to our dreams and feelings. In other words, by the power of organized and persistent desire, we can create the kind of life we would truly love to live.

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals; in this instance we will simply go with Napoleon hill:

  1. We develop a clear picture in our mind of the kind of life we would love to live. This can be a new relationship or changes to one we have now, or it can be a life with many relationships. We make it as clear as possible. What do we do in our shared time? What is the sex life like? Where do we live? What pleasures can we add?
  2. In order to receive what we desire we clearly list what we will give in return.
  3. We set a date in which we will have the life we want to live.
  4. We make a plan to achieve this life.
  5. We write out our plan and read it each morning and each evening before we go to bed. We visualize what it looks like, and we feel what it feels like. We firmly believe that we are worthy of this dream, and we firmly believe that we will make this dream come true.

[1] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications Inc. 2015.

Bisexuality and the Power of Belief

 

SHIRT & TIE w.out white background (final)You gotta believe. Oh so true. But what is belief? Another word for belief is “faith”, but I am reluctant to use that word because of its religious connotations; however, belief is the same principle that is behind faith and the creation of miracles. The question is, how do we develop the kind of belief needed to live the kind of life we want to live?

According to Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich, “Faith is a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind”[1] “which proceeds to translate that impulse into its physical equivalent by the most practical procedure available.”[2] According to Hill, when faith or belief are fueled by emotion they create a feeling which in turn brings the thoughts behind the belief into life and action. In other words, it is more than intellectual belief; true belief has to be fueled by the emotions and feelings of love for oneself and for others.

In our Western world, our view of sexuality has become warped and twisted. Our core values as a society are the cause of such things as voyeurism, pornography, objectifying women and men, rape and violence against women and gay men, and the list goes on and on. Nor do I agree with religious fundamentalists who would cover a woman from head to foot to avoid “impure thoughts” or return to Victorian mentality that sex is only for procreation and homosexuality is a mental illness and criminal activity. Is it any wonder that our own core values have also become tainted by the society in which we live?

This leads us to the need to consider beliefs on sexuality that focus on a healthy and pleasure filled experience. This requires an honest look at our own individual set of core values on sex. We have to take a look at the flaws of our rational mind and its thought patterns because our mind will only draw conclusion that are in harmony the core values we have developed under the influence of our parents, the church, the education system, and society.

We have to rely on our higher self to guide us based on the two basic principles which are: love for self and love for others. The higher self will bring these flaws to our attention and then suggest a path to a more wholesome and healthy set of core values. Once we adopt these values into our daily lives we can begin to change our behavior patterns and begin to live the life that we truly would love to live.

When I went through this process I came up with the following.

Flawed Value – I am a Bisexual and I have the right to live with a bisexual lifestyle.

Flawed Value – My bisexuality is a burden that has caused me to loathe myself and the things I have done.

Flawed Value – My bisexual impulses cannot be controlled so I should ignore my conscience and just indulge.

Flawed Value – My bisexuality was the cause of my divorce.

 

Wholesome Value – I am a person with sexual attraction for men and women and I can choose whom to love based on the love I can give and receive.

Wholesome Value – By bisexuality is a gift that lets me see life in a new and beautiful way influenced by my masculine strength and my sacred feminine.

Wholesome Value – I am in complete control of my sexual impulses and I can make a heart decision on when, where, and with whom I will have sex,

Wholesome Value – My bisexuality was not the cause of my divorce. The cause was our inability to love unconditionally and my divorce has led to new opportunities to seek and find unconditional love with another.

My five suggestion for Bisexuals:

Step 1: We can learn to trust our gut. The gut is simply the intuitive voice of the higher self. It will guide and direct our thoughts, help us make the right decision, and direct us in locating and accessing the things we will need to achieve our desires.

Step 2: We use the emotion of love. It is the power or the energy of love that provides the power to attract what we desire and believe. This is the love for the higher self which desires to obtain the desires of our hearts and to form bonds with others.

Step 3:  We can make sure that our thoughts are in line with the universe by simply evaluating whether or not what we desire will be truly good for ourselves and whether there is some good that will come out of it that may benefit others.

Step 4: Put our thoughts into action.

Step 5: Keep a daily inventory. Persist in the belief until it becomes a reality. We have to daily repeat the five step process. We reaffirm the power of the higher self; we check with our higher self to be sure we are on the right track; we employ the power of love from the higher self to connect with the universal intelligence and with others; and we wait for daily instructions on what needs to be done to realize our desires. Then we act upon those instructions.

[1] Hill, 1945 (page,36)

[2] Hill, 1945 (page 37)

Mindfulness and Bisexuality

SHIRT & TIE w.out white background (final)By definition, mindfulness is a meditation technique that involves present-centered awareness without judgment. Mindfulness practices are based on Buddhist meditation techniques that target both thoughts and behaviors. The goal is to change the context of our thoughts. Through mindfulness; we observe what we are observing. If our thoughts are maladaptive, we acknowledge them but change our relationship to them. We do not permit them to lead to negative emotions.

During meditation, or perhaps more accurately, contemplation, we let our mind experience disturbing thoughts and feelings without reacting to them. One important technique is called decentering. We simply enter into a state of meditation. We shut down our mind and focus on our breathing until we enter into a state of relaxation.  Our blood pressure will decrease, our heart rate will slow down, and our brain will gradually cease creating thoughts and emotions. We open our mind to experience the sensations that are happening in the now. Inevitably our mind, without our checks and balance, will begin to bring thoughts based on past failures and other negative emotional experiences. We simply notice, label, and relate to them as just passing events rather than letting them regress to negative emotions about ourselves. By increasing our mindful awareness of our thoughts, impulses, cravings, and emotions, we are less likely to act on them or be ruled by them.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has become an actual therapy practiced by present day psychologists. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was developed to treat major depressive disorder. Mindfulness training also includes therapies designed to treat substance use disorder and borderline personality disorder. One large, carefully controlled study found that MBCT was as effective as antidepressant medications in preventing relapse after an acute episode of major depressive disorder (Bieling & others, 2012; Segal & others, 2010). However, the actual practice is so simple that it can be practiced by anyone without professional help.

So how does this relate to bisexuality? I can only relate to my own personal experiences. After hiding my gay impulses from my wife and children for thirty-three years, I inevitably crashed and slipped into chronic depression. I sold or gave whatever was left after the divorce, took an early retirement, and fled to a mountain village in Costa Rica. I started to practice meditation each morning as I gazed on the warm forest and cities below. Inevitably all the blame, guilt and self-loathing would barge in on my meditation. With all these negative thoughts and emotion insisting on occupying my mind, I simply could not meditate. It was then that I decided to face my thoughts and feelings honestly and openly. I let them enter my mind, acknowledged them, wrapped them into a gift of love and sent them to the people they involved. I replaced self-loathing with love for them and eventually with love for myself. I realized that I had done the best I could under the circumstances to hold everything together until my last child and completed college. I was then able to move on, come out of my depression, drop all medication, and heal the personality disorder that I had developed by trying to live a double life. I realized that my trials had made me a beautiful person, thanked the universe for my gay impulses, and accepted my bisexuality as a gift and not a curse.

My five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. Practice mindful meditation. It may be difficult at first but push through until you are comfortable living in the moment without anxiety.
  2. Once in a state on mindful meditation, allow your mind to bring whatever thoughts it wishes into the present where you sit relaxed and in control.
  3. Accept the thoughts and feelings that go with them but do not accept the negative emotions; in fact, convert them to positive ones. Thank your mind for presenting its thoughts and then release them. I like to visualize them wrapped like a gift and sent back to the ones I love, thanking them for the wonderful moments we had shared.
  4. Keep practicing this mindful meditation until these thoughts eventually cease to return.
  5. Give yourself a great big soul hug. You are a champ, a conqueror of the most powerful enemy you will ever face – yourself.

 

 

  1. Siegel,Daniel,J. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation: Daniel J … 2010.

 

Bi-gender and Transsexual Procedures

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)In a recent article in Newsweek[1], Borreli noted that sex change increased by 20 percent from 2015 to 2016 in the U.S., with more than 3,000 operations performed in 2017. She also reported that some male to female transsexuals felt they would never be liked or accepted as real women. Borreli also reported that there is a lack of pre and post counselling, and that a significant number of male to female trans wanted to reverse the procedure.

A group of researchers in Sweden[2]discovered that the mental health of transsexuals after surgery was not what we would expect it to be. In a follow-up survey of 324 sex-reassigned persons (191 male-to-females, 133 female-to-males), they discovered that the overall mortality, particularly death from suicide, for sex-reassigned persons was higher during follow-up than for controls of the same birth sex. Sex-reassigned persons also had an increased risk for suicide attempts and psychiatric treatment. They concluded that physically changing the birth sex may not be sufficient for treating transsexualism, and advocated for improved psychiatric care after sex reassignment.

With the increased frequency of sexual reassignment and the data on mental wellbeing after transition, one must take a long serious look at this life-changing procedure. Many of the people involved in sex reassignment have been previously married and in a heterosexual relationship. In my mind this makes them bisexual, or to put it more accurately, bi-gender. Many do not make the transition for sexual reasons with little or no desire to experience sex in their new sexually reversed bodies. Most of the issues are gender related not sexual. As we have seen, gender feelings come from a genetic predisposition and then shaped and molded by life and cultural experiences. Perhaps it is enough to be like the hijra and just take on the clothing and gender roles without the sex change.

More and more of the sexually reassigned are young people, many of them in their teens. This may not be a good time for a sex change. Sexuality seems to be quite fluid at this age with many, especially women, experimenting with bisexuality. They may need to resolve these feelings and explore their gay or lesbian nature before deciding on a sex change. They may also want to experiment with gender role change before starting hormone treatments.

Sexual reassignment begins with hormone treatment. One person Borreli interviewed felt it was the hormones that made him act impulsively and go for the surgery that he later regretted. Hormone treatments affect the whole body not just the genitals. They also serve as neuromodulators thus affecting the neural circuits of the brain causing a major shift in mental functioning. These dramatic physical and mental changes may lead to massive confusion in the creation and changing of neural pathways. This may lead to depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.

 

My five applications for bisexuals:

  1. Look for clarity in our sexuality. We can define ourselves sexually as heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian. We can then seek sexual gratification based on this knowledge.
  2. Look for clarification in our gender roles. Are we masculine, or feminine, or are we bigender with fluid flow from male to female feelings of orientation? If we feel we are a man in a woman’s body, or a woman in a man’s body, or if we alternate from one gender role to another, we can explore and enjoy same sex and opposite sex relationships by changing our gender roles without hormones or sexual reassignment.
  3. If we truly want and need to experience sex, not as gay or lesbian, but truly as our transgender nature, than proceed with the sex change.
  4. If we are in a love relationship or we want to experience a love relationship according to our transgender nature, then have a sex change.
  5. Give it time. Be absolutely sure that this is how you want to live the rest of your life. Seek pre and post transition counselling. Make sure you have a professional and personal support system in place before starting the hormone transition.

 

[1] Borreli,Lizette. Transgender Surgery: Regret Rates Highest in Male to Female Reassignment  Operations. Newsweek. April, 2018.

[2] Dhejne, Cecilia; Boman,Marcus; Joohansson,Anna l.; Langston,Niklas; and Landen, Mikael. Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden. Plos. February 22, 2011.

 

Bisexuality and the Third Gender

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Even though this post is primarily for bisexuals, we should never lose track of the fact that we belong to a broader community, namely, the LBGQT community. Our LGBQT family is not just about sexual preference, but really includes people of a wide variety of gender expressions.  Granted we have genetic predispositions, but these predispositions are then nurtured by a variety of community and cultural norms and practices thus  providing us with a variety of gender variations. These variations ultimately are a blend of the feminine and the masculine.

The one that I find particularly fascinating is the Hijra communities of India. In the year 2014, India’s Supreme Court declared that the Hijra constituted a “legal” third gender  considered neither completely male nor female[1]. Hijras have been noted in recorded history dating back to the Kama Sutra period often associated with castration and the creation of eunuchs. Today they retain their male genitalia, but otherwise take on the female gender role.  They live together in self-sustaining communities, often with a guru. These communities are recognized as a loving and caring society which have been known to attract straight as well as trans gender people.  They  have sustained themselves over generations by “adopting” boys who are in abject poverty and rejected by their family of origin.[2] The are recognized as having special spiritual gifts and make a living by performing “blessing ceremonies” at events such as births and weddings.

The hijra do not consider themselves as male or female but as an entirely different third gender that combines both male and female psychological characteristics. They refer to themselves in gender rather than sexual terms, and in fact, many of them choose to live asexual lives. This bears similarities to us bisexuals who do not consider ourselves as gay or lesbian who restrict themselves to same sex relationships, but as bisexuals opening the door to all forms of sexual expression. But perhaps what we are seeking is at a much deeper level. Perhaps we should view ourselves not only as bisexual but as bigender.  If we dig a little deeper, perhaps what we really want (particularly the men who enjoy the feminine role, and the women who enjoy the masculine role) is the ability to express both our feminine and masculine sides without the sexual baggage that goes with it. Many bisexuals are cross dressers enjoying the feelings that come not only from wearing female apparel but all the walk and talk that goes with it, but they do not want to cross over completely. They still enjoy their masculine side with the plaid shirt and cowboy boots and the swagger.

My friends, it’s time to recognize ourselves as not only the third sexual orientation but perhaps as the third gender. And perhaps it is time to realize that we have spiritual gifts that we can offer to our gay, lesbian, and straight brothers and sisters.

[1]  Nanda, S. “Hijras: An Alternative Sex and Gender Role in India Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History. Zone Books; 1996.

 

[2] Hossain, Adnan. The paradox of recognition: hijra, third gender and sexual rights in Bangladesh. Published on line; May, 2017.