Why is She Mad at Me

Because we are so concerned with our own safety, we fail to see the feelings being expressed by others, especially those nearest to us, who have the potential to inflict the greatest emotional pain. We fail to meet their needs because we are obsessed with our own need to be accepted and loved.

Read more at: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/why-is-she-mad-at-m/

I Guess I’ll Be a Doctor – Part 2

My Sad Story

BPD Impairment 5 – Instability in goals, aspirations, values, or career plans

 

Up until the summer after my grade twelve graduation, I had planned to be a priest. Part of this was, of course, to please my mother who was convinced that I was special because I was the seventh son, and being special, of course, meant the highest calling, the priesthood. I also attended an all-boys Catholic high school where I was taught by priests (with the exception of my Physics teacher who was a lay person). About twice a year, Father Gocarths would come around and interview and counsel and encourage the boys who had hopes of becoming priests. Because of my near perfect grades he informed me that I would spend one year in a novitiate in Ottawa and then move on to studies in Rome. However, it was during my Grade Twelve year that I discovered women.

Read More at: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/i-guess-ill-be-a-doctor-part-2/

I Guess I Will Be a Doctor

We move on to the second section on impaired personality functioning –  on the DSM 5 – Self-direction. The description is, “instability in goals, aspirations, values, or career plans”. We are really stuck on this one so we will just wing it. I have no experience with it as it is one of the few descriptors that I did not check off in my survey. I had a one, no problem. In addition, I could not find any research studies on the topic. Let’s take it one step at a time and hope it adds up to something that we can hang our hats on.

Read more: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/i-guess-ill-be-a-doctor/

– Dissociative states under stress – Part 2

This is the part two on the fourth impairment for Borderline Personality Disorder as noted in the DSM5. As previously noted there is a strong correlation between bisexuality and BPD.

Another Sad Story

In January, right in the middle of my depression, my mother died. She was ninety-two. Somewhere along the way I had lost touch with her. Yes, I visited her once or twice a year, but we never hugged or kissed. When she died, I did not feel anything: no longing, no regret, no love. We were a very large, five-generation, French Catholic family. During my eulogy, tears erupted from all corners of the packed church. These moments require tears to wash away the pain of separation, the pain of lost opportunity to somehow fix something that had been broken. My voice broke, but I could not cry.

To read more:
https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/dissociative-states-under-stress-part-2/

Impairment – Chronic Feelings of Emptiness – Part 2

Back to my case study of my “self”. I had continuous feelings of emptiness as far back as I can remember into childhood. I remember as an eight-year-old one day stopping at the Catholic Church (where I was an altar boy) and just sitting in the pew staring at the flame that indicated that Christ was present just so I would not feel alone. However, I was different than most people with feelings of emptiness; I was also able to feel extreme anxiety and anger. It would switch from one to the other, feelings of emptiness followed by feelings of anxiety. Therefore I had one foot on the path of anxiety and suicidal thoughts but the other on the path of hopelessness. Read more at:
https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/impairment-chronic-feelings-of-emptiness-part-2/

Borderline Personality Disorder and PTSD

shirt-tie-w-out-white-background-final-3As we have worked our way through the nine symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) on the DSM IV and the personality traits of the DSM 5, we have encountered a major section, and perhaps the core issue, on symptom six, namely anxiety. Deeper investigation into the relationship between anxiety disorders and BPD led us to the discovery that 90% of people with BPD suffer from one or more anxiety disorders.  In past blogs, we have looked at the impact of Generalized Anxiety, Anxiety Attacks, and Social Adjustment Disorder (SAD).    Today we want to take a look at the link between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and BPD.

PTSD is receiving a lot of attention in the media especially in connection to military experiences. The second and perhaps more common cause of trauma involves long-term physical, and/or sexual abuse. Recent work in this area  has led some psychologists to create a subcategory called Complex PTSD (CPTSD). These intense experiences of fear create a powerful link to the Sympathetic System and to feelings of helplessness so that the traumas are difficult to resolve. In addition, the reticular system is activated putting the individual on constant high alert thereby picking out and reacting to seemingly harmless triggers from the environment.

But what about other causes of CPTSD?  Jane Leonard[1] lists the following:

  • experiencing childhood neglect
  • experiencing other types of abuse early in life
  • experiencing domestic abuse

Do these emotional experiences constitute a major insult to the body as well as the mind?

According to Leonard, People with CPTSD may exhibit these behaviors, all of which are also shared with people with BPD:

  • abusing alcohol or drugs
  • avoiding unpleasant situations by becoming “people-pleasers”
  • lashing out at minor criticisms
  • self-harm

We can see that emotional, cognitive, and behavioral similarities come into play with BPD and CPTSD, but what is the relationship if any between the causes of the two disorders? I once read in an article that bisexuals have suffered from PTSD because of the emotional and mental wounds from a thousand cuts due to their life style.  But does that really constitute CPTSD? In my opinion, PTSD and CPSTD have to include major insult to the body as well as the mind; whereas, BPD is a disorder exclusively of the mind.

Cloitre et al[2] in a study involving over three hundred subjects with complete measures of PTSD, BPD, general psychopathology, and functional impairment, concluded that four BPD symptoms separated BPD patients from PTSD, namely:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid abandonment,
  • Unstable sense of self,
  • Unstable and intense interpersonal relationships,
  • And impulsiveness.

Both groups experienced chronic feelings of emptiness. I would suggest that these symptoms have more to do with neglect and unstable home environment than actual physical or sexual injury. We would also have to consider that there may be a genetic predisposition involved in BPD, including hyper sensitivity and a need for soothing and acceptance that was denied them in childhood.

I think it is safe to say that BPD and CPTSD are different disorders; however,  we have to consider that some people may be suffering from a  combination of both, thus compounding the problem. As noted in an earlier blog, this is literally a deadly combination resulting in suicidal thoughts and an alarming number of suicide attempts.

Here are my five suggestions for Bisexuals with BPD and CPTSD:

  1. If you are one of the few who are coping with this combination of disorders, then you are a remarkable human being. Rejoice in the amazing powers of your mind and soul.
  2. If you are struggling with flashbacks from physical and sexual abuse, feelings of emptiness, and any of the above four symptoms or above four behaviors, you are in danger of an emotional crisis and you need to put supports in place.
  3. Seek professional counselling and medical treatment. There is no shame. There is no blame. According to research, begin with CPTSD therapy as these symptoms seem to be easier to deal with than BPD.
  4. Create a support group of people who love you. Do not be afraid to call upon them whenever you are experiencing emptiness and self-doubt. It’s surprising how powerful and effective a ten minute conversation can be in reestablishing our sense of self-control.
  5. If our feelings reach a crisis level , we seek physical contact with one of our support people or with a professional counselor. There is something powerful about physical and emotional connection with another human being who loves us  and understands our struggles.

[1] Leonard, Jane.  What to know about complex PTSD.  Medical News Today.  August 2018.      https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322886.php

[2] Cloitre, Marylene; Garvert, Donn W; Weiss, Brandon; Carlson, Eve B; and Bryant, Richard A. Distinguishing PTSD, Complex PTSD, and Borderline Personality Disorder: A latent class analysis. Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2014.

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)

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 Variables

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)In an on-line survey involving 243 college students at Northeastern University[1], researchers assessed variables including same- and other-sex attractions, fantasies, and behaviors; and history and sexual attitudes. Bisexual (nonexclusive) women were more liberal in their political and sexual attitudes and had greater sexual experience then their straight peers, whereas bisexual (nonexclusive) men were virtually indistinguishable from other straight men.

So what does this mean? Again, women seem to be leading the way in accepting and acting upon their bisexual preferences. They seem to enjoy their dual sexuality more and are not afraid to let their preferences and opinions be known in public.  This suggests one of two things or perhaps both. On one hand, they seem to be able to put aside personal feelings of shame and uncertainty and just flow with their own desires and inclinations. The second factor is that same sex behavior among women is much more accepted by the general public. Lesbian and bisexual romance among women is considered erotic, whereas, the same behavior among men is often labelled as disgusting.

As bisexual men, we face a more difficult road when we choose to come out and admit our same sex attractions.  It is much easier for gay men who are certain of their orientation and are eventually willing to step out, take their place in society, and declare their orientation to the world by flirting in public or joining political organizations.  Our sexual excursions are usually carried out in private where we are less likely to be observed by our male peers.  We will go to places frequented by our gay friends and acquaintances, but usually we do so with a feeling that we do not belong, and we seldom carry those friendships out into the broader public. We seem to find it more difficult than bisexual women to walk away from relationships. Once they decide they seem to be able to make a clean break while we struggle to hang on. Political will and advocacy is almost non-existent among bisexual males.  We have no need for special recognition of our rights and freedoms because we can hide, if we so choose, with the rest of the general public.

Here are my five applications for bisexuals:

  1. We can accept who we are and let it be known on a need to know basis with those we care about. This is really a shame issue because we feel we are not attuning to perceived parental and society norms. If the truth is known, they do not care as much as we think they do, and if they care about us, they will accept us just the way we are.
  2. We can begin to feel proud of our orientation – and it is an orientation in spite of what others may believe. We are not heterosexual and we are not gay or lesbian. We are bisexual. Let’s not feel queasy about it and call in “nonexclusive” or “queer” or anything else. There is nothing wrong with the term bisexual; it is a perfect description of who we are. Let’s not forget that sex has two meanings; yes, we enjoy having sex with men or women, but we also have the biological (brain patterns) and psychological qualities of both genders. That makes us special with an amazing range of feelings and thinking patterns.
  3. We can go public. That means pursuing sexual encounters in public. We do not have to meet in bath houses and public parks after dark. We can be like our open female bisexuals who are not afraid to be seen in public with same sex friends and lovers.
  4. We can choose to pursue relationships with men or women and eventually choose to settle down with one or the other. We can be monogamous. If the relationship fails we can eventually choose to be monogamous again with someone of the other sex than our last partner. This does not mean that we switch from heterosexual to gay or gay to heterosexual. We are just following our freedom to be one or the other and to switch back and forth without having to explain what our new orientation is. We are bisexual.
  5. We have to let our lovers know who we are and let them decide if they want to risk a permanent relationship with us. Whether or not we remain in a lasting relationship has nothing to do with our orientation. We are like everybody else. The relationship may last, or not, and if it does not, we are free to seek a new relationship, or not. We may choose to have an open relationship but it is not a necessity. We are quite capable of maintaining a permanent relationship like everyone else. If it is an open relationship this is not a SPECIAL CONSIDERATION BECAUSE WE ARE UNCONTROLLABLY BISEXUAL, it should be open to both parties.

 

 

Mindsight, and the “Self” Function of the Mind

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)According to Daniel J. Siegel in his book The Developing Mind, there are two ways of thinking. I think there are three. He concludes that the self is created by the neural activities of the right hemisphere of the brain. I believe that there is much more to the self than just the activities of the neural pathways.

In his chapter on Representations, he states that there are  two ways of thinking due to the activities of the left and right brain. He prefaces this with the caution not to be too dogmatic about left and right because neural activity involves the two hemispheres working together. However, he makes a strong case for the duality of the mind. We are indeed bilateral beings. We have a left hand and a right hand, a left eye and a right eye, and we also have a left brain and a right brain. Our brain makes sure the two sides are coordinated through the corpus callosum and by having the left brain operate the right side of our bodies and vise versa.

One way of thinking evolves from the left brain. The left hemisphere creates words to categorize objects and combines these concepts to form abstract ideas. It uses these linguistic representations so that we can experience a logical and higher order of consciousness. It allows us to create new combinations in our mind and in the world. It breaks down reality into small symbolic chunks that allow us to communicate in social situations. As we noted in the last blog, there is power in the word.

On the other hand (pun intended), the right brain gives us our second way of thinking. The right brain approaches life holistically. It perceives patterns within the whole in the form of sensations and images, ties them together with emotions, and is able to relate these patterns through a holistic sense of awareness or consciousness. It has a great deal more interregional links than the left side which gives it the ability to combine information to construct its own visual and abstract reality. This ability of the mind to create gives us a sense of our own mind that we can refer to as mindsight. Therefore it forms the basis of the self. It is able to relate to other minds through its sense of self relating to another person’s right brain with its own sense of self. We can then share thoughts through the left side and humor, painting and poetry through the right.

I believe there is a third way of thinking. The brain is merely a tool that we use to experience and process the environment in which we live. The brain by itself is like a very sophisticated robotic computer, but it does not operate itself. The functions of the brain in a sense do create mind but we are more than the mind depicted by science as a product of the functions of the right brain. By some fluke of nature or some divine plan from an infinite being, we have soul. Our soul or self, is an entity composed of pure energy that functions beyond the processing components of the brain. It is the substance of thought and the substance of life. In fact, it is the energy that controls and employs the brain to carry out the functions of living.

I believe that the part of us that is pure energy has the potential to grow into something beyond the confines of the left and right brain. Whether we are eternal beings or not is insignificant brain noise. We simply are. We have this moment to be whatever we want to be. We are beautiful powerful creatures in the here and now. We create and we live and milk whatever we can from this period of time we call life. We have a wonderful brain that we employ to make sense of our world, but it is limited to those areas that involve reasoning and ordering of thoughts and other brain functions. In order to find meaning and purpose the answers exists in the energy of the soul.  The purpose is to live, experience, expand, and enjoy. The rest will be revealed (or not) the moment these brains cease to function.

Here are my five applications for bisexuality:

1. Let’s not fall into the left brain trap. We do not need labels. We are simply individuals who enjoy sexual experiences, period. It can be with either men or women. We are led to sex by the biological urges of our bodies. Sex is sex. Enjoy it.

2. We are also sentient beings. Our right side of our brain wants to get involved. It wants to feel the sensations of the body, create emotion, and turn them into perceptions of something greater. We should listen.

3. If we just have sex, and for some of us bisexual men this can be an anonymous encounter, we are often left with a hollow feeling. Where the body ends the mind is just getting started; it feels left out. The left side of our brain wants to turn the sexual experience into an opportunity to relate on an intellectual level. It wants to form a physical/mental bond.

4. Where the mind ends, the soul is now just getting started. It wants to linger in this exchange of positive energy. It wants to form an energy or spiritual bond. It wants to create and enjoy the resonating vibrations of one being uniting with another.

5. When we engage in sexual activities let’s go for the touchdown. Let’s not be satisfied with encounters. Let’s look for relationship. We may discover that there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.