Borderline Personality Disorder and the Missing Self

I think it’s time to leave the research and theories behind for a while and look at BPD from an emotional point of view. Feelings from the heart instead of ideas from the mind.

During the weekend, I attended a writer’s workshop that focused on owning our work and feeling good about it. One of the activities really hit home. We were to carry on a written dialogue with the child within. The voice of the higher self (adult) was expressed by writing with the dominant hand and the voice of the child with the other. The following is what I came up with:

Child: It’s dark in here.

Adult: Where are you?

Child: I don’t know. Mom left me here alone a long time ago.

Adult: I was always there with you.

Child: No you weren’t. I didn’t see you.

Adult: I was watching safely from a distance.

Child: Why didn’t you come and play with me? I was scared.

Adult: I’m not sure. I cared for you but something seemed to be holding me back. Where was your mother?

Child: I never had a mother. There was a woman. She made my meals. We watched TV together but she was not my mother.

Adult: How do you know?

Child: She never held me. She never kissed me. She never said she loved me.

Adult: What about your father?

Child: I never had a father.

Adult No one?

Child: Just you. But you never held me, or kissed me, or said you loved me either.

Adult: But I was there. I didn’t do those things because I wanted you to be strong, to grow up to be a man. Surely you must remember my visits, those poems I wrote to you over the years?

Child: Yes, thank you. I still have all of them. I read them when I feel lonely.

Adult: I am sorry I neglected you. Please forgive me.  But there is still time. Perhaps you can be the child of my mature years, like my grandson?

Child: Yes, I would like that. Do you have time to play now?

Adult: Yes I do, all the time in the world. We can have our own special time every day after lunch until before dinner. Would you like that?

Child: Oh yes! That would be fun. But not golf. I hate golf. How about tag or hide and seek? I can hide someplace in the dark and you can come and find me.

Adult: And yes, and we can both run for home…

Child: And yell HOMEFREE!!

Adult: Yes let’s do it.

Child: And you can hug me and say you love me.

Adult: Yes, I promise. I do love you, you know?

Child: I know.


What can we take from this? Most of us bisexuals with BPD have had to survive with a wounded child, often because of childhood neglect or abuse. Because of that we have experienced psychological shame causing us  to avoid and neglect our inner child. We need to revisit those days again and do some healing; we need to give ourselves the attention we all had deserved. Above all we need to play. We need to learn to enjoy being with ourselves.



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.


Bisexuality, Anxiety, and the Cerebellum

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Using national data and the criteria from the DSM 4 to identify people with Anxiety Disorders, a group of researchers[1]  concluded that men who reported lifetime sexual behavior with both male and female partners had the highest rate of every mood and anxiety disorder. This was matched, but by a lesser degree, with women who reported both male and female partners. In some truly significant numbers, 46.5% of bisexual men experienced some mood disorder in their lifetime, compared with 26.8% of men who reported only same-sex sexual partners, 29.3% who reported no sexual partners, and 19.4% who reported exclusively female partners. These numbers are highly significant from two perspectives, first we bisexual men are almost twice as likely as other men to experience clinical anxiety, and secondly, almost half of us have experienced some form of severe anxiety during our lifetime.

So what is happening in our brains? Converging evidence suggests that the culprit may be the cerebellum which was traditionally thought of as the part of the brain responsible for motor control, voluntary movement, and balance. New information based on brain scans suggests that it may be much more than that. One of the surprising areas seems to be associative learning. Remember Pavlov’s dog and conditioned responses? Well it appears our anxiety may be related to conditioning. I read an article once (can’t find the source) that described gay and bisexual lives as death by a thousand cuts. We apparently are subconsciously responding to a lifetime of mini-traumas and now exhibit symptoms of PTSD. It’s like we have been in the trenches waiting for next call to charge the enemy through a mine field. In other words we suffer generalized anxiety because we feel that we are living a life where our sense of security is constantly being threatened.

The cerebellum also forms neural circuits with the thalamus, the hypothalamus and the amygdala. In other words it connects to the limbic and reticular systems which are associated with the two powerful emotions of attraction and fear.  This links whole body involvement with the dopamine pleasure seeking drive and the alert hormones of the sympathetic system.  Therefore, for those of us who have learned to live with generalized anxiety, it is not hard to understand why our whole body seems to be involved in our anxiety and not just our minds or genitals.  I am sure as bisexuals at least half of us have experienced that elephant on the chest, the frequent occurrence of shallow breathing, and mental fatigue that accompanies generalized anxiety.

Generalized anxiety involves the whole body, and therefore the relief has to involve the whole body. In the past the fastest and most effective way to get into my body was through same sex encounters. Unfortunately that was only temporary relief. I would walk away with a hollow feeling akin to depression and a gradual rebuild up of anxiety. The involvement of the cerebellum suggests that these anxieties have passed on beyond mind control and have become a part of my implicit memory and subconscious response systems. In other words I am now stuck with a chemical imbalance that is beyond the scope of psychological therapy. Typically that means medication with all its possible side effects, and that only provides relief for the symptoms and not the cause. It’s like taking a Tylenol for cancer. I have spent the last fifteen years of my life leaning to deal with my anxieties and in the process have found a new way of life that uses my anxiety as nervous energy to accomplish amazing things including this amazing blog.


My five suggestions for bisexuals on how to deal with anxiety by controlling our bodies:

  1. We can get in touch and stay in touch with our bodies. It’s simple – meditate. Fifteen minutes a day where we shut down our mind and concentrate of the sensations of our bodies. In the process we will find an inner presence that is interacting with the world around us. It will help us stay grounded.
  2. Practice soothing activities whenever we feel anxious. We simply become aware of our breathing. Deep breath in from the belly, hold, let out slowly and completely.
  3. Practice touch. Touch the area where we are feeling the anxiety and then bring the touch down to the heart and hold it there until the anxiety subsides.
  4. We sooth by talking to ourselves. We acknowledge the fear and its source thus bringing it from the subconscious to the conscious level. It is best done out loud. Then tap your heart and say “There. There, now. It’s all okay. I am here to protect you.”
  5. Whatever our sexual practices, we have a right to experience it without shame and remorse. If you feel that empty feeling, take charge of it and emphatically claim the right to seek pleasure anyway you so choose.
[1] Bostwick, Wendy B.;  Boyd, Carol J.; Hughes, Tonda L, and  McCabe, Sean Esteban. Dimensions of Sexual Orientation and the Prevalence of Mood and Anxiety Disorders in the United States. Am J Public Health, v.100(3); Mar 2010. (


The Virtue of Forgiveness and the Guilt, Blame, and Shame Game.

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)“Man learns through experience, and the spiritual path is full of different kinds of experiences. He will encounter many difficulties and obstacles, and they are the very experiences he needs to encourage and complete the cleansing process,” Sai Baba[1].

The virtue of forgiveness is the act and art of cleansing the mind and the soul. After negative experiences, the mind leaves a trail  of neural pathways in the brain that form the negative feelings and emotions of fear, grief, guilt, blame, and shame. The mind is always of the alert through this subconscious anxiety, watching for triggers that can lead it back to these feelings so they can be resolved. The key is to resolve them by linking them back to the positive emotions of acceptance and forgiveness. Forgiveness is an act of love, mainly for the self but also for others.

Forgiveness is the beginning of change. “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent,” Martin Luther King, Jr.[2] The goal of forgiveness is freedom from anxiety, freedom to live joyfully in the present, freedom to accept that we are a beautiful bisexual soul in peace with ourselves and the other important people in our lives.  So how do we actually and completely forgive? How do we rid our minds of these thoughts and feelings that may have haunted us for decades? We do not ignore and suppress the mind; we use its main function, judgement or free will, but we do it with our heart or spirit in support of the mind.

The first step in developing the virtue of forgiveness is to forgive the self. In reality there is no past or future; there is only the present.  The past only exists in our mind, so we have to use the mind to heal the mind. We simply recognize the feeling, seek the root of the feeling, and then employ judgement with compassion and understanding for our self. We accept what happened, recognize that we did our best under the circumstances, look at the positive things we have learned from the experience, and forgive ourselves. Here is where the heart comes in. Forgiveness is not a rational process but an act of love. We allow our heart or spirit to embrace the experience and then give our self a warm hug until the feeling becomes warm and peaceful. We have now established a new link to that pathway that we can choose to follow whenever a trigger has activated it. We can use our heart-based judgement in a positive sense to judge the memory and the trigger for what it is and choose to follow the positive pathway back to love of self. By repeating this process over and over again we eventually establish a strong neural pathway to self-love.

The next step is to forgive others and to allow others to forgive us. Once we have forgiven ourselves for the situation, we are free, but this important relationship is still fractured. We take the initiative and approach the other person for cleansing of the relationship. This can be difficult because of the negative bond that has been established and strengthened by powerful negative feelings from both parties. Within this negative bond there is a need for blame. Blame is an extremely powerful negative feeling that can turn from sadness to anger. In reality there is no blame. There was only a situation in which each individual did what they had to do because they felt that was the only alternative given the situation.

We can go to the person and describe our experience of self-forgiveness, thereby opening the doorway to letting them approach the situation positively. We do not accept any blame; we do not apologize, and we do not defend ourselves. We are not responsible for their feelings, and we are really no longer responsible for the events that happened.  That is all in the past.  We merely acknowledge that these things have happened and that we wish to forget the past and live in the present.  If they wish to play the name, blame and shame game, we simply take the role of an active listener.  We acknowledge and affirm their feelings but we do not share in owning them. When they have expressed their thoughts and hurts, we can reassure them of our love for them, and our desire to have a good relationship. If they choose to stay in anger and fear of the past, we can choose to walk away and let them resolve their own issues. We are now both free of the negative bond and can live in the present free of the chains of the past. We also free them from the bond and our complicity in it.

So what does this have to do with bisexuality? Here are my five points on the virtue of forgiveness:

  1. As bisexuals, we are major players in the name, blame, and shame game. I do not remember the number of times I said it is all my fault and was too ashamed to look myself in the mirror. These feeling are rooted deeply in our childhood and hold strong feelings of disappointing our parents because of our desires and behaviors. It is time to go back in the child within and give him or her a great big hug and say how proud we are of their courage to be who they were and do what they did.
  2. As bisexuals we have often started off in a heterosexual relationship and been unable to control our same-sex impulses and desires. This is natural.  This is who we are. There is no need to have shame over these desires. We recognize the shame for what it is and forgive ourselves.
  3. These desires have often led to having sexual experiences outside the relationship. This may cause us to feel extreme guilt and shame. We have to be compassionate with ourselves and recognize the powerful sources of these desires and feelings. We have to also realize that we will continue to have these desires for the rest of our lives. The key is truth and honesty. We first forgive ourselves for having these desires. They are what they are. There is no need for guilt. We have to forgive ourselves.
  4. At some point we will have to disclose our desires and actions to our heterosexual partners. We do not apologize for them or ask for forgiveness. We simply acknowledge them and the subsequent confusion and grief that may come from the partner. We become active listeners letting them ask their questions and confirming their feelings. We then focus on the relationship and see if both parties still want to maintain it and what changes that may involve. If we or the partner choose to leave the relationship, we do so expressing our love for them, wishing them the best and offering to support them in any way we can.
  5. We move on without guilt or shame. We may seek new relationships but we are always honest with potential new partners about our bisexuality showing no remorse or guilt. It is who we are and we ask the new partner to accept us just the way we are.

We remember that we are spiritual human beings, and we act and make decisions from the heart. Our sexuality is the desire of the heart to connect with people who can accept and love us just the way we are without shame, blame or guilt.





Bisexuality – Sexual Addiction or Passion

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Is your bisexual sex drive a passion or an addiction?  It depends on whether you control the drive or the drive controls you.  In his book Scattered Minds[1], Gabor Mate talks about the nature of addictions.  He states that “the real object of addiction is the thrill of plunging into the behavior, not the love of it…. The addiction, in a strange way, makes the addict feel more connected to life” (page 302). He goes on to note that the brains of people who are prone to addiction are biologically predisposed by some imbalance of brain chemicals particularly caused by under supply of dopamine and endorphins. This chemical deficiency, and the empty space that goes with it, creates a constant source of anxiety. Addiction is therefore a drive to overcome anxiety and generate and experience the excitement and pleasure of a dopamine/endorphin rush.

I believe some of us bisexuals with addicted personalities often have no idea what our true needs are, and we use sex as a means to overcome our feelings of worthlessness and poor self-concept. We need to feel wanted, even if it is just for a few hours with someone we may never see again. These feelings are the product of implicit memories developed in our years from conception to around age two. They are buried somewhere in the subconscious mind. So how do we overcome these feelings that seem to be beyond the  control of our minds? How do we turn unhealthy addiction into healthy pleasure seeking passion? Quite simply we focus on and take control of our sex drive instead of letting it control us.

The first step is to strive for ownership in what Mate calls “compassionate curiosity”. It requires that we get rid of our defenses and explore and accept ourselves with courage and honesty. This includes our negative thoughts and feelings that are at the basis of our drives. We can focus on our behaviours and the feeling related to them by consciously seeking to know and understand them. We do not judge our behaviors but we simply accept them and try to understand the feelings that accompany them. We watch to make sure that the nature of the inquiries are carried out with a caring and loving tone.

The second step is self-accepting. That means owning the unconscious pain that comes from the implicit memories that come with the feelings. We have to get in touch with our unconscious griefs, which may be the truest part of our inner self. We embrace the griefs, own them, and acknowledge their importance in making us who we are. We also study our anxiety patterns and welcome them as a guide to doing something about our negative inner feelings. We follow the path to the cause of the anxiety and re-examine the way we perceive and think about things. We then take ownership and control of our situation thereby releasing the major cause of the anxiety.

Nor do we run away from guilt but accept it as a natural product of our desire to hold onto the relationships that we have sensed as essential. Our fragile inner child  wants to please significant people in our lives and therefore experiences a sense of shame when we are doing something that we believe will isolate us from that relationship.We must control the guilt feelings not just give in to them. We acknowledge the guilt and learn to live with it but make a conscious decision not to dance to its tune. If we are partnered, we need to have an open relationship. Secrecy will just lead to guilt again as we shift our shame and guilt from our parents to our partner. It helps to have a partner that understands our needs and accepts them as part of the person we are.   We have to love our self and understand our needs and do what is necessary to live a life where we control shame and guilt.

The third step is not to punish ourselves for what we are thinking and doing but to be kind and compassionate with ourselves. Even though we set out to make positive changes, there may be failures.  We can choose to perceive them as not as failures but as an exploration of our feelings and desires. We can also leave some room to occasionally give in to our compulsions, especially when resisting them seems to drain us of our ability to function, but we do so at a conscious level.  It is a choice we make, a choice we have a right to make.  We can then look at the results of the choice and try to gain some insight on why we felt the compulsion and the effect it has had on our heart and soul.

Above all, we have to have fun. We have to build in opportunities to have a good laugh at and with ourselves. A night on the town to indulge our need for a dopamine/endorphin rush is not the end of the world. We acknowledge the need, make a decision to go with it and go out and have a great time. There will be lots of time to look at our behaviour and make plans to meet our needs in healthier ways tomorrow.

[1] Mate, Gabor. Scattered Minds. Vintage Canada. 2012

Bisexuality and Transformation

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)As bisexuals, we are often robbed of our ability to enjoy our sexual experiences by the feelings of worthlessness, shame, or guilt that follow. These feelings seem to come from an empty space within our mind and soul.  We need to fill this empty space before we can live wholesome lives. This may require a transformation.

At the root of most of our sorrows is usually the lack of attunement, which is the transfer of a positive life force from the mother to the child. The mother figure may love the child but does not demonstrate it through physical contact, focused attention, and especially eye to eye contact. It  is necessary for the child to “feel” loved in the womb and during the first year of life.  It is through this love connection that the child becomes empowered to go out and conquer her world.

Lack of attunement sets the stage for most of the lingering difficulties experienced in life. When this empty space is not filled, there is a constant underlying sense of anxiety. Lack of attunement and the resulting anxiety is  the root of most personality disorders, and it is the personality disorder that is often the cause of a person not being able to form and keep wholesome and lasting relationships. These broken relationships then add fuel to the fire of  worthlessness and expand that empty space in the heart. But it is not a life-time sentence. Even personality disorders and painful experiences can be overcome by the power of the human spirit.

The key is to change the beliefs of the mind and the ego, which means changing the neural pathways in the brain that were formed before memory, concept development, and the ability to reason. That means we have to rewire the old brain, not by changing thought and behavior patterns, but by changing our feelings..

The process of transformation has to be carried out with the combined participation of body, ego, heart, and spirit. One must make sure the body is rested and has proper nutrition and exercise, thereby restoring the immune system and keeping the brain chemically balanced. Next, one must make a conscious ego-commitment to becoming a more complete, more powerful person. One must also keep the energy levels of the spirit up by taking time during meditation for awareness, experiencing, and responding. With the will power of the ego, the energy of the body, and the power of the spirit one is ready to heal the heart.

To do this we have to bypass the thought processing part of our brain and get into the feelings.  The best way to do this is through visualization. During meditation, we create a visual image of the feeling attached to the emptiness or the pain. We then ask the body to reveal the experience behind the feeling.  We then simply acknowledge the people involved in the image and thank them for the good gifts they have brought into our lives, even if it is just that their actions have given us an opportunity for spiritual growth. In some way, we have to be able to see a positive side of the negative, the yin that exists with the yang. Then we take the negative influences they still have on us and call on the fire of passion from the spirit to burn them up and blow them away. We can visualize the negative vapours dispersing into the gentle summer winds that blows continuously in a  spiritual garden that we can create outside our bodies.

In my opinion, there seems to be two sides to each relationship, the negative and the positive. I feel we have to recognize that both are gifts, even the negative. When we allow our emotions of love to mingle with the emotions of rejection and abandonment, we can reroute the fears of the ego into the positive feelings of acceptance and gratitude from the heart. We need to visualize the burning of negative constructs as an act of kindness, a gift to ourselves and to the people involved, because it frees our souls from the negative energies we have created.


Wading through Research on Bisexuality

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

Having trouble wading through the scientific research on bisexuality? Join the club. This may help. Paula C. Rodriguez Rust in her book, Bisexuality in the United States (2000), traces the research from an historical perspective.  She notes research on homosexuality (or any sexuality for that matter) was not showing up in the scientific field of studies until the 1950’s. Homosexuality was still considered a perversion and a mental illness and received very little scientific attention. During the 60’s the sexual revolution started and after the riots in New York, homosexuality started to receive attention as a legitimate orientation. In the 70’s, bisexuality was noted but was considered just a transitory stage to homosexuality. In the 80’s researchers finally began to address the issues because they felt that bisexuals might be the gateway for spreading AIDS from the homosexual to the heterosexual community. She sites works by two pioneers in the 80’s, Jay P. Paul, Reassessing our Paradigms of Sexuality, and A.P. MacDonald Jr.,  A Little Bit of Lavender Goes a Long Way, that brought the study of bisexuality away from the binary view of heterosexuality and homosexuality.  During the early 90’s we had a shift to a concept of sexual orientation which allowed for a broader view which could explain bisexuality and other variations that did not fit into the binary model. This opened the gates to the hodge-podge of theories and conclusions that we now see in the scientific journals. To the part-time bisexual academic like me, all this is interesting, but  there appears to be no clear cut answer to anything that might help me understand myself better and lead a more wholesome life.

After wading through the review of the literature, one is left with a headache and more confusion than when one started. We eventually are tempted to chuck all the theories in the wastebasket and start over with a new paradigm. I believe we are all individuals who pursue our passions in different ways according to a sprinkling of genetic factors that create a predisposition, and environmental experiences during early childhood, or even back into the womb, that shape these predispositions into a potential orientation. Further experiences during adolescence reinforce the predisposition leading us to fulfill our needs for passion and sexual gratification in different ways. This creates a biological/psychological impulse from the old brain that we can refer to as a sexual orientation that directs us to seeking copulation with same sex, or opposite sex partners, and in the case of bisexuals, with either/or.

People who have been gay or lesbian or straight since the get-go, may have strong psychological/emotional impulses that result in powerful feelings of repulsion when different sexual  opportunities arise. When the impulse goes to the administration center, it gets an automatic yes or no depending on the feelings attached to our orientation. But as bisexuals, these aversion or circuit blocks do not exist. We always have the ability to choose.

Nor is our bisexual orientation stationary. Neurological studies based on real and solid evidence show that we are constantly changing, pruning away our dendrites and creating new ones, changing our neural pathways based on new experiences. When we change our neural pathways we change who we are. When we have traumatic events like rape or divorce, we may make major changes in our sexual orientation in order to survive. But once the hurting stops, we may choose to revert to old patterns or start new ones. Beyond that we adjust these patterns not only to survive but to thrive. Who I am today is not who I was yesterday, and who I am today is certainly not who I was ten years ago.

There is even a case to be made that we are all potentially bisexual and therefore open to all forms of sexuality. To say that we have to be locked into being gay or lesbian or bisexual of pan sexual or kinky or straight is simply not true. I KNOW THIS SOUND LIKE HERESY; once gay always gay is essential to the group political beliefs and the feeling of identity and security of the individual, but it is simply not the case. Brainwashing does work. If you experience enough pain you change the neural pathways, even the old-brain ones, creating blocks to old patterns and opening channels to new ones. Pain can make any change possible. Does that mean change will be easy? NO, of course not, and for some it will seem to be almost impossible, but in reality, anything is possible. But if you enjoy being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or straight, then by all mean continue and enjoy.

Essentially then, do we bisexuals have a binary sexual orientation? Yes, but so what? Except for academia in the fields of Psychology and Sociology, who really cares? The key is to find happiness and experience joy through our sexual experiences and to remember that this is only one aspect (how-be-it and very powerful one) to our complex love and pleasure systems. Thinking about it complicates it. By defining it, we claim it, and our sexual identity can become our personal identity. The key is to be able to bring things to the conscious level and to choose a path that will lead to contentment and wholeness. By continuing to function with this process, we can change who we are into whomever we want to be. So welcome change.

There is not a single sexual act or sexual orientation that you can look at as a source of any of your problems.   The problem is the way you think about it. There is no purpose in categorizing ourselves or others because that very act limits our freedoms and choices. If your orientation is no longer resulting in feelings of joy and contentment, then by all means change it or even suppress it entirely and become asexual.  What it all boils down to then is to know who you are, not just your sexual identity, but who you really are inside. Be true to the inner you and use your sexuality to enjoy your life in any way you feel will enhance being you.  So get your thinking straightened out and go out and enjoy life.

Bisexuality – Passion or Addiction

2016-03-26_0931Now that our relationship hurts and pains are under control, we can get back to gender and sexual orientation issues. In the past, those hurts and pains may have led to compulsive or even addictive sexual behaviors. All forms of compulsion and addiction are destructive and filled with negative energy. We have to turn that energy to the positive side; we have to go from destructive compulsions and behaviors to instructive mental and heart-based patterns.  That means turning addiction into passion.

To do this we first have to understand or become conscious of compulsion and addiction. The best source of information that I have found on this topic is a book called In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate[1]. Even though his main focus is drug addiction, he also applies his theories to behavioral patterns, including some sections on sexual addiction. If you have similar experiences as I have had, you will feel these words hitting home:

“People jeopardize their lives for the sake of making the moment livable. Nothing sways them from the habit — not illness, not the sacrifice of love and relationship, not the loss of a mate, of all earthly goods, not the crushing of their dignity, not the fear of dying.”

“I (Alvin) get a high of some sort. Which lasts about three to five minutes (in our case, an hour or two), and then…you say to yourself, ‘Why did I do that?’ But then it’s too late. Something makes you keep doing it, and that’s what’s called addition.” [2]

“Cocaine (or in our case, sexual addiction), as we shall see, exerts its euphoric effect by increasing the availability of the reward chemical dopamine in key brain circuits, and this is necessary for motivation and for mental and physical energy.

“He (Aubrey) feels incomplete and incompetent as a person without the drug (or in our case, gay or lesbian sex) a self-concept that has nothing to do with his real abilities and everything to do with his formative experiences  as a child…and the sense that he was a failed human being were a part and parcel of his personality before he ever touched drugs (or as in our case, engaged in gay sex).[3]

“Dr. Sigmund Freud used cocaine (or as in our case, gay or lesbian sex) ‘to control his intermittent depressed moods, improve his general sense of well-being, help him to relax in intense social encounters, and just make him feel more like a man’.”[4]

Let’s put these quotes together and apply them directly to compulsive or addictive sex.

First of all, for bisexual men and women, this usually means a heterosexual primary relationship with a desire to engage in same-sex encounters and relationships.  Usually these sexual adventures have some degree of guilt and shame, or at the least, a sense that we are doing something that is not quite right. However, we are driven by our own desires to seek a deeper sexual experience that can give us a rush (dopamine drive) and to fill a kind of emptiness inside that seems to always be there just below the surface.  At times, when we feel down or trapped, these desires rise to the surface demanding a stimulus that can break us out of the blah mood.  When we engage in gay or lesbian sex, we feel the dopamine rush that leads to an opiate response (intense pleasure) and a hormonal drive (a mix of testosterone or estrogen and oxytocin). Throw in an Adrenalin rush because we feel we are walking into forbidden territory, and we have a powerful rush equivalent to a combined shot of ecstasy, cocaine and heroin. After a few encounters we are hooked on the rush provided by our own body chemicals. We become addicted.

At this point, we are caught in a dilemma: we need the rush to survive, but we feel obligated to our partner to stay in a monogamous relationship. Enter guilt and shame.  We now create a cycle of drive and withdrawal.  Our depressed desires become a major part of the feelings that trigger a compulsion for another same-sex encounter.  We now are aware of the possible consequences of our sexual behavior but we feel powerless to stop. The power of the relationship with our spouse or partner begins to fade, and we become more and more addicted. Eventually, we realize we can no longer control the behavior, but we feel we have to get out of the relationship because we cannot deal with the dishonesty and shame. If we are brave enough, we come out to our partner with a willingness to live with the consequences.  If we are not brave enough, we get careless hoping the spouse will discover our behavior and make the decision for us.

At the bottom of all this, there is usually a root cause that goes back to a traumatic event or wound suffered during early childhood. In other words, we were an addiction just waiting to happen.  This brings us back to the inner healing which we have discussed in the previous blogs.  If the wounds of the past have now been healed, the key now is to become conscious of the addictive behavior, detach the thought and behavior patterns from the root cause, and consciously reattach them to positive circuitry.  In other words,we take control of our own behavior. We are honest with ourselves and our partners, and we make the decisions that will be best for both of us. We are now free to change addiction to passion and begin to enjoy our sexual bodies without shame, guilt, and compulsion. More on that in the next blog.

[1] Mate, Gabor. In the Realm of Hingry Ghosts. Knopf Canada, 2010.

[2] Mate, page 31.

[3] Mate, page 40.

[4] Gay, Peter. Freud a Life for our Time. W.W. Norton, 1998. (page 444).

Fathers’s Day and Bisexuality

cc01c6b7-a6fb-44c2-90ac-256d0b2874e8 (2)When I burned the contract with my ex-wife, I realized that our family life as I knew it was also over forever. My ex-wife and I had created a family, loving two beautiful babies into existence, and adopting two beautiful, equally-loved children. They had all been a part of the contract. By burning the contract with her, I was also burning my contract with them. It meant that I could never go back to things the way they were.

Contracts with spouses involve contracts with children, making it very painful to burn the family contract, especially for men who are usually the ones that have to walk away from the home where our children live and breathe. This involves huge amounts of grief and guilt.  We have to realize that in a situation where love has been replaced by mere duty and loss of passion and drive, we no longer have anything to offer within that relationship; in fact, we may be doing more harm than good. Children absorb emotion like sponges; it affects their neural pathways.  If there is anger or resentment, they will absorb it and not be able to process it consciously, so it will get buried in their subconscious and come out as negative feelings and behaviors. Even if we continue to live together, but without love, they will also absorb the broken bond and harbor their own feelings of brokenness.

The key is to make a clean break while reassuring the children that they are still loved by each parent, and that the parents have made a conscious decision to live apart, but to still cooperate and be true to the bond each of them has made to the children. It will hurt for a while but they will adjust. It is also important for them to see the parents together from time to time as friends with no animosity or bitterness.

If you are a bisexual, and that is the main reason for the break-up, do not burden the children with this information until they are ready to accept what you have to say. This is the domain of the bisexual parent. The straight parent should never expose the children to this information; however if he/she does, simply explain your situation with information as needed, free of the bitterness of the unwanted exposure. Obey the golden rule, you never blame the other parent. Remember you are the adult and you give them just the amount of information needed so that they can understand that you still love them and they are not responsible for your choices. If you are in a new same-sex relationship, the same thing applies. Do not flaunt your sexual freedom; do not expose the children to situations they may not be able to handle. If they ask questions, just give them the information they seem to be asking for.  Be brief and to the point and compassionate.

My situation was different; I had adult children. As a parent I had set up contracts with them that I insisted they observe. Now that they were adults, they had developed contracts with me that they insisted I observe. My ex-wife had broken the golden rule, disclosing my bisexuality to my children.  At first, they were shocked and critical, even advising their mother to leave. This family conference without me was the most painful experience in my entire life. I could no longer bear the sense of shame, betrayal, and guilt; I had to burn those contracts. I wrote them up and placed them in the fireplace. It hurt like hell to watch them burn. As I watched the contracts disintegrate into red sparks, I visualized the comforting power of my spirit flooding my soul with a pure white light. The last obstacle had been removed. I set about to restore relationships with my family. My children were gracious and welcomed me back immediately.

This concludes my section on inner healing. I still have issues related to my wounded ego, but I have abolished the contracts that my ego had used to give me a sense of purpose and being. There are no more contracts to control me; I am free to be myself.  The energy released by burning the contracts of hurt and pain has become the white light that has helped me see life more clearly. I now can see the “I” that was always present and can simply let it  take over by an act of my will. Recognizing, accepting, and loving the “I” was the moment of the healing of my personality disorder. This allowed me to be compassionate, honest, and understanding with my Self.  As I continue to experience the truths of life, it helps me understand and feel compassion for people who are going through similar experiences. My understanding and the subsequent acts of compassion have become an energy source that can bring healing to others, especially my children, and a joy to my own soul.

Bisexuality, the Heart, and Ex’s

2016-03-26_0931This is the third in a series of blogs dealing with deep inner healing. I know this may sound like my idea of the quick fix, and I apologise for that.  There is no quick fix.  Our memories are scattered bits of words, images and feelings that can be and will be triggered for the rest of our lives.  The key is to disconnect them from the pathways that lead to pain and rewire them to positive feelings – to go from worthlessness to worthiness, self-hate to self-love, and yes, even from pain to joy. This is an on-going process that sometimes takes a lifetime

In the last two blogs, we looked at relationships with parents; today we will look at ex-spouses. When I started burning my contracts, I kept the most difficult for last, my ex-wife. I believe the relationship with an ex-spouse, especially the first spouse, the other parent of our children, is held together by strong oxytocin bonds connected by that first innocent passionate love and reinforced through the birthing of children. When the raw passion recedes, we have to move on to heart to heart love or the bond begins to die and be replaced by a set of self-centered and self-serving expectations that are suffocating and eventually may prove fatal. This is the contract.  Once the bond is broken, it is broken, yet we persist. But it is not love that holds us together at the end, it is the contract.

In my own story, I had sacrificed all my own wants and desires believing that it would please her and force her to keep on loving me. I had become a shell of a man who hated himself and had embarked on a course of self-destruction. By being untrue to my Self, I had built up a massive body of unconscious resentment. I resented the contract with my ex-wife that led me to sacrifice my Self, my sexual orientation, my career choices, and even my family, on the altar of our marriage. These resentments had burst forth in gay sexual encounters as a way of escaping the pain and emptiness, placing the blame on her, and striking out against her. But in my unconscious state, the only person I was destroying was my Self.

When the man she had fallen in love with disappeared, she too had held on to the contract.  When I had failed to keep my end of the bargain, it was the end of the marriage. She burned her half of the contract. When the marriage ended, I felt I was a hopeless failure. I kept this feeling of failure buried deep within my soul. Even after two years, I was still holding on to my half of the contract, believing it was the one thing that could save me from myself. I finally came to the point of accepting that the reconciliation was not going to happen; in fact, I finally understood that I could not even let it happen, because it would destroy what was left of me. I also understood why I had let the gay encounters happen; I had subconsciously forced myself out of my poisoned contractual relationship before it literally killed me. I had to burn the contract. But I realized that there was still some good there – good times, good memories, and that she was still the wonderful girl I had fallen in love with. I had to do it as an act of love for myself and for her. It took one whole sixteen hour day to write the contract. It was necessary for me to lovingly go through each positive and negative item of this contract so that I could see, remember and weep for the things I had enjoyed and lost while burning the guilt and failure.

I lit the fire and watched the written contract burn in the real fireplace as I visualized it being consumed by spiritual flames in the spiritual fireplace I had built inside my inner room. As I watched the last disintegrating pieces float up the chimney and out into the open sky, I felt the weight and guilt of having failed her lift off my shoulders. Then it all became clear. There was no failure. A marriage that dissolves is not a failure; it is merely an accepting that the bond has broken and that both need to move on in order to survive and thrive. There was no more shame; my sexual orientation was a powerful part of my body and the basic foundations of my mind.  It simply demanded to be expressed; it was okay to accept these urges and enjoy the sensations of my body. There was no more guilt; I had done the best I could under the circumstances. I had held on for thirty-three years and kept my family together free of the knowledge of the struggles I was experiencing until all my children were well established adults. I did not have to apologize to anyone or forgive anyone, particularly myself and my ex-wife. It was just a matter of being conscious of the truth of the situation and then moving on to a more wholesome life.

As the last black fragments of the contract disintegrated into the final spark that floated up the chimney, the old me departed. It left a hollow feeling behind, but I was ready to begin again. I was ready to love again, perhaps really love for the first time. I was now free to be me, to enjoy wholesome relationships with men and/or women, and to reconnect with all the people I had loved, with all the people who had tried to love me   But his time it would be as an honest man, free of guilt and shame, I would be true to my Self.  I would just be ME.