Bisexuality is more than just sexuality, or how to have better sex, it also involves the soul and turning confusion into understanding, self-hate into self-love, and then, best of all, developing passionate, committed, and intimate relationships with men and women. There is an art to living a great bisexual life, and it begins with control of the twisted thought patterns of the ego. Before we can truly enjoy our bisexuality, we have to come to terms with our links to pain created by our ego-mind. We want to enjoy sex with other mentally healthy bisexuals who are free to enter into a relationship with us without the negative energy attached to guilt and shame. But first we need to get rid of our own guilt and shame.
According to statistics that we have discovered in previous blogs, bisexuality is a hotbed for growing numbers of mental disorders and suicides, and for everyone that shows up as a statistic, there are several others who just plain struggle with their bisexuality. Many of us simply have a difficult time coping with the anxieties related to our sexual orientations, the back and forth male and female relationships, and inconsistencies of our sexual desires and our need for love. We then accumulate a string of mental or ego anxieties that can vary from person to person in range and intensity. At the far end of the curve, we label these struggles as disorders which usually require some form of medical or therapeutic intervention. The two most common disorders are clinical depression and generalized anxiety. However, there is another disorder common to many bisexual men and women that is the root of these other two more common disorders.
We bisexuals often have some mild issues that may lead under crisis (like divorce) to a personality (ego) disorder. Let me be clear. NOT every bisexual has a personality disorder; in fact, many do not even have any mental health issues. That is great; that is where we all want to be. However, a very large number of us do have issues related to personality. In most diagnostic instruments, the following symptoms are listed:
- Liability to become involved in intense and unstable relationships, often leading to emotional crisis;
- Disturbances in and uncertainty about self-image, aims, and internal preferences;
- Excessive efforts to avoid abandonment;
- Chronic feelings of emptiness;
- Recurrent threats or acts of self-harm;
- Impulsive behavior, e.g., speeding, substance abuse.
Two of these symptoms are needed to determine if the person has a personality disorder.
So how is this disorder formed? The mind creates powerful constructs and schema during times of stress and anxiety in childhood, infancy, or even back into the womb. People with a personality disorder have corrupted neural pathways or schema connected to strong emotions and feelings. They feel inadequate; they believe they cannot succeed; they feel they are a failure. As a result, they create destructive defense mechanisms like denial and repression. Most importantly, reality is too painful so they make up their own reality, their own fluctuating version of truth. In other words, as troubled bisexuals, we tend to be dishonest with ourselves and others about our true wants and needs.
Many individuals with a severe personality disorder also have an attachment disorder. They cannot live with love because they link love with pain. They cannot love themselves; therefore, they trust no one, love no one, and cannot bond with others. They create artificial bonds to fill their needs. When they feel threatened or perceive that their needs are no longer being met, they detach from the relationship. On the other hand, because they feel worthless and fear abandonment, they may feel the need to sacrifice themselves and hang on to a relationship even though it is destructive to their own mental and physical health. In the case of us bisexual married men, this detachment often takes the form of periodically seeking an anonymous gay encounter where we can feel detached from the stress of the relationship we have created. However, these encounters are usually enjoyed is secrecy and followed by more guilt and shame.
A mind with a severe personality disorder may direct its anger at the self. In time self-anger can eventually turn into self-hate. Hate is different from anger. The healthy mind uses anger as an impulse to provide the body with the energy needed to take actions to protect the self. The unhealthy mind employs anger as a state of being where anger smolders and lingers. This anger may evolve into self-hate and self-loathing. As bisexuals, we often have only three choices: detachment from the needs of the self, forcing discovery by their partner by careless behavior, or becoming consumed with punishing and destroying the self.
Bisexual men with a personality disorder may also have a sexual identity disorder. We tend to attach self-hate to our gay sexual orientation. We have to learn to accept and love our whole self including the gay or lesbian self. True healing of a personality disorder accompanied by a sexual identity disorder is often beyond the scope of psychotherapy for the mind. True healing has to take place in the soul or the inner self that is often neglected. This inner power is the higher power that we seek to heal the soul. Next week we will begin working on the ego and bringing it into harmony with the soul or this inner Self.
(For my personal story check out my posts on Celebrating Creativity through Poetry)