I'm scared

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April
Joined: 17 Nov 2015, 16:32

13 Nov 2017, 17:32 #61

I have had more than 3 decades experience in this sort of thing, so I know a little bit about it. When I was young, I was keenly aware of my insecurities concerning my identity and my sexuality. I also had some pretty high ambitions. I saw one totally in conflict with the other. My solution was to embrace masculinity, perhaps even hyper masculinity. As I aged, the details of the script changed, but it always involved emphasizing things that I perceived as rather masculine. That included pursuing very attractive women, feigned aggressive behavior, and a lot of very masculine interests, such engaging in dangerous sports. I tried both hang gliding and rock climbing, and I am actually terrified of heights. Go figure.
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oreb
Joined: 14 May 2017, 21:32

13 Nov 2017, 22:46 #62

Thanks for the support, people! :)). 

That's totally not my problem, quite the contrary. The environment I'm in sets very little pressure on me to behave in an aggressive hypermasculine fashion (I'll leave my opinion on the soccer and beer issue for another day, just to keep this short). My father is all but a model of such kind of masculinity and except for very brief outbursts of overcompensation when I was young, which I never internalized, I have never sought those things. I don't have overly high ambitions for myself, definitely not on the economic front (EU periphery simple middle-class lifestyle is enough for me, thanks). There have been times where I have strongly identified with a sort of grey, inert masculinity, defined by parsimony and emotional flatness, but even that is over now. This is not an expectation I'm afraid to break anymore.

So the point is that in a sense, any assertive display of femininity on my part feels capricious, superfluous. It's hard to rationalize the need for it in terms of personality traits, hobbies etc.. There is virtually nothing for me to break free from, no cultural tyrant to rise against, no narrative. Were not for the bunch of commands issued by the lower brain on how my body is supposed to look and behave (and -like- framed) in certain domains I would have no problem just being a 'soft male'. In fact it looks as an interesting and socially valuable role, one for which I have already a very comfortable set of social skills (how to be ironic about certain things, react to certain types of moves, etc). At least this is my interpretation.

[By the way, I don't see the whole issue as a problem of the self (false self, lack of self, etc.), but a problem for the self. The results of denying or mismanaging certain primal feelings might be disastrous for my life but by no means a treason to "myself". Swallowing an alien idea of what the self is does constitute one, though. Sorry, call me nihilist or whatever, but that's just me!  :-p ]
I didn't break the words! I am the words!!
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April
Joined: 17 Nov 2015, 16:32

14 Nov 2017, 02:48 #63

Oreb, It's all about letting the inner self free, whatever that might look like. For me, the watershed moment happened when I had cancer and was subsequently pronounced cancer free. I was given a second a chance, and with that I focused on who I truly was, and what would make me the happiest. I stop doing things simply because I felt obligated to do them,and did things because I wanted to do them. I didn't simply retire all my boy toys and replace them with girl toys. Rather, I allowed myself the choice of either.
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oreb
Joined: 14 May 2017, 21:32

14 Nov 2017, 09:52 #64

What exactly is the expression "who one truly is" supposed to mean? Can anybody analyze that expression?
What I mean is:

Last edited by oreb on 14 Nov 2017, 21:24, edited 1 time in total.
I didn't break the words! I am the words!!
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April
Joined: 17 Nov 2015, 16:32

14 Nov 2017, 14:22 #65

Oreb, It's a matter of why you are doing something, and for whom. When I started to seriously look at my life after my victory over cancer, I realized that most of what I did was rather contrived, and served the purpose of making a particular impression on others. I deliberately did certain things and avoided doing other things, because they either fit or didn't fit into the image of myself I was trying to create.My focus there was on how others were perceiving me. Then I started doing things that made me happy, regardless if they conformed to society's expectations of me or not. The hip term these days for this is "owning your own space". People who meet me, repeatedly use that phrase to describe me. I know that when I am in a room that not everybody is digging who I am, or what I do, but it has ceased to matter to me. I act in accordance with my internal voice.  
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oreb
Joined: 14 May 2017, 21:32

14 Nov 2017, 22:03 #66

Is there anything particularly obvious you are trying to tell me? Is there any glaringly obvious blind spot in what I write?
The way I see the world seems quite different from the one you from which your experience is coming. I don't think in the same terms as you do and I'm not sure I ever will; it's not just a matter of time.   

Bufff I don't wish to come up as such a defensive person. I also feel bad about poor Koloa above. My reply to him wasn't supposed to be a rebuff. I was genuinely interested in knowing what was going through his mind when he talked about white noise. How does this metaphor work? What does it assume? Can we sit together for a second and explore this thing a bit? You know, in an over a virtual beer/coffee kind of fashion.
I didn't break the words! I am the words!!
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Deborah Kate
Joined: 26 Nov 2015, 21:58

14 Nov 2017, 22:44 #67

 fyi, to me your replies do often sound like rebuffs xx
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jackmolay
Joined: 16 Nov 2015, 19:24

15 Nov 2017, 09:09 #68

//What exactly is the expression "who one truly is" supposed to mean? //

If you are looking for the secret formula of "oreb", you will be disappointed -- obviously. 

I look at it this way: Fundamentally we are complex animals, each and every one with a unique personality. This is personality is your special mix of traits and abilities. The personality is moulded and changed by social interaction, but there is always a core that is not. 

The fact that siblings can have so different personalities, in spite of being raised in more or less identical surroundings tell me that much of this potential is inborn.

Nature has given us a drive or a need to explore our own potential. Children play because they are driven to exploring their own potential and expressing their own personality. Happiness is often the effect of being given room to do what you are good at, which again is to allow your own personality to unfold itself in the universe.

Joseph Campbell calls this "finding your bliss", but there is nothing new agey about this, simply nature given room to run its course.

A lot of people are raised to conform to some kind of social ideal, and their special personality mix may be in conflict with that. Parents use a lot of tactics to make children obey and conform, some of them quite violent, both physically and emotionally. Many kids learn to put a lid on their feelings to avoid social exclusion. They end up becoming their own policemen, punishing any transgression and keeping their true nature in check. This "false self" is what causes suffering, including depression and emotional numbness.

The obvious solution to this problem is to find back to your true self and give that part room to breathe. 

That is easier said than done, as so many of us has learned how to despise and even hate that part of ourselves. We have internalized all kinds of phobias, including transphobia and homophobia.
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oreb
Joined: 14 May 2017, 21:32

15 Nov 2017, 11:54 #69

My point is that there is not "true self", so no "true self" to find back. The self grows out as a result of a long process of trial and error, imitation, learning, ideological conditioning. If this process fails to take certain fundamental inclincations (ignoring or misconstruing them due to pressure, etc.) then the result is likely to end up beig dysfunctional. But the two live on two separate levels of abstraction. I see the latter as a fundamental parameter the self has to deal with, not a "core self".   

«Joseph Campbell calls this "finding your bliss", but there is nothing new agey about this, simply nature given room to run its course.»

Sorry, but that sentence is the epitome fo new-ageyness. Nature has not set any "course" for me. It has given me a a set of ill-fitting conditions that don't let themselves easily integrate into a coherent whole. There is no hidden sense to all of it. My pending task is to cook up some sort of way of integrating all that into a mind structure tha can lead a reasonably happy and purposeful life within society. But first one needs to understand well the material one has to work with. Anyhow, without being able to argue any details, this is all empty talk. 
I didn't break the words! I am the words!!
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April
Joined: 17 Nov 2015, 16:32

15 Nov 2017, 18:06 #70

Oreb, You are the one who started this thread with the subject line "I'm scared. You have also indicated that you feel like you are stuck in a number of other threads. I understand your philosophy, but it sounds like your philosophy isn't giving you a lot of comfort right now. In the past you have indicated that you felt that the answer to your present situation was a matter of acquiring the right knowledge.As Jack has already indicated, there is no one formula for you, or anybody else for that matter. The universe is just way too complicated for that. Even if it could be reduced to an equation, the equation would be too complicated for a human being to grasp. It's a matter of one finding their own comfort zone. What makes you happy, and what doesn't? If you can answer that, you know yourself, but only you can answer.  
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