My latest fight

by Matt

I have Psoriasis, a disease with no known cause and no known cure. I have learned in the past couple of years that people with this disease (an auto-immune malfunction) are prone to depression.

There are many other factors from my life, including dominant women (3 of them), submissive men (2 of them), divorced parents (when I was ~3yo), a dad who had mental problems (schizophrenia) who eventually pulled out of my life when I was 12, the death of my grandmother whom I was very close to (at age 16), not being able to go into the military because my psoriasis, and a problem/lie/issue (whatever word you want to use) with gender dysphoria (desire to be the opposite gender) for most of my life (I thought I was rid of the dumb thing until my latest bout with depression).

This latest bout came on very quick...I was already well into it before I even knew it. I have been able to counter the last bouts, which minimized them to less than a week. This one, however is different. It's hard to describe the differences, but there are several.

We moved from CO to TN seven months ago, and "back" to NE (an hour away from our CO house) a little over a month ago. I have worked VERY little over the past two and a half years due to injury and (after moving) the job market in TN. I am the head of a family of five. At first, I thought I was just down because of not finding work. It wasn't until after the other night when I woke up in the middle of the night having the desire to OD, stand in front of a train, pull a trigger, and several other methods of suicide. That's when I realized what I was dealing with. Since I have been through depressions before, it wasn't hard to figure THAT much out. Trying to explain it to my wife and the friends we live with was a WHOLE other story. I couldn't form complete sentences (that made sense to them, anyway). I'm sure that part of my explanation sounded like an excuse for me not leaving the house.

My wife is making sure that I am getting out of bed (even if I haven't slept much) and is encouraging me to do some exercise. Our friends are encouraging me to just "leave the building." And I am being proactive and seeking out new ways of dealing with it this time. But with no money, reading and exercise is all I can do. Even praying is difficult (and it usually isn't).

At night, when I can't sleep, my thoughts have been gravitating toward the gender dysphoric thoughts, which tend to end up, in some way, self-destructive. I am trying analyze this part of it to further understand the new "nuances" of this latest bout.

I know this is not a normal description, as I can usually put things in a more logical order...and I apologize if things are broken up.


Merri Ellen writes...

Hi Matt,

Thanks for sharing. When I hear of your background and the men in your life who were role models, I may understand your own suffering. They had hurts of their own that they could not deal with. I suspect this may be a huge reason for your 'gender dysphoria'. If the men in your life were always dominated by women, this no doubt would confuse you as to how a man should be a man.

You are also left with having a memory of your own father dealing with mental health and then pulling out of your life entirely. What can a young man do with this? It's no wonder you are hurting Matt.

Those deep hurts and frustrations within you need to be addressed.

According to psychologists, Dr. Nicolosi and Dr. Dobson, homosexuality is not primarily about sex. It is about everything else, including loneliness, rejection, affirmation, intimacy, identity, relationships, parenting, self-hatred, gender confusion, and a search for belonging.

Matt, you may be suffering from having missed out on affirmation from male role models in your life. But, I cannot determine that for sure. This is why I encourage you to speak with a counselor to walk you through these questions.

A quote from Dr. Nicolosi, clinical psychologist...

"Girls can continue to grow in their identification with their mothers. On the other hand, a boy has an additional developmental task—to disidentify from his mother and identify with his father. At this point beginning at about eighteen months, a little boy will not only begin to observe the difference, he must now decide, "Which one am I going to be?" In making this shift in identity, the little boy begins to take his father as a model of masculinity. At this early stage, generally before the age of three, Ralph Greenson observed, the boy decides that he would like to grow up like his father. This is a choice. Implicit in that choice is the decision that he would not like to grow up to be like his mother. "

He goes on to say...

"When boys begin to relate to their fathers, and begin to understand what is exciting, fun and energizing about their fathers, they will learn to accept their own masculinity. They will find a sense of freedom—of power—by being different from their mothers, outgrowing them as they move into a man's world. If parents encourage their sons in these ways, they will help them develop masculine identities and be well on their way to growing up straight. In 15 years, I have spoken with hundreds of homosexual men. I have never met one who said he had a loving, respectful relationship with his father."

To read a letter written by a boy asking for help and the reply he got, go here...

For this issue, I recommend you contact Focus on the Family's Counseling Department (Dr. Dobson's foundation). Call 719-531-3400, ext. 7700, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mountain time.

Don't give up Matt. There is a light at the end of this tunnel but it will take some digging. You may have to get a bit dirty to come out on the other side. It won't be easy, but it's worth it.


Merri Ellen

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