brainstorm on internalized misogyny

I grew up in a protestant church, and women in church aren’t at all encouraged to pursue theology or philosophy or anything like that, and they’re usually banned from teaching except in women’s groups. so people mostly just conveniently assumed that girls generally aren’t into that sort of thing. but I was! and I constantly asked questions. the female counselors didn’t know how to talk to me about it. they referred me to the male counselors, who were very interested in my questions. so it seemed like all of my productive conversations were with men. after a while, I think I just didn’t trust women enough to ask them questions, because women had never given me answers I was happy with. it wasn’t like they weren’t smart enough. they just… didn’t talk about theology or predestination or virtue. those subjects were confined to male circles only, like some unspoken rule. it was strange.

I went to a homeschool co-op until 8th grade, so I did a lot of reading. and the vast majority of classic literature, history books, old plays, etc. are written exclusively by men. men dominated the field of writing and philosophy for so long. and because I was so indoctrinated with religion for my entire goddamn childhood, I hardly read a single thing written by a woman. hardly a thing. everything I was passionate about was only taught to me by men. so I have this fucked up natural aversion to women, because I’m so used to only men sharing my interests! I hate it! and there are plenty of women involved in English and philosophy and religion and that sort of thing, and I’m constantly trying to seek them out, but I still notice this very subtle shift. I’m just not as interested in what women have to say. I’m a woman myself, but I still naturally equate female bodies/voices with not just physical weakness, butmental weakness. I’m so tired of it.

a lot of men try to tell you that there aren’t as many women in certain fields because women aren’t naturally inclined towards said fields. but I really, really don’t think that’s true. I really, really think that men have dominated those fields for so long that women just keep their passion inside and never share it because, without even realizing it, they don’t think women are good enough. and they don’t think they themselves are good enough.

I think that’s why I struggle with my gender identity, too. I just can’t figure out a way to identify with the female gender. I care less about my own physical strength than my mental strength. I do have body dysphoria, but I wonder if it has more to do with that mental gap than I thought. I don’t know why I have such a problem with being a woman. I think I consider myself weak because I’m a female. Somehow, if I were a man, my interests would be validated. My mind would make more sense. The women in the church sometimes thought I was only talking to male counselors because I had crushes on them. I did have crushes on them. But I didn’t experience sexual attraction at that age — at least not overt sexual attraction. I was just… more attracted to the men in my church because they radiated a sort of wisdom that the women didn’t. There are women in my life now, who I love, who would talk to me about religion and philosophy until the earth burned. But there’s this part of me that, God help me, just wishes they were men. What the fuck is up with that? I’m bisexual. I’m sexually attracted to women. This isn’t a matter of me just wishing I could have crushes on them or whatever. It’s deep. It’s a hatred of who I am. The fact that I’m a woman should have absolutely no bearing on my career choice or my passion. I can still study work from men who lived a thousand years ago. They aren’t going to stop me. They’re dead. But the aesthetic appeal of philosopher, of wise man? It’s all masculine. I want to be masculine. Not a man, but just as strong of will and of character. I can’t describe how much I hate that women are always assigned a submissive or a secondary role. Women aren’t supporting characters. God fucking damn it. God damn it.

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

I thought you knew that God couldn’t be pinned down. You’ve said so many times that his nature is incomprehensible. Why do you tell me we can’t know the concrete truth, but then, with the same tongue and absolute certainty, tell me I’m wrong? There is no absolute truth. I know you think that’s a logical fallacy. But you ignore every logical fallacy I bring to your attention, and you know why, don’t you? You know it’s because there is no absolute reality. You know that, because even the color red changes from human to human. Even eyesight, depth perception, hearing. I’m deaf in my left ear. I can’t hear the birds chirping in the morning. My best friend is schizophrenic. She texted me the other night about the way the voices seemed different than they usually do — they were alarming when usually they’re calm. How come you hate vanilla ice cream when I love it? How come I care so much about hell when you don’t? How come I’m wrong when I say that truth is relative?

Vanilla ice cream is delicious. There is no absolute truth.

Everything about life is subjective. That is the nature of reality and the beauty of it, too. God will not damn me to hell because he did not reveal the same truth to me that he did to you. God is Abba, Father, Mother, Protector of his/her children in life and in death. He knows where our differences lie. He knows that fear will never be solid ground for my faith, even if it is for you. We aren’t the same.

You know that God is the God of second chances. You know the parable of the Farmer and his workers. He hired men to tend his vineyard, and they worked all day starting in the morning. When afternoon came, he found more men waiting for work, and when he asked them why they were waiting, they said nobody had hired them. So he hired them, and they worked until the end of the day. When the Farmer paid all of the workers the same, the ones who had worked from morning complained. “‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you.'”
(Matthew 20)

God is in control. He will save some of us now and some of us at the mouth of Death. We will never be penalized for waiting.

I’m waiting for God. All of the faithless are waiting. We cannot be cast into hell for the knowledge that is withheld from us.

The road to truth is dim and slippery and every human being is given a separate route.

Obsessions

I’m eating Captain Crunch at midnight and reflecting on the ways I’m like a mussel, or a snail, clinging to whatever I can. I’m thinking about a particular sensation that comes over me when I’m given too much time to think. It feels like I’m drifting away, somehow, mentally, and I ground myself again by grabbing hold of the thought of something that brings me comfort.

I have the feeling I have some sort of mental disorder. I’m sure I’m not like anyone I’ve met. I’ve asked most of my friends about it, and they relate to a certain degree, but never entirely. I have such an obsessive personality. I’m afraid of it.

I’m talking creepy. I used to write letters in my journal to my youth pastor. They were sometimes ten pages long. I kept anything he gave me. I religiously recorded every word he bestowed upon me. Anywhere he touched me burned with holy oil and I thought of him like an angel and a saint and a savior and a God, and I think I’m not quite describing this well enough. I’m not sure I could employ any words extreme enough to describe it. I’m ashamed of it. I cried if I had to miss a church service because it meant I was missing an opportunity just to look at him, to glance at him across the room. I don’t know why I didn’t realize then how weird it was. I guess I always figured everyone felt the same way but they were too ashamed to admit it.

It wasn’t just my youth pastor. It was nearly every adult male in my life. I say “was,” but it hasn’t stopped. Authority figures: youth pastors, teachers, leaders, actors, etc. I hate trying to describe this because it’s so difficult, and because I’ve built up so much self-loathing because of it. I can’t understand it. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been made fun of for it. I know exactly why I have, though. Because it’s fucking creepy. And annoying as hell. But I cannot help it. I can’t. I’ve tried.

It used to just be male authority figures (two of my youth pastors, one of my head pastors, three of my history teachers, one youth leader, one creative writing teacher), but now it’s more. It’s actors and fictional characters. It’s John Barrowman and Zachary Quinto and Gillian Anderson and Mads Mikkelsen and P!nk. It’s Spock and Kirk, Jenny and Vastra, Captain Jack and Ianto, Furiosa and Max, Dean and Castiel, Maleficent and Aurora, Shepard and Liara. I could go on, because it doesn’t really stop. It doesn’t really let go of me. When I listen to the thrum of my existence and my soul, I hear them.

It’s normally a whole cocktail of people. I’ve got a hat of names to draw from, thoughts to choose from to distract me from whatever it is I’m distracting myself from (I haven’t figured it out yet). It’s hard to tell who or what I’ll be obsessing over on a given day. Recently it’s been a girl from my English class who I can barely even call my friend and whose wide smile fills me with such incredible white-hot frothing bubbly glee that my chest tightens and my skin feels clear and my soul is scraped free of sin. I could relate to you, in painstaking detail, every occasion I’ve made contact with her over the last four years, because my memory is crazy good and because I am frantically obsessed with her.

When I was a freshman, I had the hugest crush on this girl (who’s now my best friend). She made me realize I liked girls, actually. And I remembered for years every time she touched me. I remembered almost everything she said to me, even if I didn’t write it down in my journal. It was because I cleared out everything but her. I filtered reality through the shape of her body, the color of her Irish skin, the freckle in her eye, and the masculine quality of her voice.

Obviously, there are some benefits to being so fucking obsessed with people. For one thing, it makes my days a lot more interesting. It gives me something to write about, to think about, to live about. But also, I’m really afraid that nobody will love me the way I love them. I think it’s probably impossible. And I know this is unhealthy. Very unhealthy. Destructive to relationships, possibly. It gives things a weird tint. It makes me overly anxious. Clearly, something will go wrong if I spend every waking moment of my life reflecting on my latest interaction with someone I’ve barely gotten the chance to know.

what I want to be

My ideal self has evolved a lot over the years.

I used to think the perfect person was like Tohru Honda. Kind and innocent and unassuming and vulnerable.

I wanted that for a long time, and I felt betrayed by my own nature when I said anything remotely cruel.

Maybe it was the Christian part of me that saw the good in everyone for most of my life and took pride in my lack of resentment towards fellow humans. But my opinion of other Christians was the first to buckle. Either my vanishing childhood or my vanishing religion turned my skin tough.

I thought falling easily in love was a positive trait, that emotional vulnerability was desirable and that others would be attracted to someone who walked with a slit open chest.

But the more frequently I fall in love, the greater my regret builds and I know my soft heart is growing numb at the edges.

It’s fear and self hatred that presented me with a long-dreaded aversion to emotional touch. Or maybe it’s maturity. But why would maturity allow me to touch others freely while simultaneously refusing warmth?

I am afraid of vulnerability. I yell at my friends. I ignore texts to wean them off me. I’m probably more selfish than I ever have been, but under the pretense that barring myself from tenderness is a kindness because I am sparing my friends from that burden.

I want to be a boss ass bitch. I want to be powerful and lucid and attractive but not mean. I want to be distant where I used to wish I were present. I want people to question their reality and their sexuality. I want them to love me and fear me. I want to hold them in my palm and I want to feel great about it.

I am still obsessed with things and people. But I will use that trait.

I’ve been wanting to reduce my internet presence on social media platforms with which I am followed by people I know in real life. I want them to know as little about me as possible so that, by the rules of psychology, they will want to know as much about me as possible. I want to use my words wisely but not haltingly. To be confident but not obnoxious. Proud but not standoffish. Cool but not cold.

I can say this here because hardly anyone knows about this blog. I don’t want to be this calculating. I sound manipulative. I’m not that. I don’t want to be dishonest and I don’t want to hold things back. I’m already halfway to where I’m saying I want to be. I only want to be more in control and I want to know what I’m about. Uneasiness and openness are unattractive to me now, at least in my view of myself. I’m not so nitpicky about other people. Or am I? Recently, I become greatly infatuated with the prospect of a new friendship, but that huge interest dwindles within weeks. It’s becoming alarming. I absorb easily and quickly but nothing really sticks.

It’s strange. I’m very conflicted. I am a thousand pieces floating in unison. I just want to own all those pieces, and then some.

I don’t believe for shit that this means nothing

I’ve thought a lot about death and this seems the most likely answer if there is no religion. whatever emotion I have at the time of my death may carry me through into the afterlife. if I’m terrified of going to hell, I’ll be terrified of hell for eternity or even go to hell. whereas if I’m content, I’ll stay content, and if I’m asleep I’ll sleep forever. and if I’m sure I’m heavenbound, that’s where I’ll go. if this is the truth it means I’m a likely candidate for hell.

Afterlife Brainstorm

Wait. What if alternate universes do exist? Of course that wouldn’t matter for us, since we’ll probably never find out for sure. But what if alternate universes apply to the afterlife? What if some religions really are true, but only when it comes to particular universes? Maybe when we die, our souls will just pass through a portal into another universe, and depending on where we end up, that is our fate. Maybe one universe could be considered hell, and another heaven. Maybe that’s why so many theists are certain they’re right. Because they are. But other people are, too. Maybe we enter an alternate universe based on what we believe in our hearts — there’s some gatekeeper into other realms, and they bring us where we want to go, or where we’ve grown up believing we will go. Maybe we get to pick. Or maybe it’s by chance.