vulnerability Archive

Faith and Sexuality with Bipolar

New to a wholehearted identification with the LGBTQ community, new to thinking of myself—knowing myself—as gay, my skin was as thin as paper when it came to perceived attacks on my identity. I felt as vulnerable and exposed as in the months after people learned I had a mental illness, so many years ago. I felt naked, like by coming out I had stripped away some vital protection that came with people thinking of me as straight, or even bisexual—capable, at least, of feeling sexual attraction to men—and that now I walked around people with an intimate part of me laid bare. To be gay, bi, pan, asexual, or queer in some other way is so much more than sex, but that’s what I felt like everyone in my family and close circle of friends were thinking about when they talked to me. I felt so incredibly revealed.

I want Sexual Accountability

Trigger Warning: Mention of rape

I am beginning to pathologize the sexual desperation I have felt for a cis-male-flesh-cocked lover in my life lately. This is new for me as I have mostly never been able to enjoy penis-centric heterosexuality and I consider myself exclusively queer. I have been incredibly weighed down by my sexual dysfunction for my entire sexual life. By sexual dysfunction, I mean my inability to experience healthy arousal, be orgasmic and/or connect sexually with another person without fear of becoming triggered. I haven’t had many positive end results when attempting to experience sexual pleasure with another person of any gender/orientation.

“Good” Victim, “Good” Self-Care

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Nikki. In her first post with us, she talks about the expectations placed on abuse victims/survivors. Thanks for sharing with us, Nikki!

There was a thing going around Tumblr that I can’t find now because I still don’t totally understand Tumblr, and it was about being a “good abuse victim.” How a “good victim” never gets involved with abusers again. “Good victims” have scars to prove their abuse, they get everything documented, they go right into therapy. They get fixed, they don’t get abused again. “Good victims” publicly call out their abusers… or wait, is it that “good victims” just talk about it with people close to them and work it out themselves and never make a scene? I don’t know, I never did it “right.” I marched around calling myself a Survivor for years which, to me, was like a “better victim,” a stronger one. Cuz when you’re a victim you’re weak and when you’re a survivor you’re strong and you did “good victim” properly and graduated. I said FUCK YOU to victimhood like it was bad. But in retrospect that’s saying there’s a right and wrong way to handle abuse, and that’s bullshit. As a repeat VICTIM of abuse I wanted to look strong even though repeat abuse makes people look weak. But fuck these hierarchies of who handles abuse the best. I am a victim of abuse and I’m surviving.

My Experience With Borderline Personality Disorder (Breyonne)

I am a 33 year old woman. I received a diagnosis about a year and a half ago of Borderline Personality Disorder. At first I didn’t really understand what it was. I thought, Isn’t what I have more serious than that? I was pretty sure I had something else, something more recognizable. Something I’d actually heard of, for instance. Turns out it’s serious enough. On top of the shitstorm of feelings and thoughts I have on a daily basis, professionals are reluctant to treat people with BPD. We’re notorious for being ‘hard to deal with’.

Crisis Checklist

Inspired by work people have done on madness maps and mental health first aid kits, I decided to make a checklist/flowchart to use when I am having a particularly hard time or am in crisis. It was a good process for me to make because it helped me to really think about what has helped me or caused me trouble in the past. I really like that we can make these sorts of tools for ourselves instead of relying on more general (often judgmental) dos and don’ts or advice from people who never know us as well as we know ourselves.

My Experience with Bullying (Katie)

Trigger Warning: Bullying, School Violence

I had never even met these kids before. One of them came up to me while I was at my locker and just said “Whatchu been sayin’ about my mama?” I had no idea what he was talking about – I’d never even seen him to my recollection. So I basically ignored him and went back to dealing with my locker.

“Trans Affirming” Therapist Video

This video is based on intake I did with a therapist at the Institute for Human Identity a few years ago. Another trans person had a good experience with a therapist there, but I got assigned to someone else and it didn’t go so well. A lot of the dialogue from the therapist is verbatim what I remember him saying to me. Only some of my responses are accurate to life, though. I didn’t actually tell him he was a jerk, for example, but I found it rather satisfying to do so in this video.