Tuesday, September 3, 2013

An old wound

I have an old wound. It's deep. It hurts, and the silliest (seeming) things make it hurt more.

I hate that I'm a girl. I feel less than, because I have the wrong genitalia. It has been a part of me for a long time. BJ asked me seven years ago (holy cow. It's been a long time!) why I felt less than... I wrote a long reply about everything I could think of... It had a lot of stuff about the EQ President (I couldn't say no to him, because he had authority, and I was just a dumb girl), Larry (I was his wife - nothing but his property), D (I felt guilty that I couldn't just support him... that I actually had thoughts and opinions of my own), the temple (A woman is supposed to just obey the will of her husband), etc.

All of those things were important and definitely things I needed to deal with... but those things aren't a part of my life now, and the wound is still there.

I feel it every time BJ says, "I wish my sons were here." or "I wish my boys liked fishing." or "I'm taking the boys (somewhere)."
I feel it every time someone says, "Just going fishing with the boys."
I feel it when the guys invite me to go fishing/camping, but I'm the only girl there... I feel like I have to be the best fisherman there to prove that I deserve to be there.
I feel it when girls talk about stuff they want to do together, and that sounds awful to me.
I feel it when we get together with other couples, and I'm supposed to go spend time with the women-folk. I feel it whenever the topic of Boy Scouts comes up.

I felt it when I was eight, and my mom was a cub scout den leader, and she spent a lot of time with all of my friends, doing fun stuff, and I didn't.
I felt it when I was supposed to go spend time with Kaily, but I felt out of place and shy around her.
I felt it when I was in YW, and our activities were all about weddings, and dresses, and marriage, and crafts, and my brothers were going to Day Camp where they got to do fun things like hiking and camping and zip lines.
I felt it when I compared Young Women's Camp to Boy Scout Camp. I HATED Camp as a YW... but I might have liked camping with the boy scouts.
I felt it when my dad went camping with the Scouts, and he took me a long when I was little. Once I was older, it wasn't a question, and I didn't get to do things like that with my dad anymore.
I felt it when I felt like I wasn't supposed to want those things anymore... I was supposed to want to be a good girl.
I felt it when my girl friends were all crushing on boys, and I wasn't.
I felt it at church every time I had to go sit in that stupid relief society room... And I wanted to scream at some of the stupid things the women said.
I felt it whenever women talked about needing their girlfriends, because I didn't need that.
I felt it when I realized how little authority I had in my own life: bishops, counselors, twelve-year-old boys, had more authority than I did.
I felt it when I'd listen to talks at church about the eternal nature of gender.

I don't know how to heal it.
BJ has made adjustments to the way he talks. He says "kids" now instead of "boys" or "sons", and that doesn't hurt... but I'd like to HEAL the wound. I'm tired of feeling it...

I just don't know what my next step is.


  1. I can so relate to this. My parents were cub scout and boy scout directors for the local pack & troop. I spent so much time setting up for and cleaning up after boy scout events, my parents spent a lot of their free time doing things for scouts, and I didn't get any of the perks my brothers got. I didn't get cool prizes for selling popcorn. I didn't learn any useful life skills like my brothers did. My birthday was always the same week as the annual cake auction, and my mom had to make about a dozen cakes for serving at the meal, so I often didn't get a birthday cake. It still doesn't sit right with me, how much work I had to put into something I didn't even get to participate in.

  2. I can kind of relate to this, just in the other direction. No, not the parts about authority in church, but the feeling that I was missing out on all the stuff I was really interested in, the stuff I would have more enjoyed doing in the YW program rather than scouts or being able to talk with the girls group or beign expected to be able to do (and enjoy) the "manly man" stuff.

    Some is probably from actual inequalities, some of "the grass is greener" feeling, and some may be even from the new idea of "gender dysmorphia" (feeling you are the wrong gender). Wish I knew the next step too, as I don't think just talking about it with the therapist will really change anything.