Sunday, March 9, 2014

An Emotion Filled Sunday

I had quite the experience this Sunday at my Unitarian church, it was great, but challenging at times. I had a panic attack for the first time in quite a while, and nothing seemed to trigger it, it was a slowly building light headed feeling combined with a feeling of impending doom that kept fading in and out as the service went on, it stopped shortly after, but I'm noticing signs even now as I'm typing of it trying to come back (chest pains).

I haven't had this happen in years, panic attacks I've had since my disastrous year at Southwest Baptist have been mild, infrequent, and usually had a trigger to them. None of those things applied today. It's making me worried that my anxiety issues are building a tolerance to the Cymbalta, I'm thinking I should talk to a psychiatrist.

It was though continuing stress was causing it, which is strange, because I've generally had a good outlook on life the last few weeks, there's been a lot of victories in life lately, I was approved for a loan on my house to do so much needed improvements (it hasn't been finalized yet), I've been establishing more who I really am, and soon I will have a new name.

In fact, during the services at this church, they have a tradition of letting people come up to the microphone to give "praises or sorrows". I used that time to announce to the church my name change, and I made a vague reference to my past/abusive family as one of the reasons for the change. I'm wondering if that triggered it, I felt fine at the time, but after that, it hit.

After the service was over, I started to recover slowly, I waited for several minutes to make sure I wouldn't pass out before standing up, and then went onto the potluck in their fellowship (yes, even uber liberal churches are Midwestern at heart).

The church has a tradition of using name tags during the service, and I was talking to the woman who coordinates that, as well as setting up the ushers for each service. She wanted to know if my name change was due to "transition".

My new name is somewhat gender neutral, and she was wondering because there are several trans people in the church. I thought it was funny, and it's a sign of why I love this congregation.

In fact, the gender neutral nature of the name is actually one of the reasons I picked it.

You see, it's kind of reflection of how I feel. In a past post, I talked about how I don't really feel masculine or feminine , though people tend to see me as being very masculine. Most of the way I dress is mostly because it's comfortable to me and functional. I got used to steel toe shoes and boots from working in the warehouse industry. My camouflage coat is due to the fact that it is hunting style gear, and so it's durable and very warm. My beard is due to the fact that without it, people think I'm about 15, and it's hard to get anyone to take me seriously that way if they think I'm a teen.

None of it is much of a reflection of how I feel on the inside. It's hard for me to identify emotionally as male or female. I'm just me... Call that what you will. I didn't know what to put on Facebook's gender status when they started allowing custom options, "non-binary" sounded close enough.

Oddly, enough, I haven't told my sister about this yet, I guess I'm trying to introduce who I really am to her, little by little. She has already said that I have changed a lot recently, cutting parents out of my life, changing the name, it's been a lot for her to get used to, though she still supports me. I wonder how she would take this, knowing her beliefs, would she understand it?


  1. That reminds me of the time I walked out of this obnoxiously Baptist sermon and then started crying even though I was angry more than anything else. I drove around until I ended up at a Presbyterian church and just sat in the back, crying, and there was a little old lady who came alongside who took care of me by just sitting there and directing me to the bathroom when I asked. I really appreciated it. I still don't know why I was crying. Emotions, man, they be weird sometimes, but that's okay. I feel like I need to keep telling myself that that's okay.

  2. I think that my soul is neither male nor female, but my body is female, and that certain effects who I am. I'm not just soul; I'm also body. But I believe that in heaven, we will be neither.

    However, if atheism is true, there is no immaterial part of us. There would only be the material.

    1. You've talked about this before, how concepts of gender and soul can be linked.

  3. I don't know much about the Unitarian church but it sounds like you have found a place of love and healing.


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