Bipolar, Gender Dysphoria, NFL, Syria, in no particular order…

So then, my theory on the possibility that I may have bipolar seems to be holding up. I have times of being on an even keel, with maybe a bit of manic behaviour, such as replying to everything everyone posts on Facebook or posting five blog posts in three days, or staying up till half three in the morning to write this post. Then my brain runs out of the happy juice and like a roller-coaster just slips down into a nice big dip. It doesn’t help that my medication makes me need to sleep for well over twelve hours a day. So yes, as ever I still need people’s prayers.

In frivolous news I watched another NFL game last night on 4oD, a bit of a shambolic affair between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas only just won after New York gave up six turnovers. Something they haven’t done in 25 years. The NY quarterback had a rough night, in the first play of the game he threw a comically bad interception straight to a Dallas defender like he meant to pass it to him… The Giants quarterback: Eli Manning, brother to Peyton Manning of my last blog post (whoops, spelled his name wrong in my last blog…) There is a theory that whenever Peyton has a particularly good game Eli does particularly badly. That the game ended as closely as it did was more because Dallas had shambolic problems of their own. Still it was entertaining to watch if schadenfreude is your thing and since I was a neutral observer it was grand.  NYG 31 – Dallas 36.

For anyone who gives a damn, the teams I follow are the Minnesota Vikings, the Geen Bay Packers, (both rivals) the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders (rivals again) and the Washington Redskins. The Raiders are pretty rubbish, the ultimate underdog, I like their crazy fans and their black and silver pirate motif. Green Bay is the smallest city with an NFL franchise who always punch way above their weight due to good management, they are always good to watch and their team is owned by the fans which I really like, plus their green and yellow colours are kinda funky. The Vikings are another tough northern team with crazy fans and a cool strip, purple with a Viking, what’s not to like? The 49ers and the Redskins I have lingering nebulous warm feelings for from my childhood which I can’t quite explain, maybe its because their kits are red? If I had to pick an absolute favourite I’d be torn between Green Bay and the Vikings.

In real life news the DWP have finally realised I have a significant illness and that I’m not just a scrounger. They have paid me some cashola, thanks for all the prayers to that effect. Now I have to go through the whole process again with the local council to get housing benefit. Honestly, going to the council building responsible was hellish. Like something from the film Brazil, filled with overworked bureaucrats who have long since stopped caring because of their insane workload. The thought of going through it all again fills me with dread but my Dad is helping me with it and my win with the ESA should make things relatively straightforward I hope.

In world affairs it looks like a US strike on the Assad regime is still in the pipeline, Barack Obama still needs to show leadership that he heretofore has been shown sorely lacking if he is to sell it to congress. I’ve just had a big debate on Facebook about it. People who say this can only be solved by negotiation seem to miss a point. The only way Assad will go to a negotiation table is if he thinks he’s losing militarily. If he discovers the free world will do nothing while he exterminates his enemies to the last man woman and child why bother negotiating at all?

This would be an unthinkable way to win a civil war. Will the world just sit back and watch it happen? When will we intervene? When the death toll hits two hundred thousand or three hundred thousand? How many more tragedies must unfold before we stop ignoring the statistic? This conflict now has a higher body count than the Bosnian war and we had to intervene militarily to bring people to the negotiation table there. A full scale NATO bombing campaign began on the 20th of August 1995, ended September 14th, A general truce was called on the 21st of October and the final peace treaty was signed December 21st of that same year, western intervention can be effective. Anyway yes, pray for peace, but don’t be deluded into thinking that this peace will magically materialise from the goodness of Assad’s black heart.

On more personal matters, my therapy sessions have been bringing up some tough realities to face. Perhaps the uncomfortable origins of my transsexuality. I had intended with this post, to put forward the Christian transsexual argument again and I guess I’ve been putting it off till the end of the post where only the most dedicated of readers will have gotten to it. Anyway here is my current thinking.

I think its important that everyone know that God loves us for who we are, that our bodies are clay vessels as the book of Wisdom told us on Sunday. Our bodies can be broken, but our identity, who we are deep inside, our spirit, is what is important.

What does the church believe is someone’s spirit? it can’t just be a cloud of pink fluff, we have to mean something when we reply, “and with your spirit”. There has to be something fundamentally God breathed about our internal identity, and I think sexual identity is an important part of that deeper identity. Now the Church says there is a spiritual significance to the male and female distinction, that is why we can have a male priesthood. Then I think we as Christians have to respect the fact that transsexuals experience life as being in the wrong sex, the wrong body, this painful reality should not be discounted, ignored or worse still persecuted. It seems strange to me that we as Christians should insist our bodies should take precedence over our deeper internal identity.

If illness is a result of the fall and we have no problems fixing that with modern medicine then why do we as Christians have such trouble with transsexuals changing our outward appearance to match that internal identity? People will come back at that with JP2’s theology of the body, to which I’ll reply that we don’t give any other illness the retort; “God doesn’t make mistakes” and we’ll be back to square one.

Except the psychological consequences of gender dysphoria are dire, to add condemnation to that seems peculiarly unhelpful. There are enough crosses to bear in life without Christians handing out more. So if there is only one top tip for Christians, when talking to a transsexual don’t talk about transsexuality in terms of cross bearing, its very unhelpful. This even as I’m back to square one questioning my gender identity all over again, going through the denial all over again, all just to fit into other peoples view of who I am. God knows who I am, and all I can do is trust in his love for that deeper identity.

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