Before you begin, please take a moment to read this entry. I need to remind you that I am writing about varied topics; controversial subjects in the church is my poison of choice today.
Yep, I’m one of the 17 million people who watched the Diane Sawyer/Bruce Jenner interview and all 8 episodes of “I Am Caitlyn”. Out of curiosity? Intrigue? Boredom? Nope.Concerning Bruce Jenner, I’m of the ‘in-between’ generation. Too young to have my own memories of his Olympic days and too old to know him as a Kardashian. While I can’t attest to knowing of him through watching the ’76 Olympics (I was a one-year old), I do remember him from the Wheaties box and television commercials (those two might actually be one and the same, as I have no idea if I actually consumed Wheaties in 1977 as a two-year old J). As a child, I knew Bruce Jenner as “The World’s Greatest Athlete”.
As an adult, I’m aware of his marriage to Kris (Kardashian) Jenner, his role on the TV show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and his adoration of his children, both real and step. My knowledge stems solely from binge-watching at my BFF’s. About once a year I visit her home and we spend a day chilling on the couch – snacking, surfing and selling our souls to the Reality TV gods. She’s a DVR whiz and we can watch days’ of shows in just hours, all while our children enjoy their own binge-watching and freedom from us, upstairs. Cuz what respectable mothers would allow their children to watch crap TV? Certainly not us – we will watch crap in privacy, thank you. I have seen enough of the show that I recognize him as Former Olympian and Gold Medalist, Former American Hero, Former Husband x2, Former Celebrity and Current Kardashian. Whatever that means.
To teenage girls, twenty-somethings and even some in their thirties, it means he is relevant. To my parent’s generation his relevance once was, and his American legacy still is. The rest of us don’t have any real affection for or familiarity of Bruce Jenner’s life journey, yet the media and our news feeds believe we want to, we need to. To know his story. To feel his pain. To listen to that journey. To know why this man who had (has) it all needs to get more out of life, to be something different than what he has been – what he was born as. Different than who was created. I, too, want to be something different than how I was created.
I have Clinical Depression. It is likely I was born with this condition as my mother, her mother, my grandma’s mother and even my father dealt with debilitating depression. In addition to being genetically influenced, I was sexually, physically and mentally abused as a young teen. In addition to being abused, my father died suddenly when I was 17. My teenage son went through a difficult time that involved cutting. My husband was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and we spent 47 days in the hospital while he had round-the-clock chemo treatments. We were basically separated from our children during this time, as we were an hour and a half away from home. The first night we came home his mother told us she was diagnosed with Melanoma of the liver – it had spread throughout her entire body, and she passed away 6 weeks later. We buried her, then moved to Denver for my husband’s bone marrow transplant, again being separated from our son and daughter. He was sick and hospitalized for weeks at a time, then finally came home on hospice. We then decided to shut down our successful business that we had run for 8 years, using his disability insurance as income as well as paying latent business debt. My sister’s family moved far far away to California after living only an hour and a half from us. A close ‘friend’ of ours (albeit she disappeared when Jeremy got sick) accused us of being lying, cheating assholes; that we have used other people’s money to remodel our home (my brother and sister-in-law put in a new floor for us after tearing out the nasty, old and worn 13 year old carpet ruined by pets, greasy muddy drivers and mechanics and regular ol’ wear and tear while Jeremy was on hospice. Word got out and I guess she assumed we used our vendors’ money to completely gut our house to ‘fit our lifestyle’). Most recently, Jeremy passed away in May, so I am now a widowed mom to our 17 and 11 year old kids.
I have plenty of reasons to be depressed, on top of being born with skewed circuitry, low serotonin levels and a small hippocampus (not a college for hippos, but the base of the brain). However, being clinically depressed with depressive situations does not necessitate suffering. Being born with jacked up wiring and sluggish neurons does not mean I just accept it as is. Who wants to live every single day feeling worthless, useless, burdened (and burdening), lost, sad, lonely and out of place? And even further, who would ever insist that I must – just because I was born that way? That I shouldn’t be treated and medicated? Counseled? Maybe even changed? Who would suggest that I cope with my mental illness without these things? That I power through, learn to deal, accept myself because that’s how I was born?
But Bruce Jenner? He must power through, learn to play with the cards he’s been dealt, accept himself for who he was born as. After all, that’s who he was created as. A human being who identifies as feeling like a woman and having a male body. Suck it up, Buttercup. It’s who you are. Too bad. Don’t change who God created. You have no business doing such a thing, you fame-whore. And at 65 years of age? Why even bother? You’ll be dead soon anyway. You’ve suffered most of your life already, why can’t you just continue? God doesn’t make mistakes. If He wanted you to be a woman, obviously you’d have a vagina instead of a penis. Just like if God wanted me to be sane and stable, able to raise my children and give to my marriage, I would have the proper and intended brain chemistry, giving me the mental and emotional capacity for love, patience and selflessness. Wait, what?
Here’s the thing – I don’t have the brain chemistry that God intended, I have the brain chemistry that sin has ruined. Just like you have the male pattern baldness that sin created. God gave you healthy hair follicles, yet somehow in your early 20s they stopped functioning. God created us in His image, yet we all know someone plagued by cancer. Or mental illness. Or Down Syndrome. Childhood disease, being born with two genitals, cleft pallet, blindness, SIDS, juvenile diabetes, heart failure. All of these are a direct result of sin. Not the choices we make when we know we shouldn’t, but the sin that is in us and part of us. The sin that separated Adam & Eve from God; making child bearing hard and working the ground even harder. The sin that has interrupted and attacked our DNA. We were created in God’s image, but sin has completely altered that creation. It has permeated every generation and will continue until Christ returns and the New Earth is reinstated. Nothing is as it was originally intended. As it was created.
I depend on my counseling, my EMDR therapy, and my man-made medications and I don’t think any one of you would shame me for doing so. My chemical dependency is what makes me function ‘normally’. Concerning Caitlyn Jenner I truly believe God loves her just as he loves you (You think she’s fake? Are you genuine in all circumstances? She’s disgusting? So are some of your habits, and at times, your character. Caitlyn is confused and messed up. You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.) He created her. In His image. I don’t think He cares if she is male or female. I don’t believe our souls are male or female. They are souls. Spirits which belong to Christ, not vaginas or penises wearing dresses or pants. This world is so screwed up and painful due to indwelling sin – why are we adding to it by making people believe that God hates them?
He doesn’t, btw. God. Loves. YOU.