U, passing behind me, runs her hand lightly across my back. “If you do that, I may demand more from you.”


Well- if you do that, you have my full attention- and for you just to move on-
It is not Kind of you-

Later, I went over to U and D, and U proposed a group hug. I was uncomfortable enough in the arms of both of them, but when she kissed and nuzzled my cheek it messed with my head so much that I got myself a mug of wine and stuffed my mouth with chocolate biscuits. Yet when I told her I was upset by it, just as D was approaching from behind me, she brushed it off- well, I would not claim that it had permanently harmed me.

Friday I found wearing. The wind whips at the tents, and I worry that rain will get in (drips got through to the inner tent while I slept, and I did not at first realise how heavy the rain had been to achieve that). My e-reader is broken so I have nothing to read. Some people are off site, and I have no good conversation. The vegetarian diet is a pain.

The previous night I sang my song which I had written at 5am that morning, and had a large role in the group performance and in devising it. After such experiences previously I have had a downer. Thinking of the Life problem and, oh, you know, Stuff, I bend over and weep, and C consoles me.

We are in leaving mode. Some of us have left. Rather than eating together then sharing, people dip in the pot before we are all gathered, and I do not feel the sense of community I crave. It starts to rain. Others want a sharing circle, so we go into the geodesic dome and share. Normally we go round the circle in order, but when I weep again, S says “I think someone has something to share”.

So I share. I say something of how miserable I am, I am lonely, I blame myself for where I am in my life. I am here because of my decisions, and the weight of being transsexual, and how I have reacted to that, has been too great for me. I can’t bear it.

And so-

I forgive myself.

I forgive myself for being here. I forgive myself for the choices I have made, the way I have hidden away and pretended, the way I have rejected myself, the way I have been so angry and frightened. It really has been a sair fecht, sair to thole, and I am scunnered. And I have faced life with all the courage and strength I can muster and I am where I am. And while I have not “ended up” here- you do not end up anywhere until you die- I am unsure how I may proceed.

And so I forgive myself for being here. I really have done my best.

Say it again, because I need to fix it in my consciousness. Say it again before this group.

I forgive myself.

After, in the sauna, D makes a precise dissection of what I shared. U, who had been elsewhere during the sharing circle, was there too.

First, what do I mean by “deeper sharing”? Well, “I have had a crap day, the wind and cold is getting to me” is no deeper than “I have had a good day, I really enjoyed my walk by the sea”. I delve into my misery in order to transcend it.

Then, he says one may feel feelings, but then has a choice of how to react to them, whether to express them. Indeed, I have had the experience of a homunculus within my torso, and I imagine it weeping and screaming, and you would see me sitting still and possibly looking a little meditative; and I can hold the weeping emotional self. And- possibly it is the hormones, but just then my feelings were too strong for me to do that. He admits that S did put me on the spot.

He can see that it might be too much for me, and that I might leave the circle- indeed, I was not in a space to hear anyone else- and ask for someone to come with me to hear me. But when W stood up, and I said “Anyone but W” that was despicable.

Christ. Yeah. I cannot give my reason for that, and indeed my reason might in reality be no more than that W has chosen me for her confidante, and I do not want to spoil the good feeling that gives me by making it mutual. I thought after that I could have said, “I had a reason for not wanting W, which I cannot share with you, but ask you to consider the possibility it might be a full excuse”. Repartee a day later is no repartee at all. Actually, W was the perfect foil: I could not fantasise she was anything but a flawed human being, undergoing the same struggles as I am.

It is fully dark. U leads me into the dome and dances close with me to the drumming. D is the other side of the tent. U caresses my cheek. I starve for such contact, and here I am having it, and in this abundant world I believe I will have more…

Next day B tells me she was working with S on accepting her feelings, and noticing them, which enables her to notice the feelings of other people and accept them and be with that person lovingly too. Mmm. She looks at me meaningfully. Indeed my own feelings have always been so overwhelming for me that I have had little attention to spare for those of others. And, suppressing my feelings and making such demands on myself, I have made similar demands on others. Perhaps I may be gentler.

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