I want to withdraw.

I read the Holstee Life-manifesto, and think, yeah, right. It ranges from what I see as good advice- “open your mind arms and heart to new things and people,” say- to the “You can do anything you want” stuff which I have heard is the kind of vicious lie we have to try to believe, but is very far from my experience. Though when I whined something similar on her site, Lynne made a gracious reply.

I want to withdraw. But that is completely nutty. I have twice seen an NHS CBT worker about “behavioural activation” which is getting me to do stuff, there is lots of stuff I need to do to advance my interests, and Withdrawal- sitting doing nothing- is not doing that. Then again: “Do what you love, and do it often”. “Live your dream and share your passion.” Mmm. Well, here am I doing nothing, and telling you about it.

I want to withdraw, and that is indeed strange and wrong- arguably- though looking at some other wants:

I want not to have to think
I want to be looked after
I want to be told what to do

-even though if ever someone tells me what to do and that is not what I want to do in that moment I have a resistance, and do not do it. Vide Behavioural Activation. Oops, that is not a proper sentence. Looking at my other wants, life is too much for me, all I have imagined I needed to do does not fit my desires, and I can’t think it through- “Stop over-analysing” says Holstee- so withdrawing makes sense.

I do not always resist. “Go and see what the next dance is” said S, and I went off to look at the list stuck to the wall, surprising F who thought me over biddable. Arguably. Gosh, that’s er, must be 25 years ago. Just wafts into my mind then.

I withdrew as far as I can- after breakfast I went back to bed- and the grinding tool or drill screamed into my consciousness and I am not in control, even here. Tears. After reading for a while I went to shower, and- getting into the bath, that routine movement, the planned thing I must do- more tears. Presence. Consciousness. The feel of the water, the heat.

I could do X and dress for that, or wear jeans to slob around the house, and I really want to wear that skirt. So I do. That “per una” skirt- it is years old, I have worn it twice this Autumn and been told how beautiful it is each time. And it is. And this blouse.

-Tranny crap. Fantasist, worrying about clothes for fuck sake, not real life-

Maxine did not like the word “blouse”, which seems less in use, preferring “shirt”. I love the softness of the fabric, the subtle floral design, the fussiness of the shape…

My living room is tidy, after S visited. I light a candle. Beautiful. I read a bit.

I kneel in my ritual space, and am overwhelmed by sensation: the wig I never wear, real hair, moves on my cheek if I move my head, the silk slip, the soft opaque tights- and I come to an end, just as the timer does. Then I play the piano, starting Giorni Dispari but moving quickly to free improvisation, the spontaneous interaction of rhythm and harmony.

I am being spontaneous, doing what I want to do, against the Rules inculcated, against the Common Sense which consciously runs through my mind. This is unaccustomed. I am so, so guarded, that spontaneity with another person seems too much, too difficult, this sitting doing almost nothing is all the spontaneity I can manage-

That beautiful, sensitive man- seen as Mentally Ill, looked after (managed) by his younger brother, last time I saw him he was SUPPRESSED by anti-psychotics

Just sitting here, with that candle, its flame so steady, so beautiful- just sitting here feels so dangerous-

If you have read this far, please leave a comment. A reaction would be good, but a comma in the comment box is a good enough “I was here” for me-

I do not trust myself, and I want to be heard. Then again, I grow, just a little, in trust of myself. Withdrawing is definitely good for me today.

Written 20 November.

10 thoughts on “Withdrawing

  1. I’m not sure I understand what you’re going through but I did read to the end and some things you said resonated with me. … the acting how we are expected to act but not believing it at all. The manifesto is a good one I suppose, but I don’t believe that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. I try to believe it, but sometimes life foils your every move. I like your ritual. I don’t have one. I wish I did but I don’t. Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I am full of love for other people, sometimes I can’t stand to be around other people. I prefer cats to humans. 🙂 I think we are all contradictions at times and I’m fine with that. We are allowed to feel emotions we want to despite what somebody else says.

    I hear you!


    • Thank you, Friend. I need to be heard.

      My ritual is simple. I have a mat in the centre of my living room, which I tend to walk round rather than walk over. Ten minutes in the morning, ten in the evening- some would advocate longer, ten is enough for me- I kneel down in it, on a cushion for comfort, in silence. I have a teddy bear sitting on the mat at all times, holding the Silence. My meditation bear never fidgets or complains. If I step on the mat at other times, I hug myself and say aloud, “I accept All of me. All of me.”

      I have been held down with a particularly strong inner critic, and am in recovery.

      Oh, and- here is a Quaker guided meditation. My friend who does these sorts of things would not use it unless he could edit out the negative Start, but once she gets going it is worth listening to.


    • Of course, others feel it too. That is reassuring. Thank you.

      I hope I can fix it myself, and- I I feel I have to go through it, rather than rejecting it. I will no longer be denied. I am sulking at myself for the same reason that anyone sulks, and perhaps as I can grant what my sulker desires- eventually- the sulk will work!

      “…and”- did WordPress eat part of your comment?


  2. Want, want, want…empty threads, empty thoughts. No formative energy in ‘want’. However…’ I am ready.’ Now there is a statement full of results. “Rules” what rules? Who’s rules? Edgar Cayce’s formula…”The spirit is the life, mind is the builder, the physical is the result.” What are you ready for Clare?


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