To see Serra Pitts, the psychotherapist at the gender clinic. It is like a deep massage, where she digs her elbows in to untangle all the knots, and yet always keeps one hand flat on my skin, of which I am intensely conscious. I came out exhausted, and Open- it feels like I have no presuppositions or assumptions, and can see the world as it really is.
However in the counselling room, what matters is not the reality for other people, but how I have conceived them in my own mind, or even what they symbolise for Us- I make Serra my mother then my mother and I discuss the World. So what it means for the people I describe does not matter, whether my picture of them is a hyper-realist one or a bad cartoon, distorted as George Grosz but also completely missing the point. Or even, not how I see them but what symbol I can make of them, for the work I do here. (Do I protest too much? I mention someone’s severe pain. I don’t want to disrespect, and I do want to talk of it.)
We talk of looking for work.
It’s odd. I came in, bouncing, tiggerish. I had been joking, fooling. Like this morning, with Peter talking about difficulties changing signatories on a club bank account. You take your passport and driving licence- they take fingerprints, DNA- do a strip search… free form associating until it becomes ludicrous. Only with the receptionist, and that woman waiting for her CBT. A cis-woman, I am certain of it, they must have cis in this block as well as trans. She thought my watch was gorgeous.
-How do you feel?
I slump to the floor.
-Do you want to stretch out? She shifts furniture around, and I stretch. Thank you. That is really kind of you.
It’s this job I could apply for, working on anti-trans hate crime in Scotland, lobbying, training, networking, campaigning.
I am in the garden (writing, now.) “Would you like a cup of tea? They’ve just made a pot.” Oh, OK. “That would be lovely, thank you.” Rather than going in to get it, not to be any trouble, I let her bring it to me.
It would be a chance for reasonable work. They might not judge my two years of “sorting my head out” too harshly, my dreadful CV. And with Serra is the first time I think of this job as interesting, as worthwhile possibilities, as something I could enjoy, rather than another judgment and rejection, or failure and despair like the last three. And, she says, I could tell them who I am, and I think yes, possibly my word would be enough, even though I could not prove it. Though right now- Saturday evening- it feels like only a chance for rejection, or failure. And a dreadful faff. So strange, how moods move.