I was acting as if I still had male privilege- as if, after seventeen years, I did not know what transition means.
It is a vicious spiral. Once I lost my temper, that became the only important thing for them. I would not promise not to do it again, because having done it once I am not sure I am capable. This is humility rather than arrogance: I am saying “I don’t know I can” not “I don’t feel the need to try”. However it stops them listening, and makes it more difficult for me to feel understood, which is the thing most likely in the world to get me worked up.
Then, I am not sure. “I will try not to do it again” might not be good enough for them. I could ask them to think of it in terms of behavioural psychology: after I lost my temper, do they think behavioural psychology, preventing that response in the future by applying a sanction, works with me?
Mmm. I don’t think they trust me. I may be projecting.
“If I still had male privilege”? I have seen bullying amongst Quakers, and people refusing to be corrected even after others have pointed out where they are wrong. It’s always been by men, of high status in and out of Quakers.
So I offered to resign, and the next stage should be two people visiting me to try to restore unity. I suppose it depends what unity means. If they don’t think unity is restored, then they accept my resignation.
They could use my blog against me, I suppose. Even if I think, I have a high concept of truth, truth is complex and I cannot understand it so I write to find facets of it, they might ignore that and say, she wrote this so she must believe it, like a normal person, and therefore she is unacceptable. I write to try to find out what I think, or even to put an idea in words to push it as far as it will go, even to contradiction, and still.
I want- of course- to get away with as much as possible, I thought, but that is not quite it. I had the idea of the cardboard Quaker, who sits quietly in worship, is calm and polite, and never says or does anything that surprises or offends anyone else in the slightest. I think that is pointless.
I still see myself as a Quaker, so I take part in Quaker gatherings- I even hope to go to the yearly meeting gathering. I probably won’t be organising the Quaker worship at Greenbelt this year, but I wrote to a few people with the intent of ensuring it happens. Possibly, someone will organise it just so as to ensure I don’t.
I see myself as a good person! It is a good thing, and if someone else organises it all I get is some confirmation of my judgment. I think my judgment has value, that what I work on has value. I serve, and I want to continue serving. I fear that will indicate to them that I have not sufficiently taken to heart how bad I am.
My hurt was hard for my Friends to bear, but it was unbearable for me. And then in autumn 2016 I thought I should be bearing it, and not putting it on my Friends; and in autumn 2018 I made huge steps towards bearing it; and then I lost control, yet again, and that was the last straw.
I have apologised.
Should they have to bear the possibility that I get angry again? But then, can I guarantee not to?
I would rather be right than happy. What do you hope for? Possibly the wrong thing, because I can’t hope for anything better: isolated moments when I feel really, really right, even if isolated even more, rather than ongoing relationship. I am not sure what ongoing relationship would look like.
Again this is blogging! I say things to see where they go. This is not a final statement.
I think the problem with that Quaker meeting could be said to be another person, probably more than one, but I seem to have provoked a widespread agreement that the problem is me. I don’t know how not to be that which they find uncomfortable and problematic. I feel if they really knew me they would know I was worth all the aggravation.
I could have that on a t-shirt. I’m worth the aggravation! But they don’t want aggravation at all. I would say it is an inescapable part of human relationship.
There are degrees of connection, of relationship. Some people see each other very deeply and rawly, but most people don’t want that and couldn’t cope with it.
Can they cope with my authentic self? Am I ever my authentic self? I am always in some mask or other, perhaps. Am I ever not my authentic self? I can hardly step out of myself and hand over control of my body to something which is not an aspect of me.
I can come out with phrases which I call wisdom-bollocks: short enough for a meme or facebook share. For example, One should take time to respond rather than reacting. That is simply true, and it is not always helpful to point it out. It misses something.
I can say that I know losing control is a bad thing and I don’t want to do it.
I know I cannot promise never to feel wronged. I might find better ways of dealing with it, more effective for me as well as more acceptable for others.
-You are too much for some people. You must find the ones that can actually hold the diverse parts of you.
-I can’t do that myself. But I will reject none of it.
I am drawn to the wisdom of much younger women sharing wisdom with their own age group. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.