I want to be safe.
Yesterday, I responded to a request for words of conciliation with anti-trans campaigners. I wrote that for reconciliation they have to accept that I exist, and my needs are real. It might seem rational to say a man cannot become a woman, but it ignores how people are. In the same way it might seem rational to say gay love is objectively disordered, sterile, based on incompatibility, but some people are gay. The anti-trans campaigners must accept my nature and my needs.
So I wrote that, in a few elegant paragraphs, taking about fifteen minutes. Then I spent ninety minutes ruminating on it, reviewing certain facts and details showing how I was right, and verbal formulations which should absolutely persuade anyone who had an open mind. This rumination got me nowhere. I learned nothing. I achieved nothing. I just got wound up and bothered.
There is the thing I can do- in this case, an email to a particular group of people, which may or may not persuade them, may or may not influence what they eventually write. Or, when Labour goes canvassing I can go with them. It has the chance of producing a good result. And there is the thing I can not do: I cannot influence Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Alister Jack or The Times in their campaign to vilify trans people. The rumination is my excited, desperate assertion that I know The Truth, and that God or society or whatever should just accept The Truth. It does not work. I am like an infant pleading with a kindergarten teacher, but there is no teacher.
I cannot make myself safer than I am. Jesus said, For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it (Mt 16:25). The words “for my sake” are an interpolation: the phrase is more satisfyingly parallel without them, and makes more sense. I lose my life: I stop attempting to create safety by impossible means, and so gain it, gain the ability to go out into the world without worrying what bad things could happen, or that there are people who are anti-trans.
I have in me a confused and hurting child, traumatised by parental rejection, which seeks safety in such old habits as rumination. It is called the “Critical parent” because when I am conscious of it, it speaks to me like an angry parent. “You can’t say that.” “How could you be so stupid?” But it is the burden of emotions I could not process as a child, so which stay with me. It is my rage and terror.
The conscious ego, which I call the adjusted child, attempts to propitiate the critical parent, but never can.
That hurting child is a burden of shame, hurt, fear and anger from my childhood and previous generations. It blinds me to the world and to myself. I will let it go. I will become one whole integrated human being, accepting myself and the world, all my feelings and needs, and the reality surrounding me, including all other people.
I associate with groups of people who, however imperfectly, know the light within them and seek to manifest it.
It is a process of cleansing long ingrained dirt, of loosening cramped, constrained muscle, of eyes adjusting to bright light, of letting go false understandings. I may never fully complete it. But oh, I begin to dance, and it is beautiful.
I am never safe from fear, anger, sadness and hurt, but now old hurts and fears control and constrain me. I will let them go. This is a process which takes time. I will process those old hurts.
Unfortunately present matters echo the past, reinforcing it. New fears may make the old fears seem more real. I hope more clearly to discern what is real, and what is merely an echo.
In this process of healing, the present may be a symbol of the past. M is a real human being, on a similar spiritual healing to me, highly attractive and gifted, and also a symbol in my head of my abandonment by my mother and desire for co-dependency. I will chew that cud until I no longer need to. I wronged the real person, and should not approach her, but the symbol will live with me until I have processed it. This is a healing. It takes time.
I will find freedom to express all the hurts and fears I have kept inside and to free myself from the shame and blame that are carryovers from the past. I will become an adult who is imprisoned no longer by childhood reactions. I will recover the true self within me, learning to accept and love myself. This is a quote.
I associate with groups of people who, however imperfectly, know the light within them and seek to manifest it: Quakers, ACA, the Lovely Gathering, others.
I will bring myself to wholeness. This is all that matters to me now. It is my struggle to pupate, to bring myself to new birth.
Increasingly, I dance.