I am not who I thought I was. I am not what I was taught to respect.
Yesterday I was in my house, reading things which made me feel under threat, and today I went to London. I cycled to the station in sunshine, with the wind behind me.
A week ago K told me a ritual around letting go past decisions which no longer serve. In my cot, I decided to do whatever it took to please my mother, whatever the cost. It was a matter of survival.
I have shared on this, with ACA. I said I do not need to prove this to you. I believe it. I breathe that in. I do not need to justify myself or second-guess myself. I need to see.
The ritual asks if I can value the decision and see its worth for me, whether it now serves me, whether I can let it go.
I am grateful for the decision, which kept me alive. I am grateful for that part of me which enforced it on me. And then it became just normal. I could not even see it. Here is part of how I came to see it. I am so glad I came to see it.
I sat on the crowded train beside a woman, and felt the fear and anguish of my inner critic or controlling parent. I am letting the decision go in my own time. I hugged myself, caressed the bare skin of my arms, and cried quietly. There are times when I can contain the upset part of me, let her cry and scream somewhere safe within, and times when showing her proper respect means giving her access to express feeling through my body in the world. It is healing.
The woman got off the train. I sit beside the roof support, but there are six inches of window. I look through it at fields, trees and houses, hungrily: I need this beauty. I spent too long yesterday with the flat, single-colour planes of internal walls and the glowing screen feeding fear and anger.
At St Pancras I play the prelude. Cecilia is delighted: she is waiting for a train to the airport after doing Europe in 14 days with three other tourists and a guide. It’s been a hoot. She is from Texas. She suggests I visit the US. Two weeks might let me do one or two cities.
I walk along Euston road. It is busy and loud. I move my arms and shoulders to release emotion.
In meeting ministry is on the peace testimony. The peace I am called to make, if I may, is with any women’s rights campaigners who need me out, without abasing myself or denying my needs. Ukraine is not my concern.
I had the idea I need balance. I remain inspired by my teenage niece’s declaring something “yucky”. Such clarity. My habit is to rationalise, explain, justify, make a case. I would rather take others with me, and do not want to adopt a common opinion to hide away and be safe any more. It is not safe. There is perhaps a balance between the clarity and the argument. Or perhaps I only need know what I feel, as long as I can be clear about my perceptions.
In meeting I rock and convulse with the fear of my infant self and the sense-impressions of the day. It is relief, the anguish I feel at laying down a burden.
Then with J to the Tate, to the Isaac Julien exhibition. Here are beautiful films about slavery, and death by AIDS, homophobic assault or drowning. They are intense. The world is intense. I might hide from it less. It is my home.
I like being this person that I am. I am glad to be able to appreciate and express who I am. It is freedom.