The intensity of it shocked me. It had all my attention. It exhausted me. I felt complete misery. And yet I also felt some joy, or pleasure, because it was my feeling. This is me, feeling authentically. This is me, being me. It is like feeling the burn: pushing myself as hard as I can, feeling the effort near exhaustion and pain yet also exultation. Perhaps it is even like the pain of labour- dreadful pain accepted in producing what you want and need more than anything else. I give birth to myself.
I feel trepidation about that metaphor. I fear people will think me self-aggrandising, or ridiculous. I am unsure I am worthy of it. And I want to face the pain because it is mine, because it is what I need for freedom.
To avoid feeling the pain, I numb out by repeatedly clicking facebook, mail, blog stats and checking my comment upvotes. I do this to feel some simulacrum of human contact, a tawdry dopamine hit. It is worse because rewards are variable: sometimes there is a big hit, sometimes none. Or I numb out watching TV. Or I do wordle and its imitators.
Feeling the pain of the misery, I understand and accept my desperation to avoid it. Yet the palliatives do not work. I feel the depths of my misery at my loneliness.
There is some evidence that I am a lovely person. Someone told me that on Sunday 28th. Another told me I give off a lovely vibe and make her feel safe. Another said she had wanted to talk to me at Greenbelt (“Prospect Farm”) last year and felt God had brought us together so she could talk to me this year. Oh Wow!
Yet I feel so anxious, and lacking in motivation that I see no better ways of getting the dopamine I crave than the palliatives I know do not work. I have continued clicking them this weekend. My anger frightens me so I suppress it until it bursts out, surprising me. I have been kicked out of somewhere I loved for getting angry when someone said women were uncomfortable with trans women in women’s loos, and silenced me. I pleaded, and tried to explain, then blew up.
On facebook, I see M on video, gently swinging in a hammock among trees, first the legs then the smiling face looking artfully unselfconscious. Is she naked? There is a caption hiding certain parts. Seeing that delights and tantalises.
Avoiding the misery I feel about my life traps me.
When I wake in the night, I normally go to the loo, perhaps scroll fb for a bit or read the Guardian, then drift off to a podcast. In June I woke in terror and misery. But I know someone in Tennessee: that’s Central Time, so 3.30am here is only 9.30pm there. She agreed if I was in that state I could call her.
Saturday morning, I did. We zoomed. She said she gets up and goes to bed early, and had in fact got up to speak to me- but she was willing to wake up for me, and had kept her phone on all night since I had first proposed this. This made me feel loved, yet tense and anxious.
I am the one saying this is impossible rubbish, projecting that view onto you, and I believe that tension comes from waking in misery as a toddler, even perhaps younger, wanting comforted and not getting it. To put it harshly, I have not got over that in over fifty years since. To put it less harshly, I am still scarred from it. That clamped the mask on me. The mask was essential to satisfy my mother. Now, talking and writing from the vulnerable inner child, I feel suppressed pain. I welcome it. I am an adult child.
Someone has worked hard to stop searches reaching my blog. In July and August, I got four hits from Bing, seven from DuckDuckGo. If you search on them for “Clare Flourish” my blog always used to come first and now does not. If you search for “Trans widows” my post came on the first page and now comes nowhere. So my hits are way down, especially the posts telling the truth about autogynephilia, or trans more generally.
I am blogging less, because I am working on a twelve step programme and writing for somewhere else which is more well-regarded than a blog, and I get more readers.