Love, anger, forgiveness and pain dance together.

Our first experience of forgiveness is one child told to say they are sorry, another child told to forgive, by a carer or school-teacher who needs to maintain control and hopes random humiliation will help. It is not a good model. Occasionally I have thought, what I did was wrong, and written an apology. A proper apology should be without excuse or reservation. I particularly hate the non-apology, “I’m sorry you feel that way”.

Other people’s anger works differently, but for me the feeling that I ought to forgive is paralysing. It stops me acknowledging my feelings or moving on. My mother damaged me, and the moment I accepted her complex humanity, saw her difficulties as well as my pain, was thirteen years after she died.

With my mother, the idea of “forgiving” as in being wronged, but being gracious, is irrelevant. She did her best for me, as herself, a human being in her circumstances with her gifts and experiences. I pause to think about that. The worst mother I can imagine, the mother who does not consider her child’s needs at all, only her own- well, it is true even of her. My mother could not see she was harming me.

But I had to reach this realisation myself. I was 44, feeling all the misery I felt aged seven or eight, telling a story of my mother and ending wailing “She didn’t understand!” I had the idea that this was ridiculous, that I should just move on, which meant that I had not processed my own feelings. I had to keep telling the story to others. They reflected my perplexity and stuckness back to me, or they held me in love and compassion, and I moved through my feelings with such help as they were able to give. I chose whom I told that story with as much care as I could.

Writing this, it is self-forgiveness too. This is who I am. That was the best I could do.

The child’s anger, frustration and fear at my mother was not held or accepted, so I had to contain it myself. I was too young to contain my feelings like that, so I turned them inwards on myself and suppressed them out of consciousness. Whenever I did not conform to impossible standards, I raged at myself. I was doing it a little, just now, judging the 44 year old me, wailing, and the 55 year old me, still processing this here. “I should not be like this. This should not trouble me.”

There is no perfect relationship, broken by a wrong, healed by forgiveness, as in the nursery school example. There are messy human relationships where we get along as best we can despite old hurts imperfectly healed. My rage turned inwards coexisted with my love of my mother.

Rage turned inwards paralysed me. My mother feared our family being seen as abnormal. We had to hide it. I thought I could rage at myself, trudge on carrying that burden, or rage at my dead parents, which I thought futile, or rage at the world which would reflect back my rage and hurt me. My rage had nowhere to go.

I know this is the spiritual lesson. My temptation with any spiritual lesson is to imagine that just because I see what I must do, I can do it, that I am changed and freed. Often, I put the lesson into words and understand it better, which feels like a great leap forward, but then afterwards see signs I knew it, really, in my life before, and am the same person.

I must hold my own rage and sadness, and digest it. From that comes compassion for others. From that comes the ability to accept the feelings I have now, relating to what is going on for me now, and respond to the world with my feelings as my guide, rather than a burden to fight. This is a skill. It is difficult, because my feelings are so deep and mercurial that I am often in heaven and hell at once. I develop the skill.

I could call that skill “forgiveness”, as well as acceptance. Rather than raging at the world because it is not as I think it ought to be, I see it with love, and act to make it better. Not nearly as much as I want, with far less energy and effectiveness than I want- so the process of forgiveness and acceptance, of myself and the world, continues.

One hears of prodigies of forgiveness, such as Marian Partington. She has spent her life coming to terms with a great wrong. She will not have a human relationship with the woman she forgives, who might not accept her forgiveness. Rather, she has healed a wound some might never heal. Humans have great capacity for healing.


“Some people are trans. Get over it,” Stonewall says. Some people can’t. And for me, “getting over” my pain and hurt is terribly important. After writing this on forgiveness, I sat feeling pain, of having that burden to bear, ten years ago. I was unable to get over the pain of my child self, symbolised by that one story. And I thought, this is like living through a stressful situation, and you cannot admit to how stressful it was; but when it is over then you can feel the stress fully. In September 2009, I just felt relief; and now, I was feeling pain.

It is a sign of healing, and I am in pain now.

I was volatile for the zoom discussion group, and when one said in Meeting we notice the stray thoughts, and turn our attention back to the Light I moaned in anguish. I don’t. I plunge into whatever my mind is doing, and sometimes it’s great. I bring shadow fully into consciousness, and integrate it. And I judge myself for it.

This pain:
I want to analyse it, so I can announce to my own satisfaction that I have dealt with it.
I want to feel it fully, so it will pass and I will have dealt with it.
I want to feel it fully, as it is my feeling, with no plan or purpose behind permitting my feeling.
I want not to be moaning in anguish during a zoom discussion group.

I shared on facebook, and someone asked, “Can you sit with it without necessarily having to heal it?” Yes. And, I realised, getting over “it”- “It,” in general, “It”, meaning everything, is very important to me. It is all part of the suppression of feeling.

That comes from my childhood too. Eventually I can’t get over it, all I can do is sit with it. My desperation to get over it makes that harder, and take longer.


I burned out because I could not compromise. I kept on fighting the things I could not change. This is neither to be admired or condemned, but noticed.

I came out of the tribunal, burst into tears, and shortly after stopped doing tribunal cases. Tuesday 19th evening, I was weeping over the same incident with the same level of distress. I wrote in 2013 that my actions showed integrity, creativity and bravery, and I still assert that, but the problem was taking failure so badly.

Given the difficulty I had with earlier cases, it was something that had very little chance of success, possibly none. I could not persuade the people I needed to persuade. They were too invested in the integrity of the system to accept the evidence I could produce from someone in my position.

I am lying in bed the next day, typing, and considering the level of that distress. I still feel it. (Another failure comes to mind, which still distresses me.) I am not crying, now, but gazing with wonder at the depth of my misery. It is the pain of not being all-powerful. I should have been able to overcome all these difficulties. It is linked to the fear of death.

Divorced from reality? Contemptible? My inner critic is quite capable of berating me, scourging me, both for failing to get Dr Pyle sacked and for stupidly imagining that I could.

The other failure I am thinking of now is from about 2008/9, a killer argument in an employment tribunal case which I did not spot until I had settled it for the contemptuous sum of £200 from the employer. I should have spotted it earlier. It was obvious, I berate myself. I imagine spotting it the day before the assigned hearing and begging the tribunal to accept the documentary evidence late. Obvious in retrospect. Now I am berating myself for not seeing it before, still being upset now, and the intricacy of my fantasy of what I should have done.

This is to be noticed. The distress is there. “Have mercy on yourself,” said Menis. Ideally, perhaps, I would have dealt with it by now but I did not because-

that deserves further thought, perhaps, but now I think-

I was-

I was unable to admit to myself that I could not accomplish these things, see the obvious argument in time, put the evidence over convincingly. It was all linked to the fear of death. That I still feel the distress now, more than ten years later, shows it still is in some way. And yet I am still alive.

All that I could ever fear
has come to pass, and I’m still here.

Now I am thinking of that job interview in Bedford. I got all the questions on DLA and IB right, in the written test. Towards the end, the interviewer exclaimed, that’s the first time you’ve smiled. People tell me I have a beautiful smile, and I hate it. After, everything I said I smiled. I did not get the job, burst into tears, and could not bear to apply for benefits jobs again.

Now, sometimes, I am frightened to go to Aldi. Have mercy on yourself. I imagine trying something, fearfully, as if I reached tentatively out with broken fingers to see if I could grasp something, dreading the pain. “You’re covered in scars,” she said, more than twenty years ago.

Love, mercy and understanding heal me- my own love, healing me from my own introjected judgment.

My friend wondered if I judged her for smoking, then decided she was projecting on me. My eyes followed her cigarette, and she noticed across Zoom. There is endless judgment. The packets are full of judgment- “Smoking Kills!” “Smoking makes your kidneys fail!” “Smoking prevents you enjoying sex!” There is judgment, everywhere, of everything, perhaps the pitiless selfish gene demanding its continued existence and using our suffering to drive us on. When we disagreed about covid, I saw how my trust in my ability to select and absorb information about it, and to change my view as the information changed, is bound up in my sense of self, which again is a matter of terror of death, exacerbated in the case of Covid which really does kill people.

I have hazy ideas of what I might do. I could notice and praise every thing I did: any small act towards cleaning the house, perhaps. That is the idea of Behavioural Activation. Notice and delight in your doing stuff, and so build up your ability to do stuff. I am Loving Awareness. There is Love, and acceptance for the terrified, scarred, hurting being that I am.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I was berating myself for having so little to show for all my gifts and talents, and that does no good, for all the gifts are in the hurt self. Only love can work now.

24 May: I noticed  I had difficulty motivating myself to do something, because my way of doing it had to be precisely right. There were clearly wrong ways, but a variety of OK ways- one with one problem, one with the opposite problem, but satisfactory. The difficulty of choosing between ways, which on analysis I found satisfactory, stopped me starting the action.

Forgiveness II

What would forgiveness mean?

Someone wrongs me at work, such that I can’t bear to be in the same room. There is no way to complain about the wrong, and I have to continue working with them. I grit my teeth, or I “let it go”- I swallow the feelings of rage and resentment, and get on with the job. I have to.

Or my friend does something I might find objectionable. I learn they are not reliable. My self-esteem is so low that I just suck it up. Or I balance pros and cons, finding that despite this let-down friendship with them is still worth the effort. These are separate experiences, but in both the objectionable act is new information about the world and my place in it. In one, I see myself as worth little, and a little less after the experience. In the other, I see that I can trust my world less than I thought.

Or, I do not forgive. I decide I am worth more, and the world has better possibilities, and write the person out of my life. Which is best depends on which is right. Wisdom to know the difference, and all that. It is the same with that work situation: is it better to slog on, or can I find something better?

All this is happening within me, but it is possible that the other has feelings of remorse, and has learned a bitter lesson about themself. They will not be like that in the future. They apologise. Possibly, they really can change. That is something to add to the calculation, that it is worth still bothering. If I can enjoy helping them change that is my classic understanding of forgiveness, which is repentance and amendment of life, so that there is no need for punishment.

My experience of forgiveness is mostly from childhood too, though, bickering or fighting and being told to make up. Possibly experience of being forgiven colours ones understanding of forgiving.

Society is set up for the privileged. Are the police, social services, etc, on your side, or are they there to stop you stepping out of line? Are the rules of society there to make your way through life easier, or to advantage others over you? The privileged might find “forgiveness” easier, the resentment of the others might be too great. Or the put-upon have no illusions, make clear-eyed calculations, and waste no time or energy on resentment.

Coming back to that work situation. You have no alternative. You have to continue working with that person. You cannot get another job. Yet it is all too much, it sticks in your craw and you cannot do it, so lose the job.

Forgiveness- what is virtuous, or sensible, or creative and generous- depends on circumstances. Desmond Tutu writes, There have been times when each and every one of us has needed to forgive. There have also been times when each and every one of us has needed to be forgiven. And there will be many times again. In our own ways, we are all broken. Out of that brokenness, we hurt others. Forgiveness is the journey we take toward healing the broken parts. It is how we become whole again. If I have found some way to resent the world less, or “forgive” it, that is letting down a burden of powerless emotion, “giving up the hope of a better past”, benefiting myself.

Spiritual Gifts

The door closed, and I am outside. It feels as if I could have been earning more than I ever had, doing something fulfilling and worthwhile, something I could delight in devoting myself to; had I just taken an opportunity, at some time last year. Perhaps it closed some time ago, and the fact of it was stated on 25 May; and on 28 May at Yearly Meeting I was in mourning, feeling intense shame, and vulnerability, and Yearly Meeting brought me to peace.

On Saturday morning, we considered our spiritual gifts, and the questions,
1. What do we mean when we speak of gifts of the Spirit?
2. Can you think of times when someone you know acted on a Spirit-given gift?
3. How are you acting on your gifts?

We first did this in pairs. I turn to Marian, and burst into tears. She offered to hold my hand and I accepted. One would rather be doing the supporting, but being supported is nice. And now, my answer is, how am I acting on my gifts? As well as I can, right now. Not as well as I might hope, not like perfect-me, in a way I have been quite judgmental of; and as well as I can.

Next morning I caught her up walking from St Pancras, and recognised her, but did not know from when. Another woman recognised me from K–, the singing bowls, and I did not recognise her, either, I was having a spiritual experience then, too. She remembered how moved I had been.

Two pieces of ministry spoke to me. As always with ministry, what I hear is not necessarily what was said or what others heard. One seemed to be about following ones heart to greater and greater things- as one would want; and the other ended,

We could not have done any different.
We can now do differently.

Can I put that any better? We do our best. We see when we see. We have to live with it, perhaps even forgive it; and there is always a chance in the moment of behaving differently because what I will do has not been done yet.

That door: it is a unique situation, and I don’t want to explain it because it is other people’s stuff as well as my own. So I sort-of explained and generalised, and Yvonne said, “Oh I hate it when-” and I had to say, that was not how it was at all. Just a way of not explaining without details. And I thought if I can be understanding of others, perhaps I can be understanding of myself. I did my mourning with Friends at Yearly Meeting, and might find some peace.

Paolo Veronese, the angel appears to Hagar in the desert, featured


You loved me. “Dearest” and “Beloved” are the best translations I can find for “Cariad”, as a form of address. I got the job in Wales to be close to you, as well as to get away from Oldham, where teenagers were picking on the tranny. I had been going to you every weekend for two years. Four years later I got the job in England to get away from you. I had only applied for jobs in England, not in Gwent.

We were still speaking on the phone, just about every night, until August this year. I felt you let me down; probably I let you down. After I lost that job, practically we were cohabiting for eight months, yet I still had to keep on my own flat. I was still visiting- Christmas two years ago was the last time. The phone calls were boring, and it was hard to think of anything to say: we could moan about Quakers, or talk of your beautiful cats. Then we just stopped.

I have just had your Christmas card. You always sent them at the last moment, but this is prudently early so I may return one. “Hope all is well. Love.” It had me in tears of bitterness, rage, frustration, regret. You loved me and your daughter got in the way, and now she is just about your only social contact, apart from Ocado deliveries. All your enthusiasm, drive and energy going to


Mine too, of course.

In September 2010 I had the realisation that my mother had always done her absolute best for me. She was not God. She controlled me completely, because she could do no better. My rage at her melted, and now I know “forgiveness” is the wrong word, for there is nothing to forgive: I love and honour her, though I only got to that point fourteen years after she died. With you, I have just found my pain and resentment anew- yet I do see, you always did the best you could, which, considering our shared curse and your other difficulties was pretty impressive.

It is unresolved. I might phone you. I wish you well. I never loved you with that aching yearning I can feel, yet you impressed and delighted me and I was quite happy to form such a partnership as we could; and now I do not know how either of us could gain anything by further contact.

Though since I wrote that, we are back phoning occasionally.


Right now my life has all the challenge I can bear. I have limited the challenge: often, I spend four or five days in the week alone indoors. I am not satisfied with it. I am bored and resentful, and the siren thought that I deserve more than this crosses my mind, though I have no claim on anyone. I have judged myself harshly.

I have always done my best.
it is as it is


I rebuilt my friendship with him, and he confirmed that he had got more angry than he needed, and I am very happy with my gentle way of approaching, asking forgiveness rather than offering it; for that friendship gives me pure delight. I know him. I know all I gain from him, so am willing to give a great deal; and the giving is getting, the giving is delight. We find a way to be together, which is not always possible.

Quantum leap

Degas woman seated by a vase of flowers

A woman seated, detailIt seemed that my spiritual growth came in Rebirth moments, and I could give their dates. I Awoke on 14 February 1999. On x July 2001 I came to value my feelings. On 1 July 2011 I turned to Positivity from Negativity. That no longer fits. I have always been positive, and I remain negative. I may have seen a spiritual lesson, but the work still has to be done. Perhaps, we are always learning the same lessons throughout life: I must ask my wise nonagenarian friend.

One moment still feels like a great liberation. When I was about nine, I wept, and my mother looked on uncomprehending; and until September 2010 I would have told you of that with my original outrage and resentment, ending SHE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND! And suddenly that changed, and I understood. Oh, right, she didn’t understand. It was liberating.

It remains remarkable to me that anyone could fail to make a connection and not be ridiculous, disgusting, useless, worthless, moronically unfit. That is why I have my intelligence that others remark upon, but which I find hard to recognise. And I could permit that one failure to understand in her, which had hurt me so much I still felt the hurt 35 years later. So I could accept all her lapses from the Perfection we demanded of each other. I was freed to respect and love her.

And I had loved her since, just after her death, I picked on two beautiful loving memories to be my special memories of her; and before. Steps forward at the pace I can manage, and suddenly turning a corner and finding a new vista ahead, make the journey seem worthwhile.

In conversation, two stories from work came to mind, and I told them, and I was surprised and ashamed that I was still upset about them, because I should have processed that emotion by now, and let it go; and frightened, because I am stuck, and my reaction to these old stories is part of my stuckness. What causes it? Changes in hormone dose?

The Quaker meeting is a good place to process things like this acid reflux experience. What tools do I have to deal with it? That “forgiveness” of my mother- forgiveness seems the wrong word, posthumous reconciliation is better. Forgiveness of self is a useful tool to develop. Sometimes I make connections later, which I did not make at the time. This does not mean I am useless and fuckwitted, necessarily. If I can untangle the feeling that I should have done better from resentment at wrongs in The World or The System- for these are memories of injustice which I wanted to correct and could not- then I can accept myself.

I need to deal with my feelings about the world and injustice, as well- but disentangling them from my feelings about my own capacity is necessary. One thing at a time.

How did I do? As well as I could have, at the time. Breathe.

In the silence of meeting I became emotional, and the process made me feel good. No, not a Rebirth or Awakening, but the patient work of taking that step forward feels good. Keep taking the steps.


IFile:Michelangelo Caravaggio 018.jpg feel I have wasted my life.

So a friend wrote, on an email. I hope anyone who has paid full attention to this blog and its comments over two years, or is an attentive “friend” on facebook, cannot identify him/her, and will not try; and perhaps it is such a common feeling that you may imagine many people who have thought it at some time recently. This set me off. Well: what do you imagine you might have used it for? What have you actually done with it, and how might you have done more?

I read my diary entry from December 2012, and it seemed that I have not moved forward at all, from there. Anything I can say about my spiritual development and my spiritual plight is there. I need to love and accept myself, get on with goals, etc.

Ridiculously, I still feel a pang when I come across U’s name. I don’t think about her every day, now, not even every week, but some reminders pull me up, take me aback. So I can think, well, it is not ridiculous, it is my reaction. Breathe. It is alright. Delete the word “Ridiculously”. Or-

I too feel I have wasted my life. I feel I have not used or developed my talents, or taken my opportunities, or filled the unforgiving minutes with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run. Writing in my journal is the place to do this, not here: here I will simply announce that I intend File:Davide con la testa di Golia (particolare).jpgto compose my own indictment. Precisely how have I been useless, fuckwitted, cowardly, wicked, worthless, a waste of oxygen? What in me is worthy of my hatred and contempt? For that is what I feel.

I have been running from my feelings, burying myself in social networking sites and television, and I have airy spiritual plans: a Vipassana retreat, perhaps, or using my solitude here, now, as my own silent retreat. Not touching the computer, but meditating and reading and doing stuff useful to me- keep the house tidy, say, do my washing promptly- working out and rectifying my spiritual malaise. When I do come across the depth of my feelings, anger frustration resentment and fear, I realise how necessary that running away is- and the anger is still there, anger with the necessary running away itself.

So. An indictment. Why do I deserve my anger and contempt? For I have them, in full measure. Why am I worthy of Hell? I cannot forgive myself, if I cannot see all that could possibly need forgiveness.

The aim is self-forgiveness: but I do that by going through my anger, rather than repressing or denying it.


When Newspeak is introduced, thoughtcrime will be impossible. The sentence “Big Brother doubleplusungood” would be meaningless. Only orthodox thoughts will be possible. Our language accomplishes that purpose, now: just not so efficiently.

The way it accomplishes this is negativity. Words that describe those who do not conform are negative. A gay child in the 1960s would hear words like “sodomite” but perhaps not words like “gay”. That example shows we get better, but we still do not have a positive word for “sissy“.

The bus stop was immediately behind the taxi rank, and though the taxi rank was empty, the post office van was parked in the bus stop. “I’ll show him”, said the bus driver. He got out and scratched “Please do not park in bus stops as a slap in the mouth often offends” on the van’s bonnet. Later, we were having coffee. Sara, who is three, wandered away from the table only for a moment, and when we looked she had gone. “Easy come, easy go”, said her mother, and indeed no-one gave a toss. And- just after I noticed the used condom lying on the footpath, the jogger ripped my wig from my head, threw it in a puddle, and laughed.

I got less bothered by groups of loud drunks in the street when I labelled them “boisterous”. There are positive ways of seeing anything, which liberate both the viewer and the viewed.

AArgh! I am feeling disturbed and out of sorts, and

Where I am is perfect.

I have never made a single mistake, 

for I have got to this perfect place,

being loving and creative along the way

and blessing others with my presence.

I am perfect as I am:

what might seem a "fault" is beautiful if seen correctly.

Have you ever noticed those abrupt changes of gear in the Bible? The prophet is going great guns, God is wrathful and Israel is going to get what is coming to it, very soon and it can’t come quickly enough. And then everything is going to be Wonderful. God like an abusive parent or wife-batterer, swapping at random from rage to weeping declarations of LOVE and apology, with nothing in between.

Better find one, now. Get down the Bible- Isaiah should do: And indeed, as soon as I thumb through to Isaiah, I find this:

You will be like an oak with fading leaves,
    like a garden without water.
31 The mighty man will become tinder
    and his work a spark;
both will burn together,
    with no one to quench the fire.’
This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and all nations will stream to it.

Remember that the chapter and verse divisions are Mediaeval French, not original. It begins to make psychological sense to me, if not rational or objective sense: there was I in my misery, not showered today until 3pm and playing spider solitaire obsessively, and beating myself up about it until I decided not to beat myself up. If that is what I want to do, then that is OK. Then I went for a walk and wrote my purple prose.

Desires II

This is the Hicks quote which bridges the gap between what I believe, and what I imagine the Law of Attraction to say. It is not just woo-woo, but a “spiritual-mystic” turning of ordinary understandings on their head, based in human psychology with a materialist-practical effect.

It is natural that by knowing what you do not want, you are able to clarify what you do want; and there is nothing wrong with identifying a problem before beginning to look for a solution. But many people, over time, become problem oriented rather than solution oriented, and in their examination and explanation of the problem, they continue the perpetuation of the problem. That which is like unto itself, is drawn—so tell the story you want to live and you will eventually live it.

Um. I wanted to make a man of myself, and I did not. I am not sure this is a refutation of Hicks, I think I did not really want to be a man, but something else. I do not really know what I want. A year ago I said I wanted to descend into, really feel, and work through my anger.

I held a discussion within myself when deciding to transition, with my male self, female self, inner rationalist and inner toddler. The toddler said “I want to wear skirts and I want to walk down the street and buy stuff.” I want to express myself female, for that is who I am, and I do. I want money, I am strongly materialist in that sense.

Other formulations I have do not work. “I want to be told what to do,” except when I am often I resent it and go my own way. Perhaps

I want to find a place where I fit

and that is a human thing, we are a social species.

I want to feel I am doing something useful, valuable and worthwhile

and I have managed that, in the past.

I want to be safe.

I want to protect myself, because I hurt.

And that conflicts with

I want to be doing things, moving forward, achieving.

The depth of my hurt amazes me. I cannot quite believe it. So my desires conflict, rather than working together.

I want to heal

but I am not sure how, and I can’t quite trust that I am doing it naturally. Am I just ruminating and fading away?


I do not speak to my father for weeks, because I want something from him that he cannot give, and I cannot relinquish that desire. There. A nice formulation. I have several answers to that, I must accept reality, I forgive for my own benefit not for others’; and I do not. So I sit with the difficulty in unknowing- inner critic laughs, but I do- and I realise I have this voice in myself which stops it. That voice, which sounds very like the one I declared war on, says-

It's not right it's not fair he she they should have cared, thought, seen, acted-

Note the pretty script, for it is hard for me to respect this voice, which resents the world, lots of individuals and groups, and myself. For I should have seen things coming, acted otherwise, avoided particular consequences-

I need to listen to that voice. I need to hear and respect that in me. Not with the thought of taming it- certainly not at first, hold that thought at bay- I want to hear it, and worship with it. Or, I want to know what I am forgiving.


In October 2011 when I started getting all emotional I put it down to the hormones. Now I go back to Dr Anne, and I don’t. She spent twenty minutes with me, and tried to build on what we have discussed so far. In 2011, I wanted referred to the Charing Cross GIC endocrinologist, because I hoped s/he would have experience of trans women on hormones and might make sure things are going OK. Anne thought I should be counselled by their psychiatrists, for whom I have little respect. I cannot bear the thought of reverting.

Nicola got rid of me saying I should have counselling within the surgery, and their counsellor has just retired. They have not yet replaced her. Anne thinks I am upset because of rejection. And I think, no, the acceptance is far more important. All the acceptance I have! Positive thinking, be aware of the positive, even when the negative is true it is not useful information. But no. I cannot just ignore the negative, because I have been hurt by it. All this stuff in my past. It hurt overwhelmingly, and still hurts. Rejection: by my father when I was most vulnerable, by my sister, by Quakers in a long drawn out, hideous way, by the CAB in large and small ways, the annual funding crises and the annual audit crises; rejection by partners and potential partners, and the original childhood rejection, after which I tried to make a man of myself. I need to see all the positive in any situation, and I cannot ignore this hurt, for I am still hurt by it. I am hurt so much that I stay in my flat and do not go out.

Then- Oh wow.

My resentment, anger and fear are overwhelmingly aimed against myself.

This was this morning’s thought. I am angry at that part in me- not, clearly, all my emotional being- which is frightened of getting a job, frightened of looking for one. So there is the fear, and the anger I feel at it.

And it is all my fault. I should have been able to cope. I should have been able to achieve. That should not have affected me. That supreme joy which absolutely blinded me to what was actually going on: my own joy is my enemy.

I need to forgive myself.

In a spiritual exercise, the speaker told us to pick an object, and become aware of it. I took my pocket-mirror from my handbag, noticed a mark on it, and began cleaning it. Unsurprised, the speaker remarked several of us were cleaning.

I would not normally clean it, I would just use it. It was still useable, despite the mark. Why clean it? Because, in taking time to consider the mirror, I saw the dirt and was ashamed of it. Or because I valued it. Because I feared judgment, or out of love.

Being aware of myself, there are things I might wish to clean away.