Ironic detachment

Anti-trans activist and Today Programme presenter Justin Webb interviewed Nancy Kelley today on Today (starts at 1.48.50 in). Kelley did a lot better than she has in the past, she’s obviously been practising.

Webb’s tactic, after his endless confected anger against “biological men”, was to pretend no-one objected to real trans women. No! Perish the thought! They only objected to Men, pretending to be trans women to get into women’s services. This disingenuousness got under my skin, until I was lying down, wailing inarticulately. I surprised myself with the depth of my distress. After, I felt exhausted.

Tina said I appear serene, and the depth of my distress perplexes and frightens people. Graeme McGrath said I use an attitude of ironic detachment as a powerful defence against acknowledging the strength of my feelings. A man I knew had nerve damage, such that he did not know when he needed to go to the toilet. My state feels just as embarrassing: I do not know what I am feeling until I weep like a child abandoned.

I phoned the Samaritans. Talking it over with Dave, I surprised myself again by the strength of my feeling. We were talking about suicide at the time, but even so.

Imagining that was over, I texted M. I don’t know what I was thinking but think I believed I wanted a little playful contact. However when she texted “How are you?” I told her how I had felt wildly upset this morning. “Tell me about this upset, without analyzing or justifying,” she commanded. Well, it’s a good question. I do not need to justify. My reactions are justified.

Ironic detachment is my defence mechanism. Earlier in my journey of spiritual growth and self-understanding, I would have said, ironic detachment is my mask, it is my oppression, I must descend into my softness which is my true self, and liberate myself. Then, I might have thought knowing what I must do was sufficient, and discount the need to make a habit of it.

And now- ironic detachment is my defence mechanism. It stops me acknowledging the depth of my feelings, or even knowing that I am feeling something, but protects me from some pain. And, it can make me appear serene when with other people, at the cost of needing to be alone most of the time.

I don’t want to get rid of it, just not to use it reflexively or constantly. I want it working for me, not against me. I want to know when I am doing that, and be able to go underneath it, to find what I am feeling. This is a lot of work. And, I can find my softness, more and more easily, and there I seem to be more emotionally aware. I want to keep surprising myself with my true self, until it is no longer a surprise.

I may stick in another complaint about Webb, but I don’t need to worry about that now.

Loving my vulnerability

I loved how you used the word “observatory” as an adjective. Standard English would be “observational”, but you added root and suffix together in a way I instantly understood. I admire it like my nephew, as a toddler, using “goed” for “went”. Your command of the language is excellent, but the word you use would be called an error: I would celebrate your skill, but fear others might mock your usage. I love your drive.

He is right to say, spiritual growth should not be a great fight. We work hard at it, because we value it, but that hard work does not always produce the growth. I do not traumatise myself in the name of growth. Rather, old traumas came to me.

I sat in Meeting on Wednesday and Steve ministered on our silent waiting in Love for the word of God. But I was in the depths of my trauma, thinking of how my inner gaslighter had bullied me as worthless, except for what I could achieve, and useless, unable to match its impossible standards. Those implacable, impossible demands broke me into my current inactivity, which is the best evidence I have of my worthlessness and uselessness. Now Steve’s ministry, heard as “This is what proper Quakers should be doing” made me more miserable. It was more grist for the inner judge. It was so hard to bring the judge into consciousness: when unconscious, its judgments had seemed simply reality. So it made me suicidal.

So I spoke that I was wrestling with my trauma. After, one prayed for me, my Friend who is psychotic and my Friend who is sectioned, and I thought, I am in good company. Another admired my ability to be open and vulnerable. One reminded me of God’s love for me.

When I was in work, I was trapped by that inner judge. This was unbearable and traumatic for me. So I fled it and numb the pain, and facing the pain, admitting the pain of it, is part of my healing. My path to healing is through the old trauma, admitting how it still affects me.

Then I shared about this on Saturday. I thought of my share for an hour before. I thought I would project the judge’s judgment onto the group; and thinking this, realised they might have a multitude of reactions, but not the complete contempt of the judge. I thought of what I might say. I was heard and acknowledged: not by everyone, perhaps, but by enough.

Then in Meeting on Sunday I sat with a blissful sense of being loved and accepted- by my own inner light, and perhaps by other people too. Friends ministered their sources of joy. One read a poem about joy. Neil, of Jewish heritage, ministered on the light of the Menorah in the temple being produced by crushing olives for oil: through trauma comes light.

I see how the drive for perfection can make people achieve great things. Mine broke me because it was set too high, but I love it in others. I wanted to be perfect because I wanted to be invulnerable, but now my vulnerability, which I feel in cool chakras on my wrists, delights me. Through vulnerability I open and receive. And I can see and delight in another’s penetrating drive.

Imprisonment and liberation

In 1998, Dr Graeme McGrath, who had helped my trans friends, decided I was not trans. It is hard to know what to feel about that, twenty years after transition. He said I talked about strong feelings then adopted a mask of ironic detachment as a defence of my fragile sense of self. Even if he could provide the depth of psychotherapy I needed it might just threaten my defences. I was too messed up for psychotherapy to work.

I’ve been feeling “a bit” sad. And, I hate that “a bit”: it is minimising. Like I have “a little” poem I would like to read: little, slight, not really worth noticing, I crave your indulgence. Don’t do yourself down, I think, though Steve said, Spanish uses diminutives, eg “Conchita”, as terms of endearment.

-How are you?
-OK I suppose.

OK. Being below par is a bit frightening- no, terrifying. Less than OK is unbearable. So there is a depressing burden of alrightness, where unacknowledged pain builds up.

-Share your heart, if you feel safe to do so. (I do, with you.)

I don’t know. A feeling I am missing something, stuck in old patterns. If I am feeling hurt, I want to explain and articulate that, rather than simply being “hurt”. That distances me from the feeling. This feeling of being only just OK might be ameliorated by a sense of being loved, but I need constant reassurance of being loved and loveable. This makes me terribly vulnerable.

I hurt, feeling unloved. I don’t want to say that to other people, because I am an adult and do not want to appear vulnerable. In some way that causes me to be unable to admit it to myself. The imprisonment is that I cannot admit my misery to myself. The causal link locks me away.

My retreat to my living room is an attempt at emotional regulation. It calms my fears to bearable levels for me, and means that I don’t show unacceptable emotion- misery, fear, despair- to others. Out in the world, my feelings burst out, undammable, and so I feel too vulnerable, but even retreated I am still tortured by stress. My retreat is a waste of my gifts, but not the cause of my isolation. If I must conceal my feelings and never be open with anyone, then I am isolated from people even when I am among them.

Then, another’s love is threatening: it could make me emotionally incontinent, admit that I am not OK. I am not receptive to Love because I cannot show that part of myself.

I could not feel that delight fully without feeling my sadness. Delight alone would have been inauthentic and incomplete- it was delight and sadness commingled. My back tenses as I realise this, then releases as I write it down.

I want to let feelings flow naturally, I say, but I don’t want to pause to feel them. I want to hold them in myself and not show them. I can’t admit this is difficult. I am emotionally constipated, and fear incontinence, but if I feared my feelings less-

Could I learn to feel? I could cower, cry, or rage (or just gurn) as a way of processing the feelings through my body. I wish I had learned that as a toddler, in my family, before going to school.

I know that if I feel the feelings I will show them to others and that is Death. Possibly, you could help. You would tell me it was safe to feel and even express emotion. Or, the ghosts that I keep in my head, and use to talk things through, could tell me that. (I am in control of the ghosts in my head.) I want to be mothered. I come to you with my emotional problem, you help me find a way to deal with it.

First this made emotional sense to me, but having written it out it makes rational sense, and that is far more comfortable. I could never have explained it to my mother. She just would not understand. So it all became unconscious. I could not see the prison bars, or love, the file to cut them.

Imprisonment is feeling unsafe to feel fear, sadness or anger. I am convinced that if I feel them I will express them and then I will be judged, and suffer. Liberation is to let the feelings flow, feel them fully, accept them as part of me that needs my Love.

The dance and the game

As she looked at me, I felt my softness being valued. In her regard, my delicate flower stood tall. She said it was beautiful to look at me. I have to accept my sadness completely, in order to appreciate my delight. We are present to each other.

This is how I want to be, and I enjoy it, then analyse it. What am I doing, now? I take off my masks. I speak from the Real Me. Or, I show my vulnerable, feminine self. Three ways of seeing it each casting light from a different direction, each illuminating parts other images leave in shadow, none complete. The mask seems welded on, and to be seen without it is liberation, my only desire.

Burnt Norton: In the still point of the turning world, there is only the dance. There is who I am and what I do in the moment, and how I imagine it looks or want it to appear falls away. In almost all my actions there is care for appearances, more to myself than to others, and self-consciousness, and here I might flow naturally, unconstrained.

Nirvana is nonbeing. There is no I. There is only the dance. Possibly I should only do this with a lover (not with her) or possibly it could expand to all of life. This is paradise everyone old has dreamed of all their lives: the deep blue air that shows nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless, behind high windows Larkin could only look through, hoping that couple of kids were free to fly, like birds.

As a potential partner I have a great deal of beauty but fear I have little use. My earning potential is minimum wage at best. So I unfankle all the mess, the masks and pretence, the desire for appearance rather than reality, the impossible falsehoods. “I” is the whole animal process dancing with the world, changing it as I am changed, and “I” is the illusion that blocks the flow, the demands not to feel that were branded in me.

Mind-blown, I went to the Quaker group. With adolescent certainty I told them where they were going wrong. There is the dance, and then there is the game, which has rules. The business meeting is on the second Sunday of the month, and members should send agenda items to the clerk by the first Sunday so that the agenda may be circulated in good time.

But—but—

The DANCE!!!

If only I could put it into words. But those words would become dust as soon as they were spoken, not even a finger pointing at the moon. Human kind cannot bear very much reality.

If only we could trust the wisdom we know. If only we could sit in silent worship in the business meeting. You only speak once, so you gather what you must say. You seek the good of all, and not appearances. You listen to Friends, and see their unmasked beauty. It is not a committee meeting where we talk over each other.

Nirvana is possible, and ungraspable. I fall away from it into habit. The words cast light and shadows. And I dismiss the rules, for they only permit a game, which is less than the dance. But there is wisdom which might let us dance freely. And I delight in my adolescence: I have been stunted, welded in, and adolescence is growth and life.

Dominant women

I have been doing some research….

Lady Sas, or Saskia, says that the Domme should simply be calm and assertive: the loud, aggressive Mistress is outdated. She should issue commands, expecting obedience. D/s is a game, and at other times Domme and sub meet as equals. The aspirant Domme might feel nervous, so Lady Sas suggests the Silence challenge. The sub kneels, naked, in a room, and the Domme merely need walk around him, slowly, feeling how she relaxes as she realises she is in control. The game should be “safe, sane and consensual”.

Lucy Fairbourne writes for the “caring mistress”. The self-assured male craves the vulnerability of complete surrender. The woman is surprised, but soon finds the pleasurable possibilities. She does not fulfil a sub’s fantasies, who demands she commands him to kneel, or ties him up, but instead she decides what to do, for her pleasure.

The mistress shouting her contempt for the slave was the clichéd image of fem-dom I had internalised, so I googled “submissive worm”. A site tells me the “worm archetype”, wanting to be dominated by everyone, still exists. A worm might be not allowed to use the furniture. I think, yuck. Is he allowed to use cutlery? “Allowed” by whom? I read of a woman who was better educated than her partner. He objected to her using words he did not understand. He enforced control, and by the time she left him she was only using words of one syllable. That is coercive control. It is criminal.

I read of FLR, the Female-Led Relationship, and TPE, Total Power Exchange, where the sub is submissive at all times, not just in well-boundaried games. The equipment could be a way of creating the boundary: when the woman is dominant, they use particular clothes and tools which are put away afterwards.

I do not see the motivation for the games for either, and particularly the thought of dominating. Yet when Miss Dark Waters sent me a picture of her handcuffs, glinting in the sun, dangling from her well-manicured fingers, it fascinated me.

I am submissive. I had a nervous, difficult Quaker meeting, thinking of this, resenting it, and especially my propensity for imprinting on strong women. I thought that ceasing to fight it, coming to know and accept it, I might live better, and I still resented and struggled. By the end, I felt acceptance. This is who I am. It fits with other qualities in me, such as humility, which I find easier to value. At the discussion zoom after a Quaker said she had rarely heard someone’s voice sound so peaceful. I typed an affirmation:

I am Submissive. Nervous. Kind. Appreciative. Vulnerable. Open. All of me is beautiful. I will love and cherish all of me. Sweet. Gentle. Thoughtful. Caring. Analytical. Feeling. These are not in conflict, but so many different beautiful facets.
I love myself.
I love myself.
I love myself.
I am perfect as I am created.
Appreciating the parts I find difficult lets me appreciate my good qualities, for they are part of one whole.

The question was, what is essential to you in spiritual community. I interpreted it as asking my essence. So I read that out, and a man asked me to read it again.

A Friend said, spiritual community requires total acceptance of the person in front of you. People project so much how they think others should be, but we need to meet people where they are. I need to accept myself first: if there are parts in me that I deny, I cannot accept them in others.

The joyful, playful child

“Forgive me,” said Anna, “but you seem confused”. Well, yes. I have had a striking week. I wrote my love poem, which enabled me to say the words “I love you” to someone. Wednesday 5th I would read it in public.

Unfortunately, before that I was discussing my psychotic friend. He comes to Quaker zooms to rave. One of his delusions is how the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra is the perfect society. I wish he’d go to one of their concerts, proclaim his gospel, and get sectioned again. I wish he would realise he was ill and consent to the depot injections, but he believes he has unique spiritual truth to change the World, just like Licia did. He accepts he is hypomanic, and when he is less so he can have an initial appearance of profundity from all the Buddhist texts he quotes.

Then there was the BBC, explaining laboriously yet disingenuously that my complaints were without merit and Justin Webb did nothing wrong.

I read my poem in the Lovely Gathering. Jamie needled me a bit, and my barriers collapsed. I do not mind appearing ridiculous. That ship has sailed, I said- I have appeared ridiculous to some people since transition. But not like this. He asked if I wanted him as celebrant, and I asked if he could do the registration too. I would not want to have to go to the registry office as well. But, the barriers- I had not wanted to make claims about another, or potentially embarrass her. Jamie did not need a jemmy. He put an exploratory fingernail under my covers, and they exploded off. I felt exposed.

She wrote to me of my ethereal beauty, my blooming heart. I am grateful for the expressions of love from her deep integrity. And Thursday afternoon I spent some time wailing wordlessly and some time being listened to by my wise friend, who recommended howling.

I had given up hope that my sexuality might attract me to, leave alone unite me with, another human being and I am grateful that I now believe in the possibility. Friday afternoon I zoomed with a woman who has overcome huge challenges. She does herself down, and still I saw her humility is beautiful. She wrote to me of my generosity, receptivity, sensitivity, spirituality, thoughtfulness, beauty and desire to spread encouragement and love, and called me

a human daring to stand.

Tuesday at Morning Communion, which I experience at 1pm because of time differences, was striking. I was just feeling the feels. People would say something changing my view of what was being discussed, and my feelings changed with them. In order to hold these mercurial feelings, be present and conscious with them, I found my body flexing and stretching, tensing in different places. It was almost as much as I could bear. I thought I might look a bit weird but no-one said. I was pleased with this. I want to feel the feels and accept them, then I feel I will stop fighting myself and stand in my power.

I have been thinking of my honour, and one thing I want to do is keep any obligations into which I enter freely. So Friends asked me to do something, and I said yes, and I did not do it. I just did not respond when my fellow Friend involved contacted me. I did nothing for six months, and facing the prospect that the work was not done someone else was appointed. Then they asked me to do something else and I did not respond to the first email, or the phone message. I need to be able to say “No”, and I need my word to mean something. When directly asked I said “No”.

Another thing I want, passionately, is not to have my feelings just explode on show as they did on Wednesday evening. It makes me feel unbearably vulnerable and stupid. After, I hate myself for it. I need control.

I had an hour and 45 minutes with Anna the Samaritan on Friday morning. They did not seem particularly busy, and I had a long healing cry. Then I talked from my misery when I can only articulate words in a high wail. Then I talked from my Real Self, or whatever it is, when my voice goes higher than usual, I am fulfilling my needs telling my best understanding of truth and I feel frightened and vulnerable. I told of chasing Ulrika like a lost puppy, and how she used me to keep Luke on his toes, then chucked him away like a used tissue. I told of Jude’s girlfriend wanting him to make a man of himself, and how when they split up he was so much more relaxed. By the end I was more explaining to her than working things out for myself, so I stopped, and I have not felt the need to cry since.

F, to whom I said “I love you”, has been in touch and caring in a way making me feel cared for. I spoke at the Zoom Quaker meeting, when someone heard humility in my ministry and that felt true and fitting to me. Then there was the afternoon Quaker zoom where we addressed the question, “Who in your life enhances/encourages your connection with God, and how?”

I said I felt that God in me is when all of me is integrated and working together, and anything can either lead me towards that or drive me from it, and my attitude to it matters. So I welcome unravelling on Wednesday, making a fool of myself. I will learn from it.

I told the story of the grey corridor with doors to overwhelming light and colour. Jeannine had a new angle on it: the corridor more constrains me as I outgrow it. Ruth suggested I could open the door for a look, keeping in the corridor for safety.

So I began the lovely gathering with Emotion Detector.
Illusions are painfully shattered
Right where discovery starts
In the secret wells of emotion
Buried deep in our hearts.

What I wanted, more than anything, was to become that sane, well-boundaried person, who does not lose control like I did on Wednesday. And now, five hours later, I don’t.

The next Quaker question was, How do you hold people in the light? How do you believe that works? Well, it changes me. I think of another with love, and it enhances my capacity to love them.

Then I said words new to me, which felt true. I find loving important, and am good at it: the price is not knowing I am good at it, so striving to be better. Seeing Friends assent helps me believe this.

So now I know. The lesson I wish I had learned as a toddler, which my parents could not teach me, was that losing control was not the end of the world.

I would rather be in touch with my feelings and in control. And loss of control is not ideal, but OK. Outside the corridor becomes less terrifying.

I love you

I cycle on quiet roads.
Buildings cast shadows on buildings opposite.
The Light
on trees, stone, skin, purple clouds
makes me cry in de-Light,
sigh in delight.

Love is one thing.
Limerence, wanting them to look at you
Storge, family love,
all one thing.
It is radiance, and the need for it.
Darling- let your bewitching attention
Shine on me!

The hunger is terrifying. My sensitivity is terrifying.
So I have my deepest desire,
to hide away alone and not be seen.
Might I be subsumed, like a male Angler fish?
Ah. There’s the self-contempt.

Your light is an earthquake in me.
Your voice is warm as the Sun.
Broken open,
the cracks are where the light shines Out.
My breasts are full.

Love is one thing.
It flows like water
so that who gives and who receives cannot be known.
Or a dream of water in a desert
making thirst more painful.
Take every chance to express love
however mad you seem.
I love you.

Storge is an ancient Greek word, στοργή, for love within families. Part of the inspiration for this was this voice message, which you might not be able to hear as it is substack, and which led me to write a fangirl reply. Written on an exceptionally warm, sunny 2 January.

A better life in 2022

How may I improve my life next year? I see the fragility of how I have organised my life, and have to see the blessings of it as it is. What do I desire, and how may I achieve it?

A velleity is a desire too weak to act on. I found the idea amusing. I have always had a velleity to try the various human approximations of flying- hang gliding, paragliding, parachuting- but never have, and now think the reduced elasticity of middle age means I never will. And, well, so what? I have other sources of excitement, joy and beauty. I can imagine the terror and exultation.

Now velleity feels like a threat because I do not recognise when something is a desire, and I will act on it, or a velleity, and I will not. I lack motivation. Velleity seems like genuine desire. I shock and disappoint myself. I find what I want when I see what I do, or avoid.

I did not know what I wanted, because of my upbringing. I was taught to find my desires and feelings shameful and threatening, and they became unconscious. I have only named my desire to hide away and not be seen in the past decade, in a process of self-discovery and self-acceptance I journal here. I hid first in a myth of conventionality which better fitted my parents, who were forty years older and conservative, than my generation. Then I hid literally. I go out as little as possible.

Over my suppressed desires I constructed a fantasy of who I ought to be, and what I ought to want. I believed that was who I was, and what I wanted. Hence the difficulty of spotting what is velleity. I wondered if I could construct rules about obligations helping me to motivate myself to, say, reply to that email. I would be adopting rules others live by and recommend, but it would be my choice to adopt them, and then I should stick to them. They would be my guide.

I want community and connection, and a chance of contributing. In one Quaker group, possibly another, I do. In my local meeting Friends have given to me generously, and I have mostly just received. I might use moral argument with myself. So they asked me to do something, and I did nothing about it, to my Friend’s surprise and measurable loss. They asked me something else, and I have not replied. I could name stinginess and hypocrisy in me, or think of exculpation, and the words don’t help. Conscious me contemplates unconscious me, wanting to understand.

I also want to know my capacity. If I cycle thirteen miles in the morning, I might not want to do much else but read or watch TV for the rest of the day. As well as motivation issues I have problems around the amount of energy I have. I usually have a sleep in the afternoon. I want to cycle because I want to keep physically fit. I came to accept how I enjoyed aspects of it, and found other aspects unpleasant, so I might lie in bed thinking I want to cycle and then get up at lunchtime, not having cycled. I found my conflict between an inner slavedriver and an inner protector, cycling.

I don’t know I am exhausted until I conk out. Again, this is from my upbringing.

How to get to know these things- how am I, in the moment? What do I want? What should/could/will I do? I find sitting in silence helps, though finding out has to cut through so much, it is a slow process. I built up such a forest of self-protective illusions through sustained trauma that my desires remain elusive to my conscious self- even as I act on them, and even achieve them.

I have found a way to explore my desire for submission, which I could not have named before I was forty. I am beginning to explore things most people explore pretty thoroughly in their teens and twenties, and I have not. So I am reacting like a giddy teenager. Through my parents’ shame, through shaming in the culture which treats my kind as a laughing stock, and through deep internalised repression something which has only caused me misery is finally bringing pleasure, and I have intense mercurial feeling, delight at finding it, rage at missing it, so that I have been crying thinking of writing this. And I am contemplating another human being in amazed delight and thinking, who is she? What will nurture her?

Being liberated

This is who I am. This is what I want. No experience “made me like this”. No-one investigates what made someone heterosexual, and gay people strongly object to, mock and ridicule, and have managed to drive to the margins questions of what made them gay. Nevertheless there is widespread certainty on social media of what makes us trans, as if anyone who is not normal must explain themselves and find a cure.

Nothing made me submissive. I just am. But, being submissive, my experiences have profoundly affected me.

I was going to write a post about how my mother controlled me, except I have written it already– with many of the same stories I was thinking of including now. I do not have many stories, or memories. It just was. I noticed it was different from how other people appeared, but did not rebel until years after my mother died. There was love between us.

Part of my self-liberation was meeting this mother in a Citizens Advice Bureau. I told that story repeatedly, of how she controlled her son, and how it drained him of all motivation, and thought, mine was worse.

I had a line I had practiced, to end incapacity benefit interviews. I said to the son how I know it is stressful to lose your benefits, but we will appeal, I will be with you, and we have a good chance of success at the tribunal. And she repeated it to him, as if he needed a translation, draining it of all the respect and reassurance I put into it. “Mr Languish knows how stressed and upset you are, and knows how stressful you will find the appeal…”

I lost my own desires in my mother’s expectations, and so I drifted through life, stressed, miserable, distanced from my emotions. The Monster lurked in my unconscious, motivating me through fear, so that when I worked at something I pushed myself to exhaustion yet never acknowledged how hard I was working. So I broke and remain broken. But I clung to the thought, my mother was worse, though it made no sense, as I had been well-cared for as a child, with no cause to complain– and so started on a journey leading to meeting my inner Light, the Real Me. More and more, I manifest her, and still after doing all that work on myself around being controlled, I am nearly in tears of horror writing about it now.

And now I meet someone, who understands my kind of submissive. “I love how you soften,” she says, and sensations ripple through my body, which feels as if it is not my own. This is who I am. It is better to find out at 55 than not at all. She has shown me my capacity for submission and surrender more clearly than I ever saw it before, and shown it might bring me joy.

It frightens me. I think of the dominant man Andrew Griffiths. Why did his wife, Kate, not leave him earlier? Well, often women don’t. Possibly he broke her spirit. Possibly, she loved him, or could not imagine a life without him.

Nancy loved Bill Sikes, and he killed her. Kate Griffiths escaped, and has a burgeoning career. It seems better to me to be alone than to be made into Andrew Griffiths’ servant, but I would feel differently about particular strong women. It is much harder to be objective when it’s you. A friend told me, as an empathetic person she could be subsumed by a man, and needed a partner who would affirm her in her selfhood, rather than take control. She was warning me. She saw it in me. Uli dropped me, as D suited her purposes better.

This is who I am. It makes me vulnerable. “Though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,” I cannot be other than I am. It is so difficult to be human!

Surrendering

“My husband dominated me,” she said, simply. That would be exciting. He is a strong man, a bit of a pain sometimes. I think of her playing her cello to him, in the evenings. The dominant man, and the wannabe, can be a curse, negging, gaslighting, hitting women. I knew two woman broken by their sons hitting them. One recovered, one did not. One of the most exciting, spirited, forceful and intelligent women I know, her husband attacked her, and the iron entered her soul. Continue reading