What I can do

I’m not sure I would call it a personal crisis-

Last week I was effective. I was out protesting, talking, persuading, encouraging, writing, photographing for eight hours a day. I valued myself and people valued me- that vicar on Friday talked of me dancing on Tuesday. I think she saw I needed valued, and she valued me.

The week before I was not effective. I was supposed to go in to the office twice and both times failed to do so, and the thing is that I did not realise I would not until I did not. There’s the moment when I should get up, having had breakfast, and shower and dress and I just carried on reading the Guardian on my phone. Well, my phone is my main source of dopamine. And this week, on Tuesday I just stayed in bed.

I don’t have the energy or motivation to get up but until I should but don’t I don’t know it. I imagine I will.

I don’t know what I feel. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what I will do, and when I think I want to do something I don’t know if I will. I would not call it a personal crisis because it doesn’t feel that bad to me; it’s only when I see what I do that I think maybe I should be worried.

And yet I was effective last week. It’s odd. I wanted to do all that stuff.

Consciousness is overrated. Subconscious (superconscious?) me makes decisions, conscious me watches. Possibly there are different voices in subconscious me that pull different ways, so one wants to go to the office, and possibly it only fibs to conscious me that it wants to because temporarily that makes conscious me feel safe. Possibly the bit getting its way, and not going to the office, is the Real Me following my heart, and possibly it’s childish-in-a-bad-way me, following immediate pain-avoidance at the cost of long term goals.

I have the experience of speaking with whole me integrity, which indicates that at other times I am torn, or in two minds.

The good thing I have done today, rather than phone-touching, is half an hour’s meditation, holding XR Quakers in the light at the time they were worshipping. I think it “good” because it was focused beyond myself.

It seems to me that in the lower ranks of that office people are constantly irked, and the strict hierarchy is shown by who gets to moan and who has to listen. C said to me she did not expect me in, the day after I did not get the job, and I said, well, it was a matter of pride- and self-interest, getting me into a routine whatever my motivation. It was, that day, and that worked. Then after S complained to me about M moaning to her and how M should think of that quote, you know, the something to accept what you can’t change, I walked back down the corridor fighting the tears (usually a losing battle for me) deciding I would demand a listening ear and it would be whole life all problems, the expression of pain I would erupt into, starting I used to be a solicitor! Well, I fought down the tears and found myself hearing an account of someone’s Saga holiday in Egypt- not telling us of tombs and temples, but of the transport getting there. The day trip to the Pyramids (Great Pyramid of Khufu, I thought to myself, not all pyramids are at Cairo) involved internal flights.

“Now you’ll know what to do, when they weigh your heart against a feather,” I said, but she did not rise to that one. There may be many things messing up my relationships there, but I doubt being trans helps- even if only in the sense that I had male privilege and have not got it now.

In a world which is almost all black, going to that office offers the faintest chance of the darkest grey for me. It’s not what I would have wanted. It may be all there is.

I feared I could not do the job anyway.

I have a cold, and together with the depression that takes away my motivation.

Mostly today I have played on my phone and watched telly. The Broo is after me again. I could have bought food or done washing. I liked the busker’s puppets, moving their mouths as if singing harmonies.

Being hormonal

I walk along the long, crowded hospital corridor. I must not cry! My face twists in the tension of wanting to burst into tears, sobbing, and needing to appear calm and normal among these strangers. With an effort I control myself, and then my face twists again.

In case you are worried, my tears were not prompted by a diagnosis, but by being late for a meeting. I will look a fool! I am a fool! I will be rebuffed, and fail again! Wanting to cry makes it worse- what weakling would cry, at that?

I got to the hospital with a bit of time to spare, but there is an issue- I want a building called Elm Holm at the far end, but there is only Elm Leigh. I ask for Elm Leigh- I must have been mistaken- and find it is a cardiac care ward. If I needed cardiac care I could not have cycled here from Marsby. The nurse at the desk tells me to go back to reception. Again I make a mistake: I want O-H-, but only remember the old-fashioned, less accurate name for it, O-T-. I ask for OT, and after my confusion is resolved I am sent to OH. Now I am late, and more upset.

I get to OH, and say I have an appointment with Jill. I don’t know her surname, and they don’t have a staff member called Jill, or a note of such an appointment. In the small office, there is a man who stares at me incomprehendingly and a motherly woman about my age who sympathises and tries to get to the bottom of it. With her kindness I can no longer restrain my tears, but I still can’t explain or say anything sensible because I am trying to hold them back. She sends him off for a glass of water.

I have come to the wrong hospital. There’s another the other side of this small town. Who would have thought it? Actually, I check the note I made of the appointment, and I had been told to go to St Origen’s; but googling this morning I only looked for K- hospital, so found the Infirmary. She phones them, makes sure my appointment is there, and agrees that if I can get there by 12.30, fifty minutes late, they will see me.

I feel the need to explain, and choose my words carefully. I want to appear calm, but cannot because “you have been so kind”. Actually I resent her kindness. Cruelty and disdain might shame me into some semblance of normality. My resentment spills out, and I tell her that I had thought better of saying she had “made a fuss”, and as I anticipated she started to protest. You’re not the first person to confuse the two hospitals, and you won’t be the last. Anyone can make a mistake, she tells me. I express my real gratitude for her help, and curse myself that I had needed it.

I cycle across town, and am calm enough in this meeting to say the right things and not think of crying. What I say is so close to reality! This woman, too, is friendly, and I get the result I want, very glad to appear calm, grateful for her flexibility in seeing me so late. You cycled! You were quick!

Next day, I want to tell this story to my gentle Friend, and find myself tearing up again. I should be able to say this without tears, I admonish myself sternly. The more I try to hold them back, the more I have to gasp out my story between sobs.

Women learn in their teens that appearing “emotional” will decrease further the respect people have for them. Never cry! warns Siri Hustvedt. Men will take advantage. In mixed company you will be derided, perhaps with oleaginous sympathy. (I firmly believe this- it happens, mostly, I was lucky that one time.) I disagree with most things my feminist hero Germaine Greer has to say about trans, but agree that being a woman is “not all cake and jam”. The misery at feeling a fool, and feeling I will fail,


is too much for me, I cannot just accept it (though I know I must). So it forces me to acknowledge it, by making me cry. I can’t hold back the tears. Learning to accept the depth of feeling and live with it is so hard. I don’t know if I felt this deeply before transition and somehow managed to suppress it, but the change from T to oestradiol can’t have helped. It is something to consider if you are about to transition. Suppressing T and taking Œ involves difficulty as well as blessing.

The Bad person

You made an adult cry, and then you gloated about it. “She cried like a small child,” you said. “She had a woman with her with her arm round her, comforting her like I would comfort a child.” You mocked them.

I have cried like that, I said. Cried like before the Abomination of Desolation, as if my heart had been ripped from me, wordless, screaming, unconsolable.

I am not here to share my hurt. I would tell of the time I was crying hysterically– by which I mean, in the way a rational husband and a rational doctor, a man, would see as a reason to put a woman in a lunatic asylum, diagnosed as sick, so not to be listened to. When I was curled in a ball weeping on the floor. When I was screaming at the floor. I would tell of these times and they would put their most concerned-sympathetic face on, lean forward, put a hand on my knee and whisper softly “How shit it is to be you.”

“They”, here, are everyone but me, everyone outside my skin, the undifferentiated chorus of condemning humanity circled around me mocking, berating, ignoring. They are individuals. You know who you are.

You made them, “her,” cry, and they won’t talk to you again, or interact with you. And it happened fourteen months ago and it lives with you. It affects your life and important relationships now. You both are hurt, but their hurt is heard because they cried, like a small child, and were heard and comforted, and you will not cry, because too often others have made you cry and been pleased: it is their victory, proof of your worthlessness, proof of your abasement and irrationality. Why should they listen to anything you say?

I love your strength. You will not cry. I have been able to cry and be comforted, and able to cry alone, and I have cried and been abased, amazed at my own tears, proof to me of my worthlessness. Such strength, to stare back dry-eyed, at the man, a foot taller than you, perhaps twice your weight, and resist him.

So they are the expert, speaking to audiences of good, thoughtful, decent people of their experience and understanding, and you are the person who must be controlled. Your hurt becomes anger. It becomes fuel. Audre: a boiling hot spring likely to erupt at any point, leaping out of my consciousness like a fire on the landscape. How to train that anger with accuracy rather than deny it has been one of the major tasks of my life. You use it. And you have Sisters, people who love you, and support you.

You, with humanity circled around you since the age of twelve, to use you, blame you, touch you, hurt you, only your cleverness (not any human custom or rule) to protect you.

And I, a man in women’s clothes, terrify women who see me in women’s spaces, as I remind them of violent men where they are told they should be safe and their safety is an illusion, the unspoken rules contradict those spoken. “Do this and you shall be safe” say the con-men. The internet is a pain: I hear all the anger against people like me, which in the street or in my curtailed life I might have been able to avoid. I was not there, but I saw the video, of a hall of women, whipped up, their necessary anger permitted so unleashed against “dangerous men,” and how could I not take it personally?

The rules say you should be safe, not hurt or crying, so when you are hurt it must be your fault. What were you wearing? What did you do to provoke it? Don’t be so sensitive!

You made them cry, and you became the Bad Person. I am not a bad person, I say. “You’re a man,” you say, reasonably, rationally, incontrovertibly. We are divided. I see your hurt and my heart grieves, and yet you are made my enemy and I might use your hurt against you, as proof of your irrationality, you should not be listened to, and proof of your Badness, as you made them cry.

Audre: Why does that anger unleash itself most tellingly against another Black woman at the least excuse? Why do I judge her in a more critical light than any other, becoming enraged when she does not measure up? And why is our anger channelled against each other?

I hate you because I see myself in you. You are my enemy because you want what I want, though perhaps in a slightly different way. The people circling will never let up, never concede anything to you or to me. We are in the ring together, in that circle, and cannot but fight.

Trust VI

I weep watching Youtube, and resent The Guardian, who made the video. It is such a cheap trick- will the couple split, or will their relationship and their understanding of themselves and each other mature and develop?

I love the subtlety and vulnerability of it, turning a political stance into a human reaction, putting Remain v Leave into a human relationship, and after weeping I hate it for a cheap will-they-won’t-they trick. I resent it.

I was weeping at Star Trek: Voyager the other day. In a moment of confusion, unable to believe what she admires and loves could be so monstrous, a character commits a betrayal she regrets for decades after. The set-up is so well done that the betrayal is accomplished with a change of facial expression and a meaningful look in a particular direction.

As I write, I still feel weepy after “Go Home”. I want to persuade you that Voyager could be worth watching, and worth crying over. Or myself. I am persuaded, actually, it was a striking story well told. And I resent crying at “Go Home”, the will-they-won’t-they and the resolution to it.

I resent the Guardian for making me cry, and I resent myself for being so soft that I cry at that. And I resent my washed out feeling two hours later. It is my own stupid fault, of course, for transitioning and fouling up my endocrine system.

(Never mind that transition was my route to freedom and self-acceptance. It is still my fault.)

You know that Sunday evening feeling? Oh God, I have to go to work tomorrow. Under stress, that expanded for me, so that on Friday evening I was thinking It’s the Weekend!- but I’ll have to go to work on Monday. I felt trapped. So, what? That was 25 years ago. I am- useless? Mentally ill? Traumatised? -for ruminating on that now.

Not useless. I am never useless.

I don’t trust, and the Tory-controlled Bureaucracy may take away my income because I am not doing enough to find work which I don’t want and can’t imagine doing or finding bearable. So the answer is of course a leap of faith, trusting in myself and the world to go once more into the breach except that the last time in the breach was pretty ghastly.

Should I cycle to Swanston to shop? I consult my unconscious by deliberately bringing myself into the Moment- touch that surface, bring the senses alive, and Know what I decide to do. Oddly enough, this time the conscious brain is saying that I do not need to, I have enough food in today, and the unconscious decides to go. It was lovely cycling in light rain, which cooled me as the warm air warmed me, lovely and comfortable.

Integrating the self

I have not spoken to my counsellor for over a month, so have a lot of material to work with. I tell her of my dispute with Quakers, lunch with my friend, my holiday.

-I did a little light bullying.
-I don’t think anyone has ever said something like that to me. “How was your holiday?” “Oh, I did a little light bullying.”

I worked quite hard to make sure my friend had as good a holiday as possible, and when I could not find a way threw my weight around to make sure I got what I wanted from it. In particular I was not going to do boring things because conventionally they are supposed to be fun, especially as my companions had such limited ideas of what those were. And because he values my company so much, my friend has to take a certain amount of shit from me.

-You are very hard on yourself.

Yes. “Bullying” and “giving shit” are harsh words for me. I was kind. I was reasonably self-assertive. I was as creative as I could be. My judgment of myself is harsh, and I am allowing the judgment and trying to stop it preventing me doing what I want. Bullying is wrong. My inner critic calls my action bullying, yet I do it anyway. In unsatisfactory circumstances I am happy enough with my conduct.

At one point we reach a stop, and she says she has a question. Fire away.

-You said your internal policeman tasered you for not being sufficiently manly. Did he not get the memo?

We laugh. Apparently not. It is good to be conscious of him, though, rather than just being paralysed. I love the way I make her laugh. I am telling my stories as elegantly and quickly as I can, wanting to get the meaning over, but enjoying how I word them well.

Before lunch, H told me a coat would look good on me. I am playing control games. I like them. If that is her controlling me- what does that do for me? It is what I want. It gives me a sense of connection.

-Would you have bought the coat yourself?
-No. Never. But I love it.
-So she is appreciating a part of you which is usually silent, and giving it a voice.

I am addicted to attention. Or at least that is approaching the truth, one facet of it.
-You are being attractive, and valuing that.
-Crying in public could be that addiction. Yet it seems to me that when I cry my unconscious communicates to my conscious how strong my feeling is, and if I can fully accept my depth of feeling I need not show external symptoms. That can be useful.

She does not demur to that.

I have known I am screwed up and at war with myself all my adult life. I am closer to finding the cause of that than I have ever been, and to finding ways round it. My father was feminine, my mother liked that, they both knew it was utterly shameful and no-one must ever find out. I had one honest conversation with my father about it, three months before he died.

This is my work. It is intensely valuable, because I am valuable.

Being controlled, and passive. My best experience of sex so far was with a man who let me lie back, doing nothing, and with gentleness, empathy and generosity opened me up. I was curled up and self-protective, and he got me to open myself to him. He licked me out. “You taste Goood,” he said. I want to do none of the work, and be accepted.

Bullying. It is a harsh judgment. I am crying.

She says it is difficult to integrate the self when it is so repressed. At her request, I show her my yellow coat. It is very yellow.

We arrange another appointment, and then I watch Star Trek Deep Space Nine. I like it. It is decades-old SF entertainment for teenagers, and I still like it. It is beautifully done. I pause it to think.

Do I need it to be in some way objectively good, before I am allowed- can allow myself- to like it? Now I am weeping hard. NO! I like it! Yet this is an exceptionally good episode, ep 3/7, “Civil Defense”. I love the clever ways they come up with to reduce the threat, always making it worse until the end. I love the way the characters respond in ways like themselves: Quark and Odo flirt together beautifully, subtly showing their regard and care for each other as they bicker. It is funny. At the end, there is surely the tiredest cliché- the computer counts down the seconds to Self Destruct- and the tension of it grips me. I love their heroism: continually knocked back, everyone keeps buggering on. I loved the sense of the characters, and see it is the only DS9 writing credit of Mike Krohn- his only other credit is one TV movie, Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct: Lightning. I may watch that episode again, however ridiculous the whole world might find such a complete waste of time.


My vicar said two things which drove me out of the Anglican church: “I will try to ensure you are not driven out of the church,” which seemed too negative; and “Do you want to look like that, all the time?”

I thought recently, Yes. I would of course rather pass perfectly and look beautiful, but when the choice was between looking a fairly ordinary bloke, and looking like an obvious tranny– beard stubble, no idea of dress sense, bad wig, ungainly and awkward- I would still choose transition. I don’t know that I could bear it, now, but though I have considered reverting the drive is as strong as ever.

I have not been in the ritual space for months, and that rug needs a good brush. I knelt on Saturday evening.

I feel sad– but this is not painful, as I am not resisting it. I don’t tell myself, Don’t cry– because that would make me cry harder, to get the message across. I permit it. I don’t cry.

Later, I feel angry. It isn’t, but I see how that can be energising– I admit it is reasonable, and it becomes heat to warm me, rather than to burn me.

I did not want to go to the Quaker meeting, but did anyway. Certainly I am in “low functioning me”- depressive, not really wanting to talk, though chatting away in the car with Peter. I went immediately into the meeting room.

And it felt like this LFM is- real me– or at least, part of real me which I need to accept and integrate. These are my authentic feelings.

This bit-

I know I want to hide away, but it seems to me I have worked that out, from what I have done; the way I chose my career, how I behave now. In the meeting room it seemed that I was feeling the desire, there and then, consciously-

for the first time?

These are my most powerful drives, affecting me so strongly.

The Quaker shared lunch was quite fun, as usual Ann doing most of the cooking, and rather than contributing anything I took sausage rolls away. Peter came back to my flat, where we chatted and grazed on left-over food from the shared lunch, until it was time for the concert.

All Saints Church is a great barn of a place, seating 400, from the mid 19th century. The local amateur group had an orchestra of forty, and a large choir; they started with the Bach Toccata and Fugue on the organ and ended with the Magnificat. The audience was uneducated, clapping between movements: “I don’t know when to clap,” said the man behind me, plaintively. Sitting between the Gothic arches, with the darkness outside, I was reminded of the beauty I loved in the Anglican church. The woman beside me was embarrassed by her angry husband, who was disdainful of some nervousness in the organist. But this is Swanston, not Edinburgh, or even Norwich. I opened myself to the beauty of the music, took less notice of infelicities, and the first movement of the Magnificat moved me to tears.

Blake, God blessing

Letting off steam

Trouble with hormones. Man cycling on the pavement of Midland Road, which has little vehicular or pedestrian traffic, a wide pavement and low kerb so you can fairly easily move on and off the pavement on a bicycle. Being in an arsey sort of mood, I think to myself “It’s a road vehicle,” and walk so as to force him to the edge of the pavement. He wobbles on the edge, passes me, and shouts abuse: “Slut!” he shouts. “Slut! Slut!” Quotidian human interaction…

Here am I on the green pills, which may or may not cause emotional lability, and my emotional reaction shows in my face and actions. Sometimes I am upset, and I start to cry (Oh God, I think, why can I not get this sentence out? Such frustration!) and sometimes I get angry. There is a rational basis, an explicable factual stimulation behind both responses, the world is not as I want it to be, do you want it to change too, can we make it better? The crying produces “there there” noises and offers of help and sympathy- still frustrated, I think No! Under this I am sensible- and the anger produces an equal and opposite reaction, or sometimes expressions of hurt from others which get sympathy and I am the Bad Person.

It is so frustrating! If only I could choose: calm, rational explanation; turn on the waterworks to elicit, “Oh! How can we help? What can we do?” Anger just at the right moment…

Arse excelled himself. (Quakers do not know whom I mean.) Now, when exactly the same circumstances are about to arise, I think, surely he will not do it again? Fearing that he will, I find anger and irritation rising, and wonder if I will be able to resist the sarky remarks which he just might take as a challenge. I know a soft answer turneth away wrath, and it is oestrogen I am on, and still.

Or, total bore whose topics of conversation with me, when I fail to avoid her, are what a wonderful Ally she is and what right-on opinions she has about LGBT (which I feel is my topic, and I don’t want to talk about it except when I do) and ghastly sympathy about how awful it must be to wear a wig, be unemployed etc. Actually, wearing a wig is like having your own hair: sometimes I love it, sometimes I think Oh God I look like a man! It looks like a wig! I look terrible! To which the appropriate answer- most women understand this- is “You look beautiful. Of course I mean that. I would not say it if I didn’t mean it…”

So I shouted at her, making my aim about which I was really stressed less likely to be achieved, making me less able to contribute to achieving it, and making me the bad person. Yes, I know I upset people. Sometimes I regret that, and sometimes I just regret the results.

Feuerbach, Medea


There are three pairs of geese, each with five goslings. Two families are on the water, but one is on the grass between the path and the water, though I am only four feet away. They are so tame that though the parents keep an eye on me they are not fleeing. Two women have also stopped to watch the babies, and one says to me how they have grown, in the last fortnight! We share our delight at seeing them, cooing as over human babies. I felt complete joy.

The average age at the first rape of these women is thirteen. Of course I did not see the ones still in sexual slavery, or the ones who died in their twenties of chronic drug use, or the suicides or the ones murdered. The ones I met have had luck, as well as resilience.

I felt I was seeking reconciliation, healing, and the deepening of our worship and community together. Others thought the problem was me, and the first priority was to get me to shut up. I would not shut up, and the whole area meeting condemned me, while (I read later) demonstrating caring, concern and tenderness for me, which I did not perceive at the time.

I feel like Francesca, blown around the outer circle of Hell

Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything, is wonderful. If I could steal anyone’s life it would be hers. It moves me to tears, changes an ideal into an imperative and a normal attitude into a vile one, in my mind and the phrase that speaks to me now is like someone unable to fall fully in love because she can’t stop imagining the inevitable heartbreak.

Those former sex workers, they have huge resilience, they have faced things you could not even dream of, and you claim to be broken after- Nothing??

This cruel voice in my head, saying I am weak, is the problem. It is what holds me back

Kate approached me two years later. She was very glad to see me at Yearly Meeting, yet she needed to check that I really did not recognise her. I might have been snubbing her. I reassured her that I am really not good at recognising faces or remembering names, though she recognised me sitting on the grass in the sunshine two years after. We had a very brief conversation. She was really glad to see me. I was grateful for that, and for her saying it.

If only I could recognise people and remember names!

I have spent much of the last 48 hours pacing the floor, weeping and wailing, wordlessly, lying awake at night and dozing fitfully in the day. I am so grateful! -that the tears ooze out of my eyes rather than leaking from my nostrils, which they usually do, which is such a pain.

I came to the Religious Society of Friends because I felt too uncomfortable staying with the Anglicans and expressing my real, female, self. I was welcomed, and that acceptance gave me the courage to transition in work. That experience coloured my view of the Society and has affected all my actions and relationships in it since

and the thought that my view of the Society might nevertheless just possibly not be totally fucked up and damaging and ridiculous sets me wailing again.

Those strange bipeds, which bear a superficial resemblance to me! I am projecting onto all of you, right now: anyone who would see me is like a seven foot granite statue in my mind, a Judge, seeing me and finding me wanting, condemning me-

possibly this is unduly pessimistic in me

The green sofa *oil on canvas *65.4 x 92.4 cm *signed b.r.: J. Lavery


I clean my teeth in the shower. I announce this here because I saw written of another that She cleans her teeth in the shower as if that were shocking or weird- anti-environmental, wasteful or something.

Thinking of one of those problems. But what will he think of me? How can I say that? What will [individual/group/everyone] think of me? is one of my chief obstacles to action, and it would behove me to care less. I never know, anyway. Thinking of one of those problems and I am weeping in the shower, can’t see to rinse my toothbrush properly.

The inner critic says sardonically, cruelly, As if weeping ever did any fucking good.

Weeping- soap and rinse as best I can-

The inner rationalist starts to argue this. It is better than denial. It is further on.

And I– I don’t know, at any rate my throat, my vocal cords, goes No it is Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na NOT it is NOT it is NOT further on it is NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT

Can’t see to use my deodorant. It is important to use my deodorant. Weeping and screaming and ROARING-

trust the process.

It is a process. Weeping is Not “further on” or “better” than denial and avoidance activity. Analysis may not do any good. Weeping may not do any good. There is a process, there is a thing, possibly even an “I” called Abigail which might- I don’t want to say “cope” “deal” “muddle through” because I don’t want to second-guess ME ALL OF ME with a bit of me

words, analysis, get in the way?

Why am I writing and publishing this? Fuck I don’t know. I want to.

I can’t tell you what the problems are, now, because you would think I am pathetic

Should I tell her I feel insulted and badly treated? When has that ever done any good? Well, it might strike home. She is supposedly a mature adult, regularly irritating me with all the wisdom-bollocks memes she shares on facebook- that wasn’t the thing I started crying about, actually- feeling better now, it is time to wash my bedding, don’t try to second-guess what next, stay in the moment-

not knowing is difficult

“Have mercy on yourself” said Menis

Actually I am proud of it. This experience comes to others. I communicate it well. Some who do not consciously resonate with my words will understand later.

Hope III

Boldini- Berthè considers a fanKnow the past. Let it touch you. Then let the past go. Good advice from Octavia Butler’s heroine Olamina. Actually, it starts “To survive, know the past…”- well, it is dystopian SF. I thought of putting it as my header text.

I was crying this morning about the job I left in 2006. After various jobs round the CAB, I was going round the hospital wards, advising patients referred to me. Meanwhile, Steve, hospital service manager, was in a stand-off with Andy, chief executive. Steve said he was a manager, so should not be advising clients, and that it was unsafe to open the office when there was only one worker in it (though it was in the hospital) so if he was alone he would lock the door. Andy failed to provide any volunteer workers. I don’t know why, possibly there were other considerations, or possibly he just wanted Steve to give in and advise like Penny had. Meanwhile the hospital continually threatened to withdraw funding, including the funding for my wage. My job was fascinating, but often stressful and frustrating apart from this.

Let the past go. Of course, good advice, but how can I? My last four job-roles turned to shit, and it was not merely and entirely my fault. It will always be like that is what I take in to myself.

Let it touch you. I do not think about this a lot. I think I let it touch me at the time, my fear that funding would cease, my irritation at Steve.

I have goals, and given the exercise I wrote them out. Some, I even approve of.

To survive.
To control my space.
Not to suffer.
To see myself as a good person.
To do something worthwhile.
To form connections.
To learn and understand.
To accept and forgive myself.
To see myself and others as we really are.

What goals do you want in your life? was the question. These are not my goals, but I would like them to be:

To support myself without recourse to benefits.
To get stage time.
To write something more substantial than a blog post.
To learn new music on the piano, and polish and enjoy my repertoire.

Stage time is possible. There is a small amateur theatre in Nupton seating 83, to hire for £130 a night. I have no idea how to market my performance, though I could just invite an audience as I could afford £130, and that would be a good experience or useful try-out. Though I have only written half an hour, and am not entirely satisfied with that. Six minutes of it is good, and has had good audience reactions. I found memorising difficult. Having just found that theatre three days ago without having thought to look for such a thing before, I may start writing again.

I need hope. I want to put down this heavy weight, it will always be like that. Neil told me he just kept going. Fucking brilliant. Bully for you. I did until I couldn’t.