I saw my therapist yesterday. We did EMDR, as usual, this time it was different. When pregnant they don’t do the fast, emotional upset causing stuff. She keeps the rhythm slow and soothing. She wanted me to think about the baby that is coming. She kept asking, “How do you really feel about the coming baby?” She wouldn’t accept, “I’m excited.” She kept pushing for negative emotions.
I’m scared shitless of how I’m going to handle a child with THIS MUCH ENERGY but beyond that… I’m so excited.
She wanted me to think about how I’m going to have to get over my shit about white men/boys if this child is as loaded with testosterone as I suspect given my physical state. (Not that all people who have lots of testosterone and/or a penis are men/boys but there is a strong chance.)
It is true that I need to spend a lot of time processing my shit around this. I cannot take out my rage on my son.
Just like that woman I wrote about yesterday took out her rage at every white teacher and administrator and whatever on me she came here.
I am not throwing stones. I am not better. I have acted out just as much in rich white peoples houses. I’ve broken more shit in temper tantrums. I have gone off on people much more personally.
Seriously the big insult she could throw against me was that I was a control freak. Uhm, yeah. Given the recent autism diagnosis it makes even more sense than usual that I am a control freak about a lot of things in my life. I’m rigid in order to cope because my body gets overwhelmed by a lot of stimuli. That’s true. I get why it triggered the shit out of her, but I asked over and over how to accommodate her needs and she’d smile and say, “Oh I’m fine” until she lost it because she had never been fine.
That happens. Part of the reason I think about it so much is because I don’t feel victimized. She didn’t hit me. She didn’t hit Noah despite getting inches from his face and screaming at him about how she was going to get him. Because he looked at her.
She was completely and totally flooded. She wasn’t capable of rational thought or evaluating if we were threats. Our very existence is proof of an existential threat against her people. I don’t deny that even a little.
I’m not angry at her. I’m sad. I’m sad that no matter how much I work in this life I will always be one of the oppressor class to a lot of people. No matter what I do. No matter how much I help. No matter how patient I am with them as they tell me that every person who looks like me is equally culpable for the suffering of her tribe.
It’s ok that she feels like that. She’s not wrong.
But it’s hard that we are representatives of opposing races instead of people who can know one another. I’m not exactly one to say, “Nuh uh. White people aren’t as bad as you think.” Yeah, we are. As a group, collectively… white people are as bad as you think and probably worse.
And I’m white. So what does that mean about me? Maybe she was totally right to shun me the way she did. To go on ranting about how terrible I am because… for a few moments while she screamed at me in public I shut down like she was my mother.
I absolutely admit that I have the white fragility thing like whoa. I will crumble if you scream that I am bad in public.
I didn’t fight back and argue. I said, “Ok. If I’m so bad when do you want to leave?” And then that became another oppressive thing I was doing. Because she wanted to scream at me and stay and have a nice time that I paid for.
Hey buddy, even I have limits. If you are screaming at me that I’m terrible… you don’t need to stay in my house longer. And no I’m not going to keep funding a spiffy vacation for you and your kids. Because I’m going to avoid being in a room with you. And then that became one more reason white people are bad.
There was no way for me to be anything other than a monster.
My shrink yesterday asked me about my sleep. I told her I’m getting 3.5-4ish hours of sleep in a night. (Yesterday I got a 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon. I was so glad.) I told her I was considering adding one more dose of pot in a day so I can sleep. She said, “How tired are you? Maybe you just don’t need the sleep. Humans go through periods of elevated (I’m blanking on which hormone she cited… I think I remember it starting with a c but I suspect not cortisol…) and they don’t need sleep for a while. People go on 2, 3, or 4 hours of sleep when they fall in love, when they do a big project… it happens. Don’t take more pot.”
But if a psychiatrist wanted me on a heavily sedating medication she would urge compliance. But more pot administered because I think it is a good idea… that’s not ok.
I was not willing to drive to Oakland on how much sleep I’ve been getting. I rode my bike + bart. It was fucking exhausting. Oakland scares me so fucking much on a bike. Too many cars + hills. That was awful for me. I’m kinda mad at Lightning already. This kid is… taking over my impulse control center and I’m doing shit I NEVER FUCKING DO and it scares me really bad. I’ve never been a bike person. It’s never been a good idea. My family gets hit on bicycles. This is such a bad idea.
But I feel like I NEED IT OR I WILL EXPLODE FROM EXCESS ENERGY.
I have never exercised this much in my life. Not even training for the marathon. I’m putting in more hours right now. I’m cross training like never in my life.
Having this much energy means I hear words in my brain even faster than usual. That’s a little terrifying.
Do you know how much specific, conscious effort I put into creating new voices in my brain? I hear blacksheep when I’m exercising. Her gentle, loving expressions, “You can do this. I know you can. You are strong.” I hear Sarah, “Oh you can do this. I’ve watched you do amazing things.” When something is deserving of derision I hear Patti, “uhhh…. what?” said with just the right inflection.
I hear so many of the people who have been lovely enough to come to my house when I’m calm and talk to me when I’m capable of imprinting your lovely voices over the mean ones in my head.
I hear Pam. I hear Beautiful. I hear Claudia. I hear Jenny. I hear Erin. I hear Taylor. I hear my submissive. I hear Miss Vicki. I hear Valia’s glorious laugh.
I am so blessed. I could keep going all day listing names. I hear you. You changed me. You made me better. You made it so when I meet new people I can’t wait to find out how they will be the same or different from the fantastic people who motivate me to keep trying.
Hope is not dead as long I hold you all in my heart and mind.
I think of the woman who came last summer. I think of that Taylor Swift song “Mean”. I wonder if she has ever started understanding that she is never going to be the weakest man in a room again.
I was not the weakest (wo)man in the room when we were both freaking out last summer. In a whole bunch of ways that are systematic and completely unfair. When I had more like that amount of power compared to the people I was in a room with… I used to lose my shit over and over too.
I can’t be angry at her. I have to see her as a deeply wounded person who is lashing out because she has been stomped so thoroughly. I’m not mad. I’m sad. Because I liked her. I wanted to be of help. Only I wasn’t. I hurt her. By existing.
I can’t act like she was mean to me. She was defending her life in a blind fight because that is where she is in life right now. That’s not about being mean to me.
I was not a victim. I hope I did not victimize her. But it was a really sad thing. I don’t know that I could have done anything to make it go better. I’ve been thinking constantly for almost a year… what could I have done differently.
She needs to find community with non-white people. White people upset her. That’s ok. It’s not wrong. I support there being space where white people are not welcome because we bring our much with us. That’s ok.
I’m really proud of myself for deescalating things when she was screaming and physically threatening Noah. I did manage to get her to calm down enough to see that neither Noah nor I were going to hit her. Even if she had hit Noah, I would have restrained her without hitting.
She’s been hit enough in this life.
Many of us have been hit enough. Too much. We don’t need more hitting.
We need more crying together. But tears are only available to white women, I’m told. I saw her cry. But she denies it.
That’s so complicated.
It’s not fair that we had a fight and she gets to go back to her life of suffering and I get to go back to my life where 70% of my suffering is manufactured by my brain. (I do have a bunch of legitimate pain stuff….)
I don’t go hungry any more. I don’t have to worry about feeding my kids. I don’t have to fight with the government for my children to receive services that they need. I just pay. I can fix my car when it breaks. I have a forever home that is just a handful of years away from being fully paid off.
I don’t get to act like a victim in this situation. It’s not victimization. But it is a severing of friendship. It is a divorce. It’s sad.
I’m trying to figure out what to learn from this going forward. My shrink wants me to learn the lesson that I should stop trying so hard with people. She says I should never open my home again to people with trauma because look what I get.
Do you know how many of the people in my life have trauma? If I stopped inviting them over I’d stop having human contact and that’s not ok.
I didn’t forcefully eject the friend who called me an evil drug pusher either. He was reacting to stuff in his life. I told him I understood why he was struggling and lashing out and when he was ready to get over it I could forgive. It took five years but he came back. He did apologize. He was going through shit and he took it out on me. Yeah, that happens.
I forgive you. I’ve done worse. And in this world I can’t really afford to throw friends overboard willy nilly. I need your voice in my head convincing me I should not die.
I reject people who look like a threat to my children. Beyond that… I can deal with a lot. I’m not an easy person and people come back to love me. I can love you even if you aren’t easy. I don’t need you to be easy. I need you to be real.
I like to say that I wasn’t looking for a life of convenience. I am looking for a life of intense connections. That’s going to lead to some big explosions.
That doesn’t mean you stop trying. That doesn’t mean you decide “People aren’t worth the trouble–I’m going to hermit.” At least that isn’t what I have decided. You do you.
(Side note: in the background I have youtube playing a bunch of videos of FTM folks singing pre and post transition. It’s a really neat background. People change so much based on relatively “small” hormonal changes. This is so fascinating and wonderful.)
I am alive in the time period best suited to me in all of history. I can meet the most variety of people. I can learn so much. I am blessed beyond all measurement.
There were times in my life when I was a victim. Those times are long gone. Unless I am suddenly attacked by a stranger… I’m not sure I’ll ever be a victim again. Bad things will happen, but that’s not the same thing.
I have reached a freakish plane of existence.
There are times when I think that one of the best things that happened to me as a child was the severing of my bond with my mother. If I had maintained that bond most of my life wouldn’t have happened. I would have stayed closer. I would have kept up the abusive patterns that reign in my family.
Is my life perfect? What does that even mean? I have strife. I have conflict. I have challenges. But I have more luck and safety than most.
I’m a genuine good place. My bitching is kind of ridiculous.